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The air was crisp and clear, no smog that seemed to fill the city. Moonlight softly filtered through the branches and the few leaves that still clung on instead of falling to the forest floor. All was quiet, except for the crunch of fallen leaves and branches that were being stepped on. There amongst all of the nature, with their liveliness fading stood out alone.
Old worn and faded jeans stood out against the rest of their apparel, it was the only piece clothing that roughly fit them. An over sized grey hoodie swallowed their form, as if they were drowning in excess fabric. The sleeves went well past their fingertips, even with their arms wrapped around them self, cradling them against their body. In a way to hide them, from something or someone, possibly even themselves.
The figure walked until the trees parted to a clearing, skyscrapers stood out against the sky in the distance. Far away it was all modern, new and bright, but in front of them stood a decrepit home. Forgotten in time, the once bright yellow outside had dulled and started to chip away. Hidden by the ivy was a section of lattice, carefully they used it to climb up on to the roof. A sigh escaped their lips as they sat down on the roof between the two dormers. They pulled down their hood, freeing their long ashy blonde hair and out from their pockets came crumpled papers, eraserless pencils, and a pencil sharpener.
“Would it hurt them less if I left a note?” They asked out loud, to no one in particular, not as if they were expecting an answer. Time to start saying my goodbyes they thought. They unfurled a contorted piece of paper, being careful to not rip it along any of the folds. It always seemed to be easier to write than to speak, words quickly filled the once blank space. Expressing how they felt unneeded, useless, a burden and misunderstood. How cumbersome there life had become.
Their cold and empty eyes glanced down when they heard that familiar ding, a notification, they pulled out their phone. Cradling it in their hands as they pressed on the power button, opening up to the suicide hotline number.
“1-800-273-8255, the suicide helpline.” They rolled their eyes closing out of that tab, dragging a finger down the screen to read through the swarm of notifications. ‘Lies, all of their concern is fake. They never saw all of the signs, the fake smiles, saying I’m just tired when it is obviously not true. Others said I was lying, that it was all for attention and that I didn’t need or deserve help.’ Thoughts raced their head, they kept growing louder and louder, drowning out all other thoughts.
It was too much, they dropped their phone and let it slide down the shingles near the edge of the roof. Their gaze drifted back to the paper, there, hidden alongside all that they wrote was an unfamiliar handwriting. The words smoothly flowed together instead of the letters being sharp and pointed. They immediately looked around them, surely they were alone, no one else knew of this place.
“I must be finally losing my mind. What does it even say?”
‘Please don’t do it.’
“Really? Is this a joke? I don’t write like that, but no one that I know has that handwriting.” They crumple up the paper and grab a clean sheet, but before they could even touch the pencil down more writing appeared.
‘Please, it’s not worth it. You still have so much to live for.’
They looked around once more, “Okay seriously this isn’t funny... Who’s doing this? Show yourself.” They demanded, trying to sound more confident than they truly were. Shakily, they stood up, trying to see if they could spot anyone from up on the roof. No one was there, not that they could see, they truly were alone. They were getting worked up over some random calligraphy that was trying to dissuade them from ending it all.
As they went to sit back down, a smoky outline of a masculine figure started to appear before them. He looked to blend into the sky, but a white deer skull mask starkly stood out against the darkness. He waved slowly as if to not startle them before taking a few small steps to approach them. Taking a seat on the dormer across from them, he motioned for them to take a seat as well. The stranger answered their questions before they were even able to open their mouth.
“Hello, I am the one writing to tell you not to do this. If you are wondering what I am, you could consider me death or a grim reaper.”
“Oh, how ironic, death is here trying to convince me to not kill myself? What should I even call you then, Mr. Death?” Sarcasm was dripping from their voice.
“My name is Aster, not death. There is no need for that much sass, yes I am here to hopefully appeal to your common sense and convince you that this isn’t the answer. I’m tired of seeing so many die. War is one thing but to see that people feel so hopelessly lost in life that they believe this is the only option. That they need to do this to themselves. You don’t have to do this Kore, there are people in life that are there for. So please, evaluate your choices.”
“How... How do you know my name? Actually never mind, you are like a god. But people there for me? Don’t make me laugh...” They pulled at their sleeves, to expose their arms, scars were scattered across their skin, new and old. “Life is cruel, people say be kind and they promise ‘I’ll always be there’, with a kind smile but then they turn around and stab you in the back. Leaving you there to bleed out.”
They stood up and started to pace along the roof line, “Others say you are being an attention whore. You aren’t actually broken, you can just ‘fix it’, as if hearing those words will make me go, ‘Ah yes, why didn’t I think of that? I’ll just fix it.’ They just point out your flaws as if I didn’t already know that they existed. I know that I’m imperfect but neither are they!” They were getting extremely worked up.
He pulled off his mask, revealing a kind but sorrowful looking face.
“Please don’t do it... It’s not your time, you have so much time left to do so much.” He glanced over towards the rising sun. “Today is a new day. It’s time to let these wounds heal.”
His words rendered them speechless, it was time for a new start.

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