Carrie’s hand shook as she pressed the pistol against her temple. How much had she put up with in her 16 years on this earth? Too much to keep going another 16 years, she thought. Her life was a mistake. Her mother should have had an abortion like all the other teen girls when they find out they are pregnant.
She should have killed me then. It would have saved me the trouble of doing this now.
A tear slipped from her eye, and she lowered the shaking hand that held the pistol. Did she really want to do this?
Yes, I do. Think of all that has happened in my life. Do I really want to keep living it?
Images flashed through her mind—scenes from her life.
A five-year-old Carrie appeared, hiding behind a lumpy orange and brown sofa. Her stepfather was throwing empty beer bottles against the walls while her mother screamed at him to stop. From where she hid, she saw a bottle come flying at mother. She dogged it, but it hit the wall behind her and busted open. Glass exploded from the bottle and buried itself into her mother’s arm and shoulder. There was a scream and blood.
The scene changed. Carrie was carrying a pizza tray with a bowl of cereal and a piece of toast to her mother’s room. The room was dark, but Carrie knew better than to turn on the lights. Her mother didn’t like bright lights in the morning. They made her head hurt.
It was 11 a.m., but the form on the bed was still asleep. Carrie walked as quietly as she could toward the night stand. She would leave it there for her mother to see when she woke up.
She tripped on something in the dark room and the pizza tray wobbled. The bowl of cereal slid off and crashed to the floor. Her mother woke up and her blood-shot eyes glared at her. . Her mother yelled at her to get out, calling her a brat and telling her she was always causing trouble. Carrie sat alone in the kitchen, staring at the toast with blurry, tear-filled eyes.
So my childhood wasn’t the best, but that doesn’t mean I should actually go through with this. Lots of people have messed up lives as a kid.
Other memories flashed before her: Her mother’s bruised face after being hit by one of her many boyfriends. Ten-year old Carrie in her room throwing all her belongings into her battered school backpack, vowing to runaway, but never following through because she had nowhere to go. Carrie in high school, drinking Budweiser with a group of teens, and finally feeling like she belonged. A boy telling her he loved her and that they would be together forever. Carrie finding out that forever meant one night.
“Stop,” Carrie’s voice weakly protested. She closed her eyes, balled up her fists and placed them on either side of her forehead, as if her fists could somehow guard her mind from the onslaught of memories. They kept coming.
Carrie remembered the feelings of fear and excitement as she and a group of teens snuck into a club for the first time. She was assaulted by the smells of beer, sweat, and vomit—the smells that surrounded her most nights. Darkened rooms, loud music, and heavy breath reeking of alcohol filled her memory—filled her life.
Alcohol. Addiction. That’s all my life is.
She opened her eyes and looked again at the gun in her lap. She placed her hand on the handle, but couldn’t bring herself to pick it up. Maybe I don’t want to do this.
Oh, but I’ve do want to. I’ve wanted to every since that day…
The memory she’d suppressed for years came unbidden to her mind. All the sounds came back to her: The sound of her bedroom door opening at night. The sound of her mother’s current boy friend stumbling drunkenly into her room. The sounds of her cries for help. The sound of her silence as she realized her mother was too stoned to hear. The sound of her muffled sobs when she cried into her pillow as she realized she would never be the same again.
Her grip tightened on the gun as silent tears ran down her face. She couldn’t take it anymore. All the partying, all the booze in the world couldn’t erase the memory. She lifted the gun and felt the cold steel press against her temple. What would it feel like to die? What was it like to have a bullet shot through your head?
Just do it.
But Carrie couldn’t do it. She stayed frozen, kneeling on the floor, gun to her head. What if there was an afterlife? What if it was worse than this life?
Her hands were shaking and sweat was forming on her back and forehead. Was this all there was? Was there nothing but pain, then death?
Death. My appointment with death was long before this. I’ll do what my mother failed to do.
Carrie pulled the trigger.
This story is a short version of my story Rescued. The full story has a much happier ending. 🙂