The numbness is spreading through my body.
I lie back on the bed behind me, spread my arms out with what little motor control I have left, and stare at the ceiling.
I can feel everything empty out of me as I struggle to keep my eyes open. I have to remain conscious in these moments, or it's not worth it. Nothing's worth it if I don't feel it.
It's cascading down on me. The numbness is drowning me. This isn't how I thought it would feel, but it's not terrible either. It's nothing like I was afraid it would be, nothing like I had hoped it would be; just somewhere in between.
My thoughts are long gone, and it's so freeing. If I had known about this sensation before, I would have done it dozens of times, hundreds. Anything to numb myself.
I'm almost completely asleep when I hear her knock at the door to my bedroom. How embarrassing, I think, to be caught like this. She shouldn't have to know about this newfound habit; she shouldn't have to face this before it becomes necessary.
I know that when I don't answer she'll come in, but I can't help it. There's no strength left in me to answer. So the door opens and I want to cringe, want to tell her it's nothing, just leave, but I can't. Instead, all I can register is the shocked expression cover her face and the scream boil in my eardrums. Why did she have to ruin this? Why did she have to make it so real?
She kneels down by the bed after calling 911-like they can help me now-and just holds my hand. She's staring into my eyes and muttering nonsense, such nonsense that I need to tell her she's wrong, I'm not scared, I'm annoyed that she interrupted. I just don't want to be rude. Maybe I'll let her believe that I didn't know what I was getting into; maybe that will numb her a little bit.
The paramedics arrive and I'm so surprised that I see them. I thought for sure that by now things would be over. My eyes should be closed, I should have crashed and been asleep by now, but I'm not. I'm not and I wonder if maybe they can help me now, maybe I'm not too far into this yet.
They're patching up the wounds now, and I want to scream at them to stop. They're ruining this for me. They've made it a scene so public it'll probably be on the evening news and people will pity me. I can't handle their pity. That's why I did this in the first place.
I'm struggling a little bit now as they try to drag me onto the stretcher, pulling back from them with all my force, but it's not enough. I'm on the stretcher and I'm moving and I'm conscious. I don't like this anymore. I can feel and I don't like it.
Anxiety is bubbling in my throat about their judgements, because I know they're judging me. I shouldn't have been here to witness their judgement, but I am and it's so much worse. I thought it would all be over by now; where's the dimming light, where's the prick of unconsciousness to settle my churning stomach? Where is the thing I was waiting for?
She's crying now as she rides in the ambulance beside me, and I feel guilty. I shouldn't feel guilty, I shouldn't feel anything but pain. Where's the pain? I think they gave me something to numb it, but I don't want to be numb physically. Why can't they see that?
Now I'm spending our non-existent money in this hospital bed that I shouldn't be in, I shouldn't be in it at all. What will she do without this money, this non-refundable money that won't be any use to her when I'm gone? I'm still going to be gone, aren't I? Aren't I?
Then the world finally fades into blackness and I can't help but be thankful the ordeal is over. It didn't go perfectly but at least it finished like I wanted it to, and nothing matters anymore. Nothing matters but allowing this to consume me, to gnaw at my insides until I'm nothing but dust in the brittle world I used to occupy.
Just as suddenly, the blackness is lifted as my eyes open. I can hear her sobs again, I can hear everything again, every miniscule noise in this stupid white walled place, and I know I'm not going anywhere. I don't understand.
I never wanted to be saved.
Why am I still here?