Tenesse Juvenile Correction Facility
I sat on the pane of my window as I stared further into the forest that encompassed the whole correction facility under the eerily dark night sky, lost in my own thoughts and fantasies. With my legs dangling outside, I felt the cool chilly night breeze from six floors below crash against my exposed skin bringing about small pimply bumps. It didn’t bother me a bit that I was only dressed in my underwear and that every time a cold breeze whizzed by, I shivered. It didn’t matter if I would freeze because the sound of night owls, wind whistling past the trees, leaves rustling and the feeling of being in complete darkness oddly brought a tranquil feeling to my crazily troubled mind and soul.
Every night as was my tradition, after all the lights in the facility were switched off, I made it a personal quest not to miss a moment of the serene midnight sensation. I always allowed myself to be swallowed by the night, forget everything about my real life and indulge myself in the fantasies and fictional creations of my artistic mind, take a break from the harsh reality that has grown to become an ordinary affair in my life over the years. I would rather miss a meal and good sleep but not a self-meditation engagement.
I was officially eighteen years, just turned about forty five minutes ago and nothing seemed different at all. It was just like the other previous nights I had spent on this window just wondering why I exist and why I wasn’t dead or murdered already.
Happy birthday, yay! , I told myself inwardly then scoffed. Birthdays were ridiculous, they held no particular importance in your life apart from only existing to remind you that you are getting older and closer to your deathbed, reminding you that this was the start of another year of torture. Don’t get me wrong, ever since I was born I was all in for birthdays, I believed in birthdays, believed that birthdays should be celebrated just like Christmas was, I always looked forward to celebrating my birthdays with the whole lot of my family. Well, that was until the night of my seventh birthday. After the events that had transpired on my seventh birthday, I always hated birthdays to the core, abhorred them in fact. Every other year on my birthdays ever since, I was reminded of the traumatizing occasions that I so longed to forget. I had tried hard drugs, insomnia pills, pain that was self-induced, psychologists, religious persons some of whom dealt voodoo stuff on me, I had literally tried everything…but I couldn’t rub that five-minute memory from my mind. The memory was like super glued- stuck to my head, it was always stuck on replay, like it was on a loop of some sort. My birthdays were my nightmare.
I had tried everything, everything in my power, everything in the scope of my imagination, everything except one thing….
I blinked then turned my gaze to the asphalt pathway that was six floors down. This had to be the only remaining solution that I had left, being finally relieved from my depressed life. I had never attempted to make this kind of decision before, never even thought of it, yet it has always been right under my nose. The pace of my breathing rushed at the prospect of the thought, I could make my eighteenth birthday different if I wished it to, I could take a perpetual break from this horrible life if I wished to, I could reunite with my family if I wished to. I only had to make one big decision, a decision that I ought to have made years ago.
My eyes darted around just to confirm if there was someone watching, confirming because everyone was always asleep at this time and not that I cared if someone watched, no one loved me that much to miss me if I was gone. I would be like a shooting star, passing but still shining, though dim but still flashing. I knew I had left no major footprint of my existence in this world, I knew that I owned nothing except for my body and mind, no one to mourn me. Heck, with my frail body I would take the smallest space in the cemetery. I took a deep breathe then closed my eyes.
With only a small movement, I could be falling to freedom, falling to ecstasy and leaving the life of sorrow behind. I smiled at that thought, the first genuine smile I have ever mastered since eleven years ago, a smile of relief. I could almost see the faces of my family smiling at me in my mind, their welcoming arms stretched out in a warm embrace, my mom crying in literal joy, my dad smiling from ear to ear his eyes wet, my younger twin sisters chuckling while looking at me, my three elder brothers grinning at me, my uncle and aunt smiling contentedly, my grandfather nodding at me encouragingly. I missed them. I could feel a tear trickle down from my eye and on my dry cheek then on my bare chest.
“I’m coming” I whispered “Finally, I am coming home”
Home is wherever family is, my family was in paradise and I longed to join them there. In a matter of seconds I will join them, I must join them, I couldn’t bare anymore , I couldn’t continue to carry the whole load of the physical and emotional torture I have put up with since eleven years ago. It was time I let go and join them.
I saw my father beckon towards me with a smile.
My mom mouthed ‘come here my son, we miss you’
I couldn’t stop the tears that now trickled uncontrollably from my eyes, I sobbed silently in joy. My family was right there in the warmness of the ethereal light, waiting for me to step unto their threshold and towards them. I just had to make the step.
“ I’m coming” I whispered then opened my eyes to take one final look of the facility that has been my home for three years, more like a prison and I was a captive. I would not miss anything or anyone.
I took another deep breath, closed my eyes then slowly slanted forward….