Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Emotional · #1110952
Short-short story of 800 words about suicide & its repercussions
The City of Broken Dreams
Her name was Fee – Fiona – and she was a friend so close she was a part of me. No matter what, all through high school, Fee would just say, “it doesn’t matter. Just a couple more years and we’re gone, out of this town, and there are no more limits.”
Yeah, Fee always was a dreamer. All her plans started with getting out of Simcoe, but they’d go everywhere from there. She never seemed to see anything as impossible: one day, she planned to start her own private school, and the very next, she was telling me the media spin she figured would guarantee she’d be the Prime Minister some day.
The thing was, I never doubted she’d be able to do it – whatever the goal was. Fee had a way of seeing right past problems as soon as you suggested them, and she was smart, too. She breezed through classes like she didn’t even know they were there.
Friends? Well, Fee knew a lot of people. And most of those would probably have said they were friends – she just didn’t let anyone much inside her thoughts, her heart. A few people, here and there, got to see what she was actually feeling – but everyone got to hear what she was planning, and anyone who wanted advice would go to her.
Her backup plan – in case the school, or legal practice, or training to become an astronaut, didn’t work out – was always writing. I always figured that writing’d be the actual career for her. All her dreams, plans, wild excitements – every one of them was a story to itself. That’s why, when we finally graduated, her signing up for an English Lit degree seemed the best possible choice. I figured she was clear, out of here, and on her way up. Myself, I had to go work for a bit – save up the cash to leave, you know? Fee was lucky; her folks had a decent amount of cash, and she’d won a few scholarships. She was free to go, and she did.
I hate to think about it now, but we drifted apart once she was gone. I mean, I was working full-time, and she was out most nights, and our schedules didn’t really mesh. When we did get to talk, things were somehow different – she still had wild goals, but I kept on talking practicalities at her. Working for your living can do that to a person. Once I went to college, things got worse between us – we just didn’t have much in common anymore; we drifted apart.
I heard from someone that Fee was having some trouble; I didn’t really believe it (she was always so enthusiastic) but I gave her a call. She seemed cheerful enough, I guess. I didn’t really pay attention to the way she diverted conversation – I’d forgotten that habit she had of keeping her self away from the world, maybe because it didn’t apply to me before.
She was back in our hometown – “Just for a bit. I’ve got the degree, the little piece of official-looking paper, now I just need the cash for a place to stay in Toronto or somewhere.” She was looking for work there, any kind at all, to get some savings together.
One night I came home and there was a message from her. “Hey. It’s me. No luck yet on the job front, and it’s been months. This place just eats away at you. Anyway, I guess you’re not in . . . I’ll call back, or something like that.” That was it; I called her house, and her mom told me she was dead. She had killed herself. Fee was just gone.
I couldn’t go to her funeral. I haven’t been back to Simcoe yet, either. Maybe it’s nuts, but to me, the town is what drove her overboard. Stuck in the place where she’d dreamed such vivid futures, the place she’d always longed to get away from – well, she eventually did, I guess.
At least it got me thinking; she always did that when she was alive, why would her death not do the same? And what I was thinking was: ‘why follow the safe route? You know where it ends up.’ Fee can’t be the writer she should have been – but I’ve got all the stories she poured out to me over the years, spun as an escape from that dreary town, and I’ll tell them for her. All the ways that girl could have gone, that’s what I want people to see . . . all the options and choices that we’re not told about.
I won’t go back to Simcoe, though. I doubt I ever will. I’m not going to risk getting caught, like she was. There’s just too much risk that my goals will die like Fee did.