Title: My Salad Days

Author name: Soleil

Author Email: soliel9708@aol.com

Disclaimer: I'm on unemployment. Nuff said. Title comes from Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra."

Summary: Yes. Yet another reaction piece. Deals with the idea of suicide. Trying to even out the balance in the reactions a wee bit. Just a little because I can't stand both characters right now. :)

Pairings: H/M sort of.

Spoilers: Whopping huge ones for ATW2.

Rating: PG-13 for concepts. Years ago, when I was a younger, when I still believed in fairy tale endings and Prince Charmings, I cast a mold in my head. The perfect man would fit it neatly, no chinks or cracks on his surface. He would swoop down from the heavens on a snow white horse and pull me onto his lap. Together, we would ride off into the sunset. I never actually got beyond the sunset. I couldn't imagine what a perfect life would be like, even at six.

It's odd, I know to trust the words and not the actions of people. Odder still when it comes from someone with my background. When I was a little girl, I needed to believe my father's weepy apologies and drunken 'love yous.' They helped make sense of something that would never really make sense. I read once, years ago, in an introduction to psychology course, that children in abusive homes tend to try and side with the abuser. That came out wrong. What I mean is that they try to keep the peace with the abusive parent in order to protect themselves. It's amazing how parents can screw their children up.

I'm no longer a child. And, as much as I would love to be able to do it, I can no longer blame my actions on my parents. No one has ever loved me the most. It hurts to say it as much as it does to realize it. It's a hard lesson to learn. Harder to learn that it's partially my fault. People have tried and I stopped them. He tried and I stopped him. I don't know why I do it.

I never thanked him. Again, I don't know why. That same intro to psych textbook would probably say that I was pushing my boundaries. Trying to see how far I could push before he pushed back. I wish someone could tell me why I do it. Why I feel the need to test people's limits.

I am Eve and Delilah, luring men to their downfalls. I am the Sirens, inviting sailors to crash and drown at my feet. I am Cleopatra; I am Jezebel; I am all the women that the world and literature love to hate. And I will never get to be the woman that someone loves best.

I am tired. I am tired of being and more tired of being me. Chaos and pathos have swirled around me my whole life. I have lived in their vortices for so long that I don't know if I would ever be capable of living another way. Every once in a while, through my friends, I've gotten glimpses, peeks, at another life. I want the picket fences and two car garages. I want them badly, but I know now that I was not made for them.

The little white pills before me are so seductive. They promise me what people cannot. An end to it all. One swallow and the chaos will stop. The winds will die down and the tornadoes will cease to swirl. I will stop hurting people if I just quietly disappear. I don't know if anyone will miss me. Actually, that's not true. I know they will. I'm not doing this to make people sorry. I don't want them to miss me. I want them to be happy. They could lead full lives once they realize how much better they are if I'm not sucking them down into an abyss.

I'm not leaving a note. Just one call, hopefully to his answering machine. The recorded voice instructs me to leave a message. "I never thanked you," I say to the machine, "and I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry you lost your job for me. So - thank you.. I love you."

I can only hope God is more forgiving than I have been in my life.