This Side of Eternity

I believed in hell.

That is part of why I never did it it–because I was too much of a coward to die and go straight there. It’s not because I didn’t know how to do it; anyone who wants to know something will find it out by a few discreet, hypothetical questions. Or by eavesdropping–if you really can’t bring yourself to ask the ones that know.

One day when I was changing in the girl’s locker rooms after a mile run, I heard Monique and Serena talking. I was surprised because I thought I was the last one there–I always made sure I had the locker room all to myself. I hastened to put my clothes back on, lest I be seen.

“Cold water never works, dummy. It has to be hot. Scalding hot. It will numb you after a while”
“That makes no sense. Shouldn’t it be ice-cold?”

Sometimes I overheard the guys

“…His neck didn’t break. He’s too light. Must have been choking there for a long time.”
“What if he’d used a longer rope, and jumped off a chair or something?”
“I dunno, would have had to drop a good ten feet. I heard of someone they did it like that and their head was ripped off”
“Sick, man!”
“Yeah. What a way to go”

I know.

But it wasn’t entirely hell and cowardice that kept me from actually doing it. Yes, I was afraid of the blood that would spurt from my slit wrists, or the horrible ways that my hanging could go wrong (as if hanging wasn’t already bad enough). But far more than my cowardice–which was great–was the one thought that if I did it I would lose them forever.

I couldn’t imagine being parted for all eternity from the people I most loved–those who’d gone already, and those living.

So in a way, it was love that kept me this side of eternity.


Why didn’t I see it sooner? I suppose it was because I was convinced that love was nothing but a joke when it came to me.


part 2 of If You Only Knew

– – –

If You Only Knew, Part 2
Word Count ~ 300

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