It was another normal night for him at that lonely café. It was a place that nobody went, that place that was dark and depressing and that nobody liked but him. He had no idea why, but he had become fond of the darkness that surround the place. He had become fond of all sorts of darkness. That darkness where his thoughts went crazy and drove freely thorough his head. The thoughts boomed through his mind. Ideas, beliefs and concepts colliding, exploding, and creating fireworks through his small fragile head; but were they really fireworks? Nothing exploded with that color of joy and wonder that fireworks bring; he could just feel the blast harming his mind and horrifying sound that continued to bang across his head as it had done through the past year or so. He sat there alone in his table thinking what went wrong. What did he do wrong for him to end up like this? He was voided of happiness, voided of a single drop of joy in his life, voided of a true desire to live. “Live fast and die young” He had heard that quote somewhere and decided that it would be his life motto. He had always envisioned himself as a person that would live life to the fullest, live life to become a legend, to become someone meaningful in this world full of people that tend to become insignificant. He wanted to change someone, to help someone, do anything that would change something. In the past he had found refugee in music, in literature and in art. It allowed him to dive into the artists minds and he tried to figure out what they thought, why they thought those things and how they had managed to become so important, so great.
He thought, “Someday I am going to become one of them. Someday I am going to change someone’s life. Someday I will be great.”
But life is full of disappointments isn’t it? Filled with dreams that we are told we can achieve when we are little but sadly life goes on and we realize that this isn’t going to happen. Some people are just meant to be insignificant. And that scared him the most. It scared him that he would just be that normal person that people look at and think nothing. That person that you look on the street and two blocks later you have already forget their face or anything regarding them. He wanted to be remembered, he wanted to share his ideas, he wanted to stand out. He wanted to scream, and yell and just let go of everything that was inside of him. But he couldn’t. Every time he opened his mouth only whispers came out. A subtle word that nobody heard. He had become an insignificant brush of someone else’s grand painting.
That drove him mad; the idea that he didn’t control his own life. He wanted to break those shackles that hold him to the ground. He felt everyone was stepping on him, that those that were closest to him ignored his screams of agony. Aren’t those people that are closest to you supposed to be the ones that understand you the most?
The ones that say, “I will be there no matter what, I will always have your back, you can always count on me”
“Those are pure lies” he thought. “People always leave, people never keep their promises, and they only look out for themselves, why can’t I do the same?”
He had always put everyone’s needs above his. He has always cared too much and received to little. He felt life owed him something. He was waiting for that grand majestic moment that everyone tells you is going to come and change your life. And he had waited, through long days of pain and depression. He had no idea of what to do next but to wait for that life changing moment. But it didn’t come. He felt he was doomed to stay at that café, at that darkness, forever trapped in his own fears of living life. Deprived from the pleasures of life, he had given up hope, he reached into his bag, looking for something. He was afraid he was going to find it. A part of him was afraid this was the end. But there it was. He felt disappointed and terrified; some part of him was expecting it not to be there, but he realized he couldn’t push it any longer. There it was, he could feel the cold metal, he could feel the call of death crawling up his hand as he started to pull out the gun. And suddenly, in an instant there it was. Appearing as unexpectedly as everyone told him it would appear. That magic moment appeared without him even noticing it. He heard a tiny whisper coming from the table behind him asking, “Are you okay?”
He was too terrified to turn around, he just wanted to get it done, he wanted to finish what he thought should have never started; he wanted to end his life, the biggest mistake that had ever happened according to him. But there was a small part of him that wanted to turn back and see. That same part that was wishing the gun wasn’t there forced him to turn around. He thought it would be nice to take a final glance at someone’s face. Slowly and scared he turned around, and there she was.
She was not spectacular; she wasn’t as radiant as all those supermodel he had seen posing on the front of magazines and giant media displays. She was just a normal girl. Actually the first girl he had seen in the café. She just sat there, looking at him, expecting an answer. But he was lost for words.
She repeated the question “Are you okay?” as she stared at the tip of the gun that was now in his hands.
It was weird; she didn’t seem concerned or scared, he couldn’t tell anything by the look of her face. They both just stared at each other, expecting for something to happen. He examined her from her head down to her waist that was the last visible part of her because of the table. Nothing spectacular, nothing remarkable, but then he looked at her eyes.
