Elphaba tossed and turned, trying fitfully to sleep, to drown out the voices in her head long enough to allow her to rest, but to no success.
"You will never be loved!" they cried, echoing in her mind. "You're unwanted! Hated! A monster!"
Elphaba whimpered, clutching the blanket tightly to her, her heart pounding and head throbbing. "Please," she whispered. "please leave me alone!"
Her father's sneering, twisted face swam upward in her mind's eye. "I am ashamed of you," he hissed. His voice seemed so real, the wounds from the memories of similar comments he had made all too fresh. "What did I ever do to deserve a monstrosity such as you? You're a disgrace to me, to the whole world. Please, do me and everyone else a favor and go kill yourself, will you? If you need anything to help you do it, ropes, blades, or if you want me to pull the trigger myself, it would be my genuine pleasure!"
A tear tumbled down Elphaba's nose as she hugged herself, clenching the twisted blanket into fists and pressing her face into the pillow as she fought the tears, the memories, the stinging words, and the temptation. The temptation to do what her father had suggested to her long ago. To carry out completely what she had attempted time and time before.
She lifted her eyes out of the damp pillowcase and looked at her hands, her breathing hard and uneven. She could do it. She did not doubt that she could do it, right now if she wanted to. Glancing upward, her eyes fell on the door to the small kitchenette of the private suite, home of various beautifully morbid objects.
Her heart rate accelerated as she stared at the door, all the voices in her head urging her to get up. Untangle herself from the sheets. Take those steps forward and reach for the knife, rope, gun, pills. Whatever it takes to gain rest.
It would only hurt for a little while, the voices cooed in an eerie mental harmony. Just seconds of your time, and then it would all be over. You would be at peace. Final, everlasting peace.
Her breathing began to slow as she subconsciously started pushing herself to a sitting position, her hands shaking. There was no one to stop her this time, no one to see her, nothing holding her back. Nessa was on the other side of the building. Galinda was asleep.
At the thought of her friend, Elphaba glanced sideways. The blonde was lying on her side, facing away from Elphaba, her dainty shoulders rising and falling gently. Elphaba paused. To her surprise, she had grown close to the popular girl, and vice versa - what would her suicide do to Galinda?
That doesn't matter! the voices screamed, sensing her hesitation. She will get over you. She has so many friends, and she has Fiyero, who will never love you because there is nothing to love! She doesn't need you, and neither does he. Neither does anyone. You deserve to die, and she - everyone - would be better off without you!
Elphaba felt a sob growing in her chest, and she quickly brought a hand up to her mouth to stifle it, her whole body shaking now. Tears began to overflow, trailing silently down her face and she gave a shuddering gasp. "I can't do this," she choked on her words. "I can't live like this anymore."
That's right, said the voices coldly. You can't, and you shouldn't. It would be good for you to die. You were born to die, for you are nothing more than a curse, a poison. You should've done this long ago. Now go. Up. Do it quickly.
Elphaba pushed herself out of bed, her heart pounding, eyes riveted on the kitchenette's door, her vision blurred by tears.
That's it, urged the voices. It's only a couple steps, and you're there. It's only a slice, a swallow, a jump, and then it's all over.
Elphaba took a shaky step forward.
You'll be gone.
You won't have to face another day.
You won't have to be in pain any longer.
You will finally have done something good for this world.
Her hand was on the door, and she twisted the knob, the door opening with a seemingly thunderous creak. Elphaba glanced quickly at her roommate. Galinda's breathing picked up for a fraction of a second, and she seemed to pause; then after what felt like forever, she adjusted her position and her breathing went back to normal.
Elphaba's hand was sweaty on the doorknob, and her heart ached as she looked at her friend. She wished she could go to Galinda - hug her, hold her one last time, tell her how much her friendship had meant to Elphaba, say goodbye.
But it's too late for that now, the voices sneered. And it's not like she would actually read a note if you wrote one. She'd probably be so happy that she's rid of you that she'd throw it away. Oh, how sweet, you think she actually loved you? You should have learned your lesson by now! No one loves you! She was just pretending! Everything she's ever done for you was just some sick joke!
