Five Times He Saves Her (And One Time He Doesn't)


She's staring at the electrical socket too intently, fingering the pocketknife in her hand. It was her father's so it's old and slightly rusted from disuse. She doesn't care. She doesn't have any intention of using it to cut.

She flicks the knife open. Then closed.

She wonders how 110 volts of electricity will feel as it courses through her body. Painful, she muses. Will it go straight to her heart and kill her quickly? Will it travel through her body and exit somewhere else, leaving her burned and in pain but alive?

She flicks the knife open. Then closed.

She thinks ahead to when she's found if she goes through with this. How many days would have to pass before she's found dead and rotting? Two days? Three? A week? A month? The thoughts bring a morbid, twisted smile to her lips. Maybe they'll find her when the smell is overpowering.

She flicks the knife open. Then closed.

She tears her gaze away from the wall socket and looks at her hand, the one holding the pocketknife. If she chooses to follow through on her asinine plot to end her life, her hand will be scarred. If her plan fails and she lives, depending on the extent of the damage, she might never regain use of her hand.

She flicks the knife open.

She leans forward, eyes on the socket again. There really is no choice. The world isn't going to miss one person. She jumps backwards when the phone rings shrilly, nearly dropping the knife in her hand. She is disoriented for a second, wondering what the sound is. It rings twice before she comes back to herself.

The knife closes.

"Hello?" she says as she picks up the phone, slightly irritated at the interruption. None of the irritation bleeds into her voice.

"Dani, it's me, Robert."

"Yes, Robert?"

"Do you want to grab a coffee with me? I'll pick you up or meet you there. Your choice."

"I'd love a coffee. I'll meet you there in ten minutes, all right?"

"Sure. See you."

"Bye, Robert."

Dani presses the End button and the line goes dead. She drops the pocketknife and turns away to change her clothes in preparation for the coffee with Robert. It would be nice to get out of the house and indulge in some high-priced caffeine and sugar. She thinks no more of the pocketknife and wall socket behind her. There are more important things to occupy her mind right now.

The closed pocketknife lies forgotten behind her.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Dani is thinking too much again, head spinning with endless possibilities. The human body is so fragile; there are so many ways it can fail. Dani stumbles into the door of her apartment's garage.

A tired smile touches her lips before sliding away into nonexistence. Like I will, she thinks, turning the knob and stepping into the dark room. It smells of gasoline and outside. There will be no Robert interrupting with phone calls this time. This time, she will succeed.

When she opens her car door, she realizes she doesn't have her keys. Annoyed with herself for forgetting such a minute detail, she slams the car door. The sound echoes in the emptiness of her garage, mirroring the emptiness of her heart.

Dani wastes no time getting her car keys, unplugging the phone as she goes past it. Robert won't interrupt her this time. She slides into the seat of her car, not closing the door behind her. Humming to herself, Dani inserts the keys, giving it a twist.

It doesn't start.

Dani tries once more before frowning, casting her eyes across the various gauges. The gauge that measures the level of gasoline in her car is firmly fixed upon E. The tank is empty. Dani slams her hands down on the steering wheel, cursing Robert in her mind.

He had borrowed her car the day before, claiming his was in the shop. She didn't know why he hadn't taken the change to fill the gas tank. Maybe he was running low on cash? But why didn't he tell her after he returned the car?

Whatever the reason, Dani didn't have any choice but to formulate some other plan. But first, she needs to re-plug the phone to call Robert and yell at him then ask him to get her some gasoline.

Distracted by her thoughts, Dani leaves the keys in the ignition. They glimmer slightly as light poured in when Dani opens the door to her apartment before going black again when the door clicks shut. The keys are forgotten behind her.

Bullet to the Head

Dani had been cleaning her closest when she found the gun.

Twenty minutes after finding it, she still sits staring at the offending item, fingers flexing on her thigh as she kneels not two feet from it. She's afraid that if she touches it, there'll be no stopping the conclusion.

A bullet to the head.

It's almost funny, in a gruesome sort of way, how Dani was so ready for death a couple days ago. Now she's frightened out of her mind at the prospect. She tells herself it would be painless, a lot less painful than electrocuting herself or dying a slow death of carbon monoxide poisoning. Shooting is more humane; there's only a split second of pain, no suffering, no dragging it out. So why is she so afraid?