For some reason he couldn’t stop staring at them. Something in them caught his full attention. They weren’t the remarkable blue or green eyes one would expect. They were just normal black eyes, but it was as if they were just waiting to scream out a story that hadn’t been told for way too long.
He kept staring and it was as if her eyes did all the talking. He could see the sadness in her eyes, those eyes that were filled with fear. Fear of the unknown perhaps? Fear of life? He couldn’t get a grip on it. But while all these thoughts went across his mind he noticed something. He could see the daunting look that seemed familiar, but he couldn’t figure out why. There was something about her, about her eyes that created an instant connection between them. He looked closely, still no words spoken, and there he realized. That fear, that unhappiness in her eyes was the same that filled his eyes every single day and suddenly, after a long time, he felt understood. That look of feeling lost in this immense world. It was like a lost wrong note in the rather “perfect” track of the world. He was part of that group of wrong notes. Part of that discomfort in life, part of those outcast that had seemingly failed to understand life. But it only took three words and a simple glance for him to realize they were already in this together even before they met each other that night.
Suddenly he noticed something in her purse. He looked closely and he realized it was a gun, the same he was holding in his hand from his side of the table.
“Are you okay?” he asked her after filling himself with courage and enthusiasm to know more about here.
“I think you can answer that question yourself” she said as she slowly pulled out the gun from her purse. Natural instinct would be to get completely scared and go running out before any other words could be spoken. But he remained calmed, he couldn’t move even if all his guts were telling him, “Dude get away or you are going to get shot!”
Instead he felt as if he owed her something, a conversation, a response to her question or just a mere word of kindness. But he couldn’t find that single word and the silence was becoming unbearable.
Suddenly she exasperated “I’m sorry I should just go away” as she tried to get all her bags and purse trying to get out of the table.
“Please don’t” he said as he desperately reached across his table to gently grab her arm.
She stared back, waiting for something else and then he shyly he whispered, “I’ve been waiting for you my whole life”.
“Why?” she replied looking stunned, but at the same time happy, as if she had never been complimented by anyone before.
“Your eyes. They are magical you know that?”
“My eyes? What are you talking about? They are just normal black eyes. Just like yours, there is nothing special with them” she whispered as if she was embarrassed.
“That is exactly why they are magical, I can see your fears. I can see the sadness that has haunted you and me to for that matter. I can see that you have given up on life. I can see an incredible person that is just too afraid to shine.” he said in an uncharacteristically joyful tone that had disappeared from his life over the years.
“And what makes you think you know all that by just looking at my eyes? You shouldn’t try to understand me. I don’t want you to try. Nobody can.” she replied with anger but also sadness filling her voice.
“I know because I have looked at that same eyes, at that same look every morning I get up and look myself in the mirror. I have seem that same fear, that same sadness and that disgust for life in my own eyes. But there is no need to hide in here, no need to make up a façade to cover your pain. You don’t need to pretend. No one is watching, it is just you and me right now” he said, trying to calm her down, still holding her arm and trying to lead her to the sit in front of her.
“Please look at me” he said “I am not perfect, I am a damaged human being with no repair. I have harmed myself, I’ve also hated myself” he said as he slowly pulled up the sleeve from his shirt showing her all his scars. “I have craved death for a long time now. I have find joy in places it shouldn’t exist. I have hated myself but in the end I am to afraid to pull the trigger because I always have the feeling there is something else to be done even if I don’t know what it is. And you know what? I can tell you don’t have the guts to pull the trigger yourself.” he said as he slowly pulled out his gun and laid it on the table.
“Oh, so know you are doubting me? Now you are telling me I am a coward! Don’t you dare tell me what I am capable of doing or not. I control my own life!” She screamed as she immediately stood up and pulled the gun up to her head but nothing happened. She stared right into his eyes, as if they were in a standoff.
“Are you really in control” he asked her
“Of course, no one tells me what to do, and most certainly not a stranger that I have just met.” she shouted
His face remained calmed, but slowly a small smile started to appear on his face. He slowly started to laugh hysterically.
