Choice.

She had made up her mind. She was going to do it. She even settled on a date, her upcoming birthday, a clean cut, birthday and death day all in once. That should work out fine. Plus, she didn´t want her family to grieve twice a year. They would be reminded of her passing away on her birthday, so why pick another day and make them sad twice a year? Her birthday lost its purpose long ago, so there was really no point of not settling on that date. When you get older, your birthdays are just days marking your aging. They lose every ounce of childish pleasure, the increasing excitement till the day finally comes around; they are often forgotten, drowned in work and duties.

She felt relieved after settling on her birthday. It took her very long to make up her mind and she weighed pros and cons thoroughly before picking a path to follow. She was meticulous in her decision making process, writing lists and taking them with her wherever she went. The pending decision followed her around, until she settled on either option. Then she would discard the list, sometimes she even burnt it, and she would not look back. A decision made was a decision made. She did not look back and wondered if her life had turned out differently if she had chosen differently. She did not concern herself with these trivialities. The purpose of her minute decision-making was to go on living her life and she was determined that the meticulousness of the process ruled out any other option. So as she finally settled on her birthday, she knew that everything else would fall into place.

She would have to decide on how to do it. She thought about bridges for a long time. There were a lot of bridges around, bridges over train tracks, over highways, pedestrian bridges spanning over rivers. It would be easy for her to go to either of these bridges and jump. But she would probably only get badly injured and not die. She would have to wait for a train or truck to come, but time was of the essence then, and she was no good with that at all.

A blow to the head was her next idea and the pondered about it for about a month. A gun and a single bullet would do the trick, but she didn´t own a gun and she didn´t have the money to buy it on the black market, let alone was she able to fire a gun. But then again, she thought, putting it in your mouth or pressing it against your temple and pulling the trigger was not that difficult. Even for an amateur like her. Still, the acquisition was problematic. She had no idea where the black market was and she didn´t know if they sold guns there. Plus, she didn´t own the money. She owned enough, but she had put it aside for her funeral.

Starving occurred to her as she read an article about famine in Africa, but as she saw the pictures of the little children crying because they hadn´t eaten in too long, she forgot about that idea within seconds. But the image of the starved child, hanging limp and dead in his mother´s arms didn´t leave her mind for very long. She would be found like that. Dead, limp, her body a soulless construct.

She considered those flickers of remorse and guilt uncalled-for. She had made up her mind. There was no way she would revise it.

She remembered a report on TV saying that suicidal women always considered that someone had to clean up the mess after them and so they went for tidy ways of killing themselves. Slitting their wrists in the tub was one of them. She could do that. As part of her leaving-home-kit, her mom had given her sharp kitchen knives that would certainly be fit to cut through her skin and damage the artery. She feared the pain, but she suffered from migraine and she had some very good pain killers in her medicine chest. One steady cut across the forearm in the direction of her wrist, parallel to ulna and radius, cutting deep enough to hit the artery – that was the plan. But she had never been one for self-mutilation.

She thought of poisoning next. Raticide would work, but buying it would certainly arise suspicion. She thought of pills. Whenever migraine hit, she took a lot of pain killers and she has read the package insert thousands of times. She knew how many she could take, the dosage she tolerated and the rate of her usual intake in accordance with the severity of the pain. You where only allowed to buy three packages, but she could go to three different shops, buy three packages at each and go home with hundred and forty four pills. That would do the trick. But she read that you often didn´t die from the pills, but suffocate. Death came with a lot of pain, because your stomach was revolting and you were prone to throw up, but your body was paralyzed by the pain killers and the vomit would block your air ways. Thus, you´d asphyxiate.

She ruled out strangling and burning to death because of lack of execution space or fear of pain. As announced on the radio, a motorist driving against the traffic on a nearby motorway had killed several people and succumbed to the injuries caused by the accidents. But she only shook her head and continued weighing options. She couldn´t die with a clean conscience if she killed several other people on her way to heaven.

Eventually, she came up with a plan. On her birthday, she wrote her last will and testament and left it on her desk for the others to find. She didn´t leave an inheritance, but she left enough money to take care of her funeral. It was all in her will. She vacuumed the floor one last time, straightened the blanket on her bed, turned off all electronic devices; she even unplugged them. She checked the dripping faucet in the bathroom, and noticed that a hair pin had fallen into the soap and was stuck there. She pulled it out, wiped it clean, rinsed it and put it into the little box where she kept all her hair pins. Then she looked at herself in the mirror.

She saw commitment. And no fear. She had made a decision and it was time to carry it out. Execution time, she thought, and smiled to herself. She always loved to toy around with words.

She walked into the garage, opened the door to her car and sat down on the driver´s seat. Forcefully, she closed the door and locked it from the inside. Her glance turned sideways and for a long moment, she studied the two objects she had placed in the car before her last patrol around the house. Then she took the package from the passenger´s seat, pressed all forty eight capsules into her hand, listened to the crinkly sound of the plastic and the silent ripping sound of the material covering the pills, and raised her hand to her mouth. With a single swallow, the pills went down her esophagus. Quickly, she drank from the bottle she had put on the passenger´s seat. One or two pills got stuck in her throat and she drank more and more, coughed, cleared her throat and felt the sensation of the two last pills slowly sliding down her esophagus and into her stomach. Twenty minutes. She wasn´t sure if the time frame accounted for forty eight pills as well as for only one, but she thought that it was pretty reasonable to think so. One egg took five minutes to cook. So did ten. Or forty eight, for that matter.

After a few minutes, she felt drowsiness come upon her. With the electric window lift, she opened all windows of her car and started the engine. She had to focus on starting the engine, because she felt strangely detached from her body. It seemed as if the command to lift her hand and reach for the keys in the ignition took ages to execute. With the remaining strength in her body, she turned the key in the ignition and the engine rattled to a start.

She leaned back, her head bent downwards, her eyes staring at the floor mat, and then glancing over to the clutch, up to the radio to look at the watch. But her sight was blurred and she could not read the figures.

The fumes filled the tiny garage. She inhaled and tasted the smell of burned plastic and oil on her tongue. She wanted to cough, but her body felt limp. As is she wasn´t there anymore. And after a while, she wasn´t.

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5 thoughts on “Choice.

  1. Allyson, I was going through a tough time and had to make a really hard, life-changing decision. Somehow, life loves to throw rocks my way. That´s how this idea popped into my head. It´s not a choice I would make, it was just something that came to my mind. Thanks for asking.

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