It was a most terrifying storm.
In the middle of nowhere, between the turbulent sky and the tumultuous ocean, I was a small, helpless, and insignificant little creature. I was alone in a hostile and alien world, a place I didn't belong to, a place where I wasn't supposed to be.
Nature itself was furious at me for that unforgivable trespassing. The sky incessantly roared with its thunders, menacing me, yelling at me with ferocity. The sea, with its giant waves, was a gargantuan beast, shaking its body with an increasing frenzy, desperately trying to get rid of the annoying pest.
There were no signs of civilizations for as far as my eyes could see, not a single trace of humanity. No one could reach me, no one could help me. It was just me against the rage of the elements.
Rain poured on me mercilessly, draining my life force with each drop. Water from above, water below, I was completely surrounded.
That day I understood how does it feel to stand before the creatures from the Cthulhu mythos, the unspeakable horror that they represent. I was at the mercy of forces that I couldn't even be compared with, forces that could not understand me, forces that I could not negotiate with, shapeless and yet gigantic beyond human comprehension. All that I could fathom was that they desired my death, my total annihilation. The mere thought of those boundless masses engulfing me was enough to erase from my mind any traces of rationality and self identity. I couldn't help but thinking how meaningless and inconsequential was my existence when compared to them. I was nothing, absolutely nothing. Just a dot in the universe. No, even less than that, not even a dot, something smaller than that. I was smaller than the very concept of a geometrical point. When compared to infinity even the thought of being something, no matter how puny, is a heresy.
But while my fear was great, more than I ever experienced before, in my heart there was acceptance. It was fine, I had gone there by my own free will. This is the story of Erika Furudo that everyone knows. On that day, October 4th 1986, I boarded a pleasure boat and sailed to the open sea. Of course, I was fully aware of the incoming typhoon, there was no way I couldn't have known. That led most to conclude that Erika Furudo on that day planned her own death, however some were still left with doubts. Aren't there easier and faster ways to end one's life? Why wasn't any message left to testify the suicidal will?
As of today the world still doesn't know the answers to those questions. That is only natural, they would need to know exactly what was on my mind that day, they would need to know my heart. But only Erika Furudo knows, and since I am Erika Furudo, I know.
In the midst of the twisting despair, on the shaking vessel unsteadily I stood. Raising my arms and head to the roaring sky I prayed:
"Take me. Take me away to a world of nether. Drag me down into the abyss of oblivion."
That was my only wish, my only hope left: disappear, completely.
A thunder answered my call, and simultaneously a giant wave pushed me up closer to the ominous sky. But the boat still floated, and my hands, defying my will, were holding fast onto the railing. Surprised, I realized that I still had lingering attachments to that shadow of a life. Even after I went that far, even after I had already crossed the point of no return, somehow I still wanted to live. I loathed myself for my own weakness, I despised my lack of resolution at that crucial moment. I had to embarrass myself right at the time of my death. So pitiful.
And yet my fear had grown stronger. It was so fast, sudden, and overwhelming, that everything else faded in its darkness. None of my afflictions mattered anymore, and all that I knew was that I wanted to live.
Like I child I helplessly cried for help:
"Someone, somewhere, no matter who, no matter how, may it be a god, an angel, or a demon, please... Please! I beg of you! Save me!"
My true wish became apparent, but I was alone in the middle of a raging sea. Nobody could hear me, nobody could see me. Nobody even knew that I was there, and even if they did, even if they wanted, they couldn't have possibly helped me. The typhoon would have killed them as well, I was beyond salvation.
And yet I couldn't stop wishing for the impossible to happen. My mind just refused to accept reality, my heart didn't want to listen to reason. What I longed for couldn't possibly exist in the real world.
What I longed for... was a miracle.
What I longed for... was a miracle.
When we are born into this world, we know nothing. We can see, we can touch, we can hear, we can taste... We use our senses to learn about our surroundings. We assimilate all those inputs and then use that information to create our world. Then we learn even more complex concepts and facts from our parents, our friends, our teachers. How we act and how we make decisions is determined by what we know. All that we do, all that we believe in is shaped by what we trust to be true. In a way, our very self, our very identity, depend on what we have learned through the course of our existence.
But do we actually possess the truth? Is it something that we grasp with certainty?
It is a terrifying though the idea that all that we always believed to be correct could be completely wrong. If that happened to be 'true', then we would have to admit that everything that we did in the past was the consequence of an error. Could it even be said that our choices were truly ours if they were based on false information? That would be the same as to realize that we never truly lived, it would be as if we just acted a part scripted by someone else.
That alone would be enough to drag even the stoutest man into an existential crisis, but at least it would be a revelation. I can think of something worse, for example: the persistent thought that everything that we know could be wrong, while not having any way to confirm it or to refute it. Or, again, the realization that we lack any possible means to know something that is absolutely vital to us.
When you consider all this, it is not a wonder that people hate to be lied to. Why? Because in the end living inside a lie is the worst form of slavery. The realization that someone lied to us, or that someone withheld important information to us, is degrading, it is humiliating. And there is an even more dreadful consequence: it robs us of our trust. And when we start disbelieving, it becomes a slippery slope. Soon enough we realize that we cannot trust anyone. Furthermore, it doesn't even take a very high degree of education to realize that our senses aren't that reliable either.
So how can we even tell the difference between truths and lies? What is true, what is false? No, the question is even more fundamental than that. What is the meaning of 'truth' in the first place? How can one even define it? And even if he did, how could he even know whether his definition was the 'true' one?
