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Authors: Kirsten Rees

The Suicide Diary

BOOK: The Suicide Diary
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The Suicide Diary

By Kirsten Rees

Copyright © 2014 by Kirsten Rees

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator.”

 

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Seneca

 

  1. The Diary

 

   The garden gate closed behind him with a gentle creak, and he followed
the weaving, stone path up to the door of the beautiful, Victorian house. It stood at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, and so far he hadn't passed a single person. He had walked passed her street three times before working up the
courage
to turn in. The last time he had come here, he almost made it as far as the gate, but a neighbour in one of the nearby gardens looked up from tending his plants and he lost his nerve. The street this time was eerily quiet, the driveway was empty and the house stood silent - he had to get inside.

Alex set foot on the porch and lifted the mat hoping to find a key there. His brow furrowed when he saw only an outline from the sodden welcome mat. Running his hand across the top of the door frame produced only a little grime on his fingers. Circling the house, he found all the windows were locked tight, and the conservatory and back door were unwilling to yield.

Standing in the front garden again, he stared up at the window on the top right side of the house and wished, not for the first time, that there was some kind of trellis or easily climbable drain pipe like they had in the movies. There had to be a key somewhere. Alex noticed he had left a footprint in the dirt of the small rock garden and shovelled it with his toe until it was less obvious. Some people had fake rocks in their gardens to conceal keys; he remembered seeing them at a garden once. He knelt down and lifted the rocks one by one, but they were all heavy and stone, although one had a large crack that seemed to extend around the circumference.

He shook it roughly, but no sound came; after trying to pull it apart, he twisted the two halves and finally it opened in his hands. The solid stone contained a narrow inner lining of foam and on that rested a single key. He just hoped it wasn't an old, forgotten one and ran back to the porch. The outer arched doors were hinged open and he stepped in to the doorway towards the inner door.  Sliding the key into the lock he prayed to anyone for it to turn.

The lock clicked, he pushed down the handle and the door swung inwards. The hinges cried out a welcome as he stepped inside and closed the door behind him. He hesitated, looking around the living space and listening for any sign of an unexpected presence. Now he was standing in the house where she once lived, his intentions didn't feel as good.

Once his heart slowed to more of a rattle than a drumming, he made his way to the stairs. Missing out the third and fifth steps - since they creaked the loudest - he made his way to the top. Pausing for a moment to check he hadn't alerted anyone, he made his way to the right and along the hallway.

His breath left him as he found himself standing in front of her door for the first time in three months. Trying to pull it together, he reminded himself he had a purpose for being here. He leaned against the door and pushed, bracing for the noise before remembering this door didn't creak.

He took a deep breath and walked into her room. Cursing the sound his shoes made on the wooden floor, again he hoped no one would arrive home. Everything seemed to look the same since he was last here all those months ago, and yet he had no idea where to begin his search.

With no hints to go on, the logical choice seemed best, so he scanned the books on the shelves. Of course that would have been too easy, so he continued to hunt: under her bed, in the boxes on top of her wardrobes and amongst the clothes in the drawers. His cheeks flushed as he gently searched through her underwear drawer and on finding nothing tried to put everything back in its place.

He searched fruitlessly for over ten minutes, during which the ticking clock seemed to be getting louder every second; reminding him he would have some explaining to do if found there. Standing in the centre, his eyes darted around the room keeping time with the thudding of his heart against his chest.

The light that had been streaming in through the large bay window was dimming as the sun began to set. As the yellow globe sank low in the sky the streams of light suddenly caught his grey eyes and he closed them tightly. Turning his head from the window to the opposite wall, he slowly opened his bruised eyes to find himself staring at the bookshelf again and his vision fell on ahardback book o
n‘
gardenin
g
’ sat in the middle of the shelf. He had skimmed over it before but now he focused, it was completely out of place between Paulo Coelho's
'The Alchemist'
and Nicholas Spark
s

'The Notebook'
. Gardening would have been on her list of least enjoyable and meaningful ways to while away an afternoon. Pulling it from its place, the sheath slipped from the slightly shorter book inside.

He recalled the very few occasions he had laid eyes on it before it was tucked away and out of sight. She had mentioned it only once, by mistake h
e’
d thought at the time, since she stopped herself and quickly changed the subject.

Gripping the black, hardback notebook he ran his fingers over the fabric surface barely daring to breathe. Did this hold the answers he was looking for, or would reading it only reopen wounds that hadn't yet healed. The ticking clock broke his thoughts once more so he slipped it carefully into his bag between two academic books. Taking one last look around the room that once again looked perfectly untouched, he closed the door behind him.

With a little less care he made his way down the stairs and across the floor space to the front door. Most of the garden was shielded from view by trees and large shrubbery and so he was concealed until he reached the street. Despite his nerves he hoped his cap and bag gave the impression of a delivery boy of some sort, and despite being in his late twenties his youthful looks may just get him away with that image if anyone were to see him.

