Slipping away


You lie in your bed, waiting for the house to settle, the steady rhythm of snores from each of the bedrooms. Then you know that you will be undisturbed.

The glass of water stands beside your bed. Tall, narrow and imperious, it is indifferent to how you intend to use it. The vial of pills sits beside it, much shorter and squatter. You flip off the lid, and run your thumb over the pills that fill the vial to the brim. You take the first one out and swallow it. They are not easy tablets to swallow, being round and flat instead of the patient-friendly capsules. They are dry too, and their coating sticks to your tongue. But you were prepared for this, and brought the tall glass of cold water to keep your mouth and throat lubricated.

Calmly and without hesitation, you swallow the tablets one by one. There’s a full prescription there, as well as the few you had kept from the previous one when the plan formulated in your head. It should suffice – two knocked you out for the night, so a dose 15 times as strong should extinguish you forever, right?

The last pill is swallowed. You place the glass back on the nightstand, put the lid back on the vial, and lie back down in bed. Now you are a bit nervous. Would it be quick? Painful?

Then you feel it coming. The sensation flows up your body from your stomach like a rising flood; a heavy, slow tide of numbness. As it spreads towards your head, your brain, you start to panic.

Jesus fuck, what have I done?

The tide flows relentless up your body and you begin to writhe uncomfortably, crying silently as you realize you do want to live. The numbness washes up your neck, over your chin and the back of your head. But before it covers your eyes and your nose, there is a flash of light through the middle of your conscience. You jerk your body to the side of the bed and, somehow, a hot flood of vomit drives all those pills out from your stomach. The flood of numbness recedes, and you sob with relief that you are going to live, and despair that you will have to live.

Eventually, the burning tears are exhausted, and you fall into a heavy, hopeless slumber.

From the other rooms, the snoring continues undisturbed.


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