Elphaba's shoulders shook as the tiniest of sobs broke through her barricade and she shut her eyes tightly.
Who cares about you? Who cares about anything you do? They will cheer at your death! They will sing! They will celebrate! No one mourns the wicked!
Taking quick, wobbling breaths, she turned her back on Galinda and faced the kitchenette, menacing in the darkness. Faced the glint of the knives on a shelf. Faced the end, the end of a beautifully tragic life.
With one trembling green hand, she reached for them, grasping one tightly with her fingers and pulling it from its stand. The handle felt comfortable in her grip, embracing her hand like the old friend that it was.
There you go, the voices echoed. Your wrist, Elphaba Thropp. Hold out your wrist.
Her soft crying became audible now as her mask of strength and indifference began to crumble, but her resolve remained. The familiar numbness was creeping over her heart, turning it to stone as she held out her wrist, the very faint, darker green scars of years past a reminder of her hatred for herself. Some were fresher than others, some had almost faded away. There were twenty-two of them. On this arm at least. Forty-seven, if you included the other arm. She knew. She had counted.
Forty-seven of the many reasons to die, the voices crooned.
The knife shook in her hand as she rested her wrist on the counter and held the blade overtop, a strange sense of calm overtaking her. This was it. This was the moment. She would never ever have to feel the hatred from herself and others ever again. She could sleep. She could rest. No more pain. No more pain.
The blade was inches from her wrist now. Elphaba's whole body felt electrified, like power and intensity were surging within her.
Elphaba winced as the tip dug into her skin, but in a twisted way, she enjoyed it. It was a release. A way she could finally feel again. A gateway, a gateway to peace.
She dug deeper. Droplets of blood began to ooze out of her self-inflicted wound. A grin slowly pushed her lips apart and she oddly felt like laughing, despite the tears rolling down her face. She was going to die. She was finally going to be happy.
Yes, yes, yes, the voices cheered her on, keep going, harder, faster, deeper, till you have no life left -
She obeyed, blood making rivers down her wrist and dripping onto the counter. Drawing back slightly, she prepared for the fatal slice, the last and deepest cut she would ever make, the one that would end it all, that would make good for everyone -
Elphaba jumped, her sudden movement lifting the knife upward and yanking it sideways, forming a jagged cut across her wrist. Whether it was deep enough to kill, Elphaba wasn't sure, but it definitely felt like it was, blood spurting from it and spattering the counter. With a gasp of surprise, Elphaba twisted so her back was facing the door, hiding the blood, the knife, the cut. She quickly glanced over her shoulder, trying to keep her voice steady. "Galinda, go back to bed."
Galinda took a step forward, putting one hand on the doorframe, her face filled with concern. "Elphaba? Is something wrong? I could've sworn I heard crying."
Elphaba shook her head. "No, nothing's wrong." She clutched the knife and her bleeding wrist tighter to her, trying frantically to return her voice to normal. "I'm fine."
The blonde crossed her arms, taking another step forward. "Then why are you in the kitchenette at three in the morning?"
"I was just hungry, okay!" Elphaba's voice grew louder, anger lacing her words. She silently willed Galinda to go. Leave her alone. Let her finish what she had begun. She didn't want to be stopped again.
Galinda blinked and stepped back slightly, hurt by Elphaba's tone. "Elphie, please," she whispered. "I'm just worried about you. You've been acting strangely lately."
Elphaba sighed, straightening, ignoring her throbbing wrist and the dizziness that was beginning to come from the loss of blood. She turned slightly so as to see her, though still attempting to hide everything. "Thank you," she said slowly, trying to make her voice gentler, "but I'm fine. Please, go back to bed, I don't want to keep you up."
Galinda looked at her for a long moment. "It's all right," she said with a sigh. "I'm already awake. I'll stay up with you."
