In the last hour of the night, before sleep overtook her active mind and dragged her beneath, she made a list of all the things yet undone. She wrote from her heart, pouring out beliefs and goals, evacuating the small crevices where hope still festered in a largely bitter existence. She dredged up the very crispy bits at the bottom of the cauldron of her being, and she penned each half-burned dream onto cream paper, in a flowery round script aided by the easy flow of her purple gel uni-ball with the chewed up cap.
The last one stood out most harshly, mocking her with its incompleteness: "Fall in love"
In that last hour of dark dim lighting and deep heart stirrings, she mourned her many abortive attempts to lose herself in connection with another. To allow her walls to sink completely and leave herself, not defenseless...but open, to the experience of sharing. Instead of a history full of Hallmarkian tenderness, she looked back on a catalogue of grossly co-dependant relationships, thick with abuse and irony. The 'been there, done that" list of her heart's attacks read like a baby name book, only one where "David" didn't mean "beloved", but more "raving jackass" and "Tony*" was less "priceless" and more "psycho."*
A throaty humorless laugh escaped as she admitted defeat in all games important to her. Her family, broken as it was had left her behind long ago, and her friends had disappeared into a sea of unfortunate excuses. The only element of her life with harmony and humor had passed one week ago today, at an unforgettably sad moment in the vet's office, and now she sat in a lifeless room, in the silence of a falling night, wishing to blot out any memory of her existence at all.
She took the pages where she'd written all her failures and carried them to the bathroom, setting fire to them with a thin yellow plastic lighter someone had left on her desk at work. The low flames blacked the edges of the paper as they consumed their way across the written words, leaving ash and embers in their place. She discarded the remnants into the open toilet and chuckled once again as she realized how quickly and easily it could all be flushed away.
Turning to the counter, she saw collected there a bevy of medicinal remedies for a hundred imagined ailments, and like mixed jellybellys, popped any variety of color and shape into her mouth. Lowering her head to the spout of the rusty faucet, she drank only as much water as she needed to swallow the caplets and tablets that held escape in their grainy pharmaceutical hands. And then she returned to her room, and her bed.
In the last hour of her life, she rested her head on her pillow and wept until the pain faded away.
* it's a work of fiction. No offense meant to any Davids or Tonys. Well, ok, no offense meant to any Davids, and to 99.9% of Tonys. That .1% knows who he is.