This knife holds the key

This knife holds the key. The glinting steel that could cut through my flesh with hardly any effort at all, the blade that I hold to my arm, it IS the key. My way out of here, the key to…to whatever comes next. I want to get out, I want to move on…I want to die, and all it would take is one gash, one slice of metal against skin…but I'm afraid. I don't know why. I have nothing to stay for, nothing to live for. We're all destined to die, I know…but am I destined to die like this?

I stand before the full-length mirror. In it there is a skinny, pale girl. I wonder who she is. What has she been through? Her gaunt face is white, and there is no hope in the black eyes. No life.

I gasp and look down, panicking as I realise that the knife has cut my skin. But I feel no pain. I am not a coward, I have done it and the panic is gone as I watch blood run down my hand and drip onto the white carpet. I'm calm now, I'm not afraid and do not flinch as I slash the knife down my other arm.

And so I stand and watch myself bleed. My hands are red, my blood, my life is pouring from my arms, slipping through my fingers. I did not know there was this much blood in the whole world.

I lift a hand to my cheek and streak my face with blood. My arm drops to my side and I stare once more at my dying reflection in the glass. I am starting to feel strange, dizzy, hazy, sleepy. Everything is quiet, silent beyond silence.

I feel the knife, the key, my killer and my release drop from my bloody hand as I fall to my knees. My head drops and I see nothing but red, the red of my blood. I force my head up and look one more time into the mirror. The skinny girl is still there, staring right back at me with her black eyes.

A noise cuts the silence like the knife that lies now in a pool of blood. Glass, shattering. A window…someone's in here. I hear footsteps on the stairs, worried cries and vague voices, calling a familiar name. My name. Is it me they want? The girl in the mirror is smiling now, smiling at me from miles away. The life is leaving my eyes, I know, yet now is appearing in hers. Live, she mouths at me. Don't die. Don't leave, not yet. Live…

I fall forward and lie in the blackness, in the silence that has returned.

This is it. This is really it.

I never believed in the end, until now. Until I reached it.

What have I done?

It is too late to ask what I've done, too late to know. It's too late to live. I am already dead.