A few weeks after I lost my best friend I wrote a short story. It’s mostly a metaphor that (unfortunately) a lot of us can relate to. So here it is then:
Harvey was drowning. He was not certain how, or when it began, but before he had time to comprehend his surroundings, he was being dragged into the depths of a pond very near to his home. A pond he knew quite well. Around him he could hear the shouts of people he knew, his friends, his family, people who cared about him. They were calling out to him, trying their hardest to get him to swim, but with every passing moment their voices got softer and softer. Soon all Harvey could hear were murmurs. ‘This was bound to happen,’ he thought to himself. ‘Of course it was, anyone could tell by the way you lived your life, there was no other way it could possibly end.’ He had tried to swim up before, but had made no headway. Or maybe he did. At this point it was far too late to tell which way was up. There was only drifting. Drifting aimlessly through the nothingness that he had become accustomed to. The air in his lungs, which had carried him further than anyone could’ve imagined, was beginning to run out. Harvey closed his eyes. He could see things clearly now, more clearly than ever before. He saw a friend from his childhood, his best friend, one he had lost what seems like an eternity ago. He saw the hopes and dreams, the expectations and wishes of those around him form into long sharp stalactites that floated in the air above his head, like so many icicles preparing to embark on their journey toward the ground, just waiting for the opportune moment to arise. The water was cold, and unforgiving. And he was sinking- at least from what he could tell- he was sinking down, down, down, deeper and deeper into the murky depths below. He wished he’d done more with his life. He’d never settle down, marry the woman of his dreams, raise one or two beautiful children. He’d never know what it felt like to be the one to be woken up on Christmas Morning, with bright eyed children eagerly awaiting for him to make his morning coffee so they could open the presents they had long since seen underneath the glowing tree. He thought about his failures. His short-comings. All the people he’d let down, and the ones who had let him down. All of this flashed before his mind as he landed at the bottom of the pond with a gentle thud. Using his last bit of strength he pushed off the ground and began to climb. Up he went, climbing, swimming, desperately trying to reach the surface. He never did. The following morning, Harvey found himself in the pond once more. Once more with no idea where he went wrong, or how he ended up drowning like this. Every day he would struggle, and every day he would fail. Every day he tried. He was getting so tired of trying. It went on like this for years, Harvey drowning, and trying to swim only to fail. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Until one day he realized that it was so hard to keep trying. One day he decided to not push off of the murky floor at the bottom of the pond. One day he decided to just lay there. Lay there and let the water calmly fill his lungs. No struggle. No trying and failing. Only peace. Harvey did not wake up engulfed and drowning in that pond he knew so well the next morning.