She picked up the four packs of sleeping pills from her bedside table. Instead of crushing them and
mixing them with water, she decided to take them one by one, because there is always a gap between
intention and action, and she wanted to feel free to turn back half way. However, with each pill she
swallowed, she felt more convinced: after five minutes the packs were empty.
Since she didn’t know exactly how long it would take her to lose consciousness, she had placed on the
bed that month’s issue of a French magazine,Homme , which had just arrived in the library where she
worked. She had no particular interest in computer science, but, as she leafed through the magazine, she
...view middle of the document...
But Slovenia existed nonetheless, and it was outside, inside, in the mountains around her and in the
square she was looking out at: Slovenia was her country.
She put the magazine to one side, there was no point now in getting indignant with a world that knew
absolutely nothing about the Slovenes; her nation’s honour no longer concerned her. It was time to feel
proud of herself, to recognise that she had been able to do this, that she had finally had the courage and
was leaving this life: what joy! Also she was doing it as she had always dreamed she would—by taking
sleeping pills, which leave no mark.
Veronika had been trying to get hold of the pills for nearly six months. Thinking that she would never
manage it, she had even considered slashing her wrists. It didn’t matter that the room would end up
awash with blood, and the nuns would be left feeling confused and troubled, for suicide demands that
people think of themselves first and of others later. She was prepared to do all she could so that her
death would cause as little upset as possible, but if slashing her wrists was the only way, then she had no
option—and the nuns could clean up the room and quickly forget the whole story, otherwise they would
find it hard to rent out the room again. We may live at the end of the twentieth century, but people still
believe in ghosts.
Obviously she could have thrown herself off one of the few tall buildings in Ljubljana, but what about the
further suffering caused to her parents by a fall from such a height? Apart from the shock of learning that
their daughter had died, they would also have to identify a disfigured corpse; no, that was a worse
solution than bleeding to death, because it would leave indelible marks on two people who only wanted
the best for her.
‘They would get used to their daughter’s death eventually. But it must be impossible to forget a shattered
Shooting, jumping off a high building, hanging, none of these options suited her feminine nature. Women,
when they kill themselves, choose far more romantic methods—like slashing their wrists or taking an
overdose of sleeping pills. Abandoned princesses and Hollywood actresses have provided numerous
examples of this.
Veronika knew that life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act. And so it proved. In
response to her complaints that she could no longer sleep at night, two friends of hers managed to get
hold of two packs each of a powerful drug, used by musicians at a local nightclub. Veronika left the four
packs on her bedside table for a week, courting approaching death and saying goodbye—entirely
unsentimentally—to what people called Life.
Now she was there, glad she had gone all the way, and bored because she didn’t know what to do with
the little time that remained to her.
Now she was there, glad she had gone all the way, and bored because she didn’t know what to do with...