There's something about me that has people making assumptions, right away. Maybe it's my bright smile, or light attitude. I have a fair few quirks. Bright thought I was gay the first time he met me, though why he assumed that I'm not exactly sure. I've got an attitude that normally encourages people onwards, a nature that let's people know that they don't have to worry about me. In a life full of worries, I'm usually not getting much attention. Not because they don't care, but because I don't seem to need it. I was always the smart one, the happy one. I made friends easily, got girls simply enough, swam through school with a flourish. I was everything normal. Perfect Reid.
The thing is… I need the help. I need people to pay attention, to care. To ask if I'm all right and to read into me when I lie and say I'm fine. They say a good friend can look you straight in the face when you're smiling and laughing and still know if something's wrong. They can just tell. I wish I had someone like that. Someone who I could go to when it got really bad, someone who I trusted enough to help me. But I just didn't have that person. I couldn't let people see that I wasn't perfect Reid. I had stress, too. But people just saw what I wanted them to see. I wish that I wasn't so good at pretending. Maybe then I wouldn't have taken my hopeless thoughts as far as they went.
It isn't that I think my life is crap. It isn't, at all. There's a lot going for me, I know this. But it's not enough. How can I live with myself after letting down the one person I wanted to help above all else? He was the inspiration for my career choice and every hour I studied, every lecture I attended, was for him. But it's all in vain. Floundering madly, I was smart in a room full of average people but below average in a room filled with the best and brightest of Everwood. No matter how hard I pushed myself and how exhausting I became, nothing worked. I always thought that no matter how hard a situation was, I could get through it with enough force of will. Being proved wrong stunned me.
That's not even that bad. It's the fact that I allowed myself to add insult to injury that really bugs me. I couldn't make it, and then I made a conscious choice. I explained to myself why I did what I did, it was all perfectly logical and moral in my mind. In order to be able to morally help the world, to make a good difference, I had to do something that is said to be wrong. The wrong deed was necessary for the greater good…the ends will justify the means. Except that's just not true. I hadn't been able to study and I couldn't risk the chance of failing another test…
What really pains me is that my main thought when they called me in and confronted me about it was how sorry I was. Sorry that I had been stupid and hadn't deliberately messed up a few questions to throw off suspicions. Not regret in cheating, at least not at that moment. My natural charisma failed me. My flawless poker face…useless?
An hour later, when I walked away from my last class of the day and realized it would be my last class I would ever take in the college, the sinking feeling in my stomach grew.
Still, it took a while longer for me to grasp the enormity of what happened. Expelled. How could I have let that happen to myself?
I struggled to maintain that things were fine. How could I face anyone anymore? How could I tell anyone that I had failed completely? That I crossed the line and resorted to something I had never once had to resort to before? I was ashamed and scared. I naturally resorted to the thing that I had spent my entire life doing when an emotionally blowing issue hit me. Denial. I hid behind my perfect mask and smiled as largely as I normally did. Went to the gym, joked with the guys.
And then the act faltered. I was expelled. My life as I knew it was changed forever. The life I wanted so desperately was lost to me for good. My goals, my hopes, my aspirations…gone.
Through the smiles and through the mindless shallow conversations with my friends who didn't know anything, something in me was slowly dying. My heart, the vibrant source of my seemingly undying pep, became detached to me the moment I was told that medical school wasn't for me and it had been squeezed, burned, and blackened each time in turn when I cheated and when they told me I was kicked out.
I managed to hold it together for a few weeks. Then my body realized it couldn't survive without the heart.
One moment, I was in the shower as per my morning routine, and the next I was staring in the mirror, about to gel my hair when I really looked at myself. My eyes were unreadable even to myself. I had finally achieved total control of what emotions I allowed to leak through. This control took away my humanity, to be human means to feel. And then I had a mini panic attack. I had lost my education, I had lost my life ambition, my respect, my morals, and now I had even lost the right to ask for help.
My sleeping pills were something I had acquired before I cheated on the test. I couldn't sleep due to my constant anxiety, not that I had much time to sleep around my studying any ways. They were innocent, and I hadn't ever considered abusing their strength. But something that day made me see and understand what they represented. Those little caplets represented freedom. I could be released from this self hatred, freed from the mistakes I had made, freed from the person I have let myself turn into.
It's probable that on some level, I knew it wasn't right, that it wasn't the perfect action to take. But I wasn't thinking. I was sick of thinking. Every wearying feeling of frustration and of complete isolation from every soul around me clutched at my throat and attempted to strangle me. I pried the trapping fingers off me, just wanting to breathe again.
It wasn't until I had already swallowed a crap load of pills before my brain started working again. I interestedly watched as if I was an outsider looking in… the thud of my head connecting with the cold tile floor resounded so far away, and time seemed to stop. I dimly wondered for a moment if it'd be Bright or Ephram who found me. Then Amy's face swam into my mind, and then the face of everyone I cared about or knew. With a sickening finality, it occurred to me that I'd never be seeing them again. Medical school gone, my gift to my brother ruined… Was this just a huge mistake to top off a lifetime of mistakes, or was it my saving grace?
Light faded to black and, as weird as it sounds, my last conscious thought was…nothing. I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, relieved, regretful, guilty, content. All I felt was nothing. Blankness. Even as the blankness enveloped me, I thought that this wasn't right. These would be my last thoughts… Shouldn't I be having some kind of groundbreaking epiphany? Some revelation that would change my perspective of life? How about some freaking flashes of my life? I was dying for Christ's sake. But I saw that my death, like my life, would be a quiet and mundane one. Committing suicide was made dispassionate by me.
Would the world miss me?
Would the world even notice?
I had wanted to change the world. Make it just a little bit better for being in it. But I was nothing.
A person to be forgotten. I didn't have close friends. I probably had a bunch of people who thought they were a close friend, and I did have a lo of them considering my genial nature, but none of them really knew. Sure, some of them cared. But none of them cared about me for who I really was, because there was no real me. After pretending for so long, I didn't think there was anything in me behind the front I provided. The content behind my mask had eroded and crumbled from suppression and now I didn't even know what I had wanted to suppress.
My name is Reid, and I had so many hopes. Hopes, but not accomplishments. When it comes down to it, will anyone really miss me? Will my death affect the life of any person? Did my presence influence the people in my life? Or will my memory fade with time, unnoticed?
It's the end of my story, my part in the world is finished. There isn't any more to think about, or do.
I just wish someone would need me back. Not want me back, not wish I was back, but truly needed me there to survive.
But wishes don't come true, do they?