• Standing alone on a cool winter’s day I waited for the bus. It was about mid-day but there was very little sunlight peaking through the clouds. There wasn’t any traffic and no children amusing themselves in the playground across the road. I was dressed in gray and purple, something I felt wasn’t very flattering but didn’t give away the fact that I was trying to look unattractive. I didn’t bathe or even brush my hair that morning. It had been a school day but I hadn’t been able to rise and greet the morning until well after eleven, which was an hour after my only class of the day.

    Why you may wonder was I not brooding in my own filth in the comfort and safety of my home? Well I was out to repay the debt of a broken relationship. Not that I really wanted to, not that I truly felt like I owed him anything I just needed my own peace of mind.

    A car whizzed past and for an instant when it was only the noise that hit me, my heart stopped. I had thought it was the bus and I was far from ready to board it. I wasn’t ready to be lead by its cold and heartless metal body into an earthly abyss, to find my own personal redemption, at least not yet.

    I kicked at the snow bank next to me and started thinking about him, he that had brought me to this bus stop. I pictured him sitting on his bed just waiting for me to arrive. His glazed blue-green eyes staring out the window and his mousy brown hair draped carelessly around his face. His face always gave him away; with a twitch of his mouth or the angle of his eyebrows I always knew what he wanted, and what he was feeling. The image that was most burnt into my mind was his evil little smirk that had hung overtop of me one day, one that I couldn’t read.

    “Lets have angry sex.” He had said in the moment of that particular smirk. I remembered I stared at him trying to put miles between us with some undiscovered magic. He swept me up in a fierce embrace and I came back to myself, though all I could do was muster up a whisper.

    He dropped me back on the bed and in a silent childish rage started playing his video games while I curled up with a blanket and waited for an appropriate moment to leave, or at least that’s what I portrayed to him. Inwardly I had already given up on leaving. I couldn’t leave. In my mind if I did and he was left alone, he would instantly find the razor blades I had ripped out of his hands and hid. If I left, he would die.
    He had been so angry when I had taken them away the first time. I had been careless and just thrown them across the room. I turned back around and in the middle of my worry filled statement of “stupid” he had grabbed my throat. He didn’t say anything, only stared and when my eyes started welling with tears he laughed and threw me against the wall. His laughter and smiles that day were the emptiest and cruelest things I’ve ever personally experienced.

    If I had had any sort of wisdom I would have left then, realized that it was not my responsibility to keep him safe. But I suppose in ways I am a glutton for punishment. I spent the day with him going in circles over and over again suicide, assault, tears, laughter.

    I was in love with this boy, which is another thing that kept me glued to his small room. Though I was in love with a different person than the one he was portraying that day. Such is the joy of caring deeply about someone who is severely bipolar and possibly schizophrenic. In a way you can’t blame them for their actions, or at least that’s what I tried to believe. I tried to believe he loved me too. I tried to believe it wasn’t him hurting me, that it was some mythical being that replaced him every once and awhile. One that would call me ugly if I cried, would spit on me if I was too happy or try hard to bring me down with it when things in my life were going fairly well, I wanted so badly for none of that to really be him. Before the suicide day I had met this imposter. I knew it. Not so intimately as that day had let me see but I could recognize it from my real boyfriend and it had always scared me.

    I was way too early for the bus and I was tired. So I crouched down to try and regain some energy. Somehow in that movement, in that mindset of remembrance I broke down. I fell over and sobbed into the snow bank, hating myself for only thinking of his bad parts. Hating myself for leaving him because I was too weak to keep it up, to weak to keep on convincing myself it wasn’t him. I hated myself for my selfishness, I was his rock and I was knowingly taking that away from him, just for my sake...my sanity.

    He was a good man when he could be. His eyes and words were always kindest after sex. When I suppose there was physical proof that I loved and accepted him. We would laugh, not just laugh; we would be thrown ferociously into fits of giggles at the jokes, anecdotes or noises we would tell each other. In those moments we were the perfect lovers. But the bad has a way of piling up, much higher than the good and it wasnt enough to keep me with him.

    It was getting cold in the snow bank, the good the warmth of my tears did was quickly taken away when they froze to my face. I’m sure I looked utterly pathetic hunched over and whimpering, thankfully though like I mentioned earlier there was no one around to see. The most brilliant and logical minds could never control my empathy and guilt. I knew the emotional abuse he wrought upon me was wrong that even past that, the one day, his numerous attempts of suicide and his physical abuse towards me should have driven me away. But it didn’t. I was determined to teach him something about people and the world, and I would face anything to show it to him or so I had thought.

    I stood up straight, dusted myself off and took a deep breath as the bus pulled up infront of me. This was the end, I thought as I stepped forward. As afraid as I was I knew I was now free and after a year I could finally live again and not just that, but I could live for me again.