Most people play Russian Roulette with a six-chambered revolver, like the one you left me that I keep under my pillow. Insert one cartridge, spin, press the metal to your temple, pull the trigger. Easy. If you don’t die, you pass the gun off. The new person can either spin the cylinder again, thus making their chances at death a fresh 17%, or they can simply pull the trigger. A one in five chance at bravado or suicide.

But I play Russian Roulette with five bullets.


You always loved facts and statistics. You counted cracks in the sidewalk, wondered at how many people had stepped in the exact same place you had.

“Life is not composed of numbers,” I’d tell you.

Life is a series of variables and constants equal to zero. I’m solving it,” you’d reply.

You told me you loved me for the first time at the beach, but you seemed distracted. “Since 1985, at least 20 people have died from being buried in the sand,” you said quietly, letting the grains trickle between your fingers like an hourglass.

“What are you counting down to?” I joked, motioning to the timepiece created at your fingertips, but you didn’t hear me. The sand was tossed carelessly aside and you instead picked up a conch shell. You held it to your ear with one hand, and motioned for me to be quiet with the other. I watched the waves creep closer as you listened to the sound of your own heart beating for a full minute.


I told you I loved you every night before we fell asleep, but you never seemed to want to hear it. “Did you know that kissing for one minute burns twenty-six calories?” I tried to kiss you, but you rolled over and over, holding the blankets to you, a cocoon. “Wake me in a month; I’ll be a butterfly by then.”

Some butterflies only live for a few days” I laughed, tugging on the blankets to free you.

“Don’t," you said, and closed your eyes.


I like to think I’m giving myself a chance every time I finger the trigger ; the same kind of chance you never gave me. Maybe if I’d known the average number of times two people will say “I love you” in a relationship, then you’d still be here. Maybe if I’d known the duration of the average relationship, I’d better have been able to prepare myself. Maybe if I had surrounded myself in cold, sterile statistics, I could write how you lived in an equation. I could solve you.

There were three "I love you"s and seven “don’t do this”s and only one “you have so much life left to live!”s. You smiled at me, in an empathetic and wise way, and then held the gun to your temple.

“Yes, but on a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone drops to zero.”

credit to palahniuk for the final line. fight club is inspiration at its finest.

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