Entry 17: The Eyeless Man
**Trigger Warning** This piece discusses suicide and suicidal ideation, and some people might find it disturbing. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please, contact your physician, go to your local ER, or call the suicide prevention hotline in your country.
We decided to split into two groups to find the merchant. Emmet and I went our way, while Rossie, Juliana and Ian went in another direction.
Emmet and I concluded the best place to search for the merchant was a bar. If there is someone who knows something, it is probably a bartender.
After a few tries communicating with locals, we found one that looked just right.
We walked into a bar filled with creatures drinking and slamming their drinks on their tables when they were done, chattering away and emitting a sound I believed is laughter.
We sat at the last two available seats by the bar and asked the bartender if she knew where we could find the merchant.
She wouldn’t answer us unless we ordered something to drink. In a weird city like here, I didn’t want us to find trouble by not paying for drinks. I’ve done it before in our world, it doesn’t end well.
As the bartender turned away from us, an eyeless local turned in his seat to face us. He was eavesdropping and said he would give us coins for the drinks, but we need to pay for it with something else. He clarified he wanted a memory from each of us.
Emmet and I looked at each other, both of us concluded there is no harm with giving this man a single memory, and if something bad happens, we know how to protect ourselves. We agreed and the man got up and asked us to follow him.
We stepped outside, and followed him, he led us to his home which was near the bar. He opened the door to his home and asked us to come inside. He seated us on his couch and asked which one of us would be first.
Emmet volunteered by raising his hand.
The eyeless man took hold of Emmet’s hand and asked him to close his eyes, his next request was for the memory of a heartbreak. Emmet became nervous, but he agreed to continue. The eyeless man’s lips became a smile, he was enjoying feeling what Emmet felt.
Suddenly, without asking for permission, the eyeless man grabbed my hand and forced me to see what memory Emmet was remembering.
In my head it began playing. The memory took place on the day after we graduated from the Triskele. Emmet tried calling me but I didn’t pick up, that continued with more calls to which I never answered.
After a very long time, he stopped trying, he stopped calling. He went out and began drinking, he got drunk and instigated a fight with another man on the street. Emmet repeatedly punched him in the face, while he called out my name. He screamed at him, he demanded to know what he had done to make me leave the way I did, all those punches he laid on that poor man. I could feel the rage and hatred for abandoning him.
The eyeless man let go of our hands. He called this memory delicious.
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t expect that reaction from Emmet, the friendliest man I know. I brought that out of him. I made him become that person. I never knew how hurt he was.
Emmet, as usual, tried to make things right even though he isn’t at fault. He said it was a thing of the past and he doesn’t feel that way anymore. I told him to stop. He should not be explaining to me.
I asked the eyeless man if I could give him a memory of my choice, one that I was sure he would find...delicious. He agreed and I gave my hand to him, and I asked Emmet to see it too. I needed him to know why I left.
I remembered the moment I decided to leave everything behind after graduation.
The night before graduation, I stood alone in front of my bedroom mirror. I yelled at my reflection that I was pathetic, how could I possibly imagine Emmet loving me the way I wanted. I was so angry at myself I punched the mirror and shattered the glass.
My hand suffered cuts and I crushed on the floor, crying. At the time, I hated myself too. I wasn’t at all ready to accept my sexuality.
I knew what came next. I picked up a shard of glass and started cutting into my wrist. Luckily, before more damage I could have done to myself, I heard a knock on the locked door. It was Emmet and he asked if I was in there. I yelled I was with someone, and told him to come back later. He called me a ladies’ man and told me to have fun and be safe before leaving.
The eyeless man let go of our hands, he was drooling.
Emmet was speechless. The eyeless man got up and gave us a couple of coins. He showed us to the door and thanked us for his dinner.
After the eyeless man closed the door, Emmet and I were left standing outside, quietly, with our truths revealed.
I was going to apologize, but Emmet wrapped his arms around me. He begged me to never do something like that again, and he needed me to know he loves me. He will always love me. He repeated that again, he loves me.
When we were younger, we used to say we are more than friends, more than family, we’re us, and we don’t do us without the other.
We agreed to let go of the past together, because in the end, we want to be in each other’s future. Every step getting there, together.