The Science of Not Existing

The Science of Not Existing

A Story by karmapoilce
"

A girl who is plagued by not wanting to exist, but not wanting to die, is given a choice between the two; an unlikely compromise.

"

 

The science of not existing involves three main factors: a girl who didn't want to exist, a shaky boat, and the Pacific Ocean.

The girl who didn't want to exist was named Faye. She didn't want to kill herself; she wasn't nearly selfish enough to do that. In fact, her selflessness was part of the reason for her wishing not to exist. Her life wasn't too good at giving. Well, it was, but not at giving good things. For example, some of its gifts included parents who left her to travel the world on their own, a boyfriend who was more of a boss than a boyfriend, and a depressing chemical imbalance in her brain.

The story started with a phone call from her boyfriend, Felix. He was persuading her to come out for a boating trip with his friends. He knew she was afraid of the water, but that didn’t stop him. It never really did.

“Come on Faye, please,” he’d said it so gently that it almost didn’t sound like a threat. “You never do anything with my friends. Don’t you want to know that part of me? I don’t know if you and I can work if you’re not interested in that part of my life…”

How could she say no to that? “Fine,” she sighed and looked down at her shaking palms. She’d given in once again, and she hated herself for it. She never really knew for certain why she’d stayed with Felix, the one person who made her feel worse about herself than she already did. She always assumed it was her fear of being alone, she was afraid of what she’d do if she just had herself.

The phone’s electronic beep filled the air as Faye hung up, then silence. She squeezed her eyes shut and wished for a miracle that the next day would be stormy, or rainy, or anything to put off the boating trip and Felix. She grabbed her wrist tightly, digging her nails in.

But rain storm miracles in the middle of July were sparse, and the next morning arrived with a cheerful energy. The sky was a bright shade of blue and there wasn’t a single cloud in sight. It mocked her, pointing and laughing as she got ready for the day in slow motion.

After putting off the afternoon as long as she could, Faye sat down on the solid wooden chair in the kitchen, watching the clock. The never-ending “tick, tock” of the seconds teased her, not decelerating one bit for her sake. The sky and time were teaming up to make a cruel pair, with Faye as their victim. “Doesn’t anything have sympathy?” she asked herself, despising the fact that she was asking for pity from things no one on Earth could possibly control.

The sound of Felix’s obnoxiously loud truck came screaming up her driveway then, knocking her out of her dazed state. She knew she couldn’t avoid the trip now. She’d already thought of all the possible excuses she could use the night before. “I forgot, I have a dentist appointment,”, “my uncle wants to take me to visit my parents,” “my cat’s really sick, I have to take him to the vet”, all of them ending with a long drawn out “sorry”, in the most genuine tone she could muster. But they were all too obvious; they would only get her in more trouble.

Faye was welcomed into the truck with a round of enthusiastic “hey’s” that she knew were rehearsed. It was obvious to her that none of them wanted her on the trip except Felix. As she squished between two burly men who leaned across her to speak to each other, she silently wished she were back at her house, lying in bed.

The rest of the drive to the beach involved a group of four college guys who yelled instead of laughing, whilst talking about how awesome their golf team was this year. Faye was stuck in-between, fake giggling along and picking at the soft skin on her inner wrist. When they finally arrived at the beach, even more of Felix's friends greeted them, offering them beers and embracing each other in manly hugs. In Faye’s mind they all had puzzled expressions on their faces when they saw her, like she wasn’t welcomed there, like Felix had used the same persuasion techniques he had used on her on them. They stood around the shaky boat.

This shaky boat is factor #2. It was Felix's friend's boat, bought on Craigslist for almost nothing. It was at least fifteen years old and rough looking, but big enough to fit all eight of the people going on the trip.

Faye walked around it timidly, looking at the rusted paint and the backdrop of the open ocean. Her heart beat fast, telling her to run away as fast as she could and never come back, to this boat, to Felix, to her situation. But instead she stood still with her toes in the sand, trying to grow roots into it so she didn't have to go on the monstrous thing. Just as the anxiety of going onto the boat settled uneasily in her chest, she felt a strong pair of hands under her armpits.

