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101 Ways to Kill Yourself
I don’t see why people try so hard to stay young. Aging is a luxury too many people take for granted. Everyone is so ignorant in realizing how lucky they are. They have a full circle of life; they’re born, they live, they die. If things go too terribly wrong, there’s always the easy way out. Not for me.
I’m sixteen, and I have been for a long time. I’ve lived through about three generations, for probably about 240 years. I lost count. I’m not sure why I’m like this though. I don’t have any cool superpowers or abilities, I’m not a vampire or any kind of hero. I just don’t die. I just… am.
My name is Inali, a Native American name my parents picked up along their travels. It means black fox and I suppose in a way it describes me, I’m pretty agile and quick for a human. I don’t have any ties to any sort of heritage like that though, born in Great Britain originally. My last name changes often as I have to start my life over and over again. It’s currently Mast, mainly because of my new obsession with my boat.
That’s where I am now. I was stretched out on my back along the top deck of “The Eternity” watching the sky. A breeze was lightly ruffling the sail and a single cloud, amoeba shaped, drifted by carelessly, freely.
I sighed and rolled onto my stomach, then to my feet. I was surprised that I didn’t fall asleep. The gentle rocking motion and salty smell of the air was quite relaxing. I often missed curfew because I fall asleep in the middle of the ocean.
The sun was still high in the air so I headed to the wheel and ducked under the boom. Time to go home.
I live with a nice family who took me in with open arms. Every few years I have to leave town, move, and find someone else who will buy my story.
“Hello, I’m terribly sorry to bother you, but do you happen to have any extra food you’re willing to part with?” They usually ask why. “Well my house burned down and collapsed on me. I can barely remember my name but my parents died and I’ve been wandering around for weeks.”
Some people give me food or clothes and we go our separate ways, but every once in a while someone insists on taking me in. I start out as a fourteen year old, go through high school, spend a few years faking a life, and then leave to start again.
My current ‘parents’ were Melinda and Peter Shaft. They lived on the coast of Florida with their two kids, Parker, who was four and Tina, who was eighteen. They were wealthy and I was experiencing private school for the first time.
“Hey Inali,” the dock owner said sweetly. His son had a thing for me and he was very determined to hook us up. He’s a nice kid but that’s the problem; he’s the type who would be hurt after my departure.
“Hello, take good care of my baby girl,” I responded lightly. I waved and started down the sidewalk, smiling and waving at those who did first. Being around people for so long has given me a pretty good idea on how to read them, and then use that information to get along with them well. Almost everyone liked me.
I walked through the double doors and into the old Victorian on the beach.
“I’m home,” I shouted. Tina’s head popped through her parent’s bedroom door. “What are you doing in there?”
“Finding out what I got for Christmas,” she said eagerly. “Want to help? I found your stuff already.”
“But I said not to get me anything, just offering your home to me is a gift enough.”
“Well you’re screwed.” She flew back into the room, golden hair following behind her.
Tina was a very pretty girl; small and blonde with the most stunning brown eyes. Her little brother looked just the same.
“What about Parker? Aren’t you supposed to be watching him?”
“He’ll be fine, he’s watching TV in the playroom.” I grunted and headed upstairs to find Parker, hoping he hadn’t, in his four year old menacing way, managed to destroy something or himself.
As soon as I walked into the door Parker turned around and grinned.
“Nali!” he shouted before leaping up and throwing himself onto me. I stumbled back a little.
“Hey buddy, how are you doing?”
“Good. Sissy says she’s checking in on Santa.” I laughed and his smile widened. By far the most adorable little boy I’ve yet to meet, and I have met quite a few.
“Indeed she is.” He circled me a few times, tugging on my hand.
“Can I have a snack?” he asked.
“Tina didn’t give you one?” He shook his tiny blonde head. “Ok.” He cheered and we walked down the stairs hand in hand.
