"She turned from the mirror, and looked at me with crackling, dark eyes.

'There are twenty-three knives in the kitchen,' she said. "Eighteen lengths of cord or wire in the living room. Seven industrial strength cleaning agents under the sink. Nine different bottles of pills over my desk.

'And zero methods of dealing with the pain.' Memet turned to the mirror and laughed, bitterly. I said nothing, afraid.

'In this country,' she continued, 'suicide is illegal.'

'People go on and on about how they don't want you to die, about what a mistake that would be, but for the person on the brink to hear you say 'please get help,' the question is, from who? What help? Therapy, hospitalization, daily life assistance, these options are realistically only available for the wealthy.

"'Think of your son, your family, your friends. You dying will hurt them forever.'" Her tone mocked my earlier pleas. I opened my mouth to reply, but she stared at me with dead-fish eyes and spoke over my unwhispered words.

"So you're saying that I should remain, when I'm physically disabled and dysfunctionally mentally ill, and be a burden on them they are not equipped to handle? That's a twisted kind of cruelty, even for you."