What do I do, you ask ? I’m throwing away my life. I love being a philosphy teacher, but I always want to be more than that. Like everyone, I suppose ?
Is it true that we all have a price to pay for throwing each day of our life, minute after minute ? I’m not talking about the money, but the rest… if you want to be happy for ever and ever, I think you’re going to have to give up something important, aren’t you ? But the question is: what ?
I can’t tell. But I’m sure that if you ask yourself about your own price, even if you don’t like the answer, you will also understand why she threw her life away.
“The only thing left is to die…”
She sat down on the bench in front of me. The sun was shining brightly. It seemed as if it had been doing this for ages. She looked at me with those big eyes.
“You were right, Schoppy,” she said. “We’ve got no choice but to die, in the end.”
And then I understood that the woman who sat before me was none other than my former student Ann. She was the only one to call the godly Schopenhauer like that.
“Oh, it’s you, Ann! How long has it been ? What are you doing here? Hey…are you, like, mad?”
“No, I’m not. I just came to say goodbye to you, teacher. This is the last time we’ll meet.”
“Goodbye!” I couldn’t help bursting out laughing. “What the hell are you pulling on me, here? You’re not being serious, aren’t you ? ” I was tired, so i prefered to take it with a smile. She had this kind of creepy humor. After all, we were talking about Ann.
“Yes, I am, Joris. You’re certainly a good teacher, but perhaps, you should know when to be serious when people are really serious with you.”
“Listen to what? I haven’t got the faintest idea what you’re talking about. This thing about death seems so illogical, I can’t do anything but laugh at it and think you’re fooling me. I’m usually serious, but if I take it seriously, won’t I give too much credit to how you wanna die real badly ? And encourage you to die, by the way ? “
“Well, you wouldn’t understand anyway. You’re a man. So just let me go, and don’t take it seriously. It might be easier for you this way. Still, I’ve come too far to turn back…”
“I don’t understand any of this. Why are you saying this to me?” She seems a bit too serious for me.
“Because you’re such a good person, Mr. Giovanetti. I thought you could help me. All the students loved you.” At the same time, a bird tweeted in a nearby tree, something like a high-pitched ”lo-lo-lof”.
“All the students loved me? I don’t believe that for one moment. How could they possibly respect me so much ? Anyway… As far as I’m concerned, I only need to know one thing, now : how did you get here, young girl ?”
I decide to ask her how she got here. It seemed a bit weird, as I closed the classroom door with my own key… But where is my key, anyway ? Well, they might be on the table.. They aren’t. Oh, god.
“I thought I’d never see you again. When I was young, I used to dream about being reborn… Then, I started having serious thoughts about that. When people grow older, erm…” You’re twenty-nine, girl. Go down from your cloud. She stuttered the end of her speech.
”They, they lose their past, and everything becomes empty… My, my whole life has become an illusion. I wanted to, to die. But… I don’t know what happened. I realized that I, I was still alive, although I didn’t feel like it. I was a…ghost, but I wasn’t dead. And then, and then ! I met a man who gave me a message. He told me to come here. And…I did ? ” Her eyes looked blankly at a chair with a yellow heart drawn on it.
I’m really starting to worry. She was brilliant as a student. She always seemed happy. We talked about Kant until night came. We breathed Kant, slept Garcia and ate Nietzsche…. How has she come to hate life so much ? Has Schoppy impacted her too much ?
What can I do for her ? I’m not sure I can save her at this point. It’s scary, really scary… It’s not like it’s bothering me, but where are my damn keys ?
“There is no meaning in life,” she said. “Don’t you know that?”
“Why are you telling me these things?” I started walking towards my jacket, slowly, while she was still talking. Sorry, but I want my keys.
“I was born in this world, but I’m not part of it. I wish I could stay. I wish I could enjoy life in this, kind of, beautiful place. But I can’t. I’m leaving soon, I’ve got to do this…”
“Then, why are you telling me all of this ?”
“To prove to you that life isn’t just a game. And because I’m damn dumb, so I hope for someone to rescue me.”
I already know that…
”I already know that life isn’t a game, and that you’re dumb, I mean…Anyways. There is still meaning in staying here. You’re still so young. So keep living for the moment, you still got a lifetime to die, you know ? Don’t throw away your life, because of what Schoppy said. You’ve got a real worth, Ann.” Not like me…Like, where are these keys ? My hands are starting to shake !
“It’s not about Schoppy… I’m still gonna throw it away.” she said, watching the ceiling. “I can’t live any more than what I did.”
”I don’t recognize you here. Is it about this guy we talked about a few months ago ?” I’ve just beaten my knee in a desk. As usual. And I forgot what I just said before what she said.
“That’s right. He was my boyfriend. But he’s gone now. He totally left me, this holy fucker.”
“Just like that, huh? It seemed to be going well, so why?”
“Because he loved someone else, duh.” She emitted the aura of a nervous pitbull. ” He met this girl, and somehow, you know, she’s pregnant with his kid…”
She took her head in her two hands, twirling her hair with her finger.
”I’m dead… I was being taken for a fool… I so wanna die.”
“Who are you talking about ? ” I had gotten caught up in a fantasy about Kant teaching me about life and the reality of noumenas. I had momentarily forgotten the person sitting in front of me. And I finally had an idea of where I had put my keys.
“My ex-boyfriend,” she replied. “We lived together for ten years. But he didn’t love me anymore. He loved someone else.”
“So what do you want from me, anyway? Do you expect me to talk him into loving you again?”
“No ! No, I don’t want that ! I just wanted to say goodbye… Goodbye, Joris Giovanetti. I’ve got to go now. I wish I could stay longer, but I can’t. Not if you can’t help me”
”But I can ! I’m a philosophy teacher, or I’m not ?” Please, let me find my keys.
I searched in my jacket pockets. Jackpot, the keys were in the right interior pocket, with my ID card and a ten euros bill ! That was another weight out of my shoulders.
Anyway, what can I do for her to stop her urge to suicide? And where is my knapsack ? Why do I forget everything, everywhere, all the time ?!