Author: Crazy Amazing PM
I'm going to sit in the corner of this darkened pub and drink myself slowly to death. Or if it doesn't work, I'll go home and hang myself. Or I'll walk in front of a bus. I've had enough of living. I'm tired of it; it exhausts me.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 2,639 - Favs: 1 - Published: 01-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 2992123
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm going to sit in the corner of this darkened pub and drink myself slowly to death. Or if it doesn't work, I'll go home and hang myself. Or I'll walk in front of a bus. I've had enough of living. I'm tired of it; it exhausts me. I can no longer bear to go on so I won't. This is it for me. The end.
I'm not afraid of dying, as I should be. I'm afraid of what will come after – that long stretch of nothingness – but death itself doesn't scare me. Not anymore. Not since Jacqueline told me she was leaving me. Like our marriage meant nothing.
Everyone said we married too young.
There are six pint glasses in front of me. Three of them are empty with a fourth on its way there. I'm making good progress, though I can't feel the effects of the alcohol yet. I can't feel anything anymore. I am numb. My head is warm and grey and dull. I am drained. It will all be over soon.
The pub is full tonight. The music is loud, the people louder. It would hurt my head if I could feel. My emotions have dimmed, preparing me for the eternal dimming I will experience later. Soon. People in the pub come and go; no-one notices me in the corner. They're too busy enjoying their lives. Let them. Let them enjoy it. It won't last, I know it won't last. Happiness is not constant and when it is gone, they will know how I feel. How I felt when I killed myself.
Because I will kill myself.
My eyes focus on the drink grasped in my hand, turning warm. I drink it automatically, not tasting the liquid on my tongue, not feeling the sharp scorching at the back of my throat, not feeling the added wooziness in my head. Not feeling. I like the feeling of not feeling. I welcome it gladly because it means I'm halfway there. One foot in the grave, the other eager to follow. And it will follow.
"Is someone sitting there? I'm waiting on my friends." I look up, shocked. Her voice – I thought it was Jacqueline – but no, it isn't. Just a woman, a stranger. Her hair is long and curly like Jacqueline's but lighter. She has great skin and a pretty face, not as pretty as Jacqueline but I can't deny she has a modest beauty about her. Her eyes are big and blue and can likely see right through to my soul. But I doubt it.
I gesture to the woman that she can sit wherever the hell she likes and concentrate on ignoring her presence for a while, finishing my fourth drink and starting on my fifth. The pub is beginning to sway and I take that to mean its working.
"Are you drinking all these," the woman's arms sweep over the glasses, "by yourself?" I glare at her, stumbling over my words a little as I tell her to mind her own effing business. I don't need her to make a comment. I was content to be alone and she ruined that. The woman continues to stare at me in astonishment, exclaiming that I'm going to kill myself. I force a raucous laugh and tell her that's the idea.
The woman pushes the glass I'm about to lift to my lips back on the table. Who the hell does she think she is? I don't know her so she shouldn't try to interfere with my life – what's left of it anyway. Soon it will be my death. I look forward to it. The woman leans forward, her hair hanging in front of her face a little. Jacqueline's used to do the same and I resist the urge to push it back.
"Why?" she asks quietly. My bleary eyes lock on to her crystal ones.
I'm sick of the world. Sick sick sick. I've had enough, I seriously have. Jacqueline miscarried three times. I lost my job a couple weeks back. I'm being evicted. There's nothing left in this world for me to live for. I don't want to stick around for the corruption, the turmoil, the suffering, the damage, the fatalities and casualties, the deceit, the crises, the sorrow, the disappointment. I don't like other people. I hate them in fact. They're always just in the way, pushing, shoving, doing what they do to benefit themselves and not thinking for one second about the wellbeing of anyone not directly associated to them. I detest living on the planet. I detest living. I hate the greyness of it. Everything is dull, even the things people draw joy from. Nothing is worth anything in this sickening world. Everything is quantifiable but nothing has value. It's all pointless. All of it.
It will be better when I am dead. It has to be.
The woman shakes her head.
"No. No, there's always an upside. Always. I'll bet in about two weeks you'll change your mind," she says with certainty. I look at her blankly. I've hated the world for years. I hate the world and I hate the people. Why would I ever change my mind about this? Death will be the end of my prolonged misery and I look forward to welcoming it.
"There's a chance your life will take a turn for the better. You don't know what's around the corner. Wouldn't you rather wait and find out?" the woman asks. She doesn't know me. She doesn't know me at all. She doesn't know that I've been waiting for that better turn more than half my life and it hasn't come. What does she care for anyway? We are strangers.
"My conscience won't allow me to sit with a suicidal man knowing I didn't do everything I could to try and get him to change his mind." Oh great: she's a do-gooder. She needs to learn that not everyone in this world can be saved. I am just one of the many people on this dismal planet who have succumbed to the inevitability of death but instead of running away from it, I'm sprinting towards it. I want this so much, it hurts. Death is the only way.
"You don't really want to kill yourself. You want someone to notice you. This is a cry for help, am I wrong?"
She's dead wrong. I cried for help so many times I was accused of crying wolf. No-one believes my despair is this great. Well, they'll find out the extent of my hopelessness when they hear the news of my suicide. When I'm dead, they will realise they were wrong about me. And they will weep bitter tears of regret for me. No, this is not a cry for help. This is the solution to everything.
I reach for my drink and this time, the woman doesn't stop me. I feel smug, almost like I've won. Of course, I haven't won. If I had won I wouldn't be in this overcrowded pub trying to drink myself away. I'm wrong about the woman though. She hasn't given up on me. She is just thinking of what to say next because it is obvious her first approach isn't working.
