Wednesday, October 31, 2007

When a queen fell...

Sometimes you hear that someone has thrown in the towel in his/her struggle to have a happy existence and opted to exit their present incarnation. Shock, disbelief, betrayal, accusations, condemnation cannot encompass the breath of the reactions that will follow.

As a child, I always considered such people cowardly. I mean, I would sneer, what could they be going through that they felt they could not solve? Now that I am older and have grazed through my fair share of frustrations and depression, I can imagine why at some point, an unscheduled exit will appear the release one needs.

Still I have held on and with each passing of the 'night' I am grateful for the opportunity to see the morrow.

Once when I was in school, I witnessed what many of us considered an attempted suicide. A girl, in my graduating year fell off the ledge of the balcony of our floor where she had been dangerously perched and warned repeatedly to dismount from.

She had been a slightly odd female; prone to mood swings, sudden displays of aggression and then surprising gaiety. I knew her, she knew me and we were not friends.

As she sat on the ledge, ignoring the warnings of our colleagues, she swung her legs as if she were seated on a swing only but a few inches from the ground instead of two stories up. I watched her from the corner of my eye not because I was concerned but because I was people watching. I would watch my classmates much like an outsider would watch a foreign people.

The next thing I knew, she was no longer there. She had lost her balance and fallen. Two stories to the ground below. Gravel broke her fall. Screams tore through the air as girls rushed forward.

Somehow, the SS1 girls who were on the ground floor responded like lightning and two seconds later, the fallen girl was being carried to the sickbay. Girls somehow had the intuition that at the speed the carriers were moving and with the weight of the fallen girl, they would get tired. They moved like a synchronised machine, moving to the ends of the train to take over the task and move her in one piece to our barely capable medical emergency care. Minutes later, the school ambulance raced out to the hospital.

Then the stories began. She had jumped, they said. She had simply leaned back and let go. She had been smiling. She looked happy as she fell. All sorts of tales. Night prep was a waste of time as no one could calm down. I joined in the talking.

Why would she try to kill herself? What an idiot. If she wanted to kill herself, we mused coldly, why hadn't she availed herself to the ten-stories high staff quarters on the compound?

According to the tales, when she was able to talk, they had asked her if she had tried to hurt herself and she had not denied it. Upon her return the next semester, we avoided her like a plague. I was not going to be the one to set her off and make her kill herself for real. She became even more quiet.

When I told my mother, she was so disappointed in me. She could not believe that I had joined in the common consciousness to scorn the fallen queen. "She was unhappy, why could you not see that?" my mother asked in her quiet voice that sounded much like a condemning yell.

I had been silent. I did not tell my mother that I had understood exactly what the girl had been feeling. I too had been unhappy. I had simply feared surviving an attempt on my own life than anything else and never taken the step.

I wonder where she is now. I hope she is happy. Each day, I choose to be. I refuse to be a fallen queen. I always have to find the strength to do that.

8 comments:

bhookey said...

ure a deep stuvvs mehn and am i first yipppeeeee

geisha said...

wow this is so weird... i was one of the ss1 girls who heard the fall.
i dont know what to say... you'll find a reason to keep it together. fear's good enuff- for now. jus think about how much you can achieve if you ...
shit i'm all out of 'advice'. i want to say u can talk to me, but that sounds bland and empty.

Orientatednaijababe said...

I just finished my paediatrics rotation, it is outrageous the amount of teenagers that try to kill themselves in this country.
I just cannot fathom y, what cud they have gone thru or be going thru at this stage of their life dat wud want to make them end it? That is d question i ask myself everyday as i walk thru the ward. I don't think i'd ever get an answer.

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

Bhookey: well I try to reflect from time to time and congratulations on being first

Geisha: This world is so small...

Orientednaijababe: It is alarming my dear, the ages at which worry begins to become a psychological burden.

יש (Yosh) said...

It's good not to be judgmental about people. You never know what they are passing through.

Glad you learned somethin from that experience sha!

Lighty said...

and 2 think that was high skool, thatz deep. things like these really bother me, i wuld av been the 1 to be the girl's friend. i remember once my train from work was delayed cos sum1 jumped on the track, 4 two solid months i was asking myself rhetorical questions. i just culdnt get ova why sum1 wuld take his life. becos the greater fear i know is death. to now confront death willingly is beyond mi. anyway, thank God for his blessings and peace.

Cidersweet said...

Depression is a terrible thing, (sez the mistress of the ob-rolls eyes-vious). That was a sad story.

Anonymous said...

you're a Marinho babe, '01 set, now I'll be trying to piece together who u are. Not sure if u're trying to be annonymous or not oh...but I'm a gbegborun.