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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I walked into my house with tense, hunched shoulders, fists curled into tight wads at my sides, teeth clenched so hard I thought they would break.
I needed to talk to somebody. Nick just broke it off with me for another girl, my best friend Hally was moving to another town, I got into a fight with a girl because she said I was getting chubby.
What happened to the cute little girl I used to be? What happened to the days when I didn’t have any problems, when all I did was play with my dollhouse and ride bikes with my friends?
I screamed for her. And my Dad. For them–both of them–either of them–to listen to me!
But no. They were too busy screaming at each other. Dad was cheating, and mom was drinking, my brother was dead from an overdose, my best friend didn’t need me anymore, my boyfriend dumped me, the whole school laughed at me, and I was left flapping around like a dying goldfish.
Why didn’t they hear me? Why couldn’t they see? What happened to the mom who used to read me bedtime stories and tuck me in at night, and the dad who used to ride me on his shoulders? Why did life have to suck?
I screamed out loud as I ran up the stairs, pulling at my hair, scratching my face, seething like a mad dog.
They didn’t want to hear me. They didn’t care.
I slammed my door shut and covered my ears. Something had to give.
Something had to ease the pain. It was too much. I couldn’t hold it all in anymore. I was a pressure cooker with no release valve. I was ready to explode.
There. I saw it on my vanity. My razor. I’d shaved my legs the night before.
It wouldn’t let me go. I walked to it as if in a trance. I picked it up, screwed it open, took the razor blade out. It felt good in the palm of my hand. Just once. Just to try it. I knew a few who did it. I thought they were dumb. Until now. Until I needed it.
Maybe I was dumb. But I didn’t care.
Slowly, carefully, methodically, lightly, I slid the razor blade across my arm. The sting and the chill, the thrill of pleasure and pain, set my hair on end and my skin tingling. Ecstasy. Release. High.
The roar in my head disappeared, turning quiet. The screams of my parents muffled. My brain was humming with a steady numb silence that felt as soft and quiet as a baby blanket. I won’t say that I didn’t feel it. But I will say the pain turned into something that felt good. It took my mind off of my problems.
Even the sight of my blood was a nice distraction. A voice whispered inside my head, “You’ll go to hell for this. You aren’t supposed to hurt yourself. Your body is a temple.”
I watched the blood rise to the surface in a thin red line. One red line. The blood just bubbled to the top and stayed there, not offering to drip or smear. It just sat there pretty and friendly. It somehow understood.
Chicken, another voice whispered inside my head. Do it deeper.
“Maybe I will,” I murmured to myself. “Next time.”
I wrapped the razor blade up in a tissue and put it in my jewelry box. Mom would never look there. She didn’t care to look anywhere about anything I was doing anymore. She stopped going through my jewelry box looking for cigarettes a long time ago, when she started drinking too much over dad. And dad cared more about the woman he worked with than he cared about me.
I sat down on the edge of my pink princess bed and held my arm, still mesmerized by the delicate red line of blood I had created. This much I could control. This much I could contain. When the blood runs out, the hurt runs out with it.
I waited.
A part of me wanted my parents–one of them–it didn’t matter which one–to bust my door down and run into the room to ask me what was wrong, they’d heard me screaming, they’d noticed I’d been down lately, they’d demand I tell them what was wrong.
I waited.
But nothing like that happened. I pressed a tissue onto my cut, and let hot tears roll down my cheeks.
“Yeah,” I whispered to myself. “Maybe next time.”

The End
By -Tammy Ruggles

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