How is it that every living creature on the earth has a common origin and yet there is such a wide range in opinion? Some people fear clowns, others have a carnal desire to slip into their over sized, multicolored pants. Same with feet. Same with blood. It is also the same way with death. There are those among you who enjoy life so much that you ignore its existence. You go about your days pretending, uncomfortably, that it will never befall you as it has so many others. Then there are those who want nothing but death, regardless of their ignorance as to what lies beyond the tomb. They will piss away their last dime in exchange for a gun or a vile of poison, giving them the promise of eternal rest.

Hardly, if ever, is there a gray area. Regardless of your own opinion, when asked you will give an answer based on religious up bringing or perhaps the logic given to you by a pamphlet you saw at a doctor's office. Well, I'm here to tell you right now, it doesn't matter what you think. You should count your blessings and live your life and accept death when it comes. Don't be a pussy. You have nothing to complain about.

When I was a young boy, about five or six, I was raised in a devout Christian household. I didn't know about varying ideas or religion or philosophy, simply accepting what ever I was told, like any good child. As far as I was concerned, Jesus was my best friend and there just happened to be a number of other characters, such as Santa Claus, running around. You know, the American Dream. Till a year later.

When I was seven, my father left us. I walked in the living room that night as my mother was crying, her head in her hands, dressed in her same cheetah print nightgown.

"Mommy?" I said, as she looked up abruptly.

"Nothing, sweety. Mommy just bumped her toe." She said, wiping her nose with her sleeve and extending her arms for a hug.

With out question, I fell into her. Even at such a young age I knew she hadn't stubbed her toe. She would use that exact excuse several times in the future, hoping to quench my concern. As I grew older, piece by piece, I understood what happened. It fell on me like a sack full of led bricks. From my thirteenth year on, I would think of ways to get back at my father, which grew into how to get back at myself. I started cutting my wrist when I got to seventh grade, carefully concealing each red line with my two, bulky, black bracelets. Cliché, I know. But at that age, I just did what I felt to do.

It was also at this age that I started doubting the existence of God. Not just the Christian God, all gods, or goddesses. I think maybe the reason for this was that I didn't think God would let my father leave....Or maybe it was my fear of an afterlife? I'm not sure anymore. But anyway, one day there was a suicide prevention thing at my school where we all had to go into the Cafeteria. I had never even heard of suicide. I mean, yeah, when I was little I thought of the possibility of someone killing themselves. If it were a sin or not. But it never crossed my mind for more than seconds at a time.

"Suicide is a very serious subject children," boomed the staticy speaker connected to the microphone which our Principal spoke to.

The whispering of the children around me ceased as a river of pure attention flowed to the man in the middle of the room.

"Does anyone here have a family member who has committed suicide, or a friend?" No one raised any hands.

Now that I look back on it, this doesn't seem like an appropriate question, even considering the circumstances. Anyway, the assembly went on with the cliché quotes, such as "Suicide is never the answer," and "There is always another option." Honestly, the assembly that day gave me more ideas than anything. As soon as I got home, I learned how to make a noose from Youtube after about three tries with me getting my fingers caught in the blue hoodie string.

Finally, I mastered this new little art form and tried it out, just to see what it would feel like if I ever did decide to end my life. I could feel my air flow slowly being closed off from my brain. My lungs starting to swell with carbon dioxide that so desperately wanted to be freed. It was a strange and alien feeling to me, but I wanted more.

After a week of thinking it over, writing down the pros and cons of taking my own life, I decided to start writing my note. One draft. Two drafts. It had to make it perfect, something to remember me by. By the end of the night, I had six drafts, making sure it was perfect. I knew it was selfish. I knew I was leaving my mother, but so had my father. I fastened the make shift noose around my neck and the pole that held my clothes just above the ground within my closet. I could feel my face turning to a redish-purple as my throat had it's last gasp of air squeezed away. I was at peace......

I woke up in my bed, covered in sweat and six different blankets. What had happened? I was terrified that maybe my mom had discovered me and took me to bed. That wouldn't make sense! She would have screamed, taken me to the hospital or something. I sat up, frantically looking around. My suicide note was gone, my closet doors were open. The noose wasn't dangling where I had secured it.

