I wanted to hide my body somewhere no one would have to find it.

Midway through my freshman year, I settled on the Saco River-a hungry stretch of icebergs and fog that slipped by the edge of campus. I liked the river because when I stood on its edge, it always felt like morning, even at sunset, even at midnight. I also liked it because it was practical and clean. It would take me away, wash every part of me. Bury me in its silt.

On a frigid February night, I cleaned my side of the room by moonlight as my roommate slept soundlessly. I deleted every photo of myself from social media and then sat on my bed writing goodbye notes on loose-leaf paper. I put the letters on my desk, tucked myself into my bed, and listened to an audiobook until our window glowed with the first sign of dawn.

On my final morning, the morning of my nineteenth birthday, I put on my blue coat and gold sneakers, smoothed my hair in the mirror without looking myself in the eyes, and left my dorm room one last time. I crossed Eaton College's campus in the shadows of mountains, and stumbled through a wall of evergreen trees to a dock winged by canoes. Everything looked so beautiful, but I didn't know how to feel it.

The boats crashed around me as I knelt on the icy wood, sadness like sand in my blood. In the broken glass of rushing water, I almost expected to see not my own reflection but the face of my aunt Devin, my mother's sister who, on the day I was born, waded out into the Irish Sea and stayed there. Everyone said I looked like her because of my penny-red hair and blue eyes. But I didn't see her face in front of me, only mine. I was alone.

My jeans soaked through to the skin. My heart raced until my ribs shivered. I brushed tears away so I could see one more sunrise, but the sun blinked open too quickly for color.

I'd always been a little broken, but at least before Eaton I'd fooled people into thinking I was talented, sparkling, and smart. Now, I felt like I wasn't even a person at all. I didn't want anything. I hoped for nothing. No one needed me. The sadness had spread from my brain to my bones. It lived in my body. I didn't think it would ever go away. How could it? It could only get worse when my parents found out I had failed a class. When they discovered I'd been essentially kicked off the soccer team. It could only get worse when Cass fell in love with somebody new, and I had to watch it happen. Then what?

Then nothing.

I got to my feet and leaned over the water, ready to fall into the rushing, into the stillness. I tried to catch my reflection one more time, but I didn't know the girl who flickered below me, and I didn't know how to save her. I dared her to want something, to wish for something. Anything. I begged her. I missed, not for the first time, having someone to pray to.

I inched to the very edge. Held my breath. Prepared to jump. And then my cell phone vibrated and Eaton's emergency alert system started screaming.

If Tomorrow Doesn't Come, Jen St. Jude