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The Slicing of a Soul
She took a deep breath. It was always difficult, making the first cut. She would know, she had done it so many times before. So often, in fact, that she was almost addicted to it. She didn’t know why. It was just that since she started, the release from her life was heavenly. It made her forget what was wrong with her life. She slowly picked up the safety pin and pressed it ever so lightly against her skin. The cold metal sent a chill throughout her body. This was it. She pressed the tip down harder, so that it pierced her skin. A small ruby bead appeared where the safety pin tip had entered. She smiled. This was the release she had been waiting for. She dragged the safety pin across the small portion of her wrist she allowed for this purpose only, the small area not very visible to people. The ruby bead became a thread. Her smile got bigger and bigger as her blood spilled out upon her wrist. This, this was her salvation. This was her freedom from her parents, the jeers of her friends. This was the one thing she actually had control over.
But wait, the ruby thread was becoming to be too much. It was starting to drip off her wrist. She quickly caught the drops with a piece of toilet paper. She held it against her wrist for a moment, hoping to soak up the extra blood so it wouldn’t drip on the carpet and give her away as she walked to her room. There wasn’t much, but if her parents found out, her life would be more restricted than it already was. No boyfriend, no friends on the weekend, no phone after six, no computer: they didn’t trust her at all. They even made her drop out of her passion, because he was involved. For some reason they didn’t like him at all. She was never allowed to spend time with him. But they couldn’t take away the time they had at school. He was the reason she went to that brick building every day, five days a week. And what were they going to do, transfer her? They had already paid the year’s tuition. She looked forward to her days spent there, as she could be herself.
However, it wasn’t exactly the paradise she would’ve liked it to have been. There were rumors, rumors with only a grain of truth, born of an accident that no one would let her forget. Her parents even knew. No wonder they didn’t trust her. Her friends would make fun of she and him, like they weren’t happy for her. That was what partly drove her to seek an escape. And they didn’t even know. The only one who did was him. How could she not tell him? He was her everything, no matter what anyone else said. He was her love. Nothing, not even the cut flesh on her wrist or her parents’ judgment, could change that.
At school she was her normal self, refusing to let anyone in on her little secret. But the pressure of keeping something hidden was eating away at her. She had to tell someone, and tell that someone soon. Before long she was letting almost everyone know. Everyone, that is, except an adult. Her friends, since they all knew, tried to get her to stop. “Please,” they would say, “this is how people kill themselves.” She told them she wanted to stop, but she couldn’t. She was addicted. No one could make her stop. Not even him.
Her friends lost many a night’s sleep over what to do. They were worried for her, they cared about her, even if she couldn’t see it. They were torn over what to do. Who could they tell? What adult did they trust enough to spill the secret of a girl shedding her own blood? It eventually got to be too much. They couldn’t keep it anymore. She needed help.
They told, and she was sent to the school guidance counselor. She didn’t care though. She didn’t want to listen to what he had to say. Her thoughts were only on him, her boyfriend. He had given her a heart-shaped necklace. It was her prized possession, and it never came off. Her parents saw it, and demanded to know where it had come from. When they did find out, they ordered her to hand it over.
They began to yell at her. She was so emotionally drained that she couldn’t take it. She was so sick of their crap. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them escape. She had to remain some semblance of strength. She wasn’t going to let them see her break down. It became harder and harder for her to stand there and have their angry words thrown at her. She needed her escape. She needed to cut, and they weren’t going to interfere with her need for that. She pushed through them and ran up the stairs.
She barricaded herself in the bathroom and grabbed a razor. Her safety pin wasn’t going to be sufficient for tonight. She needed a heavy duty release. The razor, with its multiple sharp blades, was perfect for that. She rested the head on her skin, just below the scars of previous weeks. This was going to be a big one, and she didn’t want any old scars getting in the way.
She tore the razor across her wrist, creating 3 new cuts at one time. The red blood quickly clouded her vision. She was euphoric. She made several other passes with the razor, each deeper than the last, so that her wrist was covered with bloody ‘x’es. Spots began to appear in front of her eyes. Too late, she realized her mistake. She looked toward the door, but the handle seemed too far away. She tried to open her mouth, to scream for help, or just say anything, but nothing came out. She tried to pull herself toward the door, but the strength in her arms was leaving her. She became cold, so, so cold. In an attempt to retain her body heat, she curled up on the bathroom floor into a little ball. That’s where her parents found her the next morning, when they were finally able to open the bathroom door. But by then it was too late.”
I looked up from my paper to the faces of the people in the pews in front of me. “I tried to help her. I tried to be there, to listen to her problems, but she never took advantage of that. She wanted to rid all of her problems by letting them bleed out. That’s why we’re here today, out of school for a second time this year for a classmate’s funeral.”
I felt a tear roll down my cheek. “Let this be a lesson to all who do cut themselves. You may think it’s an easy release, and the only person you’re hurting is yourself, but you’re doing so much more than that. You hurt your family, your friends. And no one wants to stand where I am right now, at the funeral of their best friend. I really miss you now and-” my voice broke “-I really wish you had listened to us when we tried to help you. Love more than anything, and I hope you have a better time in Heaven than you did down here.”
The casket made its way down the church steps and into the hearse. Too soon it was at the cemetery, at the plot, and she was about to be put in her final resting place. Everyone was given a chance to go up to the casket for a final farewell. I took two steps, placed my hand on the wood, and barely whispered, “Goodbye” before she was laid to rest in the cold ground, surrounded by the people who had loved her and tried to get her to stop cutting.