The Night He Died

I’d had an unnerving dream. I’m not unaccquainted to suicidal dreams. In fact they’re frequent enough to render them recurring nightmares. Not a lot of people know that. I doubt a lot of people care. ‘Just Dreams’ I’d hear them say. Well, that night felt like more.

In my dreams I’m usually facing off the edge of something high, staring down. Sometimes my arms are spread, sometimes I’m just bleakly standing. The weather differs, the settings differ, but I am always peering over the circumference of something.

This night it was the unfinished apartment block beside where I live. I pass it every day and every night, on my way to work, on my way home, going to Dunnes, whatever. It is directly opposite the entrance/exit gate to my apartment block, unavoidable.

The twin sister to my own apartment block, it is high and rectangular. Where mine runs a cobalt blue with black balconies and big windows, it runs nothing but grey stone and poking rustic bars. It is stained erratically with seemingly rushed graffiti tags and watermarks.

While they built up, they must have given up on building across, and the very top few stories were left without horizontal flooring like a rugby players gaping teeth.

I was at the tip of this building. I was looming over the brink. The wind was quite choppy through my hair and really tugged at my clothes. It was late and dark and the road below was desolate and glinting wet from an earlier sticky rainfall. I reckon in the dream I was about to jump, but to my complete horror I instinctively turned to my right and found a cloaked shadow of a person looking back at me. There was no face beneath the hood, but I could make out a drooping chin. The long hood then turned towards the road, but then back to me. My hesistance diminished as I realised the foul play that was actually going on. The figure jumped from the building before my very eyes.

I woke with wild energy, like a tin whistle screeching from force. And then, as I always do, I threw my arm around my boyfriend and thought hard on isolated popular areas to lullaby myself back to sleep.

I don’t even know his name. When I found out that there was a body on the ground bedside to the road I felt my heart fill with a different kind of fear. He had dropped from the very building I had dreamt of the night before. He was about 17 years old. I think of the stairs. He solemnly walked up every single step, he put in that physical effort to get up high enough to die. The determination it took of him treading every dreadful step, slowly gathering height, demanding his legs to lift up another, and then another, higher, and then higher. Knowing on every landing of his foot, he was only doing it to end his life. It strikes me with a great grief. A boy, who I had never known nor cared about, has been removed from the world we shared, at close proximity. I am left to wonder what separates us all from each other? A life that lived, slept, dreamt and cried like I still do has become nothing more than a statistic for the officials to dismiss and push under hushed floorboards and we will pretend that the sun rising in the morning will be enough for us. And yet, we know, every single time the sun rises, a man will forcibly and violently exit out of this world and will not live to see that sun settle ever again – a life more temporary than life had ever planned it to be





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