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I was a young man dating a married women with five kids. It was Christmas time and I had no money to get anyone a gift. The kids’ father was in jail and I was in love with his wife.

I was confused and didn’t know what to do.

I tried and tried to do everything I could to do get the kids a Christmas gift, but in reality I just couldn’t afford anything. It hurt because I really loved the kids like my own and I just wanted to see them happy. I knew what it’s like to wake up as a child with nothing under the Christmas tree.

I prayed and I prayed, but nothing seemed to work. Christmas was in two days and I didn’t know what to do. That’s when I decided that life wasn’t worth all this pain. I decided to kill myself.

I had it all planned out. I was going to jump in front of a Metro bus.

Christmas Eve came and I was going to play with the kids. We laughed and listened to Christmas carols. Little did they know that I was hurting inside and truly ready to die. “Santa Claus is coming to town” is the last thing I heard before I left out the door.

As I’m walking and talking to myself, I’m getting closer to my destination and closer to death. From a distance, I can see the Metro buses and how fast they were moving. I had been worrying about what if I live and end up handicapped or in a wheelchair. I wanted to make there was no chance of that.

As soon as I decided it was time, I started running as fast as I could. But before I could get to the bus, I fell in a hole — literally fell in a hole — twisted my ankle and bumped my head.

I was embarrassed, but I was still alive. I thought to myself, “Wow, life ain’t easy. But death is harder than I thought.”