In the world, it's very common – that thing – where people find their soul mates by their chests glowing. Some follow it, and some ignore it, and some wish they had followed it. Some even find their soul mates when they're children playing in parks.
And I'm twenty-five years old.
I hate to say it, but my life has been very average and boring – once you ignore that I've never met my soul mate.
It's really a bother that pisses me off. People my age are married, have children, or at are dating their soul mate. I can't see their hearts glowing, so they might be lying, or maybe that hearts glow was the lie?
I'm not sure anymore.
I don't want to care.
In fact, I care so little, that well – I'm never going to find them – my soul mate.
So here is my letter:
Dear beloved family and friends, I cannot take this loneliness and pain anymore. I'm always alone, and I'm never happy. I'm tired of wearing the mask to fool you into my joy that isn't there. I love you all, but … Good-bye.
That's it, I thought myself. A very simple letter. Perhaps the best ever written – as far as suicide notes go. I make no apology for how I feel, and am committed.
With my letter written, I neatly folded it up. It was in the best penmanship I could muster- a really nice strong cursive, that slanted only slightly. I pressed tight the two folds, then slipped it into the envelope. Flipping the casing over, I wrote simply on the outside: To Who Finds Me.
It's probably depressing to think about your suicide like this, but to me, this is nothing. I am emotionally numb. I don't feel anything anymore but sadness. My logic is: if I just feel sadness, then die. In death, you feel noting. There's a bit of pain, and then it leaves you as you die – everything leaves you. I've already lost joy and anger and resentment, what's wrong with losing sadness and loneliness?
Anyway, that's what I thought...anyway.
I got up and dressed. It was a cold autumn day, around four at night. It wasn't dark just yet, but street lamps were turning on – their warm golden glow lighting up the wet pavement beneath them – but their warmth isn't enough to melt my icy heart.
Dressed in a thick jacket, a t-shirt, with two sweaters layered over it, a hat to cover my messy chestnut hair and my ears, and a scarf wrapped around my neck that I knit myself, and really worn out jeans, I left my apartment with my hands in my jacket pocket. I left my phone on the desk and carried just my ID and payment card – I had no need for anything else.
I walked along the streets, feeling the cool mist of the evening stick to my cheeks, causing my nose to go numb. It wasn't a long trip to the grocery store, just around a mile. Other people were milling about, buying what they need. I'm getting what I need, too.
First, I went to the kitchen aisle. I stood there for a while, looking over the knives. I probably had a strange perplexed look on my face as a few people passed me to grab a whisk or some tin disposable pan for broiling. Which would would work best? I wondered.
I picked out two different knives- a thin serrated knives good for cheese, and then a straight butcher's knife – the kind you's smack a turkey with. Part of me wondered if I could just make the knife I needed out of one from the shaving knives – so that's where I went next. It was even more difficult to decide there and I ended up buying a whole sack of disposable razors, and then a set of free razors meant for trimming hair.
With the knives and razors in my arms, I took a stroll through the impulse baking area. Is there anything here I want as a final snack? Nothing too heavy, I hope. I picked out a hard biscuit cookie with chocolate and mint frosting, then headed toward the check-out counter.
I stood behind a woman buying tomatoes, celery and toilet paper. I put down the plastic divider, then my sharp utensils of my death, and then the cookie, and to be polite, another divider.
The young man ringing the woman up looked warm and pleasant – he had fair skin with the hint of a sun-kissed tan, amber blond hair and eyes that were a rich green shade like the lawn in spring. As he spoke to the woman in simple pleasantries, his voice rang in my ear – he sounded so chipper. It made me hang my face down and my chest get tight, listening to someone sound so comfortable with their job, their life.
A moment more, and the woman finished and walked away. I looked up, hearing her leave, and met the young man's eyes with my own. He flashed a smile at me – obviously professional – and asked, “Hello. Did you find everything you needed today?”
That was … it.
