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It Flows in My Veins
Hyla fidgeted with the yarn bracelets on her left wrist. Her eyes flashed wildly from her hands to the closed door in front of her. She sat with her legs crossed on an old wooden bench, waiting for the door to open from across the hall. Her cheeks burned and her eyes watered. Unconsciously, she started rocking back and forth. Her short black hair bobbed with the movement and the bench made a tiny clicking sound as she rocked back. The voices from in the room became louder as the people inside got closer to the door. Hyla’s head was still down when she looked up at the door. There was a long, whiney creaking sound that came from the door as it opened. Two teen boys, a tall, thin man, and a 30 year old woman emerged from the room. The two boys walked up to Hyla with their heads down, the man and woman standing only a foot behind them. The taller boy cursed under his breath at her and walked off, followed by the tall man. The other boy looked her almost directly in the eye.
“I’m really sorry,” he said, “I didn’t want this to happen and I hope you know that I had nothing to do with it. He can get pretty obnoxious sometimes, but can’t we all. Anyway, I’m really sorry. Honestly.”
He stood there waiting for a response. Hyla just looked up at him from behind her black bangs. The boy smiled slightly and hesitated before he walked off. The woman behind him stepped forward.
“Hyla, can you come into my room please?” she asked.
Hyla wanted to answer with a no, but instead she stood and followed the woman into her classroom. The woman walked to the other side of her long table-like desk. Her red computer desk chair creaked when she sat in it.
“Please sit down,” she told Hyla.
Hesitantly, Hyla sat in the navy blue chair opposite of the woman. She pulled her legs up and rested her feet sideways on top of each other. One of her arms hung loosely at her side and the other one she folded in her lap.
“My name’s Christina Johnson,” she said, “If you didn’t know, I’m the counselor here at the high school.” She paused and looked at Hyla.
“Oh,” Hyla said quickly without much interest.
“What seems to be the problem?” she asked. Hyla was silent, but after about 30 seconds, Christiana still didn’t answer.
“I’m not the one with the problem,” Hyla almost shouted, “They were the ones picking on me.”
“But why were they picking on you?” Christina asked.
“I don’t know, because they’re jerks!” Hyla said back angrily. Her cheeks were turning red.
“So what exactly did they do to you?” Christina asked, “I want to hear your side of it.”
Hyla hesitated before she answered, “We had to do this project and they were in my group. And that one kid started picking on me because I don’t talk a lot. Then he wanted me to kiss that other kid-you know, as a joke because his friends would laugh at it- and he started pushing me toward him. And I tried to push back but he just pushed me really hard into the kid. Then the kid cursed ‘cause I fell on him. Then when I got up the other kid still pushed me closer to him and he grabbed my wrists. So I dug my finger nails into him, but he still joked. So I bit him arm so he would let go of me and then I kicked him in his balls.”
“And why did you kick him?” she asked.
“So he would let go of me and leave me alone!” Hyla yelled, “I just said that.”
“How did it make you feel when he pushed you into the other boy?” she asked.
Hyla looked down at her sideways shoes. How stupid did this lady think she was?!
“Can I leave now?” she forced herself to ask without yelling or crying.
“…Yes, I guess so,” Christina said back, “You can wait in the principals office for your mom to come pick you up.”
Hyla slid off the chair before Christina could say another word. She stormed out of the room and left the door open behind her. Numbly she walked down the hall, tripping over her feet as she moved quickly. Her eyes moved frantically around, sweeping the floor like a snow plow. Her mind was pounding and she felt like stopping in her tracks and dieing. She felt like she was having an emotional hang over. She just wanted to wash all the stuff that had happened off of her and start a new day.
She didn’t want to go home. She didn’t want to have to face her mother and tell her about what had happened. Hyla stumbled to the bathroom like a drunk. She tripped into the bathroom and made her way to the last stall. A lock had been placed on it’s handle because it had been out of order since the year before.
Hyla slid under the door and stood in the empty stall for a few seconds. The toilet had apparently been removed. Rust, dust and spider webs were in the place of the toilet. Hyla dropped down against the side wall, her head in her hands. This couldn’t be what her life was coming to…
Her hair stuck to the wall when she put it against it. Cool tears dripped down her flaming hot cheeks. Her stomach churned with nausea and her brain seemed to pound against her skull. The air that filled her lungs stung.
When Hyla opened her eyes, she stared across at the blank white wall that separated the two bathroom stalls. She stared at it blankly, her eyes drooping close. She pulled her mini messenger bag onto her lap and unclipped it. Inside she pulled out a black Sharpie marker. She unsnapped the top and pushed it onto the back of the marker.
Gingerly, she got to her feet. They tingled slightly and burned under her gray high-top converse shoes. Her face began turning it’s normal pale color. Hyla didn’t know what else to do but write. She tapped the marker slightly against her head and thought of what to write. Then with heart and feeling, she wrote her thoughts out in poetry. When she was done she didn’t even read it over.