In the kitchen, I set him up with yogurt and sat down myself for some Oreos. He chatted avidly about his day, waving the spoon around and sending blue stuff all over the surrounding area.
Melinda and Peter both got home at five, walking in the door looking flustered.
“Hey you two, where’s Tina?” Melinda asked, placing her keys on the hook next to mine. Peter swung Parker into the air and he giggled with glee.
“I’m not sure,” I answered. She sighed and headed up the stairs.
“Snooping?” Peter whispered, smiling. I nodded.
“A little bit. I told you guys not to get me anything.”
“What’s a Christmas when you’re just watching everyone?”
“My kind of Christmas.” He shook his head and placed Parker back on the floor.
“Ok then, but we already bought everything.”
“Well then at least let me cook tonight.”
“Not a problem.” Through my many years I picked up more than my fair share of skills and my knowledge of cooking was extensive.
As expected, dinner was good. We hung out until I decided to take a bath. There was a nice tub in the basement where I reside.
I had to go to school the next day. As of now I was a sophomore, although my teachers were trying to convince me I belonged elsewhere. I’ve been through the curriculum so many times I aced every exam. My average was a perfect 4.0 and everyone was surprised I didn’t gloat about it.
After I was ready, I helped put Parker to bed and went to sleep myself on the pullout couch, ready for the next day.
I woke up when Parker bounced onto the couch, dropping himself onto my gut. I groaned and gave him a hug.
“Ok, I’m up,” I said groggily. I looked at his big eyes and he ran from the room so I could get dressed.
I yanked on my uniform and brushed my dark hair. Makeup was a waste of time for me, even though I had all of the time I could ever want.
I headed upstairs and ate breakfast before we got into Tina’s car and drove to school.
I walked to my locker, trying to keep to myself. My problem with that was that too many people liked me.
“Hello Inali,” the dock owner’s son said when I opened my locker. I looked at him and smiled half-heartedly. He leaned against the locker next to me and grinned. His dark hair matched his equally dark eyes and he placed his hands on the top of the door.
“Hey Sebastian. How are you doing?”
“Pretty good. I actually wanted to show you something, can you come to the dock tonight?”
“I don’t know, I really need to study for the chemistry test.”
“You know you don’t, and I know you don’t so why don’t you just come with me?”
“Uh.” I faltered, he was a smart one. His hazel eyes sparkled hopefully, yet confidently.
“See? Oh, and here,” he stuck a piece of folded paper on top of my book stack. “This is for you.” He smiled and walked away. I looked down at the paper and sighed before closing my locker and walking up to Spanish.
I took my seat in back and opened the note.
Hey, I don’t see why you don’t give me the chance. I’m really a nice guy, or so I’ve been told. You’d be so perfect for me. Please? Just meet me later and you’ll see. I know you will.
I rolled my eyes and shoved the note into my pocket. He was making me feel guilty but I knew it would pass eventually.
At lunch, Sebastian sat down by me and shoved another note in front of my face.
“Go away,” I mumbled.
“You didn’t even read it yet.”
“I have a feeling I know where it’s going.”
“You might be surprised.” I groaned and unfolded the paper, reading it over. A poem. “What do you think?”
“I think you need to stop this.”
“Why?” I shook my head.
“Because you’re too good for me. Just drop it.”
“I beg to differ.”
“Then beg somewhere else.” I stood and marched out of the cafeteria. He followed me.
“What do you mean?” I stopped abruptly. There’s always one, always someone who catches on.
“I mean that there are a lot of things you don’t know about me,” I said angrily.
“But I could learn.” He walked up to me and grabbed my shoulders. “I want to learn.”
“I’ll see you at your boat at seven.” He walked away and waved without turning. I looked down at his poem and growled to myself before continuing with my day.
At six thirty, I paced back and forth in the basement, trying to decide what to do. Would I meet him? Would I tell him? Should I try to end it again? I dug into my bag and into my hidden compartment and took out my list.