Taken aback by the very standard question, my jaw loosened and I felt something in my eyes. I tried to focus, the bottom line of my sight blurring. Something was welling up in my eyes – tears. It was just long enough of no response for the young man to look up from swinging the cheese knife over the laser to my face.
Our eyes met again. He looked a bit concerned.
Everything unhinged. All of my sanity fell to pieces. Shit hit the floor. I lifted my hands out of my jacket pockets to hover before my face as I tilted it down and started to bawl and cry. I wailed loudly, creating a disturbance like a two-year old. People looked in my direction – I could feel it – their confused stares as my nose turned red and started to run. The blood rushed to my eyes as more tears fell, never slowing in their pace.
All I could blabber out during my wails after a few moments of this was, “N-no. I ... – I couldn't find – anything.”
The young man reached his arm up to approach me, stepping around the counter. It was standard for workers to remain two-feet and then some away from their customers, in case their chests glowed they got distracted by finding their soul mate.
His movement startled me. I didn't want anyone to touch me. I just wanted to end it. I couldn't find what I was looking for – out here – in the world – with people – the last time I'd be with others before I killed myself in my apartment.
I jerked past him, running. I continued to cry and wail, sobbing as tears went down my cheeks. I darted through the doors, barely waiting for them to automatically slide open upon sensing my approach. As I ran through the glum of the approaching night, part of me wondered what kind of looks I got as I dashed out of there with nothing. Just crying.
My knees trembled and shook as I slowed my pace, finally stopping underneath a lamp. I turned my head up, looking straight into the light. I wanted to blind myself. But the light wasn't bright enough. I shut my eyes and hung open my mouth and wailed. All I could do was cry.
“There you are!” I heard a sweet voice full of concern, and out of breath, over my sobs. I lowered my chin, turning to look at the direction of the voice. I started to hiccup, not even trying to stifle the sobs that came out. The cashier from the store was there, stepping up close to me. “Are you okay?” he asked, stopping a few feet away to catch his breath. I just shut my eyes and started to bawl again. I opened my eyes every few seconds to check his confused expression on his face.
I couldn't take it anymore, and through my wails, I blabbered out, “I – I've never found my soul mate!” I cried. “I've waited and looked, and nothing! I just – I want to die!” I stamped my foot, trying to kick the pavement. I turned my head down, coughing over saliva and spit and mucus, choking as I tried to get air into my lungs through my crying. “I wrote the letter! I went to buy knives! And you asked – you asked – if I found what I needed ? No!” I looked up to him with a glare, his face in shock, and then back down to the ground quickly. “I never did! Ever! Why keep living?”
“It'll be okay.” The young man said. Before I could look up to him to argue or protest, I felt his arms around my shoulders. I wrapped mine around his middle with the intention to yank him off, but I found myself clinging him tighter to myself.
After a moment of silence, waiting for my crying to steadily quiet down, he asked, “Hey. You said you haven't found your soul mate, but look.” Gently pressing on my shoulders, he pushed me back so I could look at him. Even in the night with the warm light of the lamp above us, I could make out the bright blue glow coming from his heart through his shirt. It reflected in my wide eyes as I stared at it for a moment. “I'd be really sad if you died – we're meant to be together.” He said with a smile, watching the surprise in my eyes.
Then, I just shut my eyes and started to wail again. “I'm sorry!” I cried. “I broke your heart! Cause – cause mine isn't glowing! I'm so sorry!” I cried louder, feeling the tears sting down my chin and my neck.
The young man let out an exasperated sigh, grabbing my wrists to get my attention. “Open your jacket!” He urged.
I quieted down, looking at him with tears still streaming down my cheeks. I let his order process through my mind for a second, then I glanced down. I took a half-step back from him, making note that the light coming from his chest got a bit dimmer, but it was still shining pretty brightly. I undid the buttons of my jacket from the top down, and opened it, moving the tail of the scarf with one side.
Nothing. No light.
