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Page 155

      Why am I so stupid? Why do I get myself into something deep, and then fail to ask for help even though I’m about ready to drown? It’s just, ridiculous. I don’t know how to function any more. It being that time of year again doesn’t help. Everyone’s wishing me happy birthday, I try to thank them and seem gracious. I don’t think it works out too well.

      I hope they don’t think I’m being stuck up. I just don’t have that much to say to them. My birthday is a painful reminder; I don’t want to tell them that. They would just ask why. I don’t even know why they do, I think it’s one of those custom things. Besides, I don’t know how to tell them my best friend called me the afternoon of my birthday. She wished me happy birthday, and I thanked her. She sounded upset, and I tried asking her what the matter was. She said she was fine, she just stubbed her toe.

      I didn’t realize that was the last time I’d talk to her.

      She left a note, telling her parents to give all her books to me, and all her music to Amelia. I didn’t want them. I wanted her back. I spent the night of my 15th birthday with Amelia, the both of us crying on her couch. Our parents thought it would be best to tell us both at the same time. They didn’t even care that it was my birthday.

      I think Amelia took it the hardest. After all, Marilla and her had been like sisters since the age of five. Amelia fell sick for the next few days, her parents were scared that they were going to have to treat her for depression. I spent a lot of afternoons doing my best to console her. After the funeral, she seemed to get a little better.

      After a full night of sorting through the few boxes of books Marilla’s mother dropped by according to her daughter’s wish, I had found a note in the book called “Twisted”. Appropriate place. Page 155 it sat, along with three razors. Two were bare while the third one had a wrapper on it. The note read, “The one that has wrapping on it, called feather, has yet to be used – M”

      I never realized how thin razors were. I had taken the feather out of its wrapper to examine it. The nick was almost painless. I found myself looking a bit in shocked at the bright red blood dripping down my arm. This is how she got them, the ones on her legs. I put the razor back in its wrapper and back in the book. Page 155. I stuck it on the shelf, with dozen other books.

      That was two years ago. Since then, I’ve found myself reaching for that book, for page 155. I never cut my wrists. That would’ve been selfish of me. Amelia already lost one friend, she didn’t need to loose another. No, I only did small nicks and scrapes, across my hands and my forearms, a couple on my feet and ankles too.

       I’ve been doing really good. I haven’t reached for page 155 in three weeks. My last cut has nearly completely healed up. I got tired of making up excuses for the cuts. Most of the time, I claim I don’t know how I got them. Sometimes I blame a screw that sticks out from the stairwell. Other times I blame the projects that I work on at home, like the broken lamp. Once I even blamed I fell down some steps and into a tree.

      A door slammed downstairs. That’s why I’m up here. They’re arguing again. My presence would only make things worse. They’re arguing about the state of the house, about the child they’ve agreed to babysit next week. About the dinner we went to to celebrate my birthday. The missing lighter, the uncooked supper, the misdirected anger.

      I need someone to talk to. But I don’t want to worry Amelia, nor could I ask anyone from my school to help me. Normally I would’ve gone to Marilla, she understood what it’s like to have parents threaten to leave because they argue so much. She’s not here now, and I hate her for it. She was selfish. She didn’t think through what she was doing to herself, to the people she would no longer be able to help. I couldn’t stay mad at her long though.

      Someone’s coming up the stairs, I’m going to get yelled at again. I haven’t done anything wrong though. I’ve only been home long enough to eat dinner and sleep these past few months. The door opens. Dad’s decided to yell at me for all the things I haven’t done. He doesn’t even realize I’ve been gone for the past week. By the time he leaves I’m not able to control the tears that finally start to fall when the door slams shut.

      What I want most is to go to sleep now and forget everything. But I find it nearly impossible to sleep. My mind jumps to the book I haven’t touched in three weeks. It sits just above my bed, right in my arm reach.

      Cutting is like a drug. You have to do it more and more to get the same effect as the first time. You get withdrawals when you stop doing it. It’s almost as painful to stop doing it as it is to start. I don’t want start again.

      I lay down and listen to the incomprehensible argument underneath me. It’s hard to ignore. It just keeps getting worse and worse. An hour goes by. They’re still fighting. I can’t sleep. But I’m exhausted.

      Maybe if I had been a better daughter, smart like Allison, not useless like Sarah, they wouldn’t fight so much. But that’s what I am, useless, stupid, and better off gone. That’s why they yell at me. That’s why they argue with each other so much.

     The book somehow got into my hands. Page 155. There’s a bandage next to Marilla’s gift to me, and the two of my own that I found to swipe, just in case I can’t get the bleeding to stop. I take out the feather. I said I would stop. Why did I still have them?

      Why won’t they grow hoarse? Why won’t they give up on it? Why do they keep arguing? I want scream, to make them stop, but that will just direct their attention to me too.

      The wax covered wrapper slides off easily.

      I should thank my two friends from school sometime. Without them, Maybe Amelia would’ve lost two friends. The shouting just keeps getting louder.

      The metal is cold and still as sharp as the day I got it. I save the feather for the special ones.

      I should stop. I know I should. The thing is, I can’t. If I could just get that high, I could fall asleep. I could escape into the nightmares in my head. Those I can at least awake from.

      Just a nick.

      Just so I can sleep.

      Just to escape.

      Three long new cuts appear. One on my fore arm and two on my leg. I didn’t even realize I did it. Not until I was putting it back in its wrapper. I was sure not to spill a single drop of blood on my bedding. I used a towel to stop the bleeding. I’ll use cold water to wash it out in a minute.

      Page 155.

      They’re shallow, so they stop bleeding quick. I never did get around to washing the towel. I’ve fallen asleep too early. I barely even registered that warm tears rolled down my cheeks.

     Nightmare filled sleep.

     It was better than being conscious, that’s what it was.


- Carleen Bithinger