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The Depressed Elephant in the Room

As he stared into that bleak abyss, he quickly realized how time was passing by and how he had failed to keep up with his promises.

Life was unbearable back then, but he knew that the biggest burden at that exact moment was the fact that he simply couldn't enjoy the view. The simple view. In his own eyes, he had failed himself and that was slowly tearing him apart, further and further away from the truth; further and further away from the view, although he couldn't be any closer to it.

But the tranquillity of the water remained. Cold, calm and empty. At least he could relate to some of those qualities.

You see, a few hours before, he had planned to go for an adventure of his own: he had decided that he was going to take his own life.

It was the first day of the year, and although most people would decide to go to the gym, as they usually do once January comes around, instead that was his New Year Resolution.

So, earlier that day, he got inside his car and drove. Just drove. It didn't matter where, he just kept on driving.

He finally reached a little town and pulled over. He looked around and there were about 10 old small houses, all the way up into the small mountain.

As he kept climbing, now on foot, he saw that the distant abyss was no longer that far from him: his last destination. The final destination.

Then, he got closer. And then, he got even closer.

As he felt how close he was, he had to get even closer.

Eventually, he sat down on one of the big rocks and decided to contemplate the view.

After what seemed to be like hours, and as he stared into the still waters, thinking about how he should have done it, he finally realized that there was no reason to leave that in past tense. He was going to gather the courage to do it. For once in his life, he felt like he was taking responsibility.

"This will be my last day", he promised himself.

"Who are you talking to?" says an old lady, while slowly walking towards him.

She was probably in her 70's, with an old scarf around her neck, white crochet sweater and a jacket, strapped on her waist. She had been taking long walks, or whatever old people do when they're bored and go outside.

He was surprised that he hadn't noticed her standing there, but even more surprised that she heard him from the distance. I mean, she was only a few meters away, but she was too old to have some kind of super hearing. At least that's what he thought.

"I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?" he asked, with an awkward smile on his face.

"You probably shouldn't be that close to the edge. It's too dangerous" she quickly responded, while moving towards him and pointing to the abyss. "It's a huge fall".

"Wasn't counting on less" he whispered.

"I'm sorry, what?" she questioned him, intrigued.

Damn it. All he wanted was a moment of peace so he could die in peace.

"Listen, lady, I just want to be alone, alright?" he said, with an angry tone.

"Why? Is everything ok?"

"Oh my God..." me muttered "unbelievable.... just, please, lady, let me enjoy the view".

"Oh yes, it's beautiful isn't it?" she says, while getting even closer now.

She then sat right next to him.

Because of her arthritis, the whole process might have taken around 20 seconds, until she finally sat down. She untied the knot on her jacket, that she had strapped on her waist, as her big belly needed some space to breathe too, and then she exhaled before looking down.

"That is one hell of a fall..." she said.

He then mirrored her behaviour, thinking that perhaps the only way to get rid of her would be to just act patient and complacent.

"Perhaps she'll just get bored and leave" he thought to himself.

The emptiness is being exhaled into the atmosphere, like a long sigh that never seems to make them run out of breath.

Finally, she breaks the ice.

"Are you from around here? I've never seen you before. My name is-" she said with a smile on her face before he quickly interrupted her.

"I don't mean to be rude, lady, but I really have a lot on my mind right now and I just wanted to enjoy the view alone, in peace, is that too much to ask for?"

So much for being patient.

"Oh, yeah the view is beautiful! My husband and I used to come here almost every weekend. That's when the view-"

"Oh my God..." he whispered to himself.

"... really gets you! It's simply better on the weekends." she said, without acknowledging the awkward position she was willingly putting herself in.

"Yeah, that's great lady, thanks for shari- Wait, what do you mean it's better on the weekend? That makes absolutely no sense..." he said, confused.

"Well, you see, the weekends make the water move around quicker!"

He was so confused. He couldn't tell whether this lady was crazier than him or if she had just skipped her science classes all together.

"Nature isn't time sensitive, lady. The water is not aware of time" he said, while staring into the abyss, with a pretentious tone in his voice.

"Of course it does, silly! It's like clockwork. As soon as Friday comes in, the waters get ready for Saturday. It knows that it will be a busy day" said the old lady while staring into the abyss, with a profound tone in her voice.

She seemed so proud of what she had just said.

He was pissed.

"Ok, ma'am, ma'am, listen, this is getting ridiculous. There is literally no logic in what you just said... I've had enough of this conversation. Can you please, for the love of God, leave me alone?!" he screamed at her. He's had it.

"Oh, you're religious too? Finally! Kids nowadays are shifting further and further away from God. It really hurts to see that. Good to know that your generation still keeps up with the good All Mighty".

"What the- Are you kidding me? I just want to be left alone!" he shouts.

Suddenly, her voice has a slight change to it. Her tone is now even more calm.

As she looked at him, dead in the eyes, she held on to his hand, and said:

"Don't we all, son? You see, you're in my spot".

Confused, and before he could come up with something to say, she continued:

"Is life that unbearable, sweetie?"

"What are you talking about?" he asked, surprised.

"You remind me of my husband, God rest his soul." she said after a long sigh, looking into the abyss, one last time.

As she found herself whipping off the single tear from her face, that quickly rushed down her old, wrinkled cheeks, she decided to get up.

"I hope you find your way, son. We all have though times, you see, but that's what makes the good ones so much better".

And then, she walked away.

Still angry, he decided to ignore what had happen and stared back into the calm waters. He wanted to focus on his own thoughts and now, now that she was gone, he was finally going to do so.

Until he looked to his left.

"Great, she left her jacket... But of course..." he said. "Hey lady!" he screamed, at the top of his lungs.

No sign of her.

"Damn it, are you kidding me right now?".

He decided to get up and look for her. After all, wherever he was going could wait. It was final, so a few more minutes of pain wouldn't hurt him.

So, he looked, and he kept on looking. And then, he looked some more.

As he took a second look at her jacket, looking for any kind of clues that might tell him where this lady went, he realized how pointless it all was.

"It's just a jacket" he said, out loud, before returning to the abyss so he could admire the view.

The water had remained still, but his thoughts kept going deeper and deeper as he would admire the depth of the abyss.

Suddenly, he heard an ambulance, in the distance. And then, a police car, a minute later.

People seemed to gather around to see what was going on and, will all the commotion, once again he couldn't focus on his own thoughts.

Curiosity took the best out of him, so he walked towards the crowd.

When he finally got there, he saw the paramedics taking a body covered in white sheets into the ambulance.

Due to the rocky pavement, the trolley would jump up and down, until the sheets uncovered the face of the dead.

It was the old lady.

It took him a few hours to understand exactly what had happened, but after talking with the locals he learned that she lived in one of those houses near the sea. Apparently, her husband had died from cancer about 5 years before that. She had two kids that didn't care about her and no grandchildren.

She was lonely and she had enough.

After having someone pointing me to her bedroom window, I realized that it was perfectly positioned to the spot where I had been sitting for the past few hours.

To this day, I don't know if whether she was watching me from the window or not.

Maybe she was waiting for me to finally jump.

Maybe she had noticed I had the same intentions as she did and wanted to put a stop to it, hence why she was being so annoying.

I guess she wanted to talk me out of it, so I could leave and let her take over my spot. Or her spot, as she called it.

Technically, my New Year Resolutions didn't come true, and yet, at the time, I didn't know whether that was a good thing or not.

But there's one thing I do know: that strange old lady saved my life, and I couldn't even maintain a simple conversation with her that could've probably saved hers.