Sunday, 2016.  

The clock struck 7:15 PM; and my phone screamed September 18th.  The Texan air was particularly soft that evening: Light clouds dissipated into my skin as my mind – unguarded – sat on the dining table.

Crunch crunch.  Leftover BBQ.

Splish splash.  The fountain in the backyard pool.

Buzz buzz.  A message from her.

“At your earliest convenience, call me.  I have something to tell you.”

Ring ring. I dialed.

Pthu pthu. She spit dark, piercing lyrics on my thoughts: “He… committed… suicide… yesterday.”

A brief but shattering silence ensued.  I fell into an emotionless abyss of pain.  Emptiness soon engulfed this hurt: And in the following months, I felt dull.  My skeleton was shaded in gray.  My fingers wrestled with gravity.  My legs were constantly grasping for air. My body was glued to a bed of loneliness.

Life was motionless–I swam against still current.  I curled up in bed and attached myself to the comfort of gray.  I housed many thoughts; yet too little emotions.  Throughout the day, my worries fragmented into glass pieces that pulled me away from reality.  It all felt like a dream.

The pressures finally collided: Anxiety began treading in air.

The stress of relocation.  The distance away from family and friends.  The long classroom hours.  The heavy workload from grad school.  The fear of failing.  The fear of disappointing.  The shame of weakness.  The death of a friend.

My soul was stretched and both arms reached towards a string of contrasting ends: The emptiness of the present and the fear of the future.  

Stretch stretch.  “Was there an end?”

No.  The darkness tempted–mercilessly.

Yes.  My soul begged–mercifully.

My hands crawled towards the weapon.

Ring ring. I dialed.

“I need help.”


Follow this link for information about mental health among Asian American & Pacific Islander communities.


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