A short fiction written in a child’s point of view contemplating about suicide
by Amanda Mamalio
I tried to kill myself when I was five.
The kitchen counter was very high before but not high enough for me not to see the object of my curiosity. The knife was still new, flashing off its shiny steel by the afternoon light on its smooth, deceptively sharp edge. I remembered how it cut my mother’s hand accidentally, bright red blood that flowed and seeped from a happy-smile wound gap.
I tiptoed and reached across the counter. We all know the rules. Adults never let children handle a knife. That was unthinkable. But here I was, holding one in my hands, its happy glint winking at me as I turned it around. It was big in my once tiny child-hands with a bright orange handle that stood out from the smaller serrated ones with the black handles.
You should know that as a child, there were two voices arguing endlessly inside my head, insisting one of them was right and I should always listen to the right one. I was a child, I never questioned the voices. I assumed they were the little people that I see in TV, in which one was dressed in a white robe with wings while the other has a large fork, horns and tail that were always contesting over a person’s head. The bad guy would seem to be winning at first but the person would come around and follow the one with wings, then everything would become alright. The problem is, I could never see them, and therefore I do not know whom to believe.
I remember them arguing inside my head.
“It’s so sharp, isn’t it?”
“Put it back, you’ll get into trouble and your father will be angry.”
But the latter voice had said a wrong word to win me over. My father had just given me the worst punishment I know as a kid: the slipper. Yes, slippers are harmless; in fact, they’re used to protect the feet from rough, sun-baked asphalt and save your parents the grief that your feet are dirty. But try having a slipper the size of your father’s foot whacked on your little fanny. You will have my pity.
Kids rebel, they’re powerless against sizes so they’ll try to find other ways that would give them an edge if they felt harmed. Others cry and act pitiful, some throw tantrums. Me, I find it inspiring in the smooth sharp fang of the knife; the power of revenge.
The former voice seemed to sense what I was thinking. They knew what happens to me for they were with me all the time.
“He’ll feel sorry if you kill yourself,” it simply said. The latter of course protested. But I never heard him. I was too busy looking at my stomach. I had considered my heart, but for some reason, I was too scared to try. Plus, I have ribs that get in the way. I have always marvelled at the stomach. Sometimes as a child, I would poke at mine; wondering how it seems unaffected when my finger would sink at the soft flesh while I would withdraw and giggle when others would do it. Would my blood and stomach come out if I…
I adjusted my knife; mine for I have taken it, in my hands so that its happy glinting fang is poised ready to strike me in my tummy. Just one strike and it would be all over. Would I go to heaven if I die?
“No, this is wrong,” the other voice said. Then it began its usual barrage in hurried tones.
I knew it because I felt it. But I refused to acknowledge it. I stubbornly argued that I want to punish my father.
No, it isn’t, I thought. Punishment is to make bad things right again.
“Your father punished you,” it replied back.
This time the former voice joined and began what they always do when they’re not trying to convince me to solely listen to one of them. They argue over and inside my head. When they do that, it distracts me from people trying to talk to me and makes my head ached. It was always liked that for two years.
I could not remember the rest of the conversation, but the latter voice told me something that made me stop plunging that knife.
“There is still hope.”
Really? I countered irritably, but it made me hesitate.
“You’re father won’t always spank you, things won’t always be bad. C’mon.” Years from now, I can only dimly recall its desperation when I had set my mind on punishing my father.
“You can still give it a lot of chance, can you? Please?” slowly, the distance between the point of the kitchen utensil and my gut lengthened. I returned it to its shelf and walk away, but not before looking back at it with a single glance. Please- the word those kids should use if they want to get something. No one had ever asked me please before. Even as a child, I comply for the approval of others.
The latter voice had won, but I can never distinct them from each other and next time I would have trouble again trying to decide whom to believe.
Maybe I can.
Years from now, the knife still resides in the kitchen. It’s no longer in its former glory and is brown-stained from years of cutting produce. It was even wounded into mortality with the tip taken off and its handle deformed by a gash at its plastic side. It was too blunt to even cut the skin. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if my father saw the child-me with her guts on the kitchen floor.
link to image: http://tomann89.deviantart.com/art/knife-58755448