The Voice

Around the time my 4th grade year started, it seemed like I had all the promise in the world. I was intelligent and took advanced classes, never made below an A, I was athletic and played basketball, baseball, and tennis, I even sang in the choir for my school, the Honor Choir for my city, church and even for talent shows, weddings, basically everything that needed a singer, I was there. I've always been a pretty sharp individual when it came to alot of things. And people always used to tell me I was destined for great things and this and that, and I would always say thank you. But it was a burden too. I got kind of tired of it and honestly I sometimes wished I never had so many gifts. I didn't want people to believe in me.

I had alot of issues as well though. I was extremely skinny and I looked pretty malnourished. I was the shortest thing walking. On top of that, I was a pretty shy kid. I did not talk to too many people and I was relatively recluse. My friends and family picked on me quite often for my size and awkwardness, in addition to coming up with every joke in the book for my name: Virgenal. Yes, that's right, Virgenal. I hear every joke in the book: Vagisil, Virgin Mobile, Virgin, Virginity, Virginia, Vaginal, I pretty much got destroyed on a daily basis. And it hurt alot, I can't lie. Being the kid with the highest grades in my school did not help either because kids would always assume I thought I was better, which wasn't the case. I was just shy!

Around this time as well, my family was having plenty of issues. My family has always been eccentric, loud, very outgoing, and everyone has such a strong personality that it's easy to get into arguments. We seldom ever didn't argue over something and it always bothered me because, well personally, I love my family to death. They were the only haven I had, you know? I never had many friends. And even though they made fun of me relentlessly and it always made me feel bad, I loved them to death.

It was one night that I'll never forget. I was over my grandma's house. Good Lord, she loved to cook and keep cooking until everyone was satisfied. She lived in the country, which I personally loved because I enjoyed running around like a chicken with my head cut off. All of the family was over and we were having a great time. And I loved it. Family time was the best. 

I don't really know why this next situation happened, but all of a sudden after such great family time, my family started arguing. YELLING at the top of their lungs. I was playing in the living room of my grandmother's house and everyone started arguing and pointing fingers. I just attributed this to the regular series of events that I had slowly become numb to and didn't really listen to the argument. But out of nowhere, my cousin tackles my grandmother....So my grandmother is laying on the ground after my cousin gets up and my cousin is yelling "DON'T YOU EVER PUT YOUR HANDS ON MY MOMMA". Apparently my grandma grabbed my Auntie for some reason and my cousin retaliated in a viscious way. I froze in place where me and some of my younger cousins were playing. My mother and some of my other family helped my grandmother up and the arguing immediately continued. The next thing I know, my mother snatched me up to leave. So we left abruptly. 

The car ride back was quiet, with the occasional vent by my mother. I don't remember anything she said, all I can remember was her crying and gripping the steering wheel with pure rage. When we got home, I asked her was everything going to be okay, and when we were going to see everyone again. She said "I don't know, Virg, if they are going to act like that, then I don't want to see them at all." This cut me to be bone. If I couldn't talk to family, then who could I talk to?

One last thing that happened around this time was I was introduced to the wonderful internet and all of its majesties. See, I've always been a mannish kid. Even since kindergarten I had always loved girls. LOVED. I still remember in second grade when I literally dated the entire classroom of girls. Why did they agree? Who knows lol.

I always wanted to see naked women. But I never had an outlet or an opportunity. Until one day, my mom was going to be late getting back from work. I made my move. 

What I saw changed my enitre life that day lol. But not for the best. For the absolute worst. What I saw was damnation, I thought. See, I was always brought up in church. I was a church boy through and through. But what I saw on that screen was terrible, and I wish I had'nt seen it. It brought out emotions that I did not know I had and my body rejected them fully.

I hid this from my mom of course, but in my room I would always cry and cry for days on end for what I had done. On top of that, I was still getting picked on at school, and my family was worse than ever before, including the fact that the arguments between my mom and me jumped astronomically.  I felt terrible. I literally asked myself "Why do I even have to go through this? All this sadness, pain, and these lustful emotions?" I hated life at that point. It was after a few months more of this that I decided I wanted to commit suicide.

It was in March, and I planned on doing it one night after school. I was too much of a punk to cut myself and I honestly did not want to feel any pain. I decided I would kill myself in the bathroom. My plan was to basically inhale as much water as I possibly could until I passed out. 

So I was sitting in the bathtub full of water and I braced myself. I asked God to forgive me for everything I had done and I dipped my head in the water. And inhaled. And inhaled. But it was strange. For some reason, it was like a barrier was keeping the water from coming in. I'm literally breathing and no water is going into my nostrils. I lift out of the water and begin to cry. I couldn't even do this, I thought. I can't even kill myself. 

I sat in the bathtub for about 30 more seconds crying, trying not to let my mother hear me. All of a sudden I heard a voice. Very subtle. I immediately looked at the bathroom door and thought my mother said something. Silence. I heard the voice again. I couldn't catch what it was saying at first because I was panicking and wondered where it came from. I realized after a while that it came from nowhere. But I heard it. I stopped moving the water around and listened to it, and this is what it said, as light as a feather or a pin drop, but so clear that to this day I still remember how it sounded:

"I want you to know I love you. I have put you through so much as preparation for your life. Everything you go through now is temporary and it will pass. I will always challenge you and send turmoil into your life, many times more than others. But don't lose faith. Know that I am always here for you. Every gift I gave you, I gave you so that you may change the world. Just believe in me and know that I will never leave you"

It stopped. I didn't hear it anymore after that last sentence. I was in awe. I wiped my tears and climbed out of the bathtub. I looked in the mirror in pure disbelief. Because I realized, and I truly believe this with all of my heart, that I heard God. And some may not believe this, and I never have told anyone about this, but it doesn't matter. I believe it in my heart and honestly,  it was that voice at that moment that saved my life.

And the voice was right. I eventually got taller. I'm currently 6'5", taller than all of my friends now lol. I've put on weight. I'm not really shy anymore and I can pretty much talk to anyone on any level, which is great because sometimes I still deal with slight depression and loneliness. My family still has their problems, and I still love them. I'm still singing, playing sports, I now perform poetry and I currently attend Mercer University and I'm almost done getting my Master's in Biomedical Engineering. And life isn't so bad. I still deal with crazy problems, which are stories of their own lol, but at least now I know I truly have someone, or something, some deity, some voice, whatever it may be, watching over me. And you know, people still believe in me. And I think that's great.