The Ultimate Guide to Absolute Happiness – A Novel

Chapter One, Part One

 

The first time I ever thought about suicide was when I was eleven.

I had been walking home from school, silently praising myself for getting a 100% on a math test my fifth grade teacher had given us the day before, when I saw the newspaper on our family’s cracked front porch. The bold black headline was easily distinguishable against the sheer blue plastic bag it was in as I read it from my height of five feet.

Teenage Girl Tragically Commits Suicide

I had picked up the paper and taken it to my room, sliding it out from its protective covering and sitting down on my bed to read the whole article.

Lucy Quinn, age fifteen, was recently found dead in her house’s large bathtub. The girl’s parents were obviously alarmed to find their daughter drowning in her own blood just metres away from them, and are being taken care of in their local hospital where Lucy’s s body is being inspected of possible self-harm and/or drug abuse evidence.

My hands were trembling violently as I flew down the stairs and slammed the article into the trashcan, the gruesome image of a girl drowning in her own thick blood scarring my mind forever.

But that wasn’t when I started to think.

No, that just inflicted wonder.

What does it mean to want to leave the world forever?

Is it frightening when you realize you’re unhappy? Unsatisfied?

The answer is no.

No, you aren’t scared of the future, because you know that you won’t have one. I started thinking of taking my life when I walked home from trick-or-treating Halloween night.

I heard a short chirping noise, and me, being the fifth grader that I was, saw a black smudge on the concrete ahead of me and squashed it. I quickly got out my flashlight and shone it at the creature that was then squeezing out its insides to float up to Heaven.

It was a cricket.

My name is Cricket.

I then began to wonder if it was that easy.

Would someone come by and squash me on the concrete, too?

Would my insides ooze out into Heaven?

After that day, I thought of killing myself, just to see what would happen to me.

Not because I was naïve and young and stupid.

I began to wonder if my life was even worth it, if it was that easy to lose it in the first place.

Is it?

I just made you think.

I made you think real hard, too.

Why do we live in this world where some people are successful and some aren’t? How was life even formed on this earth in the first place? How did it evolve into this? Us. Humans.

Disgusting humans.

Us disgusting humans.

I spit on the ground at our stupidity. At us letting the innocent live horribly, and be hated later on after they do something about it.

I’m fifteen right now.

I might do something about it.

I really want to do something about it.

But I want something to happen first.

My whole life, I’ve been envious of book characters. I want to be like them. I want to suddenly open my eyes and see a new world, too.

My eyes have been open for a while, and I see nothing.

I’m waiting for my great moment. I’m waiting for the moment where I get to walk across the world knowing something no one else does.

That leads us to now.

Now, guys.

Now I am still alive, four years later. My life is crap.

I live alone in a warehouse.

My friend is my reflection in a mirror.

My parents are crap too, because they don’t care.

At least I don’t have to pay rent.

No one knows. They all see me as the girl with a buggy name (Ha, ha.) that never speaks to anyone. I’m very smart, but that doesn’t mean that I want to take all the opportunities life hands me.

I know that I’m meant to be standing around a table with men, their faces set grim, weapons gleaming in the dim light. I give them battle plans. Battle plans to kill an anonymous attacker.

So my life is full of question marks like that.

Anonymous.

Words like that.

Anonymous.

So for those of you who know someone who killed themselves, this is how they felt.

Don’t get mad at them.

They don’t know better.

I don’t know better.

My tongue runs over my hard, cracked lips.

Here I am.

I am careful not to step on any of the sidewalk cracks as I make my way to school. My eyes wander up to the curious faces of the kids staring down at me from the school bus that passes. I know they hate me, I know they love me.

But they don’t know why.

I continue on my never-ending trek to school, a place where I can blend in. There’s this kid. Don’t know his name. He claims to love me.

I hate him.

He’s perfect, and others think so too, but I hate him.

He’s so happy, I can see him when I walk to my locker. Happy. That ugly face of his. Happy.

Don’t go.

I swear, this isn’t one of those stories.

I’m not going to look past all the hatred and find love. I won’t suddenly stop with all of my suicidal thoughts because I love him.

Because I don’t.

Love is not on my side in this life.

“Hey, Cricket,” says Nameless. I nod. “Boy,” I reply. He chuckles and turns back to his locker. It’s next to mine.

“Are you going to–”

“No,” I say shortly. “I do not go to anything, boy, whether it be what you want or what you don’t.” He frowns. “That makes no sense.” “That proves my point,” I say smugly. “You want me to make sense, so I won’t. Like I said.”

“Then I don’t want you to make sense.”

“Nice try.” I say flatly, closing my locker and heading to homeroom. “Don’t follow me, boy, I don’t want your love today.”

Nameless says nothing.

I think I hurt him.

But I don’t care. Nameless doesn’t fit in with my plans. I slide into my seat and get out my book, every once in a while glancing at the clock, so I’m not sprawled all over my desk when the first block bell rings.

In Science, I learn.

In English, I learn.

I learn, and learn, and learn.

Until lunch.

Oh god, lunch.

In lunch we all learned. We all learned that Nameless’s love for me wasn’t fake. It wasn’t a phase. He stood up on the table he was sitting at and faced me.

“Everyone, I have something to say. It’s something that a lot of you won’t believe, but it’s true, it’s so true.” Everyone went silent.

That’s what we did for Nameless. We all suddenly cared.

“I’m in love,” he stated bluntly. “I’m love with the most beautiful human, the most amazing human. Cricket,” The whole cafeteria stared at me. “You’re the only one I’ll ever love. You may not think I know you but I do. I know everything.”

I roll my eyes and turn away.

Nameless starts to get desperate.

“I know about your plans. I know about your many plans.” he says.

I freeze.

I glare icily at the wretched boy.

I stand, stride toward him and step up so we’re nose-to-chin.

“Say that again,”

He looks scared. “I know about your plans,” he gulps. “I think they make sense. You did it. You made me think.” A small, lovesick smile spreads across his face.

Gag.

I slap him as hard as I can in the face, then kick him in the groin.

“Think about that.” I grab my bag and exit the cafeteria, running out of the school and down the street.

To the warehouse.

To something.

When I turn the corner, I see a blue shirt, darkened and burnt. As I walk further along, panic creeps up into my throat. Some of the items on the street I’m recognizing as mine. Up ahead, the fire department pulls up, and my heart thuds painfully against my chest.

It’s my warehouse.

It’s on fire.

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