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The Snowball Effect

My friend works as a school counselor. She told me that one of her students in 4th grade reported to her, with so much terror, that her friend tried to commit suicide in the media room by choking herself with wires. And that she feels frightened just being in the same classroom with her. I felt like I was suffocating just thinking about that girl. How could a child’s heart fit this much darkness? A suicidal forth-grader? This story possessed my mind the rest of that week and every time I ask my friend if she met her mother, “not yet” she would say, “her mother is busy.”

****

Waking up from that three-hour nap, I was feeling feverish. The thermometer indicated that I had nothing to worry about but still, there was something wrong. As I was taking a while to wake up from my nap, after the most energy-draining week I’ve witness in work, I remembered I made plans with one of my friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time. She was good company, not so much personal details chit chatting company, but a pleasant one. With the feverishness that made me feel slightly light-headed, I got ready as fast as I could and met up with her.

I first showed her my digital piano, after briefly updating her on what’s been up in my life. Still feeling lightheaded, my side of communication was somewhat slower than usual.
Unexpectedly, she sat down and played Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata. If I had to put words for the emotions this piece inspires, it would be these:
1-Mystery
2-Enstrangement.
3-There are a hundred different scenarios other than the ones your brain, in its maximum capacity, could produce.

Afterwards, we sat outdoors, the weather was alright, I just needed a single sweater to keep me warm and comfortable. We were drinking coffee under the pink and golden sky.

“I want to share something with you that I’ve never said out loud to anyone except for my sister.” My friend said, hesitantly.
“Go ahead, I am a good secret keeper.” I encouraged her, whatever it was that she wanted to say, it seemed heavy.

“The events of my life conspired to bring a person in my life, over and over again, from the age of 19 up until few months ago. I was resisting the signs of giving him a place in my life. One night I thought, I wanted to give him a chance. I called him and we talked for hours. He was very interested in my art and inspirations and my opinion about everything. About love, about life and what my sincerest, repeated prayer was about. Our conversations would last for hours until I fell asleep, to wake up intoxicated by our late night conversations. The dance of our talks was orchestrated perfectly; there was room for perfect communication to draw us into each other. A while after all of that, I met his sister, who was also an artist. We clicked.”

“One night. After few days of not hearing from him, nor I asking about him. He called me late at night and I was awake, but I didn’t pick up. And fell asleep afterwards.
His sister calls me the next morning, and tells me she walked in on him. He was lying on his bed, pills by the nightstand, without movement.
He passed away.”

I took a deep breath, looked her in the eyes and tried to communicate love to her non-verbally, my tongue was tied. The pain of another person is usually transferred to me, I didn’t know what to tell her.

“I still haven’t processed what happened. I only cried once and after that, i’ve been painting, insanely painting. Only painting. And working. I haven’t given myself a chance to even think about it. And now, I’m having this thought, what if I picked up his phone call? Could I have done something differently to save him? Why was I distant in his last days? and most importantly, what is the purpose of our synchronistic, emotional union?”

The pink clouds fell from the sky and engulfed me, I was overwhelmed with love and compassion.
And the golden streaks of the sunset, minutes after her silence, flared in her eyes. I didn’t know what to say. But I thought to myself “there must be a reason why we met today out of all the months and days in the year. There must be something for both of us.”
Some problems don’t have a solution, but we don’t value the act of vulnerability as we should. This, the mere act of finding the words to open up, this is so important. It helps the burden-carrier soar, and the listener expand. It leaves two souls expanding; one vertically and the other horizontally.

****
My friend, the school counselor, told me that the mother of the classmate who reported the suicide incident, visited their school to ask about her daughter’s academic performance. And my friend was there with the teachers. She asked about her daughter’s psychological state at home, if she was feeling ok after witnessing the suicide attempt incident of her classmate. Her mother told her secretly that her daughter is getting help for her pathological lying.
It turns out there was no suicidal forth grader.

Moonlight Sonata was still ringing in my head.

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