Getting back on her hands and knees, Hyla slipped back under the door just at the same time as the bell rang. She got to her feet and checked herself in the mirror just before girls started stampeding into the bathroom. She rushed out of the bathroom and made her way to the main office.
“Mom, I really don’t want to talk about it,” Hyla said as she threw her black coat on a living room couch and walked back to her room.
“Hyla, wait!” her mom called after her.
Hyla stopped and looked back at her mom. Without saying anything, she watched her mom waiting to see what she wanted.
“We’re going out to dinner with you dad tonight,” she said.
“You’re lying,” Hyla said emotionlessly.
“He is,” her mom said raising her eyebrows, “He’s not going to hang out with his friends every night for the holiday season. He wants us to have more family time.”
“Oh, please,” Hyla said sarcastically, “He doesn’t even care about our family anymore. He hates me and Caysa, and he thinks you are too high strung!”
“He does not!” her mom yelled back, “Now go to your room and get ready for tonight! We’re going at four.”
Hyla stormed back to her room. She slammed the door behind her and chucked her tiny black messenger onto her bed. Then she stood in front of her door and looked out at her room. Her black walls were covered in red paintings and the light gray carpet was littered with clothes, books and other items. Her windows were covered with black bed sheets. A few small blue lights hung from her ceiling. A rat cage sat on her off-white dresser. Hyla made her way to the other side of her room and picked a few pieces of clothing off her carpet. She pulled several black undergarments out of her dresser and weaved back out of her room.
Luckily, the bathroom was just outside her room. She snuck in and closed the door behind her. She put her clothes on the towel bench, turned on the shower water and got ready the rest of the way.
Hyla picked up her razor and examined its sharp edges before she brought it down to shave her legs. When she was done though, her gaze couldn’t keep off of it. She turned it sideways and looked at the thin strips of blade that could easily cut through her skin. She brought her other hand up and ran a finger across the blade. It was safe from that angle, but could be deadly if not. She ran it across her finger again and this time she pushed her finger up a little bit. It sliced her finger, but not enough to make it bleed.
With her two hands up against each other, she looked down at both of her wrists. An ‘N’ was shaped out of the veins on her left wrist and a ‘1’ was visible on her right wrist.
“No one,” Hyla whispered, but her voice was drowned out by the water hitting the shower floor.
She knew she could just do it. Take her own life. But did she want to? Truly in the depths of her mind did she want to? Hyla still didn’t know the answer. The idea of being anywhere but there was great. She pretty much hated her life. Her sister was becoming a show-off Barbie doll, her dad pretty much drank at bars every night or hung out with friends until the next morning and thought that being away from his family would help him forget that he had two kids, while he’s probably out making more, and her mom acted like nothing was wrong. At school no one hardly talked to her unless it was to make fun of her, she had no friends, she had no dreams, she had no life! She hated everything about her life except vampire books and her pet rat named Brock. But she had a gut feeling that her life would be okay one day. When she would be old enough, she could move away and start a new life.
Still, the thought of suicide constantly ran through her head, even though she knew she would never do it. Cutting, however, she thought about only at times like this. She knew it was wrong and she had never even done it, but the thought never left her mind. At ever times when she felt like the world was trying to kill her or when people picked on her about everything, she always considered it. Getting so caught up in anger made a person loose control. And that was Hyla’s biggest fear-losing her self control. Her mind raced when stuff like that happened. Her eyes couldn’t possibly sit still. The pain that the world caused her made her feel like she was nothing at all. It made her feel that if she did die no one would care; no one would even notice. She longed for the sting of the blade, to take every other ounce of pain away. And she could feel. She could feel the world around her and feel like she is living. Many times she has held the razor or the shard of glass-which she kept from the night her dad threw a beer bottle at her- and brought it to her skin. But nothing would happen. Her sense of control would realize that this was bad and she would sit back and just cry. Often she would lie back and fall asleep, the shard of glass still in her hand.
But right now she felt in control, as tempting as the sting of the blade was. She watched the tiny slits of blade as she moved the razor back onto its shelf. Her eyes stung as if the razor had cut them and she realized that she had been crying. The salty water that formed in her eyes mixed with the water that came out of the shower head and poured over her. They danced their way down Hyla’s face and slowly seeped into the drain.
She held her wrists under the water to clear her thoughts, but the image of water running down her arms made her imagine that it was blood. Hyla closed her eyes and squeezed them tight enough so that her head hurt. Slowly she released the pressure and kept her eyes only closed enough so that she could see darkness.