“What are you laughing about? What is so funny about this? Do you want me to kill myself? Do you have some little regard for life? You wouldn’t actually care if I kill myself right here in front of you?” Her eyes were now filled with tears of anger. But his laughter didn’t stop, in fact he laughed even harder.
“Stop it!” she demanded as she became stressed by the sound of his laughter, “Stop now or I will blow my brains out and it will all be your fault.”
Slowly, he calmed down, and after finally regaining his breath he said, “You know why I laugh? Why I am sure you won’t pull that trigger? Because I have been there in that exact same situation, pointing that gun at my head everyday for the last year, trying to fight that small part of myself that didn’t want me to pull it, trying to convince myself that pulling the trigger was the right thing to do. And every time I was as close as you are now to ending it all. But then I said to myself “Am I really such a coward? Not wanting to face life?” And I am not talking about facing life and finding happiness because to be honest with you I don’t believe in it. I just wanted to feel that before I left this world I could have changed something, or someone.”
“How can you not believe in happiness?” she said with a face as if all her childhood dreams had suddenly been shattered. “You really are more fucked up than I am. You shouldn’t judge me for what I do, take care of your own fucking mental depressing problems first”
“You know why I don’t believe in it? It is all made up. It is the greatest lie mankind could ever come up with. Because it deceives us, it gives us hope that life will be better if you are happy. Society makes you believe that happiness is normal, that is something easy to achieve. That if you are not happy then there is something wrong with you. But tell me something, have you ever been happy?”
“Of course I have” she replied, “Everyday there is even that small smile that will come out of your mouth.” she answered.
“Agh come on is that really true happiness? I am sure you are talking about laughing with your friends or going to party and having a good time aren’t you?” She slightly nodded, feeling uncomfortable. “But have you ever been happy by yourself? When no one is around you, have you been happy? Happy with what you have done? Happy with what you have accomplished? To be honest with you I haven’t. I used to live from the happiness of other people, I used to live trying to make everyone happy because I thought that would make me a better person and that would make me happy. But it didn’t. In fact it was miserable. Seeing everyone in their fictionally created happiness made me feel miserable and I hated myself because I always thought “Why can’t I be so naïve as everyone else and believe that happiness is really true?” And it breaks my heart to see people jumping around high on happiness. It breaks my heart no being able to be happy in this world. But you know what can truly make you happy? Dreams, imagination, creation, your mind can make you happy, and you don’t depend on anyone else, no one controls it. It is your own little world you know?“
“Dreams? That’s just pathetic. Dreams are for children that are too little to face the real world. Dreams will get you no where, you will live forever stuck in your head. Dreams are for children and for people that only keep dreaming about everything that they could do and don’t have the guts to go out and do it.”
She had slowly taken a sit in front of him and lowered her gun.
“What is there to do in this world? Where is there to go? You are constraint by the physical laws of the world. You are imprisoned by the four walls of your house. You are imprisoned by those mountains in the horizon or even the sky holds you down. Tell me what is so beautiful about this imprisoned little world we live in?” She just stared at him, lost for word. “Everything is pretty much fucked up” he continued “You and I are the perfect examples. Look at us. Two people that are crazy, falling into dementia, thinking about killing ourselves. People fighting over power, fighting over money; small pieces of paper that don’t mean shit but that somehow we have managed to think that money is the ultimate goal and is everyones desire. Does that seem like a perfect world to you?” he asked her
“Maybe we are the ones that are broken, maybe we are actually doing a favor to this planet by killing ourselves and getting rid of all the crazy people that think like us”
“Why are they “normal”? Normal is such a relative term. I mean they are normal in this society we live in. You could say compared to us, but what is the fun in that? What’s the fun in being the same as millions of people? They are fabricated and labeled right out of birth. Given ordinary names, overused names. Everyone is induced into this whole set of ideas that take away their humanity. They are forced to grow up fast and they cant enjoy being a child. Being someone that has no responsibilities other than playing with their own little toys.” he exasperated with that joy that had started to overpower his body.
