The Pact

Nine years ago, I was certain my life was going nowhere. There was nothing to look forward to, nothing would change, and I would never feel again.  

I hardly got out of bed during that time. I did the bare minimum to function. I suppose that didn’t really help my depression, but for those who have been in my shoes, you probably get it. What’s the point of getting up? What’s the point of eating? Getting clean? Living?

To me then, there wasn’t one. All I did was stay in my room and hang out in chatrooms and forums on the internet. These weren’t ‘helpful’ rooms though. They were people that were in that dark part of their lives and who saw no end.  

And with three of those people, we made a plan to kill ourselves.

I lived with my parents at the time, but I just said I was going to see some friends that weekend. They were so relieved I was actually doing something they didn’t even catch the missing pills in the medicine cabinet or that I didn’t pack clothes for the weekend.

And so I took a three hour road trip to meet the rest of the people in the pact.  

We didn’t give our full names, obviously. This whole experience was strangely anonymous. We met at a small diner to have dinner and to see that the others involved weren’t going to try to torture us… or worse, try to stop us.  

Sandra, I think, had the best reason for suicide. She was dying. When I saw her frail form and the kerchief on her bald head, I knew she wasn’t in good shape. She opened up about her cancer, how she’d had it come and go her entire life and that this time there wasn’t any sign of recovery. She didn’t want to spend another damn day in that hospital and was ready to go out on her own terms. She was so nice though, she didn’t judge any of us for our experiences or why we wanted to die, she just nodded and said she understood.

Brandon was the only guy in the group. He was nothing like I would’ve pictured. He wasn’t exactly a knock out, but he had a great smile and these wide brown eyes that I personally found attractive. Brandon had struggled with depression his entire life but he couldn’t live on this world anymore, not when his girlfriend died in a car accident that he was truly responsible for. He couldn’t live with that. And he hoped by doing this they’d be reunited and that she’d forgive him. I believed she would have.  

The last girl was almost a walking stereotype- a goth named Kirsten. Black hair, thick eyeliner around her piercing blue eyes and bold purple lipstick, long mesh sleeves that didn’t hide the patterns of thin scars going up and down her arms. Kirsten was the most quiet about her reasons, but she’d mentioned some abuse she’d experienced as a child. Things that she just couldn’t recover from.

I almost felt embarrassed about my reasons. I didn’t feel like I had a good reason, I had a good childhood, raised by parents who weren’t biologically mine but who treated me as such along with their ‘real’ children. I wasn’t abused. I wasn’t sick. I didn’t lose anyone. I just wanted to truly die.  

But none of them blamed me. Brandon gave me a side hug, Sandra nodded and patted my knee, and Kirsten told me that it was okay.  

We all rode in Kirsten’s van to this place her family owned in the woods, this beat up old thing that nearly stalled out twice. It took almost an hour to get there but we kept ourselves occupied with talking about the serious things- suicide notes, what did we think was coming after, how we wanted our funerals to go, stuff like that. I remember Brandon saying he wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread in his girlfriend’s old garden. She loved tiger lilies.  

The place was in the middle of nowhere, which was perfect for what we needed to do. A cabin in the middle of the woods. It looked like garbage on the outside but inside was actually quite cozy. Kirsten even lit a fire.  

The one thing we’d all held off talking about. The method.

Brandon pulled out a revolver, passed it around the room. “If anyone else wants it before I do it, go ahead, it’s not like I have a use for it,” He joked.

Kirsten wrinkled her nose. “Pass.” She produced a knife from her pocket. “I’ll be in the bathtub as soon as you guys are settled. How are you doing it, Sandra, Ellie?”

I dug through my bag to grab my pills and looked up in time to see Sandra lift up a length of rope. “Hanging is a clean way to go,” She said before looking at me. “Are you okay, Ellie?”  

I swallowed and poured the pills into my hand. This is it. This would kill me. “… I… I’m a little scared. This is really selfish to ask, but… could you guys wait until I’m out? Please?” I couldn’t look up.  

Kirsten’s hand rested on my shoulder. “I’ll stay with you. It’s okay. You’re choosing this,” She whispered before setting a water bottle on my lap. “And sometimes this is the only choice you can take.”

I took the pills after that, got comfy on the couch, let Kirsten stroke my hair as I slowly drifted into unconsciousness. I think I remember hearing the sound of the gun going off, but it sounded so far away and foggy.  

Well, as you guys can clearly tell, I’m sure as hell not dead.  

I survived. To this day, I don’t know how I’m alive.  

