I murdered that man yesterday. I didn’t want to, but he asked me to. You might posit that if he wanted to die, it wasn’t truly murder. That my plunging a knife into his body again and again, hearing the air from his lungs pop through the stab wounds, was just an elaborate form of assisted suicide. Maybe. I had raised the same doubt when the man had asked me the question. Hadn’t he used the wrong verb, I asked. He assured me that he had not.
The man wanted to die. That was for sure. But he didn’t want to die while, well, wanting to die. He explicitly stated that he, “want(ed) to die while yearning for life” if he were to die at all.
The task at hand was to do whatever it took to make the man want to live again, to make him crave each day, to make him fear death as he had when he was younger, healthier, and full of fire. Then, and only then, was I to murder him violently, immediately.
It took me nearly five years to complete the job.
The first step was relatively easy. Upon agreeing to the gig, I kidnapped the man and drugged him heavily. Roofies, sure, but a few other things that put cracks in his memory, doubts in his narrative, and a few hallucinogenic experiences to further confuse him. I kept him about a week, during which time I also went to his house and removed any trace of the disease: doctor’s notes, medical bills, prescription pills.
After that, it was a matter of reconstructing his life and keeping the disease at bay surreptitiously through a combination of drugged meetings with a doctor friend of mine and grinding up the pills into the food he kept at home.
I befriended him under a different name. He had no recollection of our arrangement. I got a job where he worked. I introduced him to the right woman. He fell in love. He got married. We watched the Super Bowl together. I cried real tears into his shoulder when my cat died. He was a good man.
I knew the day to do it had come when he showed me a picture of his newborn and told me he’d never felt so happy and content as he did at that moment. I killed him the following evening.
Do I feel any remorse? No. I respected a dying man’s wish. After I had stabbed him 10 or so times, I pushed him to the ground and climbed on his chest, pinning him with the weight of my body, feeling his hot blood soak through the knees of my jeans, and I looked him square in the eye. I saw nothing but dread, not an ounce of “finally” in there at all.
So no, I did the right thing. I did the job. I did a good job.