As I sat there in the bathtub with a double-edged razor in my hand, my young body was relaxed and calm, but as I brought the razor near my wrists, my fingers were shaking so badly I had to put them back into the water for a few minutes until I had calmed down.
Will I die? Is that what I want? I mean if I cut my wrists and lose consciousness and bleed to death will anybody find me? Or will I be stone dead before anyone notices that my soul has left this world?
No one would miss me anyway! I reached for the steel blade and brought it steadily to my wrist, still hot from the bath water I sliced an inch long horizontal gash in my left wrist, and before I lost feeling in that hand I quickly proceeded to do the same to my right.
As I looked at my severed wrists I could not believe I had actually done this to myself.
I put my wrist down and watched the water near me slowly turn pink. I lifted my hand and, fascinated, watched my crimson blood pour down my arm. I touched the blood with my fingers and placed them slowly into my mouth, it was salty and slick. The blood was pouring at a tremendous speed as I slid deeper into the bath water, I held my hands up high and watched the thick, oozing blood cascade down my arm and into the murky bath water.
As my eyes started to close, my body was limp and I knew this was it, if I didn’t act now I was going to die, if I didn’t stop the blood I would most certainly be dead in a matter of minutes.
As I tried to move, I couldn’t, my body felt separate to my mind and I felt incredibly comfortable as I slipped into unconsciousness.
My mind trailed off, back to when I was happy. I owed my happiness to one person and that person alone was my life. I hadn’t had a happy childhood my mother had died in childbirth and my father was an alcoholic who didn’t want a child to waste his valuable beer money on, so by the age of 8 months I was brought up in care by the state.
To be honest I was quite a content child, I accepted what I was given and played well with the other children. I was relatively bright and I paid attention in class, this surprised my teachers, as many of the children from the care home were disruptive and had behavioural problems.
When I reached 16 I decided I had to get a job as I was no more the states responsibility and I had to fend for myself. During the day I worked in a restaurant called “Rita’s Ranch,” and during the evening I attended evening classes at the local college so that I could obtain A levels.
I was forever tired and run down, I had no true friends only acquaintance from school and work colleagues I suppose this is when I hit my all time low.
I had never had love before and I didn’t even know what it was. No one had ever cared for me or felt proud because I had done something good, or told me right from wrong. I had effectively been the only person except for my carers and teachers to influence my upbringing. I didn’t understand relationships, as I had never been in one. I couldn’t understand the relationships parents, siblings and grandparents could have as I didn’t have any of these people in my life.
I can still remember it as though it was yesterday. He walked into Rita’s Ranch and ordered a chicken sandwich with a fresh side salad; his eyes were a piercing blue, the colour of the ocean on a summer’s day. His skin was tanned as though the sun had
laid its rays ever so carefully and evenly across his face. His hair, you could tell, was originally a dark brown but due to his labour in the sun it had the faintest of highlights, natural and stunning, not like the phoney highlights of a hairdresser. As his gorgeous eyes fell upon me in my faded denim skirt, my white shirt and dark hair, his face erupted in the most breathtaking smile.
“Excuse me miss!” they were the first words that he ever spoke to me.
“Yes, sir!” I quietly uttered back
“Are you busy this evening? May I have the pleasure of your company?”
That was it; from that moment on we were inseparable. Everything he did I did and everywhere I went he was.
I found out he was 21 and called Matthew Harris, he worked as a landscape gardener and he came from a two parent family with four siblings, two brothers who were older than him and two sisters that were younger.
I was nervous about telling him of my upbringing and my past but one night when we were alone in his apartment watching the television, he turned it off and looked at me and said,
“Nat, why don’t I ever here about your family? Why do you only talk of your job and your dreams to become a teacher? And us? Why never of your family?”
As I looked into his eyes I wished he could see into my soul, I wished he just knew and that I wouldn’t have to explain everything to him. But that wasn’t going to happen, if I didn’t tell him then he would never find out. So that night sitting on his sofa I explained how my mother had died and my father was an alcoholic and gave me into care. I then continued to tell him how when I was six one of the carers at the home had sat me down on her knee and told me my father had died of alcohol poisoning and how I didn’t cry or feel sad I just said “thank you” and walked away.
After I had told him of my past he wrapped his arms round me and said,
“You will never have to be alone again, for I am always here!”
We feel asleep that night in each other’s arms.
At first it was strange visiting his family home, as it was not run in the way as the care home. There was an enormous sense of love and affection. The sound of laughter rippled throughout the house and the smiling faces of all the people there was like nothing I had ever experienced. I felt like part of a family, for the first time in my existence I felt alive as though this was what life was meant to be like.
Matthew proposed to me on the 8th of June. I was so happy it was on the day of my last A level exam and he had taken me out for dinner to celebrate. We went to a exclusive restaurant up town. When the waiter came over with the food I noticed that our song was playing in the back ground, then as he lifted up the lid, on the plate rather than the lasagne I had ordered there was a tiny, little red box. Matthew took it off the plate got down on one knee and said,
“Natalie Evans will you do me the honour of being my wife?”
At that moment I thought I was going to burst, I got on the floor and flung my arms around him and replied,
“Nothing would make me happier!”
His family were delighted and immediately started to plan the wedding. Everything was perfect.
The week before the wedding was when disaster stuck and my life came crashing down. I was at his family home with his mother finishing off the final arrangements when we got the phone call from the hospital,
“Hello Mrs Harris?”
“Yes!” she replied her voice shaking slightly as I stood and watched her hold the telephone closer to her ear and begins to listen.
“We have your son Matthew in A and E you may want to come down to Long Forest General Hospital as it is rather serious.”
By the time we reached the hospital Matthew was already dead, he had tripped over at work and a metal pole had gone straight through his heart aswell as piercing a lung.
I was allowed to go and see him. He looked peaceful as he lay there in the hospital bed. He gave the illusion of being asleep I sat and held his lifeless hand and wondered where my Matthew was now?
“You said I would never be alone!” I whispered into the air.
I kissed him on the forehead pulled the white sheet over his head and started to walk. I didn’t stop until I reached the restaurant he had proposed to me in.
I went inside ordered lasagne and sat and cried into my food for the first time in my life. I didn’t even know how to cry but it came so naturally.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. The funeral took place on the day of our planned wedding, which made it unbearable. His family were kind to me for the first six months but then I guess it was too hard for them to keep seeing me as it just reminded them of Matthew too much.
His mother the last time I had seen her had said to me,
“It is better to have loved and to have lost, than to never have loved at all!”
I’m not sure if that made her feel better but it certainly didn’t help me. I was nearly 19 years old and all alone again. But this time I knew what it felt like to be alone. Before Matthew I had never known love and therefore did not know what I was missing. Now I know love I can’t live without it without him.
I opened my eyes, slowly at first. Not sure where I was. I looked down and saw the pool of blood I was now laying in. My wrists were pressed together which had miraculously stopped the bleeding, my gashes were black and swollen, but no longer fluid.
This was it I can live or die! What do I have to live for? Nothing! If I die I might be with him, anything will be better than being here without him. I searched the bath water thick with my blood for the razor. I found it and brought it up to my wrists for the last time. As I brought the steel blade up to my wrist I slide it in deep pushing and pushing until I could no longer feel the pain. I did not slip off into unconsciousness this time, as it felt different, it felt final, it felt peaceful.