The problem with euthanasia is the jury is still out there sequestered by moral and legal arguments. There are too many grey areas in mercy killing. The mercy killer could be jailed for life for murder, resented the whole of his/her life for taking the life of a loved one loved by others too. People have been in coma for scores of years and woken up. But I, the victim of mercy murder, could be willing, why not listen to my silent cry even if I can’t cry out loud?
When Tatyana is through with her guilty trip with me for not being there when I survived the drone strike, I ask her whether she loves me.
“Of course I do,” she says.
“Would you do anything for me?”
She shifts uncomfortably on the hospital bed. I’m sure she doesn’t like my line of questioning. I might as well ask her to aid and abet me in escaping. A daunting task.
“Come on gal, you don’t have to ask. We are both partners in our lives in crime and death…”
I listen to her. Thoughts run through my killer mind like athletes. Is my consent needed? If not, who would give consent then, the government? No, the government is not a mercy killer. It is a necessity killer, for national security. How sick should I be to be killed with mercy? Am I in such pain to deserve the mercy? I know I am not sick per se, but I am in pain.
You know you are in endless pain when you wake up one morning and realize that you are dead, buried and forgotten by those who are dear and close to you but alive and kicking to strangers, a people who don’t give a damn about you. You know you will forever be in pain when you wake up in the morning, with a jolt, to an emotionless face of someone who tells you nothing but to go out and kill, take another human’s life or yours would be taken in more painful ways than you can imagine. You know pain when you go to sleep with it every night and you see yourself being lowered in your own grave but when you scream to those mourning and burying you your screams are whimpers that no one hears.
Tatyana is telling me that she loves me so much that she would die for me, kill for me.
“Would you kill me?” I blurt.
She looks at me as though I have sprout antennae. I might as well have been a creature from Mars for all she cared.
“Hell, no. I can’t do that…”
“But you’d kill for me…”
“Yes, kill for you, not kill you.”
For a moment I think about the mechanics of the death. If I were to be shown the mercy and be killed, how would I want it to be? Smothering? Perhaps. That’s gentle. Now is the right time, I’m confined in sick bed, there are two pillows here, I think. Or she cut off the oxygen supply. My heart would just stop. Then I’m painless. Woe unto me if I don’t die or somebody scampers in before I meet Virgil to give me a tour of hell. I would be a vegetable. I can’t imagine myself a quadriplegic. I would switch off the life support machine myself if I have to, but then I won’t be able to. That’s when I would will any merciful soul to do me the favour.
“Yes, you’d kill me,” I say. “Don’t even pretend you’d hesitate…”
“Why are you doing this to me?”
“I’m not doing anything to you. If Command ordered you to you’d kill me. If it’s your mission…”
“Maggie,” she calls me by my name which she is forbidden to. “I can’t, and won’t, kill you, even if Command ordered me to.”
I know I am fighting a losing battle. I know she would disobey orders not to be the one to kill me.
“Look,” I tell my fellow assassin. “I’m tired of this life, of being controlled, of killing innocent people…”
“Those whom we kill are not innocent,” Tatyana interjects. “They are a threat to national security, scumbags…”
“Is it you who is talking or is the brainwashing?”
When the arguments start no one wins. I am the logical one, the philosopher, the reasonable, the one whom the memory erasing drugs don’t work on. Tatyana is the sensational one, the don’t-care, the recalcitrant, the one who would go rogue first and I be ordered to take her down.
I know I have a lot of convincing to do. Tatyana gave me my first kiss, fondles my breasts when the lights have gone off even when she knows the infrared cameras in our rooms are streaming live to Command, she fingers me so well it feels like the real thing, and these past days I have been feeling the intensity of her emotions towards me. Screaming at her won’t work, so is trying to reason with her.
“I love you, Maggie,” she says. “But not to the point of killing you even when I see you’re hurting being alive.”
“Please, it’s more painful to be alive than dead. Look at us, if you show a sign of disobedience to orders your CD4 count is lowered. You can die as an HIV/Aids victim or by the bullet. Command decides on our lives. She holds both virus and cure, poison and antidote…”
“Our lives are not ours, but my love is yours. I love you to death.”
I don’t have a choice anymore. Tatyana would do anything for me, if I push her hard enough she would show me the mercy. But she won’t. So I will look for somebody else to do it, to end my pain.