I woke up to the sound of crunching bones and wet tearing.  

My eyes fluttered open. I didn’t know where I was at first. Then it came back to me.  

My suicide attempt didn’t work.

I heard the smacking of lips before a quiet ‘hmm?’ I slowly sat up, my stomach churning, and I looked off the couch.

Brandon had successfully blown his head off. But someone had taken Sandra down and laid her on the floor, her neck was twisted in an unnatural way… and Brandon’s chest had been opened up and Kirsten was sitting next to the corpse, covered in blood and gripping onto his intestines. She looked back at me. Her jaw dropped, revealing dozens of needle sharp teeth.

“How the fuck are you not dead?!”  

I screamed before my stomach finally revolted and I projectile vomited all over the floor. I collapsed back on the couch, my throat burned as my eyesight flickered in and out. Kirsten got up, dropping Brandon’s guts and walking over. She pressed her fingers against my pulse point. “Holy shit. You’re actually still kicking, kid,” She murmured.

“Please,” I begged, “Don’t… don’t kill me.”  

“Relax, kiddo, I don’t kill. I just eat.” Kirsten plopped down next to me, shaking her head before she started chattering away. “… You know, the internet made this a lot easier. Finding corpses back in the day was a real pain in my ass. Nowadays, I get them delivered to my door. Internet’s a blessing and a curse, am I right?” She chuckled, shaking her head.  

I stared at the ceiling. I didn’t want to see Brandon’s shredded body. “… What are you?” I asked.

Kirsten shrugged. “Dunno, really. I’m not gonna give you numbers, but let’s just say I’ve been doing this song and dance a long, long time. The only thing I can eat is dead flesh. I’ve never had much of a taste for murder though, so I wait until someone kicks it. Or in this case, when someone chooses to kick it.”

I remembered at the diner that Kirsten only sipped away at a glass of water. “… I need more pills. I can’t do this,” I murmured, struggling to reach for my bag.

“No.”

Kirsten grabbed my hand, her grip could’ve snapped my wrist with how tight it was. “You’re not dying today.”

I couldn’t believe it. This bitch ate people and she wasn’t going to let me kill myself. “Why?! Dammit, just let me die!” I snapped, trying to pull loose.

“I said no!” Kirsten snarled at me and for a brief moment I thought she might’ve developed that taste for murder. I was shaking. I was terrified.

She released me and shook her head. “Ya know, I don’t believe in many things. But I believe in fate. And fate says that for some reason, you’re not meant to die today. For some bullshit reason, you’re meant to stick around.” She chuckled and attempted to wipe her mouth off. “I don’t give up food without a good reason, so I gotta ask you something- you think you can drive?”

I drove out of that forest feeling numb and tired. The car didn’t stall out once. I got back to the diner and dropped it off, got back in my car, and drove on home. My parents were sobbing in the living room, they’d found my suicide note. My mom screamed when I walked through the door… dad held onto me so tight and begged me never to do that again.

And in that moment, I felt like I wanted to live again.

It doesn’t always work like this for everyone, but things… did actually get better. I spent time in a hospital. My parents got me therapy, medication. I could wake up in the morning and feel like maybe there’s a reason I’m here in this world. I can’t say there wasn’t pitfalls, I had to go back to the hospital two more times when I just couldn’t cope again. But recovery was no longer a fairy tale. It was real.

And here I am now. I got married about five years ago to someone I met while on a run, he’s a super great guy. We have a two month old daughter, her name is Sandra, we call her Sandy. I work from home writing for magazines and I’ve never felt better.  

As for Sandra and Brandon, their bodies were never found. But since both had left suicide notes and Sandra had made preparations for her death, they were treated as dead. I didn’t go to their funerals. I didn’t want to explain to their parents how I knew them. But I did visit their graves after the service. I wonder almost every day what would’ve happened if they’d chosen to stay.

But this isn’t why I’m writing this.

I was out with a few fellow writers last Saturday, having dinner and having a general good time. I don’t know why I felt like I had to look up, but I did.

There was about four young people sitting at a table. I didn’t know three of them, but I knew the last one.  

She’d changed. She was now a brunette with a pink sweater, no more harsh make up or mesh sleeves. She looked almost like a normal girl. But those blue eyes… they looked right at me.  

The girl smirked and raised her water glass to me before returning to the conversation with the other three.

I didn’t interfere. I only watched as they got up and got into that beat up van and drove away.  

I have no doubt if I interfered with Kirsten’s hunting, she might change her view on murder.

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