Imagine that you only had one page left in your life, how would you fill it up? A single piece of A4 paper – the possibilities are endless, but your words are limited. This single piece of paper, weighing barely anything, will be heavy, extremely heavy. You’re faced with the emptiness of the page, a brief look into the emptiness will soon engulf you for forever and a day. What would you write? What would you say?
Would you muster the courage to say I love you to that special person? Would you finally be able to let your true feelings show towards them as you tell them how special they are to you? In this moment where nothing matters anymore, where the point of no return has long since passed, would you open your heart one last time and invite them to stay? For however long it is you have left, however bleak your situation, however broken your will, however shattered your hopes of a tomorrow, would you be brave enough to connect your pen to your heart, and let your emotions flow onto the page as if the ink itself is crafted from your tears of regret, tears of sadness, tears of love?
Maybe, you would choose to write a letter to those people in your life – your closest friends and family who have been with you all the way. Maybe you’d choose to fill your final page with bittersweet words recalling the times you spent with them. Maybe you’d choose to smile while tears run down your face, dampening the paper as you recall all those moments you had, the memories you’ve made, the smile you helped create, the sorrows you shared. Maybe it’s hard to find the right words, maybe the paper is not enough for all your emotions. Maybe that’s not a problem, maybe a single word is enough to awaken a whole set of memories with your loved ones. Maybe you’d manage to fit everything on the paper. Maybe they understand all your ums and ahhs and hmms. Maybe they’d feel your smile even without seeing it. Maybe you would be able to leave behind something beautiful for those who found beauty in you, for those who helped you find beauty in the world. Maybe you would do all that, without saying a single word.
Who knows, you could write about a moment in your life that holds dear to you, a special moment that you cherish. You could bring to life the colours of the sunset as they dance upon the horizon, slowly coaxing out the moon into the sky as the sun disappears under the water line to elsewhere in the world. You could recreate the taste of the special dinner that your grandma made you, that one taste that turns your eyes glassy and makes you wish you can go back in time. You could recreate the specific smell of the ocean breeze as it wafts through the window of the spare bedroom you currently reside in. You can recreate the sounds of the waves as it crashes along the shore, singing to you the oceans lullaby, filled with melancholy and calmness, inching you closer to sleep. Or you could recreate the feeling of the soft mattress and thick blanket that eventually claimed your consciousness as you drift to sleep that night.
What about me? What if I have none of these things? There is no one to say I love you to, there is no one special to me, no one to evoke the burning emotions people refer to as love. There is no one to care about me, no one to miss me when I’m gone. There is no one I shared laughs and sorrows with, nor is there a moment of my life to look back upon other than pain and misery.
I sit here now, with this page in front of me, my last message, my final letter, and I have nothing to fill it with. I search my mind and heart for something, anything that I could write down, yet nothing emerges. All I am faced with as I look down the barrel of my past are emptiness and regret. For as long as I remember, all I wanted was to end it all, but now, as I fiddle with the trigger, I begin to want something else. For the first time I feel something other than regret, I feel anger. A deep flaming anger at myself for wasting my life, and alongside that anger, a little flicker of doubt.
What if I don’t depart from this world today? What if I choose not to make this my final letter? Would I be able to talk myself out of ending it?
Maybe, maybe I could. Maybe I’d live on towards the future. I could take my chances and see what life brings me. And who knows, maybe next time, when I am truly faced with the final message, the last letter, the one piece of paper left in my life, maybe then I’ll have something to write down.