How and Why

My name is Seishou. I was 18 when I killed myself on the 13th of October. This is my story...

What reason had I to live now? I was alone. Life was meaningless, I decided. Gazing out at the sky of this cruel, empty world, I picked up my penknife and ran my finger along the edge of that shiny, silver blade, feeling the skin fold back and the blood well to the surface. It hurt, but not as much as it hurt inside. I sighed, and drew the razor over the pale skin of my wrist. I would rather end my pain now, than live with it for the rest of my life.

Robotically, I did the same to my other wrist, watching the blood, the liquid ruby, trickling down my forearm blankly. While I walked to the kitchen, my mind was filled with swirling thoughts. Was I finally going crazy?

Suddenly I lashed out blindly. My flailing hand hit the wooden shelf on the wall. Being rickety and half-rotten, it crashed to the floor in pieces, along with all the other thing's I'd placed on it. It was then that I'd spotted it: a blue bottle labelled "toilet cleaner" in block letters. I picked it up. What faster way was there to die, than to ingest the right amounts of the burning liquid? I unscrewed the cap and swallowed a few teaspoonfuls. Now I wouldn't have to worry about life.

Then, suddenly, it hurt, the pain crashing down upon me like a torrent of water from a storm. I collapsed to the cold, tiled floor, curling myself into a ball: my last efforts to overcome the pain. How foolish, Seishou. Do you truly want to die? A voice whispered in my head. No. I didn't want to die. What the freak am I doing? I don't want to do this.

Then I sank into Death's cold, dark, and final embrace.

My mother died in childbirth, giving up her life for the birth of my younger sister. I was only seven then, and being a 'mama's boy', it was a devestation to lose her, my sanctuary, where I felt safe no matter what.

So, the family of four, my younger brother, Ruia, younger sis Kari, father and myself, carried on in life, doing our best to make Mother proud. Kari tried to fill in the blanks of our lives by doing Mother's household chores such as cooking and washing. Like this we lived for six years, until a fatal car accident claimed the lives of my father and sister. To Ruia, it was like the end of the world. To me, it was simply another death, and yet another death, which left me feeling all the more hollow and empty. The night they died, I dreamt of my father and Kari being reunited with my mother. Would Ruia and I join them soon?

We were forced to continue our lives and thus resumed our usual way of living. Now being head of the family, I was in charge and every time Ruia felt down, I would encourage him and tell him not to dwell on the past. But every time I encouraged him, the deeper the hollowness in my heart became. I began to doubt myself.

Then, suddenly as the lightning, I was alone once more, this time, to face the cold, bare world all by myself. Ruia, under the wrong influence, became a street fighter, his victims' wounds a reflection of his heart. Finally, he joined a gang and died in a gruesome gang fight. I have failed as head of the family. I couldn't even save my only remaining family member. What lay ahead of me in life? I saw nothing but hollowness and misery… as if it would never stop raining, and the sun would never rise again.

The darkness hit, like a cold hard block. My body numb, I felt nothing. A tingling sensation brought the memories of my suicide back—and my regrets. Where am I? Am I dead? With every ounce of my strength, I got up, and saw my dead body. It was pale, bleeding from slit wrists, curled up into a ball, the result of the pain of drinking bleach. The chain of fate connecting my soul to my body was broken. It could never be mended. I was dead, and definitely not getting another chance in life.

Looking at my dead body, all I wanted to do was to run away. To escape. Why did I do this to myself? I ran all the way to the second place I sought comfort; my mother's grave.

Upon reaching her grave, an old slab oof stone with her name carved into it, a sense of calm washed over me. I began to reflect on what I had done—had it been worth it? I remembered all the good times I'd had. But they were no more. Firstly, I was dead. And secondly, if I had been alive, with everyone gone, how could I have ever felt the warmth of happiness again?

I remembered once when my friend wanted to sacrifice himself for his mother. I had told him, "Do you really want to do this? When your mother awakes, what else will she have left but to mourn for your death?" I remembered my good friends, and thought, what would they have left but to mourn for my death? Killing myself had been nothing but selfish.

