Dear You, I'm Sorry.
Based on A True Story.
I don’t know who you are; I don’t know your name, your age, your interests, your story. I don’t know what made you feel so worthless, so sad, so tormented. I don’t know what I could have done, but I do know I didn’t do anything. On the subway, I was so distracted by my phone I didn’t even notice you at first. I mean, Cathy’s Cute Cat instagram account, and news about Trump’s latest round of tweets typically are more interesting than looking at the other passengers also focused on their phones. When I did catch sight of the slow tears falling down your hooded face I quickly turned away. I don’t know if this was to spare you the embarrassment of a stranger catching you crying, or to spare me embarrassment. Was I trying to be polite, or ignoring you? Did I turn away for your sake, or my own selfishness? I had this nagging feeling I should say something, but in a crowded car with other people, if it was proper etiquette to say something, surely someone else would have said something too, right? Why was it my responsibility to say something? I’ll never forget the moments we made eye contact as we left through the door. The pleading look, and eyes filled with pain were a dagger to my heart. I wanted to say something, I really did, please believe me. But so many people were watching, I just couldn’t bring myself be associated with you. Those moments of indecision will haunt me forever.
When I turned on the news and saw your face, my heart dropped, guilt flooded into my living room and a sea of regret seemed to drown me. I double checked, hoping I was seeing it wrong, but there was no mistaking the stunning eyes or perfectly chiseled chin. The newscaster told your story as if it was business as usual, but I just sat on the couch stunned; tears beginning to flow down my face. “Nobody cares, I am nothing, I am no one.” Those were the words you wrote down before you jumped off the water tower. “But you are something! I do care! You are beautiful, I noticed you!” I yelled at the TV, hoping you could hear it. But it is too late. Pictures of you as a baby, a toothless grinning toddler, a teen and finally the unnatural slumped person, or shell of a person, on the ground as the police and helicopters flooded around the scene, came on the screen. A hollow and numb feeling took over my brain as I ran through everything that went through your head in your final moments. Did you see me? Were you silently pleading with me to help you? Could I have said something that would have shown you a different future, that death wasn’t the answer?
I had a one sentence part in your story, but I didn't use that sentence to change the ending. When I heard the call of distress, I tuned it out to focus on something, anything, else. Every ounce of my being wishes I could go back in time, and play my role a little better but I can’t do anything. I will never forget your story, I will never forget your pain, I will never forget the cruelty and coldness I showed you in your most broken time.
Dear You, I am sorry.