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Carol.

I slam the door open and stomp across the living room.

Tommy’s dead.

Stauci called me on my way home from work. Suicide. We were his best friends, all he had. If we weren’t enough to keep him here then his drug dealing father and prostitute mother definitely weren’t. The poor guy didn’t have a shot in hell and it was all our fault for not being enough.

All my fault.

I can’t take it anymore. I just want the world to go away so I force it the only way I know how. In the bathroom on the shelf by the shower are Mom’s razor blades. They’re the cheap kind without all the extra protection against shaving cuts. They’re exactly the kind I want.

I take off my shirt and begin where I left off last Thursday when two guys I didn’t know came to my door holding my hysterically laughing mother up between them. She told me she was going clean. I shouldn’t have wasted two seconds believing her.

Most people wind up with a slice the size of a bad paper cut when their razor slips, but when tilted at just the right angle you get something much better. A line of red stretches across my chest. The cut stings and adrenaline rushes through my body. Aaah. Just what I needed.

I rinse the razor blade in the sink and set it exactly where I found it on the shelf. Then I dab the blood away with a black towel so the stains won’t show. Not that my mother has done laundry in four years but you never know when the great and mighty Aunt Cecelia will descend from Perfect World for a weekend to save our souls from the fires of hell blah, blah, blah.

“Carol, answer your phone. Carol, answer your phone.” Comes from under my messenger bag. It’s my cell. Stauci figured out how to record her voice and set it as my ringtone. She thought it was so clever. I find it annoying as hell. But when you spend a good percentage of your nights alone in an empty apartment, sometimes its kind of nice to hear a friendly voice.

I check the caller ID, Delilah. Oh God, Stauci probably just called her and told her about Tommy. I bet she’s a reck.

“Hello?” I ask hesitantly. I’m really not good at making people feel better. I just never know what to say.

“Oh my God Carol, d-d-did Stauci t-t-tell you?” She’s crying so hard it’s making her stutter and I can hardly understand what she’s saying.

“Shhh. It’ll be ok, honey. Just breathe.” Considering I’m on a phone my “Shhh.” may have sounded a lot more like a hiss but the intent was there.

Delilah takes a few shaky gasps of air. “C-C-Carol? Can I ask you a huge favor?”

Thankfully, this time the stutter means she’s nervous, not crying her eyes out, but considering she hasn’t stuttered since the age of six I don’t take this as an altogether positive sign either.

“I’m your girl, Del. Wadaya need?’ My voice is dripping with artificial cheer and as much as I know it annoys her I really have no clue what else to do.

“Dad’s out of town again tonight and I really don’t wanna be by myself after- Anyway, I was wondering if maybe you could, you know, come hang out with me, for a little while at least?”

“Sure thing Del. I’ll be right there. Will you be ok while I pack?”

“Yeah, I mean Jared and Michelle are here. I just don’t want to be by myself after they go to bed, you know?”

Jared and Michelle are her six year old twin brother and sister. Since her mom left when she was ten and her dad is hardly ever around she has pretty much raised them herself.

“Sure. I’ll see you soon, ok?”

“Ok.”

I toss my wallet, a pair of jeans, a tank top, my hairbrush, toothbrush, and lipstick into my old red