The scene is one that grips you from the beginning. A young woman sits alone in a bathroom, crying. Her brown hair is tousled from the assault that just took place in the other room. She is crying because she is with a man who beats her and degrades her daily. He has just raped her after slapping her around the room and calling her vile names.
Let’s call her Amy. Right now, she feels worthless, hopeless and alone. She has no family, very little friends and no money. If only she could get away from this nightmare that is her life. But, “Where would she go?” No one wants an abused woman who is addicted to drugs living in their house.
Surely she is losing her mind. Just when Amy thought things couldn’t get worse, she took a pregnancy test a minute ago and it was positive. She then took the next two in the box and they too were positive. She had started crying then. “What would she do with a baby?”She knew no child deserved to grow up the way she had.
Amy had grown up in a home in Detroit where her mother was always drunk or high. The only way her mother had of supporting her habit was to sell her body. So many men had come and gone through her childhood years, their faces were only a blur now. Many of them had beaten her or abused her in some other way while her mother was passed out from bingeing on drugs or alcohol.
Finally, her mother’s hard life caught up with her and she was arrested on various charges. Her daughter was taken into care by Social services and put into a foster home. Sadly, Amy was never adopted. Perhaps it was because of her roughness. She finally ran away from the last family when they tried to tell her what to do one time too many.
She had managed to get a job at a restaurant, after lying about her age and telling them she had a high school diploma. While working there she met a fellow employee and had dared to hope that perhaps he was different than all the other men in her life. He had said all the right words to her and promised her the world.
He had been nice enough for a while; letting her come live with him so she wouldn’t have to be on the streets. Then, one day it all changed. Her boyfriend began drinking more and more heavily and he became hooked on drugs. He began beating her every time he got drunk. At first it was just a slap, and then he kicked her, now nothing was beyond him.
Amy had nowhere to go, no one to help her, so he did what many other women do every day-she stayed. She began drinking and using drugs to dull the pain of her abuse. She put on more and more make-up to cover up the bruises.
Now, here she was, pregnant by a man she hated. She was utterly alone. She didn’t want to ask anyone for help because she wasn’t yet eighteen and she would be put in foster care again. She just didn’t know what to do.
She took a sip of the alcohol on the top of the commode and then remembered she was pregnant. Amy weighed her options as she sat there crying. Would it be more humane of her to abort her unborn child or let it grow up the way she had? She could never let her child live the way she had, she knew that. She would rather die.
As she sat there, crying, she heard the door slam and her boyfriend leave the house. She knew he would be back soon enough though. Amy knew what she had to do. She got up slowly from her seat and made her way into the bedroom that was a wreck of empty bottles and used needles.
Reaching in a drawer, she retrieved the baggy that held some of her boyfriend’s pills. Amy looked at the white pills and a grim smile crept over her face. She knew this was a painless way to end her life. There would be no more abuse, no more name calling, she just wanted it to all end.
This way her child would never be abused as she had been, never be sad or hopeless as she was now. She would rather take her life than become her mother. Tears once more spilled down her face as she touched her stomach. Her child would never be hurt this way, never know fear and pain.
She grabbed the closest thing to her, a half empty beer bottle and put a handful of the pills in her mouth and swallowed them. Amy suddenly wasn’t sad anymore, in fact she felt nothing. She lay down on the bed and closed her eyes. In a few minutes, it was all over. The heart ceased to beat, the soft exhale was silenced.
Here, in a busy neighborhood, with people coming and going everywhere, no one had even cared to prevent this girl’s demise. They were just too busy with their own lives, too concerned about who would win the super bowl or what the weather would be like tomorrow.
The sad truth is, this scenario happens approximately every 17 minutes in America. We should ask ourselves what we can do to reach out to those around us. Perhaps something as simple as a smile or telling someone you care about them could prevent any one of these suicides from happening.