My lips twisted as I couldn't stop the frown from carving its way violently onto my face. My heart ached. Here, someone's heart was glowing right in front of me with no one around us in the cool late afternoon, and my heart wouldn't even glow in response.
I hiccuped again, wincing my face and contorting it around as my eyes thinned with pain and sadness. “I'm – I'm so sorry.” I said to the young man, dropping my hands. I couldn't look at his face after I saw that once happy face turn expressionless and blank. I'm a monster. I thought to myself. Sure I had broken this man's heart. “I'm a failure.” I whispered out, feeling my shoulders collapse and my knees buckle. I fell down to the wet pavement, sitting up only able to look at his sneakers and the reflection of the light in the minuscule puddles of water around us.
Quietly, the young man knelt down before me with a somewhat sad look on his face. “How many layers are you wearing?” He asked softly with a tone of honest curiosity.
I sniffed the mucus of my nose, trying to stop it from running anymore. I lifted my hand to wipe the base of my nose, then my eyes to look into his. “A few. I'm usually cold.”
The young man made a mused noise in the back of his throat, then reached forward toward my scarf. “May I?” I looked to his wrist and then to him, a bit confused. He used the tips of his fingers to tug on the edge of my scarf until it loosened and fell open. Understanding what he was asking, I lifted my hands up and pulled at the edge of my shirt's collar until a small gap formed.
Cold air rushed in as the warm air surrounding my body darted out. I shivered. The young man leaned his head close, looking into the gap. I pulled my head back, tilting my head, so we both could see. As he got closer to me, the glow on his chest lit up. However, reflected in our eyes was the small bit of light coming from inside my shirts – it wasn't weak, it was just being stifled and suffocated by the layers I was wearing.
Sitting inside my apartment, the young man tossed my suicide letter into the fire. “I can't believe you. You were going to kill yourself just because you hadn't found me.”
“Well … haven't you gotten depressed over it?”
“Oh yeah, sure.” He said easily, walking back over to sit next to me on the sofa. “But I grew up in a rural town. I just figured, hey, if they're not here, they must be elsewhere. I figured working at a grocery store, I'd meet everyone in town practically. Plus they hire easier than the postal service. So I'd run into my soul mate sooner or later.”
“Huh.” I mused, looking down with a bit of guilt. Depression ate at me for months and years, and yet my soul mate took not finding me by chance and went out to seek me. “I … never thought of that.”
“Clearly.” He said with a chuckle. He glared at me out of the corner of his eye as I looked up to meet his gaze. “I'd have been really sad if you did kill yourself. I would've spent my whole life looking for you. – And I'm pretty sure corpses six-feet under don't glow.”
I looked down again, tensing my hands at my knees. “I-I'm sorry.”
“You were really there to buy the knives to kill yourself?”
“Mm-hmm.” I nodded my head weakly.
“Well, I guess you don't need them anymore.”
I looked up to him, then asked. “Why'd you run after me?”
“A person crying with that much enthusiasm and emotion in a grocery check-out lane shouldn't be left alone.” He answered with a chuckle. He leaned forward, brushing the tip of his nose against mine. “Besides,” he continued, turning his head down toward my neck. I felt his warm breath cascade down over my adam's apple, sending a chill down my spine. “Just as you passed me, I thought I saw a glow from my chest. Even if I mis-saw it, I wouldn't risk losing you by not following.”
“I feel like I should say sorry again.” I muttered, sulking back into the sofa.
He kissed the edge of my jaw, then straightened up to look at me in the eye. With a grin on his face, he spoke. “That isn't what I want to hear.”
“Oh.” I said, then nodded a bit. I cleared my throat, feeling the hoarseness scratch at the back of my tongue. “N-nice to meet you, soul mate.”
“Take good care of me~” He sung, shutting his eyes. He smiled as he leaned in closer and gave me a simple kiss on the lips. It didn't last long, but I felt my heart jump in my chest – pained with a different kind of tightness than depression weighing down on me.