Mr. Darrin's office was a cold, dark fortress. All happiness was thrown away. Even Nelly, the most positive person in all of New York City, had gone cold after taking a single visit to his office. Mr. Darrin, who needed to take the hair off his back and apply it to his empty head, had a secretary who was just as evil.

"Alex Russo," said the secretary, Mrs. Turner, "It's been a long time…"

"…since yesterday," said Alex. "Yesterday is the last time I came here."

Mrs. Turner rolled her eyes. "Young ladies of the day. My, my. When I was younger, when we got in trouble…" Her voice faded off as she began to talk to herself about whips and rulers.

Alex took that cue to sit down. Next to her was Nikki, one of Gigi's wannabees.

"Ugh!" she said, "I hope I go in soon. I don't want to get Alex germs."

Alex was too upset to comment about Nikki's red, puffy eyes figuring it was a new form of plastic surgery. She was thinking about her life. Why was it worth living?

The door to Mr. Darrin's office opened. A small girl came out crying. "Next!"

Nikki got up to step inside. Once she was gone, Alex began to deeply think.

Suicide. That was it.

Tears welled up in Alex's eyes. The thought of death was pretty scary. What happened once your heart stopped, or you lost too much blood, or drowned? Where did you go? How did it feel?

Alex turned her arms over to see her wrists. Blue veins jutted out of her skin. Perfect for cutting. Alex scrunched her face up. That was a disgusting and painful way to die. She could even bear the sight of Max's bloody noses.

Dad would probably let her walk to a bridge somewhere, and she could jump off. Could she jump of the Brooklyn Bridge, or the Washington Bridge? Alex remembered reading that jumping was like hitting concrete when you touched the water. So much for that one.

Hanging? Dad probably had a rope somewhere out on the terrace. No one would see her.

Still, that was a really slow way.


That was it! Dad probably had some sort of potion that would kill instantly with no pain. Alex smiled. She was so clever! But she still had Principal Darrin to deal with…

Alex was on her stool at the top of the potion shelf in the Lair. "Sores," she read, "Anger, Confidence, ah… Death."

She took the bottle of the shelf and jumped down from the stool. She read the back of the bottle. "Instant Death – No Pain or Suffering … The Last Moments are Sweet as Sugar…"

Alex knew it was right. She grabbed the cork and struggled to open it.

All of a sudden, Max came in. Alex threw the bottle behind her back. "H- Hey Maxy!" she said, "What's up?"

Max looked down in his hands and took a relief sculpture out of it. It was the Empire State Building.

"I made it for you," he said, handing it to her. Alex looked at it. It definitely wasn't perfect. However, somewhere deep inside, it was great.

"Thanks, Maxy," said Alex. "That was so nice of you."

Max turned to leave. When he opened the door, Alex smelled quesadillas. "Yes," said Max, "Mom made her special quesadillas for us!"


As soon as Max closed the door, Alex looked at the potion bottle again.

Sweet as sugar…

Alex felt tears coming to her eyes.

No pain or suffering…

She was crying now.

There would been pain and suffering.

Alex got on top of the stool again, tears streaming down her face. She put the potion bottle back on the shelf.

It wouldn't be her going through pain and suffering. No, the potion bottle was half right…

Those who truly loved her would go through the pain.

The potion bottle next to "Death" was "Love".

Maybe John didn't love her, but there were tons of people who did.