Chapter 26

(The End)

I knew this would be the day I died. I found out long ago. The cold of my gun's barrel against my forehead made me shiver, or was that the fear? I had no idea what would happen if I pulled the trigger. Yet, here I was, standing in a shack in the middle of the woods alone with myself.

"Don't do it." I said. "Just think of all you could accomplish." It's true. I am still young and have an entire life ahead of me, but is it a life I want? That's what was keeping my gun securely in place, even if it was shaking with uncertainty.

"I have to do it." I closed my eyes and tried with all my strength to pull that trigger. My finger curled but did not move, almost as if my own will to live were holding it back.

"You don't have to. Just put it down. Listen! Put it down!" I do have to even if I don't want to. There is no other way to stop the madness. If I continue to live they die. To kill me is to save them. I repeated that line in my head.

"To kill me is to save them." I whispered. It was a mistake to say that out loud. These past few years that phrase had been like a guiding light to me, but I had never gotten the courage to speak the words themselves. Now, having brought the words to life on the eve of their fulfillment I felt ever more inclined to do the deed.

"What did you say?" I had almost hoped I didn't hear myself speak. "You think that will save them? It won't." I tried to ignore myself speaking. What I said was almost certainly a lie, but it was hard to tell.

"I won't know that until I try." My finger ever so slightly tightened.

"Do you want to die? Look at how far you've come. Do you want to lose everything?" I tried to shut out that voice. I've been trying to shut out that voice for years.

In the back of my mind, as I squeezed the trigger, I laughed at the fact that I use to be a librarian.