The gun stares back stoically, waiting for her to make her decision. She inwardly calls herself a coward and reaches out, her hand trembling. Her fingers are barely two inches above the cold metal when she freezes.

"Come on!" she whispers harshly to herself, biting her lip when her body refuses to obey. She tastes blood on her lip before her hand finally touches the gun. Her whole body fights against her when she makes to pull the gun closer. Her mind rebels against the cool metal biting her fingers, leeching the warmth from them.

Dani ignores all this and jerks the gun into her lap. The last time she touched this gun was when her father was still alive. He had taught her all the basics of the gun in her lap. How to load it, unload it, how to undo the safety… how not to point it at anything you wouldn't shoot.

Slowly, Dani turns the gun until the barrel is pointed towards her. She feels a rush of adrenaline, thinking that the quote "looking down the barrel of a gun" carries a lot more weight when it's literal. Dani couldn't quite suppress the shiver that travels down her spine.

Mechanically, Dani goes through the movements of unloading the gun, trying not to think about what she is going to do. She doesn't know the name of the gun in her hands, only that it is a semi-automatic pistol. It could've been a Springfield or Colt for all she knows. Whatever the brand is, when it's loaded, it will do the job.

The magazine slides out into her palm. It's empty as expected. She leans over, reaching for the box of bullets that should have been stashed with the weapon. It's gone. Dani feels her stomach sinking and for a moment, she can't breathe. Then she remembers.

Robert and she had unpacked every box and found many long-unused items that her parents had left her. She remembers how Robert claimed to have found an unusually small, heavy box. She remembers the look of surprise on his face when he opened it to find a gun. He'd asked to see the ammo and she allowed him a look. Being the nice friend she was, she had said he could take one. But the phone had rang, distracting her. He must have taken the whole box of bullets.

Dani violently thrusts the magazine back into the gun and throws it against the back of the closest in disgust. She climbs to her feet, kicking an errant shirt out of the way. She leaves the closest without a second glance backwards, angry for no apparent reason.

In the darkened closest, the Beretta 92 lies forgotten, half-buried beneath a pile of clothes.

Alcohol Poisoning

Dani had always been a patient person, but any person would be slightly put off at being thwarted three times. Along with being patient, Dani is determined. She will get what she wants. It's only a matter of time.

Sitting in a bar whose name is lost on Dani, she sips vodka mixed with coke. Idly, she wonders if she can drink enough to die from alcohol poisoning. At this point, she hardly cares anymore. Downing her glass and banging it on the table, squeezing her eyes shut, Dani wonders why she can't just walk into the middle of the road and end it all.

"You lonely, sweetheart?" she hears someone say. Dani spins around, inspecting her newest pursuer with critical eye clouded by alcohol.

"That depends on whether you bring good company." she replies coyly, smirking flirtatiously at the man before her. In her inebriated state, everyone is attractive. She could be flirting with the village-idiot or a potential rapist for all she knows.

"Oh, you're a fiery one," he teases back, sitting next to her. "Get me a beer for this lovely lady and me!" he calls out to the bartender before turning back to her. "What's your name, beautiful?"

"Danielle," She feels a hand sliding across her thigh. Even in her state, the touch is repulsive and all she wants is him far, far away. To stave him off, she reaches for the beer bottle and raises it. "To gays," she slurs, praying she creeps the guy out enough for him to go away. She succeeds and he glares at her, grabbing his own drink and moving away.

Dani downs the bottle of beer in peace. It doesn't burn like the vodka does. She orders another and another and soon loses track of how many bottles she finishes.

"You should really stop." the bartender says, grabbing the neck of the bottle Dani is about to raises to her lips.

"I don't wanna," she slurs, swaying slightly.

"Is there someone I can call?"

"Robbie," she says, smiling widely. She downs the bottle when the bartender lets go of the neck. She hands the bartender her cell phone, babbling incoherently about a knife and a gun. The bartender pays no attention to the severely inebriated girl as he scrolls through her contacts and dials "Robbie" to ask him to pick this poor girl up.

Dani barely remembers what happens after she sees Robert. She remembers throwing up and downing the proffered glass of water to clear out the sickening taste her mouth. Dani sobs in Robert's arms, trying to communicate that her stomach is going to revolt again.

"How many did she drink?" she hears Robert ask urgently.