I had tried almost everything I could think of; jumping off of buildings, shooting myself, overdosing. Nothing worked. My body was covered in scars and memories of the most exquisite pain were too easy to remember.
The biggest problem, except for the one that nothing works, is that I still feel all of the pain I would normally, but there wasn’t any relief. No end. Ever. I just keep going, like the Energizer Bunny.
Tina startled me when she came downstairs. I shoved my list into my pocket.
“What are you doing? You came straight down here when you got home, is something wrong?” Tina asked, sitting on the couch.
“Uh… no, it’s just that Sebastian asked me to meet him at the dock and--”
“Oh my god! You’re going, right?” I bit my lip and turned away. “You have to! He’s so cute, and nice, and you two would be so good for each other!”
“I don’t think so.”
“Come on, you have to try. Here, follow me. I have the perfect outfit for you to borrow.”
“Come.” She grabbed my arms and grinned before dragging me up to her room. I sat on her bed while she dug through her closet, throwing clothes at me.
“When are you meeting him?”
“Seven.” She looked at her watch and yelped.
“Wear this!” I slipped into a v-neck shirt but stayed in my jeans. She practically shoved me out of the door, wishing me luck.
I walked down to the dock slowly, arriving directly at seven. Sebastian’s father grinned when he saw me walk in and I made my way to The Eternity.
“I’m glad you came, you look nice.” Sebastian smiled and approached me.
“Look, I didn’t come to give you any wrong ideas.”
“I know,” he said smiling. “I wanted you to show you something. Plus, I’m eager to see you sailing. My dad says you’re good.” I blushed, despite the fact I didn’t want to.
“Fine, get on board.” He helped me untie the lines and put the sails up. We headed into the ocean in silence.
“Are you going to say anything?” he asked.
“You initiated this outing. You initiate the conversation.”
“Fine then. You’re a great sailor.”
“Thanks.” We grew quiet again as we glided over the water. It was a calm night.
“Stop here, if you’d please.” I did so and he patted the bench next to him. I reluctantly sat down. “Why do you think so little of yourself? You’re amazing smart and talented. Why not live up to it?”
“It’s not that I think little of myself, it’s that… it’s hard to explain.”
“Give it a shot.”
“You can. Trust me, please?” I shook my head.
“I really can’t.” I stood up and started to walk to the other side of the deck.
“You still have my poem,” he said brightly and yanked a piece of paper from my pocket. I turned and saw it wasn’t him poem, but my list. I tried to grab it from his hands but he grabbed it away as he saw the title, “How to Die”.
“What? What is this? Suffocation, gunshots, leapt from building, swallowing pills, poison… why are all of these things crossed out?”
“Uh, I can explain…” He continued to read and grabbed my hand, shoving my sleeve up my arm. He looked at the long cuts, disgusted. Then he frantically moved my hair off of my neck and examined the cuts there, plus a scarred over bullet hole.
“How?” he asked, mystified as he saw some of my other battle scars.
“Stop!” I screamed. “Just stop, please, and let me explain.” He sat down again. “And please, don’t tell anyone. Please.”
“Please.” I lowered my head and told him my story, of the shock my parents felt when I didn’t grow at all, of when I watched everyone I knew die. Of all the pain when I tried the first time to end my odd condition, of all of the various times. Of having to continue moving over and over, and starting over and over. Of everything.
When I was done, he said nothing. I wiped my eyes and looked up.
“So that’s why you’re so smart. You’ve learned all of this useless crap so many times.” I nodded. “And that’s why you always cover yourself up so much.” I nodded again. “And that’s why you won’t date me, or anybody.” I nodded once more.
“You’re really nice, you should stop wasting your time on me. Now that you know why you can leave me alone.”
“And you’ve really tried all of these methods of suicide?” I nodded again. “And you’ve really felt all of this without dying?”
“Does it hurt? How do you deal with the pain?”