“But we can change don’t you think?” he continued “We can progress, we can develop our minds. We can think of the unimaginable. We can create limits and then shatter them to create new ones. Because we are holding ourselves back, we are restricting our mind, our potential. Do you think a normal person would have this conversation or even think about this? Their imagination has been taken away from them. They creativity focuses only on making money and being the best in the business just so they can rub it on someones else face. They don’t have the guts to do any of that. They don’t dare mention things related to suicide or death or the idea that this world is fucked up. Because even mentioning those subjects could shatter their perfect little world and burst that delicate bubble they live in where everything is alright. But that world they imagine they live in doesn’t exist! They are thinking of happy merry life’s and they are all the same. Their lives consist on going to school, having a job, getting married, having children and then being miserable the rest of their lives.” he said staying quiet for a while.
“But we can be unique!” he screamed suddenly now standing on the table “We can be the bright spots in this otherwise dull world. We have the guts to talk about the messed up things in life. We have the guts to talk about death. Let me ask you something, are you scared of death?
“Who isn’t? What is there after death? We just cease to exist, we just turn off. There is nothing after it. I don’t want to die. I want to live! I want to do everything you just talked about. I want to imagine, to create, to invent, I want to make a difference in this world. I want to be happy but I just cant!” she screamed falling back into her seat covering her face’
“Then you are not trying hard enough! What are you so afraid of?”
“Of death!” she screamed again
“That’s the problem” he said “Why are you over thinking it? You shouldn’t even be thinking about death. Its coming; its a train that is running straight into you and the only thing you are trying to do is to run away from it. And by doing that you are missing out on everything life can offer. You can’t notice that small beautiful flower on the grass every time you pass by the park or that subtle smile that the guy wanting in line at the bank shows you. Life is not about those big moments like getting a job or something like that. Its about the small details, its about looking for that small, minuscule thing that will bring joy to your life. If you spend all your time thinking about the fears of death you will never live life. You will be preoccupied and to careful trying not to get killed. Go out, jump out of buildings, test your body, test your mind, test yourself in doing whatever you thought you couldn’t do. Question everything that has been pre-established. Why let the majorities dictate your life? You are acting as if you are the colors of someone else’s painting. You’re your own fucking artist. You can draw whatever you want; you can create everything you want. And that is the beauty about dreams that I was talking about. In your dreams there are no boundaries, no walls, no gravity. You can fly, you can run, you can do whatever you want. Nobody dictates your dreams, it is your own imagination, and it is your own personal world. You are the creator, the master; you create and make things however you want them to be.” he exasperated as if it was his last breath of life.
“But I can’t dream. I don’t have desires. I don’t have an imagination. I don’t desire anything in this world. I am lost for thoughts or ideas. There is no escaping it.” She claimed disappointingly.
“You are limiting yourself. Why not be the greatest writer in the world, or the most famous painter that has ever existed. You can do it you fuck off any one who tries to stop you and you just go and make it happen. You go and do whatever it takes to reach that dream. Do whatever makes you happy, do something that will bring joy to you and perhaps if you are lucky joy to someone else.” he said as he raised her face so she looked in his eyes “And I am sure that you will be capable of getting anything you want in life. You just have to believe you can do it. And there are dark times in life, times were things are bad and they will get worse. But never stop believing that there is also something better awaiting you. Never quit on yourself. Never stop dreaming.”
She looked at him and finally happiness filled her eyes. “Do you really think I can do everything that you have told me?”
“I am completely sure. Promise me that you will never give up, that you will never look for that gun again.”
“I promise you” she said as she slowly pulled in and kissed him. He kissed her back and felt relieved.
“There is one more thing I would like to tell you. In this evening you have changed my life. You have made me feel as I have accomplished something. You deserve the best in this world. Don’t forget that, don’t ever forget to stop dreaming, and don’t ever hold yourself back, because you can be your worst enemy. Don’t be afraid to shine”
He slowly moved his hand towards his gun that is in the table and picked it up, filled with courage and with no doubt in his mind.
“What are you doing?” she asks, for the first time in the night truly afraid.
“Thank you, tonight you gave meaning to my life, tonight you made me feel accomplished. I have reached my goal in life. I loved you since that first glance at your lovely eyes. You have understood me, you were the first and the last. I love you.”
He picked up his gun, pointed it right into his head and finally, after so much time and with a gratifying smile in his face, he pulled the trigger.