I suppose that most people simply do not think about these philosophical matters, or, rather, they avoid them the same way they avoid thinking about unpleasant memories. I despise that attitude, but at the same time it's not like I don't understand it. It is a lot more alluring to simply pretend to know what you do not, than accepting that in fact you know nothing for certain.
But I didn't quite have that option, not since the day that I asked that fateful question:
"Do you love me?"
His answer was predictable, but I didn't like it one bit. It didn't ring 'true' to my ears, and so I demanded proofs.
"Prove it! If you love me, then prove it! Show me something that can confirm beyond any doubts that your feelings are true! Show me something as much as solid as that long hair that I found on your shirt, or the expensive cologne you still smell of, or the receipts in your pocket! Can you prove your love with something equally evident? You can't, right? There's no way you can! And yet you keep denying the truth! You still deny it! No matter how many evidences I bring up, you still say that I'm just being paranoid! You still dare to claim that you love me! Ah, of course! I'm the one at fault here! Figures! I must be crazy, I guess! No matter what, you can't even give me a proper closure, can't you? You must making me live with this doubt for the rest of my life, that's just how narcissistic you are! What does it mean that we're through?! You still didn't show me the proof that I wanted! You still haven't admitted the truth! I'm not crying! No, I won't stop shouting! I don't care! I don't care! I don't care anymore!"
After that, it was just a long descent into the realm of pure paranoia. I had just realized how fragile that assortment of facts that I called reality was. In the end, when confronted with the task of proving which was true or false, I was completely powerless. So I started to wonder just how much of what I was told could be trusted. What if all those crazy conspiracy theories were true? I was amazed to learn how many of those exist and the number of people that believe them to be real. For example it could as well be true that Neil Armstrong never landed on the Moon, perhaps it was just a hoax as some claims. Who am I to deny that? I wasn't there on that floating rock when it happened, I wasn't even born. There's then some who claim that the HIV virus is just a blatant invention. The whole world was fooled by pharmaceutical companies so that they could sell their costly medicines to treat a syndrome that doesn't even exist. Whatever can I say? I can't possibly see viruses, they might as well not exist. According to some sources Paul McCartney died long time ago, the man that currently claims to be him is just an impostor. Why not? It's not like I ever met him. The world is actually controlled from behind the scene by a few selected, powerful men known as the Illuminati. Of course aliens have already landed on our planet, but the American government is covering up the whole story. The spaceship and the alien corpses are held in a secret military base known as Area 51. Soka Gakkai has already infiltrated several government institutions. It will soon rule over Japan and then the whole world.
If only I could find a way to fight back, but I had none. I was defenseless, helpless. There was no way for me to prove or disprove anything without trusting a source or the other, and I couldn't trust anyone anymore. So, I was lost, completely.
I desperately needed a solid ground, some kind of certainty to base my beliefs on. I needed a truth that couldn't be denied, I needed an absolute truth that wouldn't leave any possibility for doubts to exist. However no matter how hard I searched for it, such truth in the world of humans doesn't exist. The truth that I was looking for couldn't possibly exist.
It hurt. The uncertainty I was living in was nibbling at my soul and my sanity each passing day. I wasn't even alive. I was essentially a ghost that roamed in an ethereal world devoid of any substance. And for all I knew at that time, that could have really been the truth of my existence. I was angry at the whole world, I hated it for denying me that simple and yet vital element that I desperately needed in order to survive. My request was legitimate and the refusal to grant it was a blatant affront. In the end I couldn't explain that in any other way if not as a deliberated attack against me.
Yes, the whole world was my enemy. They all knew the truth, and sneered at me. They knew everything and behind my back they ridiculed me. They kept the answers that I sought for themselves so that they could enjoy watching me crying, struggle and despair. It was all conspiracy against me. Every single person that surrounded me was part of it. I could see that through their lies, their fake smiles, and their badly playacted empty kindness. They planted invisible camera in my room so that they could always keep me under control. They knew everything about me, and I knew nothing. At one point they even found a way to listen to my thoughts. Somehow they could broadcast them so that they could always know what was going on in my mind. It was terrifying, but I had no way to deny it, I had not way to prove with absolute certainty that I wasn't simply imagining it. And then I realized that if that was true, then they knew that I was suspecting them. I couldn't even sleep at night anymore, I couldn't even eat without the fear that my food was poisoned. I had to react, I had to do something in order to survive. I couldn't stand that situation any longer. I even thought to fight against the whole world for a while, but soon I realized how unrealistic that plan was. And then I had an epiphany. The solution was so simple that I almost couldn't believe my shortsightedness for not thinking about it before.
What is murder in the end? It's just a way to erase someone from your world. Through the act of killing you sever the existence of an unwanted individual from yours and your world. It is pretty simple. Once I realized that destroying the whole world was beyond my powers, I just had to reverse my approach. If I killed myself, I would obtain the same result, I would permanently sever my connection with all those people, and perhaps I could finally find peace, I could finally find the truth that I sought. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn't find a justification for my prolonged hesitation.
It was settled, I only needed to decide how, but it wasn't simple. I couldn't do it in my room or in any other familiar place. I had to do it somewhere where they couldn't reach me, some place far away where not even them could follow me to. More importantly I wanted some sort of revenge. They deprived me of the truth that I desperately needed, I wanted to do the same to them. I wanted them to forever wonder if I really decided to kill myself, why, how, and even if I really was dead or not. Especially that man, I wanted him to live for the rest of his life with those doubts, just like I did after he broke up with me.
And then I found it, the perfect way to forever seal my last moments into a box that could never be opened. Once again, it was very simple.