"Too many,"

"Alcohol poisoning," he suspects, dragging Dani to a bathroom. He asks for some emetics to help her with the poisoning then something gets forced down her throat. Next thing she knows, he's holding her hair up as she vomits all the alcohol she drank hours before. Tears mix with the bile in her mouth as she sobs. Why can't you let me die, she wants to shout at him. But she can't. She's too busy throwing up.

Her beer bottle is thrown in the trash and forgotten as the bartender wrinkles his nose distastefully and cleans up the remnants of vomit.

Significant Blood Loss

Dani is preparing her dinner when she accidentally cuts her finger. Instead of cursing and bandaging it up, Dani stares at the blood welling from the cut. It overflows and a tiny drop falls. Dani points her hand up, letting the tiny amount of blood collect between the middle and index fingers of her left hand.

Her gaze switches to the blade in her right hand. It's small but sharp. Without thinking, she slides the blade across the radial artery in her wrist. A gasp of pain escapes her lips but the pain is soon overshadowed by her transfixion with the blood dripping from the cut.

Three inches below that cut, Dani makes another, deeper cut. Three inches below that cut, she makes another, deeper cut. She goes back between the first and second cuts and makes another. She goes back between the second and third cuts and makes another. There are five openly bleeding gashes on her left arm. She doesn't even notice that the very first cut on her finger has stopped bleeding.

Dani switches the blade to her non-dominant left hand and attempts to make the same five cuts on her right arm. She manages four crooked cuts. She doesn't quite know what to blame the crookedness on. Was it the fact that she's using her non-dominant hand? That the blade was slippery with her blood? That the world was spinning far too fast?

Dani collapses on the floor of her kitchen, still clutching the blade. She adds another cut to the four-cut collection on her right arm. Her blood is bright, bright red. Shining red. It's beautiful and warm. If any of her cuts show the slightest sign of clotting, she reopens them.

When the doorbell rings, she doesn't know how much blood she's lost. She doesn't question how Robert manages to get inside. She doesn't answer when Robert asks what the hell she's doing. She drops the blade when Robert grips her hand and shakes it. The last thing she remembers is being lifted into Robert's arms before she passes out.

The bloody blade glints wickedly, forgotten in the fading sunlight.


It's come down to this. The tablets in the bottle of sleeping pills shift around as her wrist tilts the orange container back and forth. Ever since Robert found her bleeding to death on her kitchen floor, he stops by every day, checking up on her. Dani pretends to be grateful for his attention and tries not to notice how his gaze always flicks to her arms.

But he's gone out today, on a date with some girl. Dani honestly doesn't care. She's just glad for the opportunity he has given her. She bought the bottle of sleeping pills that morning and hid it in preparation for today. Robert, if he gets lucky, won't be back until tomorrow. It's excellent news for Dani.

There's no waiting, no stalling this time. If she ever wants this to get done, she has to do it now. Dani sits on her couch with the pills in one had and a bottle of whiskey in the other. Robert tried his best to remove all the alcohol in her home after the incident at the bar but Dani knows her own home. She knows where to hide things where they won't be found.

After Robert left, she took a pill every two hours, fighting the urge to sleep. That many pills combined with the ten left and maybe a glass of whiskey or two will surely be enough to do her in. The bottle clearly says not to take the pills with alcohol and to take too many pills per hour per day. Dani laughs and flicks the bottle open, the cap flying somewhere in the room. She'll never have to recap this bottle.

Dani swallows two pills at a time and knocks it back with whiskey. She continues this every fifteen minutes or so until the world spins crazily off its axis. The pills have finally run out. Dani drains the last of the whiskey and waits for the destructive combination to do its job.

She bites back the urge to vomit, knowing that she'll only undo what has been done. Dani hunches over, feeling her stomach burn. If she lives through this, her liver will be severely compromised… but it won't be long until the pills and alcohol finish playing with her.

She barely hears the knock on the door and then the hurried footsteps when Robert notices her. She's fading too fast, being carried away on a cloud by a bottle of sleeping pills and whiskey. She thinks she hears him call her name in desperation but she's too far gone to care. You were too late this time, she thinks. Then there's nothing.

Robert pulls Dani's body to him and cries his anguish to the forgotten white bottle cap whispering its condolences in the corner.

This is the product of too many nightmares, several stressful days, and a headache as the cherry on top.