"Up you go!" Felix yelled, lifting her into the boat in one swift motion. She stood shaking, now inside the boat. Finding the nearest seat she plopped down in it as quickly as she could, grasping onto the railing. She promised herself that she wouldn't leave this spot, and soon it'd be over and she'd be back on the sand that she'd been ripped from.

Felix sat down beside her, his weight bouncing her slightly off her seat. Her heart raced and she went to grab onto the railing again when Felix wrapped his heavy arm around her shoulders, restricting her from reaching the secure railing. Before she could move to a new spot where she could hold onto something, the boat started up and they were off.

It was a party. A party of seven beefy guys drinking beer, and a misplaced girl who couldn’t swim. Once they'd gotten out far enough into the water, the guys were all standing up and talking, and Faye sat glued to her seat holding tightly onto the rail. Her eyes had been fixed on the rope on the floor of the boat for half an hour, trying to ignore the view of the ocean she was in the middle of. She hoped that the guys were occupied enough that they'd ignore her the whole time, but not for the first time in her life, her reality didn't line up with her hopes.

"Faye, come on, what are you afraid of?" teased Felix from above. "Get that scared look off your face and stop being such a little brat and enjoy yourself for once."

"I'm actually enjoying myself just fine right here," Faye said with a smile to balance what she'd just said. That was accompanied with groaning from the guys, insisting she get up.

"C'mon, you have a way better view when you stand up. I'll show you," said Felix, coming towards her. Faye's eyes grew wider as she realized what he was about to do. She tightened her grip on the railing in a hopeless attempt to overpower him.

"Please Felix, seriously, I'm fine right here," she told him trying to sound firm as he held onto her waist, hoisting her up over his shoulder. "Please put me down, Felix, put me down!" Her voice started to crack, giving a window to her terror, and a perfect opportunity for the guys to ridicule her further.

Laughter of beer filled college boys echoed through her ears as she screamed for Felix to put her back down, when one of them made the suggestion that would finally give Faye the peace she had always been so desperately looking for.

"Throw her in!"

Faye screamed, not only for her fear of water but for the fact that she had allowed her life get to this point, that she had welcomed people into her life that ruined her, because it was easier to let other people destroy her than it was to destroy herself.

Felix looked to his drunken friend, Connor, who had made the suggestion and pretended he didn't hear him. But Connor thought it would be hilarious, taking Faye forcefully from Felix’s arms. Felix didn’t resist too hard passing her on. Connor repeated himself, more clearly this time. "Throw her in!"

Before she knew it, Faye was enveloped by cold. The Pacific Ocean. The final factor.

She panicked as she realized where she was, still trying to scream underwater, unable to swim. Her heart was pumping adrenaline through her veins when Faye realized: this was her chance.

Faye didn't want to kill herself. However, if the opportunity arose to die at an accident's expense, a silly mistake completely uncontrollable, she wasn't going to pass it up.

It was like her brain was split into two compartments. One compartment was her instinct, telling her to get out, to move her limbs, to get the water out of her lungs. The other compartment - the one she had control over - was telling her to breathe it in and overflow her chest with the salty ocean, to finally allow herself to be at peace. Breathe.

"Get her out, get her out!” The urgent screams of realization from above were muddled through the thick wall of water between Faye and the others. She could barely hear them, but she wished they would stop yelling. She wanted to die by herself, peacefully, quietly. Chaos was the one thing she wanted to get away from. She didn't want to hear it above her.

She could feel it then, the peace. The oxygen wasn't reaching her brain and she understood it would all be over soon. For the first time since she was eleven, she was happy. She allowed herself to feel the ocean all around her, all the space and she felt like she was light.

She felt so much inside of her that she almost didn't feel the familiar strong hands grip under her armpits, pulling her to the surface.


© 2014 karmapoilce



My Review

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Featured Review

First of all, thank you for submitting into the Contest.

Onto the Review:
This is a good story.
It reminds me of cooking, in a way. In the way that some ingridients overshadow others,
Let's say you add mustard, and then some chopped garlic. You could add more mustard. You could add more garlic, and usually the amounts will be fine. But then, if you throw a little too much salt, it overshadows everything. It will overwhelm the garlic, overwhelm the mustard. People will say ''This is salty'' first and foremost.

