I could not believe my ears, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, so I tried calling her again- but she didn’t pick up.

“Is everything okay?”

Thoko asked. I looked at her, I had almost forgotten that she was in the room.

“Yeah, uhm”

I looked away, gently banging my phone against my chin.

“Phila is just upset with me”

I explained.

“Upset with you? Why?”

I looked at her.

“Because I was too absorbed in my problems to be there for her when she was going through the worst time of her life”

I explained further.

“Ah man, it happens to the best of us. We sometimes get too stuck in our own lives to take care of those around us”

I nodded in total agreement.

“Wait, what kind of problems do you have?”

“Huh?”

I pulled a confused look.

“You said you were too absorbed in your own problems to be there for her”

She replied. I cleared my throat.

“Oh”

I giggled.

“I mean, we all have problems man, that’s just how life is”

I tried to act all cool.

“Oh, but you are the most happiest person in this house”

She must have been joking, and comedy really didn’t suit her.

“I’m telling you. Look at your life man. You have two beautiful babies, a supportive father, a loving boyfriend, a supportive family. What more could a girl ask for?”

Let’s see, how about real happiness? Maybe that’s what MORE a girl could ask for. Real happiness where the smile only comes from the purity of the heart. I was tired of wearing a smile that was designed by a fabric of misery. I needed happiness, real happiness. I smiled.

“Ah well, you know how life is”

I brushed her off. Later, we gathered around the dinner table, feasting on Mommy’s hearty creations.

“This food tastes good”

Daddy passed a compliment, loudly licking his fingers. Mommy blushed.

“Thank you, my husband”

She responded, looking at her husband with eyes filled with love. Trevor cleared his throat.

“Uhm, mom and dad, can I go to the movies tomorrow?”

He asked, both his parents looked at him.

“It’s a movie date, with my friend”

“Date?”

Daddy asked.

“You’re dating now?”

“No, dad. Its not that kind of date”

Trevor replied.

“Are you going out to this movie date with a girl?”

Mommy asked. Trevor looked down.

“Yes, with a girl”

Daddy looked like he had just seen a ghost. He was astonished, amongst other things.

“Trevor, honey, you know we would never agree to that”

Mommy said, reaching for Trevor’s hand to hold it, but he removed both his hands from the table.

“Its just a movie, I promise I’ll come straight home after the movie”

“No”

Daddy replied.

“Dad, come on man. Please”

“Trevor, one more word from you about this, and I will chase you away from this table”

Daddy warned and Trevor remained silent. Everyone carried on eating silently- everyone except for me. I could not even lift the spoon. Even my breathing got my stomach upset. Images of that pool of blood were haunting me. I needed help. I needed to be rescued from myself.

“Honey, are you okay?”

Mommy softly asked. The sound of her voice was like a soothing melody to my soul. I looked at her.

“I’m fine, thank you”

I squeezed a smile out of my misery.

“You’re not eating”

She looked at my plate like she was feeling sorry for it. I looked down at my plate too, it was still almost untouched. I looked back at her.

“I am not really hungry”

I cleared my throat.

“Why? Are you sick?”

Daddy asked. Yes, I was emotionally sick.

“Uhm, I have a bit of headache. It comes and goes”

I touched my forehead with the palm of my right hand.

“You should drink lots of water. Maybe you are dehydrated”

Daddy suggested, carrying on with indulging on the obviously delicious meal.

“Go and get yourself some pills from the medicine cabinet, in my bathroom”

Mommy said. Yes! Best news in my whole entire life- there were pills in the medicine cabinet of the main bedroom. Pills. My answers were answered. I smiled, getting up.

“Thank you for understanding”

That was secretly my last words to them. I was thanking them for understanding how much I needed to be in their space at that time of my life. I was thanking them for understanding that I was not raised by a pastor, and therefore was not going to turn into an angel overnight. They were understanding. Mommy smiled politely and nodded, while the others were focused on their food. I walked away.

When I got to the main bedroom, I closed the door behind me. My eyes couldn’t help but wander around the room, from the beautiful nature-inspired wall-to-walk curtains, to the artistically portrayed paintings on the other three dimensions of the room wall. Mommy’s bed was always neatly made, and there was a bible placed on the right bedside. I made my way to the bathroom. When I got there, I rushed to the medicine cabinet. Upon opening it, I was confronted by tons of pills. Variety of pills, like I was in some pharmacy. I popped pills, left, right and centre. I was chewing some, while just swallowing the others. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I forced myself to swallow those pills and take my life. For the first time in my entire life, I was smiling because of being happy- tears of joy kind of thing. I was happy to finally get a way out. I was happy to be breaking loose from all the pain..