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Copyright © 2016 Val Day-Sanchez

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The beginning

Death by fire seems extreme and long and painful so I can’t commit to that. There is the opposite, drowning but suffocation and a bloated corpse don’t appeal to me. I don’t want my family to have to see an unrecognizable version of me and suffocation is a form a torture, not the way I want to go out.I could slit my wrists and bleed out but sharing a house with other people, there’s no way to guarantee that I could have the time to bleed out without being interrupted and rushed to the hospital. Once everyone knows you’re trying to end it, forget ever having another opportunity. So that is off the list simply because I’m not old enough to have my own place. The same goes for shoving my head in an oven. The train station is hours away from our house and even if I could get a ride over there the idea of being torn about by a series of steel cars makes me flinch. Jumping in front of a car could harm bystanders so that’s out of the running. That leaves, poison, overdoseor hanging.

I’ve never been good at knots and there are no exposed beams in our house, not to mention that with the smallest miscalculation I can end up suffocating to death rather than snapping my neck and I’ve already discussed my aversion to being deprived of air. There are plenty of substances that are fatal to humans if ingested but none of which I am particularly keen on swallowing. While rat poison is easy enough to get my hands on the quantity necessary to produce a lethal dose has yet to be determined. I don’t want to wind up being hospitalized for over two months to reverse the effects of ingesting it. Hemorrhaging for months, torturing my family for that long is cruel and careless. Luckily this is America and I can get my hands on plenty of illegal substances. My awful aptitude for math will not ever be a problem, simply type my weight, and height into an internet browser and it tells me exactly how much heroin I need to kill myself.

I’ve written and rewritten my note. The first sounded too informative while the second draft sounded like I was begging. After all this is to help my family understand but let’s not forget this is my act. My suicide letter should be brief but it should also give some sort of answer to those who will read it, an explanation why I couldn’t bear to ever live among them. There was no nice way to say goodbye, no matter what I wrote they would blame themselves, they would blame me. I couldn’t change that, no matter what words I thought up or borrowed for better writers than myself, they wouldn’t understand, just like they didn’t now. It wasn’t that I wanted to go, it’s that I didn’t feel like I was ever really here.

If I were tech savvy, like my brother, I’d acquire some Bitcoin and order off the Web. But I’m not, so instead I’m limited to relying on catfish investigation, where I infiltrate every layer of social media, going deeper and deeper until I get what I want, a drug dealer.

His name’s Hollace James and we go to school together. His profile pic is of him holding up a solo cup, the latter obstructing his face. He had light brown hair that hung past his ears. The sides were shaved and his ears were gauged, neon green gauges in each ear. He’s wearing a plain white v-neck t-shirt. I click through the remainder of his profile searching for a phone number, of course it couldn’t be that easy. Instead I see something even better, he checks into the same diner almost every day. Mr. James, youre going to help me take my life.

A quick lie and my mom has dropped me off at the diner. I see Hollace almost immediately. He’s seated in a booth in the back. At five o’clock, the diner is gearing up for dinner rush. There are a handful of patrons sprinkled throughout the restaurant. I know I can’t just impose myself on Hollace’s booth but I also know my mother will arrive promptly in one hour from my supposed study group. She had felt so relieved that I was making friends I felt guilty lying to her but I knew it was the only way to get her to drop me off at a random diner on a school night.

“Shit or get off the pot.”

I turn around to see a girl. She can’t be more than two years older than me. She’s dressed in boyfriend jeans and a vintage bowling shirt that’s tied at the bottom instead of buttoned. Her hair is jet black with an electric blond streak in the front and pulled back in a messy bun upon her head. Every part of her ears are pierced. Her deep brown eyes with green eye shadow and painted orange lips captivate me.

Somehow I knew everything about her just by seeing her. Like it was suddenly common knowledge that her bedsheets had the scent of jasmine and vanilla, like her skin when she stepped out of the shower. She held her breath every time she drove over train tracks and lifted her feet. She wished on airplanes instead of shooting stars because she wanted to be anywhere but here. She had four brothers and ate pie for breakfast. She loved The White Stripes and Billy Joel but her favorite was Jay Z. She was afraid to ride bikes. She’d been dying her hair since she was eleven. Somehow all this was explained to me with a glance.

After two years of dating I knew she was kind, she was smart, she was sarcastic, she was complicated and perfect and she was mine.

Six years after we met I knew she was a wonderful mother, an extraordinary spouse and the reason that I was alive. It wasn’t that I still didn’t think of trains, poisons and overdoes, that is just where my mind goes. Hopelessness is my baseline but her smile always lifts me up. The sound of our kiddos create a light, guiding me out of the fog. It is every day, everyday it enters my mind at least once. Suicidal is my normal but I’m still here. I have to be here, she reminds that I’ve always been here.


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About the Author

Valerie Day-Sánchez enjoys reading and writing across genres, although young adult is her favorite at the moment. Threshold is her first attempt at Sci-Fi. Her other work consists of YA Fantasy Trilogy, Harlow Whittaker. She received both her B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. Her love of the desert Southwest keeps her close to home although she loves to travel, especially when she gets a chance to try the local cuisine. Playing with her two sons and the family’s Boston Terrier, Winston, are how she occupies her time when she’ not writing.




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