The window sat open. It was an inoffensively spring day.
Frank was wet. The last drop of enough-blood slipped from his wrists.
A man sat on the end of the bathtub. He was wearing a suit, pants rolled, feet in the bloody water halfway up his shins. He sighed.
Frank frowned at him. “What the hell are you doing here?”
The man gave Frank a dull look. “It’s my job”
“Oh. Well if you don’t mind, I’m trying to die”
“I’m aware,” the man said, placid.
“So could you, you know,” Frank waved to the door.
“Afraid not, Frank,” the man sighed, “Frank, you gotta stop this.”
“A bit late for that,” Frank said, sarcastically holding up his hands like a crook, displaying his wrists.
The man in the suit gave them a dirty look.
“Yes, I know. No matter what we do this, no matter how many times we explain the situation and remoralize you, we always end up back here.”
Frank raised an eyebrow, the left one. “The hell is that supposed to mean?”
“I’m tired of explaining it. It never helps anyways,” the man said, turning as though to exit the tub.
“Try me,” Frank demanded.
The man shrugged. “Well, for the umpteenth time. When you die, your consciousness gets moved to a new reality where you didn’t. And if you die there, same deal, and so on. Until you’re ready. You don’t realize it. But, everyone does actually live a long life in their own way. With suicides, usually a few failed attempts cause them to rethink and decide to live. Or, if someone is really determined then we have to step in and explain things. Reassure people so to speak. They forget this of course, but it impacts them subconsciously and things get back on track. That’s how it all works. Again. Again frank, do you get that? Do you hear the frustration in my voice? It’s because we’ve been over this close to a hundred times. You’re like a hemroid Frank. A nasty one that keeps coming back and I’m sick of it. I’ve gotten approval for an experiment. I’m not wiping your memory this time. You have to go back into the world knowing you cannot die until it’s time. If you still want to kill yourself, well, I’m done with our talks. I’ll just pop you into a different reality and you’ll carry on. You won’t even see me. And don’t think you’ll run out of realities. There are infinite, Frank. Infinite possible realities that are so similar to yours, you won’t tell the difference. So, just accept it Frank, accept the damn reality of the situation so that both of us can have a little peace. Please.”
Frank looked long at the man. He said nothing. The man pulled one foot out of the bath then the other. He began drying them on a towel. He turned to Frank.
“And, don’t bother telling anyone. We will just have to come and fix it. It won’t matter.”
Frank frowned at the man.
“I don’t want to tell anyone. Or do anything with anyone. I want to die.”
The man sighed, slipping on a sock. “Yes, you’re very adamant about that. But as I said. It’s no use. Your consciousness will just jump into another version of you. I don’t make the rules Frank. Now, look,”
The man walked to Frank’s end of the tub. He reached down and slid a finger over each of Frank’s wrists. The wounds vanished. The man turned and began putting on his shoes. Frank sat up. He watched the man finish dressing. Finally he asked “are there realities where my family is still alive?”
The man shrugged. “There are infinite realities, so, yes, theoretically. But they are not my business.”
Frank stood up. The suited man looked sideways at him. Frank smiled.
“So,” Frank said, “if I died enough times, would my consciousness eventually end up in a reality where they live?”
The suited man’s eyes went a little wider than usual. “Frank,” he said, parental, “it’s impossible. You’d have to die at least,” the man took a breath, “a few million times. Don’t both-FRANK!”
But it was no use, Frank had leapt out of the bathroom window.