“I don’t. I just ignore it and hope that it will lead to the end of me. It was cool at first, how many people want to live forever? Well I’ll tell you from my experience, it sucks.” He laughed softly.
“And when was the last time you had a boyfriend?”
“A hundred years ago. It hurt to have to keep leaving them.” Sebastian nodded thoughtfully.
“Don’t you go to the proms and stuff?”
“It gets old after the fifth or sixth time.”
“Wow.” I nodded this time and looked up at the stars.
“You know, it’s amazing. Even the stars die and I’m just stuck.”
“If you wanted, I could try to help,” Sebastian whispered. “I’ve always wanted to kill someone.”
“Just as an experience,” he said, laughing. I smiled.
“Well it’s harder than it looks. Here, I’ll show you.” I stood and stripped from my outer clothes and dove into the ocean. When I resurfaced, I saw Sebastian peeking over the edge.
“Come on in!” He shrugged and dove in after me. “Now, push me under and hold me for as long as you’d like. Keep holding me down there even after I go limp.”
“Just do it.” He shrugged and grabbed my shoulders, shoving me under. I tried my hardest not to flail (just natural instinct) because he would have chickened out and given up.
Everything happened as if I was dying. My lungs filled up with water and eventually I blacked out.
My eyes opened and I coughed a few times, gagging on the water buildup.
“No way,” Sebastian muttered as I sat up.
“See? It sucks.” I coughed some more and he slammed me on the back.
“But you were under there for like, ten minutes!”
“Thanks, I see how much you like me.” He smiled.
“And were out for like a half an hour.”
“What time is it?”
“Crap. Past everyone’s curfew I bet it’s safe to say.” I looked at the shore, just a faded line in the distance.
“I don’t feel like going back. The one thing in this world that never get’s old it’s sleeping under the stars. But you probably need to go back don’t you.”
“Does your phone get reception?” I nodded. “Well then call your parents and I’ll call mine. We can spend the night out here.” I pulled out my phone and dialed Tina’s number.
“Inali, where the hell are you?”
“The ocean. Look, could you tell Mel and Pete that I’m spending the night if they don’t mind.”
“What? Is Sebastian still there?”
“Yeah, but there will be none of that.”
“Ok then. Goodnight.” I clicked off the phone and gave it to Sebastian. A few minutes later he closed it and smiled.
“Pajama party?” he said, grinning. I smiled and walked over to my little chest.
“I have sweatpants you can use if you’d like. They’re huge on me.” I tossed them to him and he slipped in. I pulled out a bunch of blankets and pillows and spread them out.
I laid down and crawled in. Sebastian joined me but stayed his distance. I think in the very back of my subconscious I wished he wouldn’t, but I didn’t say anything.
“So if you could die right now, you would?” he asked.
“No strings attached?”
“Wow. It’s hard to believe that someone would be so willing to give everything up.”
“I have nothing to give up. Nothing worth while.”
“You have me.” I turned around and glared at him.
“This is why I don’t get attached. I’ll be gone in a few years, why don’t you realize that? I’ll have moved on and probably be on a new lifestyle.”
“What if I don’t let you leave?”
“Like you have a choice.” He frowned.
“Fine then. Goodnight.”
“’Night.” I closed my eyes and waited for the lull of the ocean to pull me into sleep.
I woke up to a glowing sunset. It was pretty but I’ve seen enough of them already.
“Beautiful, isn’t it,” Sebastian whispered.
“Yeah.” He yawned and stood up.
“What’ve you got to eat on board?”
“Nothing really… We should probably be getting back anyway.”
“Ok, we’ll go back and catch the early morning special at the diner.”
“Fine then.” I stretched and went over to the wheel so I could get us both back to the shore.
Sebastian helped me tie up the lines and get everything docked and we got off and walked to the diner.
I ordered French toast and Sebastian got some pancakes.
“I love the food here,” he said quietly.
