It was a gloomy, autumn evening. Rusty leaves swirled around with the chill breezes in the backyard. The swings swayed gently and squeaked about. It was the perfect day for him to go through with his plan. Just as dusk had settled in, he had his last dinner with his family. They chatted around the dining table. Everyone seemed contented. However, it wasn’t entirely true.
That unfortunate night, before he went to bed, he slid his cupboard and looked intensely at a small bottle lying there. The bottle was jam-packed with sleeping pills. He grabbed the bottle, sat on his bed, took a fistful of those pills and started grinding them. He, then, ingested the powder and drank a glass full of water. Finally, he lay in his bed, and went to sleep, hoping to never wake up again.
Just a while had passed and as his mother was going to hit the hay, she had this instinct to enter his room and check if he set his alarm to wake up for college. She opened the creaky door to his room, and approaching his bedside table to have a look at the alarm clock, she lost her breath for a moment as laid her eyes on the bottle of pills. She, then, tried waking him up, but to no avail. His lack of movement raised doubts in her mind. Fretful and frightened, she tried to shake him vigorously. Seeing him stock-still, she called for her husband. They tried to wake him up but their efforts were in vain. His mother broke into tears and his father immediately called the ambulance.
They went to the hospital and paced anxiously for hours in the waiting lounge. The doctor, then, came up to them, and froze their hearts momentarily by telling them that their son was in a comatose and it can’t be deduced when he’d wake up. The mother, flooded with grief, started pouring out the tears again while the father tried to console her.
A fortnight passed by and no one knew why he did what he did, until his lamenting mother stumbled upon a notebook while going through his stuff. As she read along, it started becoming clear–why he attempted to end his life. One of the first few entries was:
“I can’t bear this anymore. I don’t wanna be an engineer. I hate it. I absolutely hate it. But what can I even do about it? My parents won’t understand. They have always wanted me to be an engineer. Ever since I was a child, I’ve heard them call me their
‘Future Engineer’. Even back when I was asked me to pick my major subjects, they made me choose Science. It wasn’t like my teachers were any help at all. As I had good grades, my teachers even recommended me for Science. But I really love dancing. I really wanted to go for arts. I’m in tenth grade now and still I’m not allowed to make my own decisions. I can’t even disappoint my parents by performing bad. I guess I will have to learn to like it. They do a lot for me. They pay my fees even though we barely get by, and they’ve always fulfilled my needs and wants. Maybe, they’ll let me decide when I’m old enough for college. Or maybe, I’ll learn to like it. Maybe, this painting-thing is just a phase and I’ll get over it. At the end of the tunnel, I see a light and that’s what makes me go on.”
She turned a few pages over and read:
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so confused. I don’t even understand Science anymore. I’m being scolded in school and at home for performing bad. But how am I to blame? I never wanted to pick Science. I wanted to be a dancer or a choreographer. I thought it was a phase. But it wasn’t. It really gives me peace of mind. It makes so happy. It gives me pleasure. I think I’m even good at it. I’ve showed a couple of free-style dances I’ve prepared and he was astounded. But how do I tell me parents about that? It’s not like it’s a career with a high starting salary or one with a stable job. It takes most people years before establishing themselves and to start making some good money. To me, it’s not about the money, but my parents have invested so much in me even though we’re just a lower-middle class family. I need to get a stable job after my graduation to help my parents when they grow old; to help them for all their troubles. I’m gonna have to get better at studies now. I’m gonna have to focus more. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting dimmer but I’m glad at least it’s still there.”
Then, she turned to the page with the last entry. It said:
“I’m done now. This is it. I’ve been planning to kill myself for some time now and I guess now is the time to do it. I barely got by in university this year. I don’t understand much in my classes anymore. As I grew older, I grew to dislike engineering more and understand Science less. I’ve completed the first year of my university now and this is the situation I’m facing. Everyone says the first year is the easiest year and they teach all the basics. If I’m this bad at the basics, I won’t be able to get through with the next three years. I know my dream of becoming a choreographer will never come true. I guess some things are never meant to be. If I tell my parents about it, they’ll blame that for my reducing
performance. They’ll never understand. I’ve seen them condemn other kids who stood up against their parents’ wishes and decided to pick the path of life they wanted. I just wanted to make my parents happy and give them a good future. But at this rate, I won’t even get a job. I have tried my very best but I can’t seem to get the grasp of it. I’m losing my mind and I don’t even have a friend who is close enough for me to tell all of this to. Since I can’t make my future of my parents future better this way, I’m just gonna end my life. This way they won’t have to, at least, waste the money they’ve saved up for my university. They can use it to create a better future for themselves. I can’t live a lie anymore and I’m not strong enough to strangle my parents’ future. I know this is selfish and I know this will also adversely affect their future, but it will be better than this. I would’ve continued living on but I don’t see the end of the tunnel anymore because it’s dark everywhere.”
As she read this, her hands trembled and the notebook fell to the floor with a heavy thud. She sat on his bed and broke into tears again regretting over something she never intended to do. Later on, she told her husband all about the diary, and they were both filled with remorse. A week later, their son woke up, feeling disheartened at his failed attempt. Hours later, when he had stabilized, his parents came up to him.
His mother said, “Son, I found your diary and we are extremely sorry that you felt this way for such a long time. We’re sorry that we never understood you and pressurized you into something you didn’t want to. We’re sorry that you felt like we weren’t there for you. But son, you could’ve just told us about your dreams. You could’ve at least tried talking to us. We’re not your enemies. Even if we might have been upset at first, we would have understood you after seeing your passion. We understand you now. Please never try to leave us like this, because if you do, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself. We love you so much and nothing is more important to us than your happiness”.
As she said this, tears started rolling down all their eyes.
Sobbingly, he replied, “I love you guys too. I’m really sorry for having you put through this. I understand now that it was my fault that I never even tried expressing myself to you. I promise I’ll never do anything like this ever again”.
After the unfortunate event, their lives became better. His parents supported his fervor for choreography. They were happier than they ever were, and their lives were never the same again, but for the better.
A note from the writer:
My purpose of writing this story was not to condemn the parents or to offend anyone. The purpose of this story was to address a serious issue. The message is for the parents as well as the youth.
Many parents fail to acknowledge that their kids are capable of making decisions. Yes, they may make wrong ones. And yes, it is the parents’ duty to guide their kids, but before doing this, learn to know your child. Learn to be their friend from an early age so that they could tell you about their problems and their dreams. Many children go through this and they may end up taking different decisions.
As for the youth, they should trust their parents. Have faith in them. The parents are not their enemies. They do what they think is best for their child’s future. Even if the parents may not support you, it is worth giving it a shot by talking to your parents before leaping into clutches of death.
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