Short story on a question of morals, life and social expectation.
The decisive moment. Huh. You don't fully understand the meaning of it until you are torn between two answers which go opposite directions. Even then you can't fully comprehend it until your time is up and you're suddenly thinking about how you got here and why did they choose you to toy with. Which relationship is most important to me? Family? Marriage? Friendship? Why should I have to choose this? Why do I have to choose whether someone lives or dies? It's not my life, it's unfair to deprive someone of their life. I keep on thinking these questions but recieve no answers. I look at three panic-stricken faces looking at me, urging me to kill them so the other two may live.
The man with the mask behind me talked for the first time, breaking the silence and making me jump. "Time's up. Make your decision or you're all dead." At least he didn't call me 'sailor'. I guess he's just not putting on the facade of being my friend and sees this as just business. All hope is lost, all my attempts to escape or make them set us free have failed and have earned me two broken legs so I can't run or go anywhere anymore. I know I haven't been the greatest son, husband or friend, I know I would steal off them in a heartbeat but this is just inhumane. It's not my decision. How many times have I said that in the last hour? Or even in my lifetime? I really must be selfish. All day my thoughts have been on myself and why I got myself into this mess. All me, me, me. I really must start thinking of other people. Right, I'll try that now. Just look into each person's eyes and try to see what they see and try to think what they think.
Oh. I have messed up. They're all fearing for their families they may have to leave behind and they fearing for each other and me, not for their own gain but for the sake of humanity itself. They're fearing because they care not because they care about losing something precious to themselves, they just care in general. As I look at them, the sudden twitch of their body, the roaming eyes, they're secretly communicating with each other, comforting each other. Just looking at them makes me feel more at ease with everything, despite the doom and gloom atmosphere. This is probably what is meant by the phrase 'opening your eyes to get a clearer picture'. I think my eyes have finally opened. I want them to escape, not me. It isn't about me anymore, it's about them. They have good well-off lives. They have something to go back to. Am I being selfish again? It sounds like I am. Maybe I should stop thinking altogether, maybe I should stop doing anything at all because everything I do seems selfish. I socialise for my own gain, I got married for my own gain, I steal for my own gain, I.... maybe I should just stop there, I'm upset enough as it is and I don't need anything else bringing me down. That's just being selfish right there. Huh. I even help people for my own gain. As if anyone cares.
I turn around to the man with the mask and said "let them go. It's not their fault. They weren't involved, there's no point in killing them. Just please let them go. You can keep me, or dispose of me, I don't care. I've learnt my lesson. Set them free." I said in my pleading voice. "I can't. It's against the rules. One of you four will have to die as retribution for what you did. I didn't make the rules, I just make sure they're kept. Now stop wasting time and choose, or I'll choose all of you." He said with a taste of excitement in his voice. I frowned. How could I ever be like him? That sense of joy when you know someone is suffering in a bad situation and you're going to survive. This is unfair to humanity. This shouldn't be. Why did I ever get into this business? All those poor lives ruined because this business is moronic and full of greedy, ignorant people. I should've got out while I could. I'm such a fool. People on the street are more intelligent than me.
I look at these people, look at them good and hard as they look back and forth at each other and then to me. Trying to make a decision like this is very hard. I wish there was an easier choice. Couldn't I have just a few more minutes? Guess I found an answer to that. Stupid barbaric people.
Oh wait. Didn't they say there were four people here that I could kill? I counted the people in front of me and I suddenly knew who to kill. At least I'm only being half selfish and the innocent won't get harmed. I look at the man with the mask and said "I have made my decision." He hands me a gun with a look of curiosity in his eyes. I show him nothing, my face is blank. I turn around and look at the three people looking scared. Ah, so they are selfish as well. I said to them "I am sorry for being selfish, it will not happen again." That was all I needed to say. I put the gun to my chin and pulled the trigger.