“Me too. Some of the best French toast I’ve ever had.”
“That’s got to be some pretty good toast then. Can I try?” I lent him my fork and he moaned happily as the sugar powder melted on his tongue. Good French toast indeed.
“So, do you have any new ideas?”
“For what?” He nodded pointedly and looked down at my pocket. “Oh. No.”
“Have you tried getting bitten by snakes?”
“Of sixteen poisonous species.”
“Wow, that must have been fun.” I nodded.
“And what about getting ripped to shreds.”
“Yeah, and if you don’t mind I’d rather not recall that.”
“I don’t know. I woke up and I was all together again.” He nodded thoughtfully.
We finished breakfast and I paid (Sebastian left his wallet on my boat).
“You wanna do something?” Sebastian asked. I shrugged.
“What did you have in mind?”
“I dunno, do you want to go check out the park?”
“Sure.” We walked down the sidewalk and I noticed that everyone’s eyes were on us. Oh well, I’m sure that Sebastian’s father was practically skipping home.
“Hey,” I asked when we walked through the flowery pathway. “Didn’t you want to show me something last night?” Sebastian blushed.
“Nah, not anymore.”
“Aw, come on. What was it?”
“Nothing. Maybe I’ll show you some other time.” I shrugged. “Hey, can I take another look at that list?” I pulled it from my pocket and handed it to him. He skimmed it over.
“Hypothermia? How’d you go about that?”
“I spent a week in northern Canada without a jacket. What a week.” He laughed.
“And the building jumping, how did that go?”
“Let’s see, I broke almost all of my bones and lived in an ally alone for a month. Everyone figured I was a bum and left me alone. Some painkillers would have been nice though.”
“Have you tried hanging?”
“Yup.” He smiled and read over my list for the sixtieth time, amazed. In all of my years, Sebastian was probably the strangest young man I’ve come across. He was so curious, as the few I told often were, but curious for me and not my oddity. To bad I’d have to go soon.
He started to say something else but my phone rang. I picked it up. It was Melinda.
“Where are you young missy?” she asked frantically.
“At the park. Didn’t Tina tell you I was spending the night at sea?”
“Yes, and with a boy! Look, I know I’m not your real mother but I’d hate to see you make a bad choice.”
“Nothing happened, I promise. If you want me home I’ll come home.” Melinda sighed.
“No, it’s fine, I was just worried. Plus, Parker has been asking for you.”
“Ok then. I’ll make dinner tonight to make it up if you’d like.” She laughed lightly.
“Ok then. See you later.” I hung up.
“Now that we’ve eaten, why don’t you take me on another boat tour?” Sebastian asked carefully.
“Why don’t you show me what kind of sailor you are?”
“Then I’ll drive.” He laughed. He whipped out his phone first though.
“One sec, I’ve got to text my dad for a second.”
“Sure?” He put his phone away and took my hand nervously. I didn’t pull away, figuring that he knew what he was getting himself into. If he was really that determined I suppose I could humor him.
We walked down the road, attracting even more curious glances as people started to get up and about.
When we got to the dock, Sebastian’s dad was waiting for us with a basket.
“Picnic for two?” he asked approvingly. I blushed and Sebastian nudged me with his elbow. I accepted the basket and walked down the pier to my boat. I loaded and Sebastian sent us into the sea.
When we were just out of sight of the shore, Sebastian got us anchored down and he spread out a small lunch feast.
“Sandwich?” he asked, holding it out while carefully pouring soda into wine glasses. I laughed and accepted it.
“Mm, peanut butter, jelly, and fluff.”
“A classic.” I laughed and he smiled before handing me a glass of sparkling root beer.
“To death,” Sebastian said, holding his glass up. I clinked mine to his.
“To death.” I drank and so did he.
“Now, I have a question for you,” he said slowly, taking a bite from his sandwich.
“You still have more?” He nodded.
