…did she really? That’s what she told herself. That’s what she told everyone. But, inside, she was dying. Slowly. Dying. She felt an overwhelming sense of dread and stress and torment, even to the point where she could no longer cry any tears. She kept the smile up for everyone in public. She tried to be there for those who were having a hard time. She pushed everything she was feeling aside, as it could not be worse than what others were dealing with. She was supposed to be thankful. She was supposed to be grateful. She was blessed. She really was. Why, then, did she feel this way?
She didn’t know why. She didn’t want to feel it. She didn’t want to feel. She wanted to go back to the days when she was invincible. Where she could help others and not feel bad inside. She would go into her room and try to cry, but her eyes refused to produce any tears. She couldn’t explain how she felt… a person who is friendly to everyone but doesn’t have any friends. A person who is there as a shoulder to lean on and an ear to talk to but… was there anybody available to reciprocate?
People tried sometimes. They tried. They tried to listen and they tried to provide advice. They told her everything was fine. That she needed to be grateful. That she needed to stop letting depression drag her down. That she needed joy. She knew these things… She just couldn’t do anything about it, and that made her sad. It made her feel very bad. There was no reason she shouldn’t be happy. She was blessed. She had her bare necessities. People would love to be in her position; so many people who were worse off than her. She felt ungrateful… she had to have been ungrateful. Why else did she feel like this?
She prayed. She journaled. She poured out her heart in her closed quarters, mourning with dry eyes. Then, she’d take a deep breath and go back out into the world; flower in hair. Colorful clothes. Soft smile. Bubbly personality.
Nothing was wrong. Nothing could be wrong. If something was wrong, she wouldn’t be like that, would she?
She sat there on the couch that evening, staring into blank space.
So many people depended on her…
…they thought nothing ever bothered her.
She told them it did, but they didn’t believe her. They thought that, if she really felt emotions besides happiness, if she really felt pain, if she really had a reaction to anything, she would show it and that would be enough. She’d be unruly. She’d frown. and be mean when she’s having a bad day. She’d fuss at people she disagreed with instead of having polite conversations and knowing when to stop and pray for them, leave them alone. She’d rant on and on about how everything was going wrong. She wouldn’t work seven days a week. How could a person work seven days a week and be nice to everyone if she didn’t enjoy the job? How could she act like this if she was going through stuff? She wouldn’t be able to comfort others if she was in need of comforting. She wouldn’t be like she was if she was really —
No one knew how it happened. She was just lying there on the couch. She was still smiling, too, and she had a flower in her hair. Her eyes were closed as if she were only asleep, but her heart had stopped.
I was the one called in to investigate the situation. After a couple of holidays passed and no one received her encouraging text messages or saw her inspirational posts on social media, they got worried and tried to check on her. They found her. Just like this. That’s when they called us.
He headed into the kitchen to search for any evidence of poison while I looked over the rest of her belongings… read through her journals… nothing indicated she could have ended her own life. Everything yelled happiness, sunshine, and rainbows. She was blessed. But, there was no evidence of forced entry into the house. There were no suspects. Everyone only had good things to say about her. She had no visitors at her home. She never did. Only her family and God were her closest friends, as she liked to say, and neither her parents or siblings were around at the time. In all this… I found her computer. I searched her writing. She wrote stories… but they were just stories. She had a vivid imagination. She made worlds in her mind. None of the things found there could be clues to anything… could they?
Then, I found a red book. A little red book with a golden lock. Red was her favorite color, wasn’t it? It was quite obvious. The password was quite obvious, too. 467. As in Philippians 4:6–7: Be anxious for nothing. Easy enough to crack. She wasn’t anxious. Ever. I skimmed through the pages… there, I saw the words written in crimson ink: help me. Help Me. PLEASE. HELP ME.
I closed the book. I looked back at the couch.
It couldn’t be true, though, could it?
Could she have done this?
I stood there, glancing over at the girl resting graciously upon the couch with her eccentric style and quaint spirit… I could still feel her positivity radiating. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I broke down, fell to my knees, and started to cry…
My partner rushed in and knelt by my side. He asked if everything was okay. I held his hand, looked into his eyes, and smiled.
“Yeah. I think I am now.”