Bitter Sweet Scent

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Alone, excluded, isolated. Something you don’t expect to find in the wealthy town of Oakbrook. Cars rushing, children laughing, super packed malls. That’s something you see every day. In my life, every day, every time, all day, at every hour, I pass on by the simply joys of life. I mean, school’s nothing to me. I get awesome grades. I have amazing friends. But it’s nothing. My life is nothing to me. I have a huge house. I have an expensive car. But yet, it’s nothing. Nothing. Because no longer do I purely enjoy the smell of Coco Chanel Mademoiselle Perfume. My mother, she loves the stupid stuff. My father was the one who gave it to her. He complimented her every night. They would go out, have a blast, and tell me about the next day. I knew that when I smelled the steam from the shower, and got a whiff of that perfume as I walked on by her door, it was surely going to be a great night. Nice and peaceful. Calm and rrelaxingg. Friday night. Babysitting night. Bummer but yes, I can watch my favorite movie again. I guessing my dad had to work late so my mom would just meet up with him. But as soon as my mom stepped out in her lavender blouse and black suede pencil skirt, I knew my father was in for a treat. Good night, I thought, as I sat down. My mother lifted the Coco out of her purse, took a separate sprits for each hand and one for the neck. She was across the room, but the smell instantly shifted towards me. Oh how I grinned. That perfume was only used for those exceptional nights.
Enriched in a dream, I was surprised when I heard a fight outside my house. I looked out, only to find my parents in a brawl on the driveway. I went out to see if I could help. Big mistake.
One week later, a whole week of silence. I said goodnight to my mother as I hugged and kissed her goodbye. She took one last dose of the Chanel before walking out the door. I remember thinking as I smelled that one true smell, “well maybe everything is finally right again.” Little did I know. I just didn’t want to be in the middle of it anymore! I straggled to the bathroom to vent my problems. What better way than to sit alone, calm and collected, and watch as your very own life dribbles down your skin?
Every single night, every single yell, every single bash, was a scar left upon my flesh. For a date night wasn’t rrelaxingg anymore. I couldn’t fall asleep. Not like I would have been able to before, knowing that the only dreams that lied ahead were ravishing floral prints or graceful sing-along’s. Now it was different. Now I would be forced to lie awake in bed. How could I possibly want to sleep knowing what I would have to face. I would wait for the tires to screech and brace myself. I remember thinking; please let it be a laugh that will awaken my brothers and sisters, instead of a roaring yell or a door taking a thundering slam against the wall.
As the oldest, I hold responsibility. I deserve all that is given to me. No dinner for the night, a hammering blow to the head, it’s all necessary. Anything so my parents would stop fighting. My mother would count the food in the fridge. My siblings could eat, but not me. It was like a tradition; she sprays, I cut, I starve, I’m beaten. Every little fight would result in less food that I could eat on their date night. Every Friday, after a long day of work and a supposive date with my mother, my father would come home furious. In order for him to apologize for yelling at her, he would need to release his anger some other way. That way was on me. But this Friday was unlike the ones I’ve previously experienced. He never came home.
My mother comes out, in a steaming red blouse this time and an even shorter gray pencil skirt. Saturday? A date night? “I’m going out.” She says. She then takes four sprays of her perfume and scurried out the door. Was this real? How long has she been doing this to him? I ran and crashed to the floor, object in hand as the door slams behind me, leaving all of my happiness out in the hallway. I can’t let go, of all the fears and insecurities. A laugh, a smile, a tear of joy. Those were ripped away from me just like my happy delightful life was two months ago. I won’t let an ounce of pleasure in my life. I can’t! I’m not allowed to! As I sit, curled in a ball, black rolling down my cheeks, I embrace the high of my pain. I take in every memory; the food I binge in a week’s time, the number of bruises I conceal with makeup, the long sleeve shirts I wear to school, for these are the only memories left in my life. Food, makeup, shirts. Seems to be about average.
Footsteps. What? He can’t be home. It doesn’t matter. The sharpness of the blades continue to pierce my heart. The doorknob turns as my hand punches the door closed. Blood drips down the wood. I know he knows. He knows! I try to hold the door closed. He remembers. He remembers about all the fights he couldn’t apologize for. I’m busy. I’m handling the business myself. I know you missed the missed the session last night. I’ve got it handled though. He rushes in. I think “Can’t you see the bruises? Can’t you see the blood? Can’t you see the tears?” I guess it’s not enough. He picks me up, throws me against the tub, and bashes my face. Blow after blow after blow. Bam. Bam! BAM! They just get harder and faster. He calls me names I’ve never heard before. He must have found out about the other man. He must have thrown a punch at mom. Maybe that’s why it’s the worse it’s ever been. He spits in my face. He leaves. I’m lifeless.
Instead of hiding the evidence, I grin, for a glimpse of joy cruises through my veins as I set the cold razor again my wrist once again. I know now that I can control the amount of bloodshed. With blurred crooked vision, I sit. I think. Only 6 more days until I have to smell that wretched smell once again. Only an hour after that until I will set the razor upon the shelf again. Only a half hour after that until my wrist will be all dried up. Only three hours after that until my face bleeds again. Only an hour after that until I dream of bright colors, filled hearts, and laughing again. Because at that time, I will be truly lifeless. Whether my father hits my head hard enough against the tub, or I myself, shed one too many drops of my own blood, I will be able to rest. I will no longer worry about the garage opening or the tires screeching. No longer will I have to worry about the stench of that Mademoiselle perfume for it will indeed die alongside me and the memories I never got to keep.





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