However after high school graduation and sensing his parents’ inherent disappointment about his career choice, Rick changed his mind and decided to enroll in a prestigious business school instead of a culinary institute. Upon graduation, he received several lucrative job offers from various financial farms in New York’s Wall Street. Over next few years, he steadily climbed up the corporate ladder. Due to the very nature of his job, many nights he would take his prospective clients to various fancy expensive restaurants. While there, he would take short breaks to visit the kitchens and meet the famous chefs preparing their dishes. Soon, he began to miss his teen-age days of a chef’s intern.
This was also the time when a lethal virus brought on an international pandemic, requiring employees to work from home, while limiting outdoor activities. Such social isolation would bring on mental health issues worldwide. Rick himself became the victim. His high-paying financial job demanded his 24/7 presence on the job via modern technologies of computers and smartphones, creating a lone stressful existence. This in turn forced him to criticize himself for not following through his original passion of becoming a chef. Soon this dual crisis began to drown him in a state of mental upheaval. However, Rick kept it secret not only from his parents, but also from his girlfriend. Instead, he began to use and soon got addicted to potent street drugs, thus entering into a perpetual cycle of depression and addiction.
On a Sunday afternoon, Rick would decide to take a subway to visit his girlfriend living in another part of the city. Once inside the station, he suddenly entered into a “mental dark tunnel of hopelessness” from which he couldn’t pull himself out. At the sound of an incoming train, he took out his smartphone, sent a text message “I love you” to his girlfriend and jumped in front of the fast approaching train.
Next day, Rick’s hometown newspaper carried his obituary, written by his grieved mother, under the title “Death by Suicide”. He was only 29 years old.
[Author’s Note: If you are having thoughts of suicide (or know of someone having similar thought), please dial the following country-specific help lines:
In USA, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
In Canada, Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-833-456-4566
In UK, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 0800 689 5652
In Australia, Lifeline: 13 11 14]