Hope Dies Last

The girl sat on the windowsill, gazing out at the slowly darkening sky. The sunset really did look beautiful, and she knew that she wasn't going to experience anything else so breathtaking as long as she lived. Because she didn't plan to live much longer. The life which was once so sweet, had grown sour and bitter.

Hope was nineteen years old, though sometimes she felt one hundred and twenty. She was trapped in a relationship with an abusive man, one who cheated on her time after time. At first it had bothered her, of course it did. And though he had denied it at first, he had finally admitted to seeing Sarah Netherlands behind her back, but promised he would never do it again. Hope knew full well that he was lying. And Sarah wasn't the only girl he had been seeing. There were some that he saw more than once, but more often than not, he just had one night stands. He spent all his evenings, nights, and the early hours of some mornings in a rough bar with his equally rough friends. When he and Hope had first been together, he had invited her to go there with him; she went once, but never again. She was disgusted by what she saw, the barely dressed women, the drunken men falling all over the floor, the hookers lined up outside trying to cadge business from passers-by. It wasn't Hope's scene, and the fact that it was so obviously Darren's upset her more than she dared admit. She stopped giving him grief about the other women. She tried to stop caring, though she couldn't. especially not on the nights when he got back drunk, wanting something which she wasn't willing to offer to someone who didn't love her in the way she wanted to be loved. He had raped her, on more than one occasion. Sometimes she had managed to fight him off, but this had always left her with more bruises than she would've had if she'd let him.

She couldn't go back to her parents. She didn't know if they were willing to take her back in again, and even if they did, she wouldn't be able to face the "I told you so's" which were inevitable upon her return. So Hope was trapped. Terribly, dangerously trapped and she couldn't see any other way out than what she was about to do.

She span the little bottle around and around between her fingers, her attention still focused on the gorgeous view outside. As she watched the happy people running around in their normal lives on the street below, she felt a hot tear trickle down her cheek. This was followed by another, and another. Soon she was weeping, properly weeping for the first time since she had moved out of her parent's home and into the home of her supposedly loving, decent boyfriend. Many nights she had wanted to cry when he hadn't come home. But Hope, like her name, was never one to wallow in self-pity. However hard looking on the bright side had been, she had always been the one to do it. But even she had her limits. It had to end somewhere. Somewhere in her mind stirred the memory of a pub she had been to with her parents when she was very little. It had been called 'Hope Dies Last' and she remembered thinking what an odd name that was for a pub. Now though, she could only think how true it was.

It's just a shame it had to go this far, Hope thought to herself, as she unscrewed the cap from the bottle and shook out the contents. One by one, she methodically counted the little white pills into her hand. There were forty-eight. She knew that was enough. Of course it was. She moved from the sill, and went into the kitchen, where she poured herself a large glass of water. Then, back in the window, she swallowed the capsules, four or five at a time. With each gulp, she though, this one's for you Darren, you bastard. You never loved me like I loved you. Then they were all gone, and she was left with a sick feeling in her throat, which she took away by downing the rest of the water.

Several hours later, at almost three AM, Darren stumbled in, crying "honey, I'm home..." in his slovenly, drunken way, unaware of what he was about to find.

Hope dies last.