[fiction] The Man Who Wanted to Commit Suicide

The view from the top of the building was a scary sight. Twenty stories down, the world looked miniscule enough to not matter. What those tiny people were thinking, it didn’t matter; how loud those toy-like cars were honking, it didn’t matter; the dust and pollution that infected the air down there, it didn’t matter. Nothing matter to Mihir, because he was ready to give it all up, leave it all behind.

As Mihir stood on the ledge of the terrace and peered down at the world below him, for a moment, he thought of the Batman. The Batman stood on top of buildings, just as he was at that moment. But the similarities ended there. The Batman wore a mask and a cape; Mihir’s attire comprised a button-down shirt and cotton trousers. The Batman stood on top of buildings to search out villains and protect his city, Mihir was standing on top of his office complex in search of the willpower to jump off it.

This was his last straw, he didn’t know of any better way of committing suicide. Swallowing a bunch of sleeping pills or a bottle of phenyl was tricky, Mihir had no idea how much would be enough and he didn’t want to end up in a hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Cutting his wrist open had the possibility of resulting in the same possibility. He had seen movie characters commit suicide by sticking one end of a tube into their car’s exhaust pipe and the other end inside the car’s closed windows, but he couldn’t kill himself by inhaling such fumes because he didn’t own a car. Mihir had thought of the other options that he had, like, sleeping on the railway tracks (seemed too gruesome and would probably be too painful), hanging himself from a ceiling fan (he was afraid the fan would give in under his 90kg body), putting a bullet into his head (he didn’t know where to find a gun). After much deliberation, Mihir had decided that jumping off a skyscraper was his best bet. It required the least amount of planning and promised to deliver optimal results.

Before he jumped off the ledge, Mihir fished out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from his pant pockets. Smoking was one of the few things he enjoyed, and he wanted one final smoke before he ended his life. It was windy at the height where he stood, and lighting the cigarette was s struggle. Mihir laughed, he found this to be ironical because his entire life had been one struggle after another. Growing up in a middle-class family had been a struggle, getting good marks in school and college had been a struggle, losing weight had been a struggle, finding someone to date had been a struggle, looking for a job had been a struggle, keeping his boss happy had been a struggle, meeting his parents’ expectations had been a struggle, keeping up with the achievements of his cousins had been a struggle, waking up every morning and going to work had been a struggle, eating insipid diet food had been a struggle, there was nothing that hadn’t been a struggle. Mihir was tired, sick of it all.

He had finally decided to put an end to his struggles by putting an end to his life. He knew his parents and a couple of his friends would cry upon his death, but they would get on with their lives eventually. But he couldn’t live on; he didn’t see his life getting better in any way. He was a 27-year-old virgin, and he found solace in the fact that he wouldn’t live long enough to be a 30-year-old virgin or a 40-year-old virgin or a 50-year-old virgin.

Mihir threw the cigarette butt towards the ground, but the wind took it away. At that moment, he discovered one more reason why he wished he weighed a lot less. If his weight was half of what it was, the wind would have taken him away with it as well. At least he wouldn’t have to struggle with building up the courage to jump off the building.

The world perceived people who committed suicide as being weak and lacking courage. But Mihir didn’t quite agree with that, he believed it required more courage to kill one’s self than it did to live a mundane life. He could’ve grown old living the way he did, but what was the big deal about that? It didn’t require any courage, living an ordinary life happened by itself. Most of the world did it. But to arrive at the decision to end his life required immense courage. And to go through with that decision, to pry open the terrace door and stand on the terrace ledge, that made him courageous. More courageous than everybody else who lived ordinary lives and died ordinary deaths.

Mihir was basking in the glory of his courage-filled thoughts when he heard someone behind him shout, “Hey.”

He looked behind and saw a security guard running towards him. “Stop, stop,” he shouted, holding his palms open and stretching his arms out. “Stop or I’ll jump off the building.”

The security guard stopped in his tracks. He was almost at the edge of the terrace, within touching distance of the ledge and the man standing on it. “Sir, what’re you doing, sir?”

“Get away from me, stay away,” Mihir shouted.

“Okay, okay, sir,” the guard said. “Please come down from there, sir.” He searched his mind, tried to recall if he’d seen this man before, but to no avail. The office complex housed numerous businesses and what the guard usually saw was a sea of people going in and out. He looked at the man on the ledge once again, he seemed to be panicky. The man’s eyes kept diverting between him and the emptiness beyond the terrace. He was crouching down now, as if afraid of losing his footing. The guard decided that the man wouldn’t jump off, his threats seemed empty. All he had to do was get a hold of him. The guard took a tentative step forward.

“Don’t move,” Mihir shouted, noticing the security guard moving towards him.

“It’s okay, sir, you won’t fall,” the guard paid to heed to the man on the ledge and continued moving forward. “Just give me your hand, sir.”

The guard had come very close to Mihir. Mihir saw the guard’s outstretched hand and looked at him angrily. “Didn’t you hear what I just said?” Mihir bellowed. “I told you to not come near me.”

“Just give me your hand, sir, you won’t fall,” the guard persisted, reaching the ledge, right beside the man. The guard could see the anger on the man’s face, but he was preparing himself to catch the man by surprise and get hold of him,

But before the guard could, Mihir sighed angrily and nodded his head. “Okay,” he said and caught hold of the security guard’s outstretched hand.

The guard relaxed and smiled. The man’s grip on his hand was firm, but he could understand why, the man was afraid he would fall down. “Come on, sir, come down from there,” he said.

Mihir looked at the security guard, nodded at him, tightened his grip on his hand, and in one swift motion, pulled the security guard with him as he pushed his body off the ledge, falling down towards the world far below him.

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