This is the night I die. I have it all worked out. Just as they say in real estate, its location location location.
But I get ahead of myself. You probably want to know why I’m doing this. That’s what a suicide note is all about, isn’t it? To assume guilt and cast blame? To tell the dirty little secrets behind the desperate act?
You will get none of that from me. There is no blame – no excuses. I want to die because the option has grown intolerable. Living is agony and I’ve simply had enough.
I’m not old or sick or even ugly. In fact, men have called me beautiful. I’m counting on that for my plan which I will reveal in time. I have a mental disorder. Disorder - such a plain, dry word for a spinning timewarp into hell, an absolute mental anguish that clamps down on my brain with demon claws, holding me hostage. Only one way out, but I will win. I will win!
I am dressing for it now, and as I do, I say goodbye to the things I know: a framed photo of my mother, my grandmother’s bible, a dried and broken rose from a lover. The evening is warm so the short silk shift is comfortable against my skin. A touch of makeup. Run a brush through my long dark hair. Checking the mirror, I look hot in a dying Goth sort of way. A diamond pendant, gaudy two-karat bling: bait to attract the predators.
I consider a pair of high heel pumps since I have no intention of running, but as my heart begins to race with imminence and intensity, I see there is no more time. I pick an oversized purse and lock my door, a meaningless gesture as I set out on my stroll toward death. I live near the park, twenty blocks of lush green hiding places. Once upscale, the neighborhood has fallen. As I walk, I hear screams and gunfire. Dangerous. I’m counting on it.
You see, I don’t have the stomach for suicide. I’ve tried and failed more times than I can count. Thus the plan: Someone else must do it for me.
Briefly I wonder if it will work, if I will be tracing my steps back home in the morning, defeated by life once more. But it has to work. It cannot be otherwise.
The park is lovely. If I weren’t frozen in my skin, gut turned acid, it might have been romantic. But the beauty is illusion. Behind it lurks black bloody menace. I’ve read the police reports, seen the signs of warning. For me, it is perfect.
I inch toward a street lamp in a bower of ancient oaks. I come to a stop a little way from its cone of dim luminescence. My heart beats sickly, so fast it may explode, saving everyone from further drama, but my aching body takes it in stride. Though lightheaded, I can’t even faint.
Hours pass. The church bell strikes one, two, three and still I wait. He will come. He has to. I need him more than I’ve needed anyone my whole life.
Behind me a rustle, a twig snap, a footfall. I dare not turn but hum innocently, vulnerably. I am bait, but there is no trap. Just do it, I chant the Nike mantra.
Then he is upon me. A muscled arm closes around my throat. I am pulled backward, his body pressed against mine. Our sweat mingles. I hope he does not rape me; all I want is death. But it’s out of my hands now.
“Give me your money!” he grunts the classic line.
“No,” I resist.
He spins me and slaps me hard. I stagger, head ringing. He rips the chain from my neck. Blood oozes across my clavicle from the burning tear, cool in the night breeze. He grabs the strap of my bag. Soundlessly I fight him. He fights back as I want him to. Another blow, then a knife. My fear overwhelms me. Can I finish what I have begun?
With an X-motion, he slashes above my breasts, a warning. The blade, razor sharp, is at first only a gruesome pressure, but then the pain comes, acute, severe. I writhe but still do not cry out. The knife tip is at my throat. It presses but does not pierce.
“Kill me,” I whisper. I should have known better.
My assailant jerks back as if he were the one stabbed. Death interrupted.
“Wait,” I cry impotently but it’s no use. The man backs away; through my words, I have become the aggressor.
He sways and stumbles in his surprise. The heel of his boot catches a cleft in the walkway and he goes down like a tattooed redwood.
“Wait,” I cry again but the only sound is a dog bark in the distance.
The man lies so still. His mean mouse eyes stare open, as if he has seen something unbelievable. I step closer and gaze down at him.
Blood pools oily black on the pathway.
I am still alive.