Her facial features loosened up as she looked around at the nothingness. She had always loved the dark. For some reason she had always found comfort in it because she felt that she didn’t need to hide. No one could see in the dark and so she could be and do whatever she wanted without people having to see her face to face. And something about the night made her feel warm. She felt at home and safe, even though most bad things came out at night. The vampires she had always written about and read about seemed to come alive at night. She would often stay up late just to write her stories about them. She imagined that they were in her room or that her dark room was outside. Without vampires, Hyla knew she would be alone. Even if she needed to make them up in her mind, she still had friends that she could honestly call her own.
Hyla backed up against the wall of the shower, letting the water totally consume her. She sighed from under her soaked, short black hair and finally opened her eyes. The world seemed to hit her in the face as she realized that she was only just in the shower. She flung her hair out of her face and turned the water off. She couldn’t recall if she had fully washed, but she didn’t care. Just the sensation of the water rushing over her body and face freed her mind of what had happened that day. The ‘dirt’ that she felt covered in had washed down the drain with the water, the tears and the thoughts.
As Hyla stepped out of the shower, she shivered as a rush of cold air hit her. It was as cold as death, but it evaporated before the feeling had time to set into her skin. Hyla wrapped herself in her towel and shivered in front of the bathroom mirror. The girl staring back at her seemed only half recognizable. It wasn’t her. Beside from her naturally black hair and blazing emerald green eyes, she only saw a girl. Just a girl. She looked like a normal girl who had normal friends and did normal things and was mostly happy. She wanted the world to know the way she felt though. She wanted reassurance from others and needed to know that she wasn’t the only one. 17 and this was what she looked like. Just a girl. The person she was inside was screaming to come out. It was another lore for the razor and the glass. She penalized herself constantly about how she didn’t have enough confidence to dress and look the way she totally felt. She wished she could have the courage to speak her mind all the time and to let the world see her poetry and writings. Even if they thought she was weird, she wanted people to know that she had feelings, too and that so many great, terrible things could come out of a girl being lonely.
She looked once in her eyes. It was a revelation. She thought about all the good that could come out of her if she did open up. The people that suffered like her could feel welcomed into the world and know that they aren’t the only one’s. She could stop kids from bullying others by them realizing all the pain and hurt they cause. Hyla even knew for a fact that most of the people who shoot at schools or stores are picked on and tortured as a kid. The best part would be that other people like her could come out with their hidden feelings. All these people could come together and start something good. Their friendships could grow into lives and then they would finally be happy. They could spread the feeling around and let other people who used to be like them be happy for the first time as well. It would start a new life for everyone like her.
Maybe now she truly would open up. If she could only find people like her, then she could start a magazine or newspaper about depressed kids like her and they could give it out and the process would begin. It would be a life changing revolt. It would be a miracle.
Hyla made a face at her face. She quickly ran her hands under the sink water and smeared the water on the mirror. The reflection of her face was blurred. She swallowed down the lump in her throat and turned away from the mirror.
Her dry clothes made her a little bit warmer, but the cold feeling in her stomach still clung on. Once she was dressed, Hyla sat on the towel bench and wrapped her arms around her waist. Her black hair dripped with water and it seemed like the temperature had dropped a few degrees. Hyla’s eyes danced wildly as she looked around in the bathroom. She rocked back and forth again and closed her eyes. She breathed out of her nose and opened her eyes again. She remembered the poem she had written and wished she could have written it in her poem book.
Hyla crossed her legs and put her hands on her knees. She put her head down and put her hands on her head. She ran her fingers through her short hair and looked down at the floor. Her brain felt numb and she decided to stand back up.
When she got to her room, Hyla climbed across her floor to her bed and sat down. She looked up at her Brock, her pet rat. She smiled and stood up. As she lifted him out of his cage, she watched him carefully. His white fur contrasted with the rest of her dark room. His red eyes beamed at her with curiosity.
“I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have you, Brock,” she told her rat as she let him climb up her arm and onto her shoulder.
He sat on her shoulder and nibbled on the ends of her hair. Hyla just smiled and thought about what tonight would be like.
Just then, Hyla’s mom walked in.
“Hy-,” she started to say, “What is that thing?!”
“Brock, my pet rat,” Hyla explained, “I’ve had him for months mom.”
“You better put that thing away right now, or I’m going to tell dad not to come tonight.”
“Good,” Hyla spat back, “He’s not going to come anyway.”
“Hyla, put that thing back in it’s cage before I get the shotgun and kill it!” she yelled. She squirmed at it’s sight and her eyes bugged out.
“Okay!” Hyla yelled. She stood up and placed Brock gently into his cage.
“We’re going as soon as Caysa gets home,” she said, “Put some good clothes on now.”
Her mom closed the door behind her and Hyla just sat on her bed. She sighed and fell back on her bed. Her hands shook slightly and her water dripped out of the corner of her eyes. She couldn’t possibly go to a restaurant with her dad. He was an alcoholic, for goodness sake.