Before her, on the clean tile countertop, Cateryn had laid her chosen devices: a paring knife, a piece of hemp rope, and her bottle of sleeping medication. Her hands lay in her lap, fingers tapped the air. Tonight was the night she was going to end her life. She’d tried before, but had never been as serious as she was that night.
Earlier in the evening she had learned that the man she loved was expecting a child with his wife. She wasn’t prepared for the raw anguish that the news caused her. On one hand she met a man with whom she occupied a unique place on the planet; she secretly loved him and felt that maybe he loved her too; he accepted her flaws and looked at her with soft and twinkling eyes. On the other hand, he got his wife pregnant which meant that he was really screwing her when he had said that they were separated. Cateryn willingly let herself love a man that would ultimately disappear like a desert fog. Therefore she wanted to slash her wrists and bleed out the sadness. She wanted to die a long, draining death. But that was likely to be more painful than she could endure, and it would take a stronger will than she possessed.
The second pathetic attempt she had made to kill herself came when she had first started college. A boy to whom she had lost her virginity had dumped her heartlessly and proceeded to ignore her, so she had tried to slice open her soft translucent wrists with her pink shaver. Lying in the top bunk of her dorm room, Cateryn had felt so worthless, so weak. Her surface cuts barely bled. She just wanted to be relieved of her duty to exist.
Outside of the window, a mountain of displaced soil sloped upward; the clouds hugged its rounded peak as if to hold it up. Single-lane roadways sidewinded the face of the mountain, and puffs of smoke dispersed from the toy-like trucks that traversed the roads. Up and down, the land is being gutted, Cateryn thought. What kind of world do I live in? She didn’t want to bother with a life that involved smiling and working and consuming to drive the machine.
That’s why hanging herself sounded like a good option. It looked so final and desperate. How could one endure the shameful existence but not take her own life? Would hanging would take too long and also be painful? She wondered where she could do it and have enough height.
That’s why she decided that she would swallow that whole bottle of pills with a full glass of scotch. It would be quick and she could pass out without having to say goodbye. She had tried to do that with the bottle of aspirin during the fall of her freshman year in high school; it had snowed the night her art class buddies had invited her to a concert in the city and her dad wouldn’t let her go. She had cried and then written a note that remained the next morning, when she had awoken with a sledgehammer headache.
Her sleeping pills would do it better. As she slouched on the counter, eyes stinging, she wanted to rest. Life was too much work and agony. She was lonely and forlorn. She drifted around, seemingly invisible among the many bodies and faces surrounding her; she’d been bumped into and stepped on relentlessly. No one even looks to see what is around, she thought.
She sobbed into her arms, so deeply that she felt as if her heart would burst or expire. She wished so dearly that it would stop pumping, that her life would just cease. She raised her head upwards, wetness all over her face, and took a deep breath. She held that breath. All around her was blackness
Then she listened. There was the sound of nothing. Nothing sounded like nothing, cold and empty. She opened her eyes and let out her breath. Her heartbeat raged, almost visibly. Without feeling anything, an absence of misery or anguish, Cateryn took air into her lungs and pushed it out shakily.
She wanted a cigarette. She grabbed the half-empty pack from the table and walked out the sliding glass door, onto the deck that faced into her neighborhood. No lights were on at any of the other trailers.
She would smoke and evaluate how she felt. She would smoke a few, into the night.