“Yes. Who was your favorite boyfriend?’
“Hm… hard to say. None of them have been great, I don’t like getting attached.”
“So you’ve never really liked any of the guys too much?”
“Well, they were nice but… it’s hard. They’re all so immature compared to me.” He looked thoughtfully at me.
“Am I immature?”
“Why are you asking?” He smiled.
“I think you know.” I closed my eyes and put my sandwich down.
“Sebastian, we’ve already talked about why we won’t work.”
“Why can’t we try? Just once, so I know.”
“Because there are plenty of other girls who would like to ‘try’. Why don’t you date Sam? She’s pretty, she likes you.”
“She’s couldn’t tell a clove hitch from a buntline hitch.”
“Not every girl out there can sail. Especially in our school.”
“Well I don’t want Sam. I want you.” He stood and grabbed my shoulders, looked into my eyes, and kissed me right there.
I was shocked, unsure what to do. Before my mind made a decision, my hands were moving to lightly touch his face. Then it slid down and tightened around his neck. He responded by letting go of my shoulders and wrapping my waist in his arms.
“And it appears you want me to,” he whispered, backing up (much to my displeasure).
“I never said that.”
“You didn’t need to, it’s written all over your face.” I straitened my shirt and cleared my throat.
“I beg to differ.”
“Then beg closer to me.” He grinned before approaching me again, not quite so tentatively.
“Inali,” he whispered. “I think that--”
“If you say ‘I love you’ I’ll smack you.”
“No you won’t. I love you,” and with that he pulled me into him again. I didn’t smack him. In fact, I didn’t stop him at all as we stumbled over the picnic basket and crashed to the floor. I didn’t stop him as things intensified. I didn’t.
We got back to the dock about an hour before I had to be home to make dinner. When we arrived, Sebastian’s father was absolutely glowing. Parent’s just tend to know these things.
We walked down the sidewalk, holding hands.
“How do you feel about what just happened?” Sebastian asked quietly.
“I think that…” I sighed. “You’re going to get hurt. I don’t want that to happen.”
“It’ll be worth it.” I blushed and he gave me a quick hug.
“Whatever you say.” He stopped short and I turned curiously.
“Give me your money,” someone in all black instructed, holding Sebastian at gun point. I started to reach for my wallet.
“No, don’t do it,” Sebastian said fiercely.
“I’ll shoot your head in. Just give me your money and I’ll go away.”
“I think not.” Sebastian picked me up around the waist and started to run, placing me down again about twenty feet away.
The man cocked his gun and pointed it at Sebastian.
“I told you damnit!” he shouted before pulling the trigger.
I dove in front of Sebastian, the bullet hitting me with a bright flare of pain square in the chest.
I fell to the ground and immediately the gunman was running. People started to crowd around my bleeding body.
“Why would you do that?” Sebastian cried, picking up the upper half of my body. I resisted the urge to cough because I knew there would be blood to accompany it.
“Someone call 911!” a man in the crowd shouted.
“Sebastian,” I whispered.
“Yes?” He leaned in closer, hearing how strained my voice was.
“I think this is it this time. Something feels different.” I wasn’t sure why, maybe because someone had to die, maybe because I had finally let myself go. But it was happening.
“That’s great, but did it have to be during my time with you?” I saw his eyes start to water.
“It was going to happen eventually, I told you that.”
“Yeah, but just after things started to get good.” I smiled weakly. “And I figured it would be at least four more years.”
“I’m sorry.” I had to cough this time, blood dripping from the corners of my mouth.
Sebastian’s dad approached, looking horrified.
“But if it makes my departure easier, I’d like to tell you that I love you too.” He smiled and pressed his lips to mine, not caring about the blood. People around me started to cry and one lady was shrieking and wailing.
“I’m glad you told me that.”
“I’m glad I did too. Goodbye, and thanks for this.” He kissed me again and my eyes closed, much to my relief, for the final time.