Upon waking, I decide that I want to die. There hasn’t been anything in particular that has driven me to this seemingly rash decision; no chronic depression or hatred for society; I just feel that I have nothing else to offer in this world. It’s kind of a damning and self-deprecating statement really. There’s no one I’m leaving behind; my parents died during my infancy and I moved far away from my abusive foster parents at eighteen. I sound like some tragic protagonist in a teen novel. I’m in between jobs, just about getting by to pay the rent for my tiny one-roomed apartment. I have no close friends that I’d feel sad about leaving; I’m pretty sure they’re not that fond of me anyway.
It’s 11:30PM; my sleeping pattern is anything but practical. I blame it on binge-watching reruns of old sitcoms on online streaming apps; I won’t say what they’re called just in case I’m being watched by some omnipresent being that will sue me for unpaid product placement. I think about how I’m going to end it all; I could be dramatic and jump off the roof of my apartment complex whilst preaching about the end of the world, but it’s cold outside. I think I’ll opt to die in the (questionable) comfort of my own home. I have some razors I can use to lacerate my wrists. I grab them from the bathroom then sit on the couch that doubles as my bed. The razor is encased by a plastic covering for safety so I place it on the floor and stamp on it, luckily shattering it on the first attempt. I brush the residual plastic off and hold the bare razor in front of my face; it doesn’t look like it could cut paper, never mind skin and veins, but it’ll have to do. My apartment is dirty; dishes are stacked on the coffee table and empty cans and crisp packets are scattered throughout the room. I decide whether to clean up first but then instantly dismiss the idea; I’ll leave that to whoever finds my body.
I lift up the sleeve of my t-shirt that I’ve been wearing for three days and make a small cut just below my left shoulder; I’m ‘testing the waters’ to see if this blade is suitable to end my life. Surprisingly, it slides through my skin with ease, drawing blood almost instantly. This evokes a slightly sadistic gasp of joy from myself. I bring the blade to my left wrist, hovering it up and down to judge what part looks like it could cause the most damage. I swear I’m not usually this masochistic but I don’t like doing things twice so I want to get this right first time. I opt for a spot just below the creases that separate my hand from my wrist; if I’m lucky, I can sever a tendon as well as some veins. I lower the blade slowly as if performing a life-saving operation then quickly swipe the razor through my flesh. It hurts but if people can put up with having tattoo needles jabbing into them for a few hours then I can deal with this. Before my left hand hurts too much I swap the razor into my left hand and promptly lacerate my right wrist; it’s a little sloppier than the left as the cut curves away slightly; it seems like some of the veins that are still intact so it doesn't bleed as much. Oh well. Blood streams into my hands I sit on the couch, patiently awaiting death. The pain is quite intense, like I’m resting my wrists on a heated iron. I walk around my apartment aimlessly, feeling quite bored, until I come across an old magazine that got stuffed through my letterbox a couple of weeks ago. It’s trashy as hell, filled with celebrity gossip and real-life stories submitted by readers. 'Stacey has her fourth child at just 19 years old!' 'Average dad claims to be working late, until his wife finds out his dark secret!' These headlines alone should be reason enough to end my life. My wrists bleed profusely and a few of the streams run through the crannies of my palm, marking my hand like a road atlas. I stare at the oddly picturesque blood and try and think of a metaphor to fit the image. I can’t think of any. I continue reading the trashy magazine but it soon becomes unreadable as blood soaks the pages; just as I was beginning to get engrossed in Stacey’s thrilling tale of quadruple teen pregnancy.
Only fifteen minutes have passed but it feels like a lot longer. I’m beginning to get lightheaded. I lay on my couch and stare at the ceiling; the irritating bustle of drunken youths, distant police sirens and the seemingly constant sound of passing cars makes the whole scenario even more uncomfortable. I’m feeling quite nauseous but all I can do is to withstand it as I feel my body getting weaker with every passing second. Is this the right decision? I can’t help but think that but even in my dying moments, I can’t think of anything that gives me a reason to continue living. Even though I’m not particularly depressed, it’s the thought of continuing life in monotony that makes me sure about this. My vision is blurry; I want to try and sleep but the dull ache of my lacerated wrists is keeping me from slumber. I’ll soon pass out and that will be it; there’ll be no more shitty jobs and no more wandering around without a purpose. I’m not religious and I don’t have an open enough mind to believe in any form of existence after death, so I imagine my afterlife will consist of nothingness, like returning to the womb (except without the Freudian fetish). I’ll be unaware and non-existent; a perfect peace.
My cone of vision begins to narrow as darkness begins to creep in; maybe I’m just closing my eyes but I can only focus on the pain that both stops me and causes me to pass out. My breathing is slower. I still feel the trickle of blood tickling my hands and wrapping around my fingertips. It’s probably everywhere. What a mess; I feel sorry for whomever finds me, I’m probably not a pretty sight. I can no longer see anything and my breathing has ceased to nothing but the odd inhale and exhale every thirty seconds or so. The pain from my hands has gone and my body feels weightless. Relief. It’s over.
But it isn’t.