They say there's a weird euphoria that comes over a person when they decide to kill themselves. That was absolutely true for me. From the second I knew the time was right, I was almost giddy with excitement and anticipation. That was how I felt as I got into the car, turned the key in the ignition, and sped off for God knows where. I didn't have a specific location in mind. Only that it had to be far, far away. Into the desert where no one would come looking, and if they ever did, it would be far too late by the time they found me. Perfect.
Of course, the method had to be considered. I needed to make it good. I wanted to know that, when I put myself down, there was no way in hell I was getting back up. I thought about breaking into my parents’ house and stealing my father's rifle. Something about it, though.... I don't know. It just didn't feel right. It took almost a solid week of racking my brain, and then it finally hit me. What I needed was a different kind of fire power. The gas can sat waiting in the back seat where I'd placed it. Passing over a rough patch of road, I could hear the liquid sloshing against the metal. Soon, that liquid would be all over me. And then I'd light the match... and....
I was yanked suddenly from that sweetest of thoughts by the screech of a police siren coming nearer. "Shit!" I blurted. He was coming for me. I sighed and pulled over, praying to a non-existent God that this little hiccup wouldn't completely fuck my whole plan.
The siren died away. I watched in my mirror as the cop car came to a stop and a round, red-faced officer got out. He waddled toward me, ticket pad in hand.
"Do you know how fast you were going?" he asked.
"I'm sorry, Officer," I said. "I'm in a hurry."
"Oh yeah?" he asked, smacking his lips as he chewed some kind of foul-smelling gum. "And where are you off to in such a hurry?"
I thought for a moment. "The cemetery," I said. The sooner he let me go, the sooner I'd be able to make an honest woman of myself.
"The cemetery?" he asked. "You know they're going to be there no matter what. What do you have to rush for?"
I sighed. "You're right," I said. "I'm sorry. If you could just give me the ticket---"
“License and registration,” he said, cutting me off. I handed him the documents and watched anxiously as he waddled back to his car to run them through the system. After a moment, I watched as he made his way back to me with a strange look on his face. “I see you found your car, ma’am,” he said. “You should have let us know.”
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked.
“Your car,” he said. “You reported it stolen three days ago. And now here you are driving it. Awfully fast, I might remind you.”
“Oh,” I said. I forced a smile. “Yeah. I was so excited to get it back, I just couldn’t resist taking it for a joyride.” The officer rolled his eyes and gave a dismissive grunt. “I should have called it in,” I added quickly. “I’m sorry.”
"What's the gas for?" he asked suddenly.
"The gas?" I panicked internally. What was I supposed to tell him? "I... uh... I like to be prepared."
He narrowed his eyes. "Most people keep that kind of thing in the trunk," he said.
"My trunk's full," I said. Silently, I begged for him to be satisfied.
He sniffed and continued to stare at me. At last, he took a sharp breath and spoke. "All right," he said. He scratched out a ticket and handed it to me. "Just ease up on that pedal, will you?"
I heaved a sigh of relief. "Of course. Thank you, Officer."
A moment later, I was back on the road, taking the turn that I knew would lead deep into the desert. I don't know how far or how long I drove, but when the sun began to set, I parked. This place, I decided, was solitary enough. This is it, I thought.
I got out of the car and, with a heavy step, moved around to the back. The trunk key turned so easily in the lock, and the hatch swung open. And there she was, just where I had put her. She had my hair. She had my face. She had my eyes, though now hers were wide with terror. In every imaginable way, she was me. Or rather, this was who I had become. And now, the final step, total and complete replacement, was about to take place.
She mumbled and whined beneath the cloth that kept her mouth shut. Showing her who was boss, I grabbed her by the ropes that bound her wrists and pulled her out of the vehicle. I half walked her, half carried her to a private little spot on the other side of a dusty outcrop. There, I threw her to the ground and went back to the car for the gas can. I wasn't worried about her escaping. Certainly not with tied ankles.
When I returned, I saw her wriggling, trying with all her might to set herself free. She was no longer of use to me, and so I wasted no time. I emptied the contents of the can onto her body. The matches I produced with ease, and lit one as if I were about to smoke a cigarette. Watching the flames consume her must have been the best part, though. The heat pushed me back further than expected, the hot air buffeting my face and drawing the sweat from my forehead. Under my watch, she kicked and fought and flailed until she just couldn't anymore.
I knew by then that she was dead. I had done it. I had successfully killed myself. I will remember that day for as long as I live in this stolen world of mine.
A celebration was in order, I decided. I took out my new phone and shot a quick text to her… my boyfriend. As I waited for his response, I savored the thought of what pleasures the night would bring. He seemed very talented on the occasions when I watched them through the window.
Written by Jdeschene