Two doors opened before me. They weren't white. There were black, surrounded by a blue flame and guarded by a pair of skeletons. These weren't the gates of heaven. They were the gates of Hell. I was being taken to Hell.

I panicked. What had I done wrong? Was it the selfish ending of my pain?

Hell was nothing like in the numerous books and movies. It was much worse. In whatever direction I looked I saw nothing but blood, death, bodies and gore. Bodies—mutilated, some still moving. People—souls were everywhere. Some cutting themselves up, some just sitting around blankly. There was even a couple laughing and drinking blood—the sadistic ways of the devil. Was I doomed to spend eternity in this place of madness, where blood poured down like rain? Was I to become one of them?

Wandering around for awhile, a sudden force gripped at me, pulling me away, away into the heart of hell, or what I thought was the heart of hell. I was drawn past all the horrors, into a door of light. What awaited me I did not know.

I am… Floating? What is this? Who… or what am I now? I… I can't remember anything… Just this nothingness, which seems to go on forever… Where am I? Am I… Doomed to spend my eternity here? Drifting… Trapped… Trapped within my mind. My heart. What is this place?

By the shifting of my surroundings I jolted from my thoughts into reality. Every single event which happened since my death came flooding back into my sea of memories and dreams.

I lost every bit of the self-control I had built up over the years of my short life. I lashed out at the empty space about me, thrashing like a fish on dry land. My mind was in turmoil, and it took me a few minutes to seize my fear and lock it away, to release it someway later on. I sensed a presence.

"who are you?" I called, tremulously.

There was no answer. I tried again.

"Who the heck are you and what do you want with me?" I yelled, frustrated.

Still no answer.

I gave up, retreating into myself, the only place left to retreat to. Everything I had, including my life, was gone. Gone forever. I am such a failure, I thought. I lose my life, get sent to Hell, and now this! what is with my fate? No, I don't have a fate anymore. I have already sealed my fate. And I have sealed it with my blood. Why don't I let me be and let someone else take care of the rest?

But I couldn't bring myself to give up. I'd given up on my life, and now look at the outcome. I wasn't about to leave my future (or did one even have future after death?) in the hands of someone I utterly did not know. Only a fool would do such a thing. But then, I was somewhat of a fool.

Suddenly something hit me from behind with tremendous force. Through the gloom a being emerged, glowing with what seemed like all the light in the world. I turned away. The light was too harsh. Too bright. Too… eternal. It reminded me of my life. My lost family members. It hurt. I sank to my knees, laden with the feelings I had masked for so long during the loss of Mother, Father, Ruia and Kari. Suddenly these feelings seemed to tear from me. Finally, the tears I'd kept back for so many years, through so many deaths poured forth, a breach in the barrier of my stoic heart, and wept till I felt as hollow as an empty barley husk. I looked up at that great towering thing. I locked eyes with it, and the world fell away.

It was something about those eyes; so soulful and deep, which held me there, staring into their fanthomless depths.

"Are you…" I managed to stutter.

Those thoughtful eyes blinked slowly, as if contemplating. "Am I what?" a voice asked, not unkindly.

I couldn't force my words out; they were caught in my throat. I felt strangled, constricted, unable to say or do anything at all. I opened and closed my mouth like a dying goldfish. Finally, after an embarrassingly long pause, i squeezed, from my nearly soundless throat, five words.

"Who or what are you?"

Even without Seishou, nothing hindered the flow of life on earth. The world revolved the right way—children went to school, adults of work, the sun rose in the east and set in the west. The moon continued its cycle of phases every month. Nothing had changed. Only three people missed Seishou.

"Who am I?" the voice answered, "I am suffering, devastation… the emotions felt in this world. The emotions that drive people insane! The emotions that cause hollowness…"

It continued, "these things that are full of hollowness, they go to the living world and bring others doom to fill that emptiness. You shall do the same, and from now you shall be known as SOLITUDE."