Alicia slammed the door behind her and threw her sequined bag across the flat; it hit the wall and dropped to the floor near the stereo. She stormed into the bedroom and kicked off her black heels before throwing herself onto the bed.

"Bitch! How can she do this to me? I loved her!" Alicia began to sob and she buried her face in the pillow. On the little table beside the bed was a photo in a sterling silver frame. It showed Alicia with her arms around another girl, they were smiling and laughing. Alicia lashed out with her fist and knocked the photo from the table, it hit the hardwood floor where the glass smashed.

"Lalita" whispered Alicia. She didn't want to live; it was too much without Lalita. Alicia sniffed and sat up, drawing a shaky sigh. If she was going to do it, she wanted to do it right. None of this coming back from the brink crap. She got up and padded across the room to the picture window; she slid it open and leaned on the railing. The sound of the sea was soothing. Alicia stared down into the water below her; she and Lalita had jumped from this window and swam to shore many times.

"Back in the day" whispered Alicia. She turned from the window and frowned down at her feet. How to do it was the problem, what was the best way? Alicia went out to the utility room and scooped up a coil of rope from a shelf before heading to the bedroom; she climbed onto a chair and attached the rope to a beam on the ceiling. She fashioned a rough noose before jumping to the floor and dashing into the bathroom. Alicia took an old bottle of sleeping pills from the drawer and then moved to her bedside table. She pulled open the drawer and swallowed before removing the gun her father had given her for protection. It was loaded and she knew how to use it.

"Here we go" Alicia muttered. She tipped the pills into her hand and smiled, they were about the size and shape of Tic Tacs. Alicia poured them all into her mouth and swallowed them dry while she climbed up onto the chair. She put the noose around her neck and took a deep breath. Alicia pushed the muzzle of the gun against her temple.

"Just to make sure" she whispered. Alicia stepped up onto the railing, took a deep breath and jumped.

As she fell, Alicia's right elbow just clipped the railing. Her fingers tightened on the gun to keep hold of it but she squeezed the trigger too hard and it went off. Unfortunately, the gun was in her right hand and it no longer rested against her temple. The bullet flew wide and severed the rope close to where it was attached to the ceiling beam.

"Son of a bi -!" Alicia's shout was just short as she hit the water in a belly flop, the air was forced from her lungs but the water still managed to find a way in. She flailed around a bit until she broke the surface and promptly vomited, bringing up the Tic Tac size pills she had swallowed. Alicia let go of the gun and pulled the rope from her neck, she started to swim for shore and dragged herself up the sand.

"Are you okay?" Alicia swallowed and looked up, squinting through the fading light at the woman standing over her. She was tall with blonde ringlets framing her face, she had bright blue eyes and mocha coloured skin.

"I'm okay" said Alicia. She staggered to her feet only to sink back to her knees as a wave of dizziness overtook her.

"Let me help you." Alicia accepted the offered arm and leaned heavily on the woman as they crossed the sand to a bench; she flopped heavily down and groaned.

"I think you're my neighbour. I've seen you around with your . . . Friend." Alicia lifted her head and raised an eyebrow. Normally, she would have jumped to Lalita's defence and called this woman out on the disgust in her voice when saying the word Friend.

"She's not my friend. Not anymore, she dumped me" said Alicia. She looked across at the woman and saw the small smile on her lips.

"Her loss is my gain. Shall I help you home? I'm Darleen by the way." Alicia smiled and, once again, took the offered arm.

Luckily, Alicia had left her front door open. She told Darleen to take a seat while she went to the bedroom to get changed. Alicia closed the door behind her and quickly pulled on some dry clothes. As she was heading back out, Alicia noticed the silver frame on the floor. She picked it up and pushed it under the mattress, she hesitated a moment before pulling it back out and throwing it from the open window.

"Just to be sure" she said, smiling. Alicia opened the door and went back into the living room.