Always Hope

The fatigue hit Bessie on a bright day, one made for happiness, not for fraught thoughts of suicide. The reticent seventeen-year-old felt abject misery, knew the emotion was unreasonable, yet she was incapable of resisting the depression. “Why was I ever born? Was it so that I could suffer day after day, with no hope of some kind of reprieve in sight?” she typed on her Facebook post. She stared at the screen for some seconds, contemplating whether posting her comment would be wise, or ill-advised. “The trolls out there in cyberspace are far worse than those of myth,” she cautioned herself, finger hovering shakily over the ‘Post' button. Abruptly, as if ripping off an unwanted Band-Aid, she stabbed down on the keyboard. Seconds later, the post appeared on her timeline. It didn't take long for her Facebook friends to respond. Bessie was overwhelmed by the incoming comments that followed each other in rapid succession. The first one read: You were born to be loved, not to suffer. Reprieve might be out of sight, but believe me, it IS there! It was from her Science study buddy, Ghiyona. The next comment caused a catch in Bessie's throat: If you were never born, I would not have known such kindness. You were made to be loved, Bessie. This one was from her gay friend, Willie. Bessie started to cry softly, the pain in her heart feeling like a knife being shoved mercilessly deep into her soul. “I love you, Willie,” Bessie responded to his comment; she felt at a loss as to how to reply to Ghiyona's, so she simply attached a heart emoji to the girl's comment. More comments followed, each one listing reasons why Bessie should hold on to hope, fight against submitting to life's harshness, believe fervently in herself. As Bessie was about to log off Facebook, one more comment slid in under the post. It caused the distraught adolescent to pause. Your life was given to you as a gift. True, it is your right to accept or reject the gift, but why would anyone refuse to embrace what is more precious than treasure, more profound than the knowledge of the ancients? Why would you, Bessie, forget how inimitable you are, that there is literally no other quite like you? The comment continued for a few more lines, but Bessie's vision blurred because of the tears streaming down her face. She was confused, for the comment was from the one person Bessie was convinced hated her the most. The very person who had brought this despondent mood upon her, who had been relentlessly criticising her each day for the past two weeks. Bessie blew her nose and read the last part of the comment: You are stronger than you know, but that core of steel will carry you across all obstacles. Have faith, Bessie. Some hitherto hidden door of insight swung open widely in Bessie's mind. Her worst critic, her Maths lecturer, was also her greatest supporter…

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