He had purposely parked his car two streets away so it would
n’
t be recognised but the run back only took minutes. As the keys slipped from his hand, he sighed loudly in frustration and bent to pick them off the road scraping his knuckles in haste. Throwing himself finally into the car and forcing the keys into the ignition, he then gently slid his bag onto the passenger seat - at this moment in time, that stolen book was the most precious thing he possessed. Alex thought of the twenty minute drive back to his flat before he could begin what had looked to be a lengthy read. As tempted as he was to pull the notebook from his bag and begin reading, it wouldn't do any good if someone recognised him in her neighbourhood. He was thankful the roads were quiet and pushed the car until he knew he was breaking the speed limit. Cursing loudly he hit the brakes and thrust against the seatbelt. Glaring at the red light, he willed it to turn green but it only seemed to slow the change.

He slumped down in the seat watching his fidgeting hands tap repeatedly against the steering wheel. The dark tan from his travels had long since left his arms, which were now his natural olive tone with a barely visible paler silhouette where his watch used to rest. He hardly wore one now, it was just another reminder of time going by without her in his life.

The red light blinked out and it had barely turned amber before he was pushing the car across the white line and thundering towards the next turning. He imagined his excuse if pulled over and his lips pulled into a grim smile. Finally, he pulled into the car park and into a designated spot - which wasn't his. Hell, he was breaking all the rules today anyway.

Pushing open the first door, he ran into his building and punched the side of his fist against the elevator button. His flat was on the second floor, but the elevator was on the third and heading in the wrong direction. Too impatient to wait, he took to the stairs two at a time.

As he pushed open the top door he almost ran into the girl walking along the corridor. At first a look of disdain crossed her face, only to quickly be replaced by recognition. In that split second she tilted her head up, straightened her shoulders and pushed out her breasts. He faltered for only a second; Alicia was noticeable for all the wrong reasons and he had something far more important to focus on.

"Alex! Where are you going in such a hurry?"  Her shrill voice barely registered as he shot past her muttering something about being late.

Slamming the door to his apartment shut tight, he slid down to the floor breathing hard and enjoying the feel of his heart thumping against his chest again. It was good to know it still worked. Getting up, Alex opened his bag and pulled the notebook from inside. He wasn't sure what to expect, but hoped it held some of the answers to the questions he had been asking himself these past months.

Flipping the 'Do Not Disturb' sign right side out, he then turned the lock in case anyone got any ideas about dropping by. Locking the door made him feel a little more comfortable with what he was about to do. This was her diary and Alex was going to read it - every single word.

His heart was racing but he was
n’
t sure if it was the exertion of running up the stairs, or if it was this little book having an unnerving effect on him. He opened the cover, quickly flicked through the entire book and slammed it shut again. And of course, nothing bad happened so he gently lifted the front cover again. It looked well used, slightly dented around the corners, and yet somehow cared for like a tattered but dearly cherished teddy bear.

The notebook was almost full, each page covered with her familiar writing and a few absentminded scribbles. Part of him knew this was wrong; after all if she had wanted him to read this, she would have given it to him. But he also thought if she had
n’
t wanted it to be found, she could easily have disposed of it befor
e…
his thoughts wavered and he shook himself, he could
n’
t think of that now. If it had been anything but her diary in his hands, he would have laughed at the entry on the first page.

 

Private – If you feel guilty about reading this then you shouldn’t be reading it! One day Karma will come to collect.

 

He thought about her words but decided that, for the most part, guilt was something to be felt in hindsight and therefore, he would have to read her diary in order to feel guilty about reading it. It was a twisted logic but it comforted him.

 

To all those who were part of my story I thank you.

The good, the bad and the downright ugly (well on the inside at least), you were the players in the personal theatre I called life.

Nina Grace Licari

 

Alex laughed mirthlessly at this; Nina had loved the theatre. He ran his fingers over the words, feeling the indentations where she had pressed the pen hard into the page and wondered desperately what plagued her so, that she turned to a blank notebook rather than talking to someone - her family, a friend, him.

And yet he felt a certain empathy with her since he had spent much of the last few months torturing himself with his own thoughts, playing out all their moments together over and over. Berating himself for getting distracted with thoughts, he read on.

 

My family and very few friends were fortunately, rarely an audience to my self-destruction. I've done all I can to keep them apart from it and although pushing loved ones away is not something to be proud of, making sure they didn’t have to witness it all is at least an achievement.

However, if anyone is reading this now, you are unlikely to be my only critic. Not my worst I hope, to be honest no one could be more critical than myself. It’s been a gradual process and not for any one specific reason but on this day, first putting pen to paper, I hate who I have become.

BOOK: The Suicide Diary
5.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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