Panic clawed at Elphaba's throat. "Galinda, no! Please, go back to bed!" her voice rose again. "There's … something I have to do. It's very important, and I … I can't let you see it."
Galinda pursed her lips, suspicious. "Why not?" she looked Elphaba over up and down. "What are you hiding from me?"
Elphaba's fingers were growing slippery from sweat and blood, and she could feel the knife slipping from her grasp. Her eyes widened in panic and she turned away quickly. "Nothing, I'm hiding nothing …"
Worry was starting to cover Galinda's face now. "You're lying to me," she said, eyes narrowing, walking quickly towards her. "What's going on? What –-" As she walked, she came in view of the counter, and her eyes grew wide when she saw the blood. "Elphaba?!"
"Nothing is going on!" Elphaba cried, the room beginning to spin. "Everything is … is …" She gripped the knife tightly and tried to walk, her back to Galinda, desperately trying to get away, but she stumbled. Her eyes widened as she fell towards the wall, and all she could think about was the knife in her fist, and its blade plunging into her torso as her only friend watched -
Tripping over her feet, she twisted and her back hit the wall with a thud, the knife clattering to the floor and she gasped, shutting her eyes tightly, knowing full well she was now facing Galinda entirely, and she did not want to see her expression.
There was a moment of horrified silence, then she heard Galinda whisper, pain and terror in her voice. "Elphie?"
Elphaba opened her eyes slowly, her pulse rushing and head reeling. She heard the quiet footsteps and glimpsed Galinda running to her side, the blonde's eyes filled with tears as she saw the knife, the blood, the stains and evidence of crying on Elphaba's face. "Please," her voice began to choke up. "Please tell me you weren't going to do what I think you were going to do."
Elphaba stayed silent, merely looking at her, attempting to convey through a gaze everything she felt inside. She tried, but all she could produce was a blank and empty stare - and, she thought, she couldn't have communicated her inner world any better.
The room spun faster, and Elphaba shut her eyes, exhaling. Everything seemed to fade now. "Elphie," she heard Galinda choke, then scream. "Elphie!"
She could feel her hands gripping her forearms as she tried to lift her up, pleading through sobs and screams for her to come back, to please come back, but she was already drifting into unconsciousness and into a numbness that no medication could ever give. "No, no, Elphaba, stay with me," came Galinda's panicked voice, now only a breathy echo in Elphaba's ear. "Help, somebody, please! Help!"
Time seemed to slow down as Elphaba hung there, on the threshold, in a tug-of-war between life and death. Her sight was going dim; everything around her seemed to morph into phantom-like blurs. The last thing she saw, if one could call what she was experiencing seeing, was the fuzzy form of Galinda running out the door, running for help. But it would be too late. Elphaba almost hoped it would be too late.
She now couldn't see. She couldn't hear. The only thing left to her fading mind was the telltale thump-thump of a heartbeat resounding in her head, but even that began to fade.
How much time passed, she didn't know. Seconds? Minutes? Hours? She vaguely felt hands all over her, gripping her arms and her legs, carrying her away, but she didn't care. She was a ghost, a lost cause. She may be dying now, but it didn't matter. She had been dead for a while anyway.
And that's how it should be, said the voices, the triumphant softness in their tones caressing her mind as she slipped into full unconsciousness. That's how it should be.
If you're struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, I'm here to tell you that you can make it. Having wrestled with this myself, I know how hard it can be. And the fact that you're still here, still alive, is so impressive. So impressive. YOU ARE A FREAKING WARRIOR. Keep up the good work because five, ten, twenty years from now you're going to be looking back on your life and be proud that you made it this far. And you should. There is hope. There is always hope. Psalm 34:18-19 and John 3:16 are my hope, and I wish it to be yours too.
Please don't be ashamed or scared to talk to someone about this if you're struggling! Please! You're not weak, I promise. The voices are wrong - this isn't how it should be and it is absolutely possible (even though it might not feel like it) to be okay again. I'm here to talk if you need it. Every life is worth saving, including yours.
Suicide Hotline (US):
1 (800) 273-8255