Innocence

By , Ellicott City, MD
Something was wrong. She had been in there for far too long. Standing outside the bathroom door, I imagined what I would see and knew it would be what I never wanted to happen. I slowly pushed the bathroom door open, and there she was. Not the girl I knew, but a total stranger. A total stranger with one arm held over a sink and another arm gripping a small blade. Crimson liquid dripped down the sides of the sink, creating long, jagged lines almost like a morbid piece of abstract art. I look up at her face. She doesn’t look surprised, angry, or worried. Just calm. She gives me a half-hearted smile, and looks back at her arm. At this point, I did not know how I felt. My heart sank, but I wasn’t surprised, angry, nor worried—all the things I thought I would be, and should be. One of my closest friends was cutting herself, bleeding out, right in front of me, and all I felt was… empty. I knew she cut herself—I had seen the scars—but I have never seen the act. Of course I wanted her to stop. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t? But I stupidly kept my mouth shut. I calmly walked over, took her arm, and started to help her cleanse off the blood. She stared at me blankly, like she wasn’t even a part of this world. What if soon she wasn’t?

Where was the girl I met on the very first day kindergarten? My memories recall a bubbly little girl with short curly hair and an adorable smile and how plopped down on the carpet next to me and asked that fateful question, “Will you be my friend?” From then on, we formed an eternal bond that would last for a lifetime. I never imagined that this would happen in our future. How could I be so naïve to think that we would stay innocent forever? Instead of facing the harsh reality, I created my ideal world. I created an elaborate, misconceived illusion of innocence. Innocence that was only a fantasy, a fanciful, blissful mythical concept. I cannot recall another time that I had been so completely close-minded. It was not my friend who was at fault here, it was me. She was trying to break away from all preconceived notions of our childhood, while all I did was blindly hold onto our euphoric childhood for dear life. But it is time to face the facts, it has since been a long time since we were ever actually innocent. I just never allowed myself to open my eyes wide enough to see it.





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