I jumped up, running to the bathroom. I looked at my neck in the mirror. There was no red ring left behind. Had I dreamed it all? No, it felt so real. Had I gotten up in a sleep walking state to save myself? No, the oxygen was cut off, I was brain dead! Besides, there would be a mark left behind on my neck. I looked at the clock on the bedside table. 6:00am. Here it was, Sunday, and I was walking around at the time I'd be getting up for school.

No longer giving a shit what happened, I walked back to bed, though I wouldn't have been able to sleep after that. I went on with my life as if nothing had happened, not telling anyone. Period. I went to school, came home, did my home work, and occasionally go out with friends every now and again. The cutting, however, didn't slow down. I did move it to my thighs, though, in the fear my mother would worry. I was now a Sophomore who just got my permit, even though I knew how to drive ever since I was in eighth grade.

Even though I hadn't had my permit for very long, my mother trusted me to run down to this little country store every now and again if we were in dire need of milk or something. I just liked to have an excuse to get out of the house and drive. It was one of my simple pleasures. But one night, my girl friend Nia came over while my mother was at work. It was nights like this when she would take the van and leave the truck. This was also the kind of nights that Me and Nia would take the liberty of, well, you know.

We had just been sitting there, watching movies, cuddling, just wasting the whole night away. Nia started to get bored.

"Hey, Baby, why don't we go for a ride in your truck?" she said with her seductive voice.

"Umm, I don't know."

"Why not?"

"Well, what if we got pulled over? I don't have my license yet."

"You won't get pulled over, Babe. You're a good driver!" she side, puckering her lips.

With a sigh, I gave into her request. The truck purred to life as I turned the key attached to my 8-ball key chain. I cautiously pulled out of the driveway, wanting to kick my own ass for being so stupid. We had no particular destination in mind, just circling around town for a while. I wish I hadn't of pulled out of that drive way. I wish I could have just told Nia to go home, but no.

I awoke in a hospital bed, an IV protruding from my arm. Everything hurt, especially my eyes. I felt like I hadn't seen sun in days. I looked down at my body, lifting my head with extreme effort. Nothing looked broken. I wiggled my toes. Goddamn they hurt, but I wasn't paralyzed. I looked around the room to see a nurse in the door way.

"Just rest, you'll need it." she said in a gentle voice.

"Can I get you anything? Are you thirsty?"

"Where," I coughed, "Where's Nia?"

She fell silent and pale. I asked again with no response. I only got an answer once a Doctor came in to inform me she had "passed." I wanted to puke, but there was nothing in my stomach to get rid of. When my mother came, tears staining her cheeks, she told me that I had gotten in an accident. A coal truck had hit us head on, literally cutting the car in half. It was a miracle I was still in one piece, little lone alive!

Nia had a closed casket funeral three days later. From what I was told, they didn't have much left to bury. It was all my fault, all of it. I should have just said NO. I couldn't live with that guilt. I wrote out another suicide note, prepared to give it another try. This time, however, I wouldn't give myself the chance to get out. I downed a bottle of Tylenol along with some other random pills from the cabinet. All I could do was sit back and wait.

"You really like to test my patience, don't you?" said a croaky voice behind me, almost an angry whisper.

I turned around in my seat, without the usual squeak of leather. There stood a tall, dark figure, nicely dressed in a button up shirt. It had dark, slicked over hair.

"Dad?" I barely managed to utter.

"What do you think you're doing, Samuel?" he boomed.

"I....I can't take this life, Dad." I said, a new found warmth for the man I'd hated since seventh grade.

"You aren't finished here, son. You haven't done what I brought you here for." he said in an almost sympathetic whisper.

"What do you mean 'put me here'? Where have you been for the past ten years?"

He sighed, "Your life is not your own, son. You have a destiny. You will not pass on until you have completed this."

I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Destiny? Passing on? This is my life! I'll use it as I please.

"Like I said, your life isn't your own. And you can't come home till you've done what you were put here for, and I can not stay here long without your help." He said, almost like he was reading my mind.

"I am the king of the Earth, the seven headed dragon. You are the Anti-Christ, my prince of darkness."