How BIG is Your Brave

Sophie didn’t think there was anything left for her.

She reached for the small plastic bottle and held it in her hand. By lamplight in her bachelor apartment, the writing on the label was difficult to read but she knew what it said. Even through a flood of tears blurring her vision, she knew what was in her hand.

This wasn’t the first time she had contemplated a night like this. In fact, it had crossed her mind far too often to count. But here she was finally following through on this 10th anniversary at her job and living in the big city. An anniversary unmarked by anyone else.

No colleague’s congratulations came today. No flowers to commemorate a job well done. No phone call from parents checking up on how she was doing. Her parents had long since died. That excuse was accepted. No boyfriend or husband taking her out to dinner or surprising her with a bottle of wine at home. No pet to curl up on her lap and show appreciation with its warmth and snuggle.

She was alone, lonely, devastated by a deep ache in her heart that she had no idea of how to fill except by… this. One simple act could make her happy. One single choice could do it, take all the pain away, the horrible mistreatment at work, the friendless life, the loveless nights… all could vanish by a mere sip and swallow.

Who would really care? She tried earnestly to think about who might miss her. She sat there, staring at the open window in her living room and feeling the evening breeze wash over. It felt cool and calming. But it didn’t offer any answers.

As she contemplated the handful of small round pills, she recalled how once upon a time she was bold. She had boldness in her. She had vigor and joy too. But all that had been beaten down, ravaged by a work life that treated her more like a slave than a valuable asset. From a world that had tossed her so many obstacles, it seemed to relish every failure, every misstep, every lost moment in silence buried beneath paperwork.

So now, that was it. This was it. Now. She had to do it now!

She held the warm milk in her hand and tossed the mound of small white pellets into her mouth. But as she did so, something drifted in through the open window…

“Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?”

Like a warm hug, it wafted in on the breeze and wrenched her heart in two. Perfect words, the best words, piercing her soul then and there. It simultaneously soothed and shook her to her core.

Immediately, she spit out the mouthful and let the tiny pills scatter across the hardwood. The tears, the physical anguish of a lifetime of hurt and deep rooted sadness exploded into uncontrollable sobbing. She sunk to the floor. She couldn’t stop.

Like an angel in the night, she felt the reach of the lyrics touch her, move her and she awoke to a hidden strength, that somehow carried her through the dark night… and into the glory of the morning.

peekiequeen fiction c. November 23, 2013