Man (in) a Tee
So I almost ran over someone last night. I had just picked up a guy from home and I was on my way to pick up another guy to go out to dinner because we haven’t done so in a while. These two guys are, what we consider, youth. I was stopped at an intersection in a residential area and there were a few people taking some night walks because it was pretty warm outside. Some were walking their dogs and some were getting their exercise on. (Way to stay fit!) As I sped up and left the intersection, I saw a figure, dressed in all black, standing at the edge of the sidewalk, maybe 200-250 feet past where we had stopped. I didn’t think much of it and continued to converse with the youth as I drove.
Until this figure suddenly jumped out in front of my car.
I immediately stepped on the brakes and swerved a bit and barely missed this person dressed in a black hoodie by a mere 1-2 feet! The car window was rolled all the way down on my side, and as I carefully rolled past this person, I can see that she was a young girl. She couldn’t have been more than 14 years old!
“WHAT THE FUCK? WHO DOES THAT?!” I thought to myself. It was weird, I thought time only slowed down when you, yourself, was about to die, not someone else. But I can recall her face and it was, distorted. She was sobbing! I quickly realized that what had just transpired, was a suicide attempt.
Wait, no, that can’t be right. Why would someone do that? I couldn’t have been going more than 20 miles an hour. No one can die from that unless you get run over, and then the vehicle reverses back over you. Maybe she was just trying to cross and didn’t see my blaring headlights, or saw that I was just stopped and wanted to save a couple of seconds. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
I immediately pulled my car over onto the side of the road and got out. I called out to the girl and ran after her. I yelled out, “Excuse me Miss, are you alright?” As soon as she heard me she took off running. This only confirmed my suspicions. So I ran after her. Now, I’m not the most athletic guy in the world, but I can run pretty fast when I want to. It just so happens that I was wearing flip-flops that night. My heart sank; I wasn’t able to catch up to her. I wasn’t able to save her from herself. DAMN IT.
So I got back into the car with the youth and starting talking through what had just happened. I was FREAKING OUT. But I kept my composure in front of the youth. As I picked up the other youth from his house, I talked with his mom. I let her know that there was a young girl in the area, dressed in black, who has suicidal tendencies and is acting them out right then. I didn’t want to alarm anyone but I felt that this family needed to know and be on the lookout for anything or anyone out of the ordinary in their neighborhood.
I took the two guys out as planned and decided to talk it through with them. I asked them what they thought of suicide and if they have had any experiences with it. They didn’t know that one of my very close friends had committed suicide 11 months and 1 day prior.
Some kid who just feels alone, lost, angry, confused and wants to escape. Some kid who feels unloved, unwanted, unheard, unseen and invisible. Some kid who thinks that no one would care if they didn’t exist anymore. Some kid like my friend. Some kid like that girl.
What is wrong with people these days? Why are people so involved with themselves to notice that their sons and daughters feel so isolated from the rest of the world that they think to themselves, “No one would really miss me if I were gone.”
It scares me to think that a kid out there that I came into contact with might be committing suicide RIGHT NOW. All it would have taken was for me to be a little faster, or decide to wear sneakers last night, or be quicker in my reaction to get out of my car, anything. I couldn’t live with myself knowing that: I could have made a difference.
I beg of you, if you have kids, invest the time that is needed to make them feel loved, wanted, heard, seen and visible. That’s what you are supposed to do in the first place. If not, why are you a parent? If you have siblings, same goes for you.
I write this in hopes of preventing suicides. Living with the aftermath of a “successful” suicide is a nightmare. I still get angry and depressed over the events 11 months, 2 days ago. It’s just so hard.
If you are reading this and have suicidal thoughts or actions, talk to someone. Please don’t kill yourself. The ones that love you, that truly love you, can see you and will miss you if you were gone. So I hope you know… someone cares. Even if they don’t know you, they know someone just like you who made the decision to say goodbye.
And they don’t want you to say goodbye too. Trust me, I know…
…You’ve just heard a Cao go moo…
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