It was not the first time he was making a list; except for this time it could very well be the last time. He was making a list of all possible ways to commit suicide. He loved to make lists to the extent that it seemed like a compulsive disorder. He had a list ready for everything - from routine lists like grocery shopping to names of people to greet on the way to work; from list of people to send cards on Christmas to list of movies he had watched during the year. It was going fine till he got into a relationship. I would not say that she was the most careless girl in the world, but she certainly belonged to group of people who made lists only when it was absolutely essential. At first she admired that he was a responsible person who planned everything, but her first shock was not too far.
It all started when he handed a list of names of babies, both for male and female, to her. It could have been considered a sweet gesture on his part, but considering that he had not even proposed to her yet, it led to cold war for a week. Before marriage, he made of list of topic her parents should not bring up while talking to his parents. The girl must have really loved him, because the marriage did happen. Today is their first marriage anniversary. Along with the anniversary gift, he deemed it appropriate to present to her a list of habits she must change for leading a harmonious married life. She could have lived with it, however could not since she had already been given a list of fasts she should keep, of days when she should visit his mother, of TV soaps she should not watch, of her friends she should get rid of and many more. So she just packed her bag and left.
After she left, he made a list of possible reasons on why his marriage was in trouble, list of food items he will have to buy to make his lunch the next day and the day after, list of steps he will have to take to bring her back home and a list of options available if she did not agree. While he was making the last list, one of the options available was committing suicide. He knew right at that moment this was the option he would choose and here it was; a list of all possible ways to commit suicide. Once the list was ready, he started eliminating the difficult options. Jumping off the building – risky, eating rat poison – disgusting; stabbing himself with a knife – painful; cutting wrists – very long. So he zeroed in on the last option. He would hang himself from the ceiling fan.
So he tied the rope from the fan and stood on a stool. He kept his neck on the noose and tightened it. He considered making a list of eligible candidates for his wife to remarry once he is gone, but decided otherwise, treating it as a revenge for everything. He was ready to kick the stool. For the transition to be less painful, he started making a list in his mind of everything he did not do in his life. He kicked the stool. Next ten seconds were the longest ten seconds he ever spent. When he was convinced that it was long enough for him to be dead and wake up in heaven or hell, he opened his eyes. He was not dead. Neither was he hanging in the air. His toes were touching the ground. He did not know what to do now. He had kicked the stool very far. He tried loosening the noose but could not.
He stood there for next 30 minutes like that. He decided that he should shout for help. Just when he was about to shout, somebody knocked. He froze. There was a knock again and yet again. Then he heard a voice. She had come back. “Open the door you freak. If you promise not to make another list in your life, I can come back and stay with you” she yelled.
He was standing there, with noose around his neck and toes on the ground. Between him and the door were lying the four lists he made before getting on the stool.