The same thing applies to depression. It overwhelms everything. Survival is our strongest instinct, and only very few things are capable of thwarting that. Self sacrafice and Depression. So often it is the depression that allows us to forgo our most innate and powerful desire-- To live. Self sacrafice is when a man jumps in front of a car for a stranger. Or atop a granade for a comrade. Either way, you got the point.

Review when it concerns the Contest at hand:
There wasn't really much of a twist.
It was a pretty steep downhill trek. An interesting and enjoyble one, but not so much related to the topic at hand-- The twist. The surprise, the shock. I mean, yeah, there's some surprise in them pulling her out-- But not really enough for shock value.

Thank you -very- much for a wonderful story. I enjoyed it very much.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

karmapoilce

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for your review! I appreciate it a lot and totally respect your opinion. Good luck.. read more



Reviews

This is a good story. Selflessness is something that people like, but often to be abused. I relate to this way too much. I feel like I drowned with Faye. Thanks for the story.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

First of all, thank you for submitting into the Contest.

Onto the Review:
This is a good story.
It reminds me of cooking, in a way. In the way that some ingridients overshadow others,
Let's say you add mustard, and then some chopped garlic. You could add more mustard. You could add more garlic, and usually the amounts will be fine. But then, if you throw a little too much salt, it overshadows everything. It will overwhelm the garlic, overwhelm the mustard. People will say ''This is salty'' first and foremost.

The same thing applies to depression. It overwhelms everything. Survival is our strongest instinct, and only very few things are capable of thwarting that. Self sacrafice and Depression. So often it is the depression that allows us to forgo our most innate and powerful desire-- To live. Self sacrafice is when a man jumps in front of a car for a stranger. Or atop a granade for a comrade. Either way, you got the point.

Review when it concerns the Contest at hand:
There wasn't really much of a twist.
It was a pretty steep downhill trek. An interesting and enjoyble one, but not so much related to the topic at hand-- The twist. The surprise, the shock. I mean, yeah, there's some surprise in them pulling her out-- But not really enough for shock value.

Thank you -very- much for a wonderful story. I enjoyed it very much.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

karmapoilce

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for your review! I appreciate it a lot and totally respect your opinion. Good luck.. read more
Wow! Really good story. I love how descriptive and real you made it.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing! I had this story in my head for days. Everything feels so real while reading it.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like it. It's interesting and well written. Keep writing :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So she thinks it's unselfish to let someone murder/commit manslaughter? Basically, by trying to let them kill her they could get into trouble. That's not selfless. I like the boat setting and was curious about the chemical imbalance in her brain. Could you do more of a back story on the brain part? I think that would make your story more interesting and believable. To mention it in passing is okay, but to really make the most of the situation it would be great to have more of a back story of her past life. The story is rushed. I like what you were going for - the character who has the dilemma of not wanting to life, but maybe not courageous enough to commit suicide. Maybe a better way to try and kill her would be that she slips off the boat rather than being pushed: that the water's choppy. Maybe you could kill her at the end, but you could make it more dramatic by her regretting dying at the last moment.

Posted 3 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Incredibly talented! Got me hooked on your story :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very nice story, I really enjoyed it, so thank you for that. Keep on working, you're surely talented.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow! This seriously amazed me. I have a chemical imbalance as well and I thought that the panic was really well described I liked this so much. Um, I think that there as one tiny irrelevant grammatical error. You probably hit shift on accident here:
In Faye’s mind they all had puzzled expressions on their faces when they saw her " like she wasn’t welcomed there, like Felix had used the same persuasion techniques he had used on her on them. They stood around the shaky boat.
But other than that it was a really well done story and I think you should keep writing forever :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

oh damn you are good. Seriously good. Definitely keep writing. Love the story, the girl feels so real to me. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on April 30, 2014
Last Updated on June 15, 2014
Tags: fiction, young adult, teen

Author

karmapoilce
karmapoilce

BC, Canada



About
I'm just a 20 year old girl from a little town in Canada who likes to make up stories and put words together to make them sound nice. more..

Writing
The Fight The Fight

A Story by karmapoilce