She holds her hand out vertically to me in offering. I look at it, confused, until she tells me to shake it. I don't. The woman pulls her hand back.
"I'm Tammy Fisk." I don't care. "You said we're strangers. If I tell you who I am, we'll be friends and I'll be able to convince you not to kill yourself." I doubt it.
"I'm twenty five, I'm a lyricist and I have a degree in English and Linguistics. I don't often go to pubs but my friends insisted I get out my flat because I spend far too much time cooped up in it." Tammy Fisk pauses here to laugh a little at herself, betraying her nervousness. She feels vulnerable opening herself up to a stranger – me – but she thinks it's the only way to save me. How naive.
"I grew up with my mum and grandma; they were both strong influences on my life because they are such fierce women. I've always wanted to live in a house in the suburbs, a white house with a neat front garden and a lime green front door. I used to imagine it all the time: my husband would come home in his company car and I would greet him with a kiss and it would feel like the other half of me had come back. Am I going too deep?"
I'm staring at Tammy Fisk. Why is she talking to me about her life? I don't want to know this. I don't. It's making me feel things I don't want to feel. Things like the hope I once had. I used to have a dream similar to Tammy Fisk's about the house and the car and the fulfilling marriage. But as my life went on, the dream began to dim and flicker until I lost it. I didn't need it because it wasn't going to happen and was just making me more depressed to think about what I wanted to have but couldn't achieve. Just a house, a proper one with big double-glazed windows, a chimney – the works. It would smell of soap, cinnamon and fresh bread inside. The interior would be just as clean and classy as the outside: laminated floors and stylish wallpaper probably picked out by my more fashionably-inclined wife.
Jacqueline and I lived in a pokey council flat.
Tammy Fisk moves one of my glasses – a full one – over to her side of the table and takes a sip from it. She pulls a face and spits it back into the glass, spluttering. Tammy Fisk explains she doesn't care much for beer but I'm waiting for her to explain that she's sorry and is going to buy me a new drink. She doesn't.
"So you know my name and a bit about my life. What's your name?" Tammy Fisk asks. I don't tell her, just stress the fact that I'm going to kill myself. Tammy Fisk has not changed anything. I will kill myself. Tonight. I won't be stopped by the nosey Tammy Fisk, a relative stranger who thinks she can interfere with what I want.
"Is it what you really want? Death is the coward's way out of a bad situation. Are you a coward?" I'm no coward. I've just had enough. It's not being brave to keep living, it's being stupid. "You have to live."
Why? What's the point? What can I possible hope to gain from existing?
Tammy Fisk's blue eyes look panicked. She's run out of inspirational speeches and cunning ideas. Now all that is left is me and her. Me and Tammy Fisk. Her fingers drum on the polished wood table top, stained here and there with spilled drinks. I sit back in my chair, feeling bizarrely triumphant. I've prevailed in my dedication to death but now I'm going to have to kill myself. Not that I don't want to. I just wish I didn't have to. Or, no. I wish I didn't have to in order to prove a point to this Tammy Fisk.
Not everyone can be saved.
I get to my feet, my last drink in my hand. I gaze at Tammy Fisk as I knock back the honey-coloured liquid, my throat gulping it down quickly. A little spills on my shirt but that's okay. It's my last drink. Ever.
I nod my head to Tammy Fisk shortly and make my way outside, stumbling as I meander through the throng of people packed in the pub. They don't notice me and they never will. I make it outside and the cold air slaps me in the face roughly, trying to defog my head but failing. Everything is cloudy but I don't care. It's finally time to say goodbye. To everything. I look up at the sky, one of the only physical examples of infinity and am disappointed when I don't see any stars. Of course I don't see stars, I'm in the city. I'll see the stars soon.
I take a step forward, towards the main road – busy with fast cars, that's good – when a hand pulls me back. I turn, confused, and have just enough time to see Tammy Fisk before my vision is obscured. She has pulled me into an embrace and we kiss. Boy, do we kiss. Her hands are around my body, mine are grabbing handfuls of her thick hair. Her lips are soft and delicious and moving against mine firmly. She smells like cinnamon and soap. We are two halves of one person, relieved to be reunited because being apart meant we were incomplete. It's heartbreaking to experience – why was it never like that with Jacqueline? – there are tears running down my cheeks.
My fingers stroke her cheeks; Tammy Fisk is rubbing my back. I like her hand on my back, its soothing. She's tender with that hand, like she cares about a complete stranger who's stupid enough to want to kill himself. And no-one is like that in this world. That's why I hate people. They're selfish. All of them.
Or, that's what I thought.
We pull away. I'm breathing heavily and seeing everything in double and my head is pounding and I'd fall if not for Tammy Fisk's arms around me but I'm doing it, I'm standing. And living. The alcohol's effects are finally kicking in. It hurts worse than hell. I want it to end, but I don't. If this is dying, I don't want it. I push through the pain. I rest my forehead against Tammy Fisk's and feel rather than see her smile. Goddammit, she's beautiful.
"It's going to be okay," she breathes. "Everything is going to be okay." It's not fair. I don't want to kill myself after a moment like this. It's done something I thought was impossible: restored my hope in the world, in my life, in humanity.
"My name is Nick Peters, I'm unemployed and I don't want to kill myself tonight," I say calmly. What I don't say, what I feel, is that one day, I want Tammy Fisk to be my wife. I'm going to work hard to love her and get her to love me. I'll get a good job so I can provide for her. I want to make her happy. She has to be happy, she deserves it: I've never met anyone as honestly good as Tammy Fisk. She's saved me.
I don't want to die, don't want to leave Tammy Fisk. I can live a life worth living. I'm thinking maybe life isn't quite as dismal as I believed. Maybe it was just me. But I can change.
I can change.