attempt to bring up the topic. Without thinking, I said that it can be a good thing, depending on your mindset. I will admit that that sounds very dark, but I was saying it mostly to myself, though it didn’t seem to matter. Now I go to the office on Thursdays, too. I never did explain to anyone what I was doing when I held that Glock to my head. I guess the answer seems pretty obvious, but in this case it isn’t. I had no intention of firing that gun, or using any other means of killing myself. I realize how ridiculous that sounds, and it’s something Conner would have described as a ‘load of horse crap.’ Happy people generally don’t hold pistols to their heads. But I really do not want to die, and, more importantly, I really, really want to live. I know that what I did with the gun was not inherently wrong, but I feel guilty nonetheless, so I decided to tell my parents. I catch them when both are sitting on the couch, and sit myself on the very edge of the far armrest. “Remember that night when I- when I came home?” Both heads snap up, turn to face each other, then pivot to gawk at me. They keep staring silently, so I start talking. “That night, I. What happened was. Well…” I keep starting and stopping, unsure of how to tell them. My hands are cold and clammy, and my parents are looking at me like they are considering the possibility that I am having a stroke. “Anyway, I… putaguntomyhead.” I blurt it out but was mumbling, so it comes out sounding strange and strangled. My father glares at me, stunned, as if I had committed the ultimate betrayal. It is my mom’s reaction that really gets me. She is crying, and it isn’t the normal kind of crying. It is the silent, delicate kind of crying, the kind where the tears just keep coming and twist your heart until it’s unrecognizable and make you wish you could take back everything wrong you ever did, if only to make them stop flowing. It is my mom that speaks. “Why?” That sugar glass voice again. Why. It is a simple enough question, just one little word. Yet it is harder than any test I’d ever taken. How could I explain this? “I don’t really know, Mom. I just… I guess I wanted to understand. I just wanted to understand Conner.” It is that moment that my father stops glaring and my mom stops sobbing and wipes away the tears. They just got it. And I have never been happier in my life than when I knew they understood. What I told my parents, while true in its entirety, doesn’t do the reason justice. I wasn’t sure how to articulate it then, but I think now I do. I never understood why Conner killed himself. There was never a note or anything, and the last phone call was just a goodbye. Most people blame it on his mom’s death, but plenty of people’s moms die and they don’t off themselves. I wanted to see 37

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