Taken from the Kara no Kyoukai (Boundary of Emptiness) novel, Chapter 01 part 6. Originally authored by Kinoku Nasu, translated into English by the fine folks at Baka Tsuki.
“Do you think suicide is right, Mikiya?”
Shiki suddenly asks me that out of the blue. That downcast expression looks a bit touching.
“Hmm, I don’t know. Let’s say I get this virus that will kill everybody in Tokyo just by me staying alive. If everyone would be saved if I die, then I’d probably kill myself.”
“What is that? That’s so unlikely that it’s not even a what-if story.”
“Let me finish, I think I’d do that because I’m weak.
“I’m going to kill myself because I don’t have the courage to keep on living and turn all of Tokyo into my enemy. That’s easier, right? Courage for an instant and courage that needs to continue throughout your life. You know which one is harder.
“It’s an extreme argument, but I think death is running away, no matter what kind of determination is behind it. But there are times when the concerned person wants to run away. I can’t deny it or refute it, because I’m a weak person as well.”
Hmm, but this seems like I’m saying it’s all right for someone to do so because I’d do so too. Self-sacrifice in that case is probably the right thing to do, and that action would be called heroic. But that’s wrong. It’s foolish to choose death no matter how noble or right it is. No matter how wrong or low it is, we have to keep on living to make right our wrongs.
We have to live on and accept the end of the things we’ve caused. That is something that takes a lot of courage. I don’t think I could do that myself, and it sounds too cocky, so I decide not to say it.
“…Well, anyways… I think it’s just different for everyone.”
Well done Nasu. You’ve nailed everything that was going through my head during my own failed attempts two months ago.