Her inquisitiveness had been self-destructive at several points in her life, especially since she tended to veer into “nerdy” subjects like math, chemistry, and physics. Pathetically average as she was, though, she scored a C in every class she ever took.
Remarkably, this was regardless of difficulty or ease of the class, and it caused her to be horrifically meticulous. Oftentimes, she would throw herself into a task, hoping to gain an above-average level of insight.
She partially understood Euclidean geometry.
She kind of got the hang of differential equations.
Quantum mechanics made a little bit of sense to her.
So average, she thought to herself. So run-of-the-mill. So mediocre. Sure, she understood more than fifty percent, but understood less than the other fifty percent. Marjorie thought of herself as the true one percent, but being pathetically average and blindly meticulous, failed to notice that her math added up to one-hundred and one percent. She eventually threw herself back into topics she only partially understood, but a nagging feeling began to crawl over her. What’s the point of living when all you are guaranteed is mediocrity? She quickly pushed it out of her mind, but from time to time, it crept back into her consciousness like a drug addiction. Little hints of suicide haunted her like a painful perversion. She looked at her toaster and thought of taking a bath with it. She considered slicing her wrists while cutting a bagel in half. Too extreme, too sub-par. She needed some average way to off herself, something that everybody does. Subconsciously, the brand of ordinariness hung from her neck like a colossal millstone. It affected her to some extent, as the word “millstone” popped into her head, and was immediately equated with drowning. Not quite average enough. If anything, she wanted it to be quick. A gunshot wound would be perfect. All she needed was the gun.
The next day, Marjorie went to a pawn shop and was surprised at how easy it is to buy a gun. A .38 revolver, $250 in cash, a ten minute background check, and a little bit of paperwork, and she was the proud owner of a new handgun. The pawn store owner even included a box of twenty bullets, thinking himself as winning over a future customer. Of course, Marjorie only needed one. That night, she loaded the entire revolver, ate a decent dinner, and wrote a suicide note that wasn’t remarkable, but didn’t abort the English language in a pitiful display of bad grammar and misspellings. So average, even at the end.
She stuck the loaded revolver in her mouth and started to press down on the trigger ever so slightly.
Then she decided she didn’t want to disturb her neighbors or leave any clean-up or horror stories for future tenants. She found her suicide note and added a post-script: I am leaving for the wilderness to die. I love you all. Please don’t come looking for me. She got into her car and drove off into the night. After what felt like an eternity of driving through endless back roads, abandoned service streets, and country streets, she came upon a road not mentioned on the maps, wandered off into the woods with her revolver. Sitting down with her back against a tree, she once more put the barrel of the revolver in her mouth and started to press down on the trigger, ever so slightly. She closed her eyes as she heard the hammer rise, and felt thankful for an end to the perpetual mediocrity that has haunted her for almost two decades.
Nothing. The hammer dropped, but she was still alive. Confused, she pulled the trigger once more.
Still nothing. Frustrated, she pulled the trigger again…
... And again…
… And again. Still nothing. She didn’t realize it, mostly because she didn’t fully understand it, but several years prior to attempting suicide, she had read an article detailing a thought experiment by a man whose name she had long forgotten. On the quantum level, an individual can achieve immortality by a suicide attempt perpetually failing. In an alternate reality, a different version of her dies with every pull of the trigger, but one remains alive, continuously pulling the trigger, for all eternity. Of course she only got the gist of it.
Without realizing, she was the focal point that continuously pulled the trigger, for all eternity, sending copies of her quantum essence to an early grave. Angrily, Marjorie started pulling the trigger at a frenetic pace. Her blinding meticulousness had taken control, and she wouldn’t be satisfied until she wasn’t alive to feel satisfaction.
Almost ten days later, against the wishes left on her suicide note, a search party found her, still sitting against a tree, revolver in hand. She was dead, her skin wrinkled, her body much lighter than what was expected of her average 5’5 frame. An autopsy was performed and an official cause of death for Marjorie Bawcum was released to her survivors: dehydration. Need for food and water was the factor left out of the thought experiment that she almost became a living study of. At the very least, such a rare form of death became the second thing about Marjorie that was extraordinary.