Yesterday, he relapsed. Today, the hangover was pulsing in his head and fingers. Three empty bottles of vodka were scattered around the room; each one a shiny, nauseating reminder of his choices. He was shaking, adrenaline running up and down his arms. Four months. He had been sober for four months. He had ruined everything.
The gun sat in front of him. Matte black, cool metal. He rested two fingers on the grip and breathed in through his nose. He shook his head and retreated his hand. Really, it made sense. There was no other option but he couldn't bring himself to pick up the gun.
"Are you ready?"
The voice said from behind him.
He shook his head again. Tears stung the sides of his eyes. He had relapsed; did that mean he had to die? Did that mean he was useless? He knew that the voice behind him would answer both of those questions with 'yes.'
He took out a flask from inside his jacket. With each tremendous sip, the whisky burned his throat. It singed his esophagus and rested in the unsettled cavity of his stomach, swirling together with the remnants of yesterday’s binge.
"I can't," he whispered.
An exasperated sigh behind him; annoyed with his change of heart. He clutched his hands between his knees, wound his fingers together and stood up from the couch. He teetered in front of the fake stone coffee table, the one he had hated when he’d moved in because it was the same as everyone else’s in Building B. Tacky, safe, stay-at-home-mom style furniture. The haziness of the apartment was beginning to clear out, the memories of the space pulling at his chest. This is where he had gotten clean. He had spent days fighting back nausea and tears bent over the tacky table in front of him.
"I can't do it."
He turned to face the voice behind him. But before he could make a full turn, he was grabbed from behind and slammed into the coffee table. The apartment spun back into a swirl of hangovers and reminiscent smog.
He half-awoke, squeaking against the ceramic of his bathtub. He was naked. A pair of silicone gloves heaved his body, adjusting him over the edge of the tub. His arms sprawled in front of him, his feet twisted and one of his toes landed in the drain. He tried to resist but no strength would come to him. The whisky and the vodka ensured that he was completely empty.
A readying whisper.
The gun clicked.
The safety was off.
He had made mistakes. He had made the wrong choices again and again. And the one moment where he had made the right choice, it didn't matter. Nothing mattered. He knew he would end up here. Drowned by his weakness, unable to lift his head to face his killer.
The gun was wrapped into his hands. His finger, placed on the trigger. A small adjustment was made to the placement of his shoulder. His eyes opened for a brief second. The barrel stared at him, perfectly placed to pierce through his skull. Adrenaline rushed through him but it was quickly overshadowed by the exhaustion and the whisky. He could have fought back, but he didn't. He could have screamed and kicked. He could have saved himself but he wasn't worth it. He was nothing. Nothing to anyone.
The hand opened his mouth, pulling his face up by his nose. The barrel pressed against the roof of his mouth. His teeth scraped against the metal, filling his mouth with the taste of iron like he had swallowed blood. The gloves pressed his finger into the trigger and fired.