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An Encounter in a Cheap Motel

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I guess I am going to have to tell the whole story to understand why I am this way. We all have our dark times and I've been keeping secret the lowest point in my life for so long. I need to tell it and I need you to listen. I was in my twenties and everything had been going so well up until my twenty-sixth birthday. I had a stable job, girlfriend, and led a relatively content life that all started to rot away in a series of unfortunate events that claimed my job, my romance, and my home in quick succession. I think it was the culmination of those events that caused me to drag a cheap convenience store razor across my wrists.

The first event that caused the domino effect that resulted in the implosion of my life was my losing my job. The reason my boss gave me for letting me go was the struggling economy. I tried to hold onto my job and even offered to take a pay cut, but it was too late and her mind was made up. After I lost my job, my relationship crumbled away next. I moved in with my girlfriend. It was a move that I now realize was a stupid mistake. It only took a few weeks of us living together with me living a do-nothing life before she dumped me and I moved into my parent’s house.

I was home for about a month before my parents had had enough of me. I don’t blame them. They could only put up with me getting drunk and behaving raucously so many times before I expended all their patience. They kicked me out and I moved into the cheapest motel I could find. I used the last of my savings staying in that crappy motel before I spent the last of my funds buying a cheap disposable razor in the motel convenience store.

I’ll gloss over the reasons why I did ‘it’, ‘it’ being slicing open my wrists with a razor. To tell you the truth, I can’t even remember my reasons why I thought suicide was the right choice. I don’t really even know if there are right reasons for killing yourself. At the time, I thought the fact that I couldn't find another job, another girlfriend, or place to live were sufficient reasons for me to end it all. They all seemed like suitable reasons.

I thought I was being so poetical. I bought a cheap razor and brought it to my equally cheap motel room. I sat in front of my cheap motel desk, turned off all the lights, lit a few candles, and set a song by Hugo Wolf to play while I did the foolish deed. I listened to the song for a few minutes before I dragged the razor across both of my wrists. I thought of my reasons for doing it. The most prevalent reason being that I wanted to stop the struggle, I wanted it to end.

I sat at the desk and watched the blood drain from my wrists onto the already stained white carpet while listening to Hugo Wolf before a thought, a moment of clarity, sprang into my mind. I had so many reasons why I wanted to end it all, but I didn't think of the one reason why I had to survive. It outweighed all of my reasons for ending it. I didn't want it all to end just yet. I opened my eyes and watched the puddle of blood accumulating on the floor.

It wasn't until I saw how much blood had collected on the floor that I realized how dire it was for me to get help. Tiny crimson rivers were cascading from the wounds on my wrist. I shouted out, “Help! I need someone to call an ambulance!” I listened for a response and heard nothing back. There was no one around. If I wanted to get help, I would need to leave my room and find it.

I stood up from my chair. A sudden feeling of dizziness swept over me and I wobbled back and forth, desperately trying to keep myself upright and level. I looked at the door that was only a few feet away. I had to get out in the hallway to get someone to help me. I shakily lifted my right foot and took a tentative step forward. The blood loss had taken too profound a toll on me and I collapsed face-first into the dirty carpet.

I tried to rise from the prone position, but at that moment it seemed as likely as me climbing Mount Everest in my underwear. It’s hard to describe how I felt at that time. The closest facsimile I can compare it to be like lying in a bed after having way too much to drink. The room felt like it was oscillating. I also felt so cold and a sudden desire to sleep was overcoming me. I realize now that it was the loss of blood that made me feel so cold and tired.

My mind was growing foggy and I couldn't quite think straight, but I realized that going to sleep would mean death for me. I couldn't get to my feet so I did the next best thing. I brought my right arm forward and began to drag myself forward along the carpet towards the door. Each movement left a little bloody stain on the carpet as I army-crawled my way to salvation.

I did this motion a few times. I raised my head thinking that the door had to only be a few inches away, but the blood lass had severely impaired my judgment. I had barely moved away from the desk. The door looked like it was at the end of a tunnel. I continued to drag myself to the door. I felt so tired that I thought I would pass out and so cold that I would freeze.

Each exertion brought me closer and closer to my goal. The door seemed monochrome and hazy. I kept my head facing the door because it felt like if I rested my head on the carpet I would pass out immediately. I brought my left arm ahead of me and pulled myself forward. I dimly thought that I was giving my arms one hell of a rug-burn dragging myself like this. I always did have that habit of missing the forest for the trees.

It felt like hours, but was probably only minutes before I reached the door. My hand bounced off the door and my heart leapt for joy in my chest. I had to get out into the hallway. I just had to. My thoughts stopped dead when I had a strange sensation that I was not alone in my room. Since then, I have done some research about blood loss and learned that if the brain is deprived of enough oxygen; it can trigger hallucinations. I need to keep telling myself that what I encountered in that cheap motel room was nothing more than a hallucination.

I craned my head so I could face the bed where I felt the sensation of eyes on me. There was something in the darkness in one of the room’s corners. I had turned out the lights and the candles didn't illuminate the room enough for me to see it clearly. I wasn't even sure it was alive until I noticed that it was moving slightly, ever so slightly. It was slowly approaching me. It moved within range of the candle and I could see it more clearly.

It is hard to describe. That may be due to the blood loss or my desire not to try and remember it. It was a human-esque figure, but there was something odd about the limbs. They looked like they had been broken and allowed to heal incorrectly multiple times. Its body groaned and its joints clicked as it moved towards me. I watched it approach in utter fascination and shock.

Looking at it brought back a memory from my childhood. I was home sick from elementary school and my mom was busy calling the doctors. In unsupervised boredom, I turned on the T.V. and came across a documentary about the Holocaust narrated by Alfred Hitchcock. Seeing the gaunt figure slowly approaching me reminded me of the corpses of those Holocaust victims and made me recall the same amount of dread as I watched man’s atrocities to man as I stared at this thing with my eyes transfixed. The creature’s head was bent at a ninety-degree angle. It moved in slow jerky movements. Its eyes were sunken sallow sockets. It twitched spasmodically and a low rasping breath emerged from its throat. That was enough to break me out of my trance. I needed to get away from that thing!

I reached up and my hand bounced futilely off the handle. The creature was closer. It was thinner than I had previously thought. It looked like skin hung loosely on its skeletal frame. I brought my hand up and tried to grasp the door handle once again. I managed to wrap my fingers around it, but when I cut my wrist; I must have cut into a tendon because when I depressed the handle to open it, it slid out of my grasp.

I put all my focus on the getting the door opened. I didn't have any more time to look at the creature. I was beginning to blackout, the world had grown monochrome with everything looking like I was seeing it in tunnel vision. I made one last attempt and was met with success. My hand grasped the handle just as I felt the thing grasp onto my ankle.

If the thing’s touch hadn't galvanized me into action, then the rasping word it groaned certainly did the trick. It rasped a single word, “Join.” Its grip on my leg tightened painfully. I depressed the door handle and pulled it with all of my rapidly fading strength. It felt like it weighed hundreds of pounds. It swung open and I put my left arm in the way to keep it from closing.

I tried to pull myself into the hallway, but its grasp on my ankle was too strong. It felt like it was cutting off my circulation and trying to pull me back into the room that would be my tomb. I gave a hoarse cry and with the last of my strength, I threw myself into the hallway. The last thing I remember hearing was the door softly clicking shut behind me with the creature rasping, “Please don’t leave me.”

I woke up in a hospital. Apparently someone had come across me in the hallway. I was incredibly lucky as they had enough medical know-how to apply pressure to my cut wrists while waiting for the ambulance. I spent a few weeks in the psych ward. I didn't think that was necessary. I had made my decision. I had struggled so hard to live that I knew that there was something in my life worth living for even if I didn't know it at the time.

I kept telling myself that what I saw in the motel was a figment of an oxygen-deprived brain. It worked. I told myself that story as I re-built my life, found a new job, moved out, and settled down with a nice girl. I kept telling myself that story even as the nurse took off the bandages to disinfect my stitching. She swabbed some betadyne on my wrists and then pulled off my slipper and did the same to the deep cut that was on my right ankle. I told myself I had been injured while cawling towards the hallway, but at night, when I’m in the dark with my thoughts; I remember the creature and its tight grip on my right ankle. I remember its nails digging into me as it rasped, “Please don’t leave me.”

Written by EmpyrealInvective
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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