The Choice – A. Clooney


Everything seemed surreal, as if it was a blurry dream. I released a faint grin, and thoughts began to penetrate my hesitant mind. Flashes of the past overrode my emotions, and I staggered in place. Everything was so heavy. Everything was so…real, so very real.

School was never a place I enjoyed being, yet I managed to perform quite well at an early age. It filled my parents with hope that I would be the first of our family to go into college, which was frankly silly in hindsight. Now, I think back to those days with angry thoughts. How did I fall from grace? What did I do? It didn’t matter anyways. The high hopes of my father particularly never seemed to relent, and he seemed confused, to say the least, when low grades became a norm as high school progressed. The pressure was endless.

I let out a fearful laugh as my hands tightened and his voice rang through my head. “What happened to that A? It isn’t that hard, is it? You have to pull those grades up. I don’t accept failures.” My fingers ran through my soft hair before they tightened into a fist once more, and the ripping brought a single tear to my eye. How had it come to this? What kind of hole had I dug myself into? I don’t know if there is a way out. The light is hardly visible.

That’s when more joyful memories came. My friends, the few there were, kept me in a state of bliss. Jokes we made, stories we told, and songs we sang played in my head like an old jukebox. However, their voices seemed muffled. They were muffled underneath a thick blanket that made their joyous deposits hidden in a black sea of overbearing expectation. I reached out in the murky waters to find what had been lost, but it seemed to only pull me into the waters…deeper…deeper…into darkness.

I gasped for breath, struggled to move, and fought to survive, yet nothing seemed to work. The blackness stole away my will to speak and my will to fight. I had been drained, and the exhausting torment had left me longing for an escape from the pain that I had endure. That’s when it spat me back to the surface. My body lacked the motivation to breathe, and gravity felt as if it held me against the ground harder than ever before. This pain…this punishment…this hell dragged by as seconds turned to hours, and the only thing I felt was my withered heart beating within my fragile chest in a tireless effort to keep a fading soul alive. That is when I conceived it. This suffering could end, and I had the power to do so.

I bit my lip incredibly hard as I raised the knife. It shook violently in my reluctant hand. Thoughts flew violently threw my mind. This was it. I could end everything. No more pain was necessary. One quick cut. I swallowed my spit as I steadied my hand. Suddenly, the sound of a lock turning caught my attention. I turned to see the door swing open to reveal my sister. Our eyes met, and she assessed the situation in a few moments of stunned silence.

She lunged towards me and wrapped her arms around me as if I was her son. The warm embrace caused the knife to slip from my hand before it hit the floor, but my stare simply continued over her shoulder as she consoled me. Her words were mute to my ears, and reality rushed back to me. I was moments away from taking my life, and she stopped me. I felt my arms form a hug, and the sincerity of her worried cries confused me. A shaky exhale followed as I raised my hands to look at them. I was alive. A choice had been made, even if it had been made for me. I hugged my sister once more and apologized. I was making a decision not meant for me to make. It was only then that I understood the magnitude of that “choice.” I would not be getting rid of any pain, I would merely pass it on to others. A faint smile formed on my tear soaked face as I knew that for the first time in forever, I was happy to be alive.


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