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Audience: for people who are finding it hard to find a place in life, aimed at teens to 20’s. Purpose: to help people to understand a little about teenage lives, and also to show us, what life real is, through a teenager’s life As I stood on top of the house, the great yellow orb of fire that is the sun rose over the tree peaks. I sucked in,my heart beating faster than hummingbirds' wings. I needed to do it now, before the world woke up and Rosie came looking for me. If she found me, she’s stop me. Which is really what I wanted. I thought about Rosie then. I remembered the way she’d once snatched my arm, twisting it over so the ugly red scabs on my wrists were displayed. "Your pain is my pain." She’d hissed. "Kill yourself, and you kill me, too." I knew what she was doing. She hoped I’d feel guilty and stop. But I wasn’t a masochist. I didn’t do it for attention, or for pleasure. It hadn’t always been this way. Six months earlier, I had been a normal teenage boy. I wasn’t one of the "cool" guys at school, or anything "special" according to the girls, but I was normal It all changed this summer, when I was camping in a field near my house. Rosie and I were looking up at the sky, trying to make out the different constellations. "It’s funny," She’d said, "when people say ‘the sky’, as though it’s something." I’d snorted. "What’s that supposed to mean?" "The sky? It’s not really an object is it, like the chair or the table? It’s not really anything." I’d raised my eyebrows. "You mean it’s nothing?" And that’s when it started. I started seeing things as they really are. . Nobody noticed. And it pleased me. When I was alone I’d get frightened. Childish fears, such darkness and being completely forgotten. I’d run into every room and turn every light on, then turn the TV on loud and fix myself something to eat. They were all means of distraction. If I ever caught myself stealing glimpses out of the window at night, I was gripped with panic, reminding myself that I was looking out space, at that vast extent of darkness. It was like looking into an abyss, there was no bottom, no beginning, no middle. I felt so insignificant. It wasn’t just the night sky. Things started losing their names. The stars and the sun, those great
masses of gas, burning, blazing… our world, a little planet, suspended in nothingness with the gas and fire, protected by nothing more then a tiny, tiny layer of ozone and we’re destroying it. We hear the word ‘global warming’ at least once a day, and think nothing of it. Maybe we think ‘yes, it’s bad.’ Or ‘We should do something about it’, as I once did, but do you get gripped by a fear so overwhelming you break out into a cold sweat, taking deep breaths? I don’t know whether it’s ridiculous or not. I couldn’t even ask Rosie. I knew she was different from the other girls and understood me better then anyone, but it seemed too much. I didn’t even know whether I could put it into words. School became a blissful distraction. Everything was normal. People blundered about, laughing, calling out, And one day Rosie came to school, her eyes red and swollen. Rosie never cried. I put on a concerned, surprised face, but inside nothing surprised me. I was too deep in my own worries. "Rustle’s dead." She sobbed, referring to her old cat. I’d known Rustle as long as I’d known Rosie and I was surprised to feel a brief stab of sorrow. But, as with everything else, my mind started analyzing the situation, seeing it as it really was. Rustle was dead. I’d never again reach out and stroke his soft autumn pelt, scratch under his chin and hear him purr. I’d never feel his weight against my legs as I sat on the sofa watching a film with Rosie. I’d never smell his catty smell, mixed with Rosie’s own- because he was not alive. He was nothing- it was like saying the sky; he too had lost his name. I realized I was standing up. I felt my fingers uncontrollably tighten and clench together so that my mails dug deep into my palms. "Jo?" Rosie said. I knew I should put an arm around her and whisper words of comfort, but I needed to walk. Either that or I feared I’d break down in front of her screaming. As the months dragged by, it got worse. I even had trouble hiding it on the outside. I tried distracting myself. I watched TV and read books, but even they failed me in the end. The books Rosie was lending me were too heavy. They were mostly fantasy, but I found them more real then even the newspaper. I cut my arm. I used a knife. I wanted the pain to be true and real, but at the same time, distracting. But only for a while. And then Rosie noticed. There were bloody stains all over my shirts. I had to tell her. I hoped that by keeping it to myself, it would pass, but the tension was just bottling up. "I feel so… lonely." Was what I managed to choke up. "Lonely?" She stroked by arm. "But you’ve always got me here for you." And that’s when I decided I was going to put an end to my thoughts once and for all. It was simple. If I couldn’t bear reality, then all I had to do was stop letting it exist. I was going to die.
It was the first time I felt a prickle of excitement. I was going to be peaceful forever. Never again would I have to look up and acknowledge the emptiness around me. But this way I knew. I could face my death with my chin held high. How many people could face death with the courage I felt? So one morning I climbed onto the roof. I watched the orb of yellow fire rise over the trees in the east. I saw where the earth crust had formed hills to the south. I felt a breeze on my face, and finally I looked up. The sky never looked so daunting during the day. I could even call it the sky. Tinged with pinks and greys, it was almost exactly the description from Rosie’s fantasy novels. I was going to leave all of this. I would never see it again. I experienced a strange feeling in my chest. I couldn’t possibly describe it- but it was as though my heart had faltered for a moment, fluttered, leaped, stumbled… And then I heard them. Footsteps. They were underneath me. I tried to ignore them. I knew they had gone into the house and were coming up the stairs. I heard the voice of an angel. "Jo," it said. I didn’t look around. I had to gather my wits and jump. That’s all it took, one little step. "Jo, don’t do it. Please." I felt a hand on my shoulder. For a strange, exited moment I thought I was being pushed, but then the hand tightened and I was suddenly gripped with cold fear. "Leave me alone!" "You don’t have to be alone." I turned around. Rosie took my hand in her. The points of her own trainers were jutting over the edge. "I don’t know why you’re doing this." I said. "I don’t know why you’re doing this." She said. "But whatever the reason, it’s not good enough. Please, Jo." Jo. The name I was given at birth. What was I before birth anyway? Nothing?Nothing like I will be when I took that step forward. My knees jerked under me, I was going to fall- but Rosie’s hand was keeping me up. "Let go, Rosie." I said. My voice was strangely flat, betraying no emotion. "I’m going to die sooner or later." "So is that what this is about? You’re frightened of dying?"
I made no response. "Well, you know what? I am too. I’m bloody terrified, actually. But I’m not about to kill myself because I’m afraid of dying." "Then why are you up here?" Her hand tightened around mine. "So you’re not alone." Tears welled up in my own eyes. I pulled away. "It’s not that simple. I don’t want your company. There is no company in death. There’s nothing. That’s it, see? Reality is just this speck of, of something between nothing! It’s real, Rosie, it’s real and yet so unreal!" I could feel the blood pump threw my veins. "Who am I? Who are we in the face of the universe?" Rosie seized my shoulders, pulling me close. She buried her face in my neck, her nails digging hard into my skin. "You’re Jo- and I’m Rosie, and you mean everything to me, don’t you dare think otherwise!" She pulled back, her eyes brimming with tears. "I’m real Jo, look at me." I looked at her. Tears welled over her bright green eyes. The smell of shampoo wafted into my nose. She wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. She wasn’t a frightening entity of gas or fire. I could feel her pulse against my fingers. "This reality is called life." She whispered. "You’ve got to let yourself live." And that’s how we stood, while the world tilted until the great yellow orb of fire that is the sun washed over the trees, and over the two living entities standing at the edge of a little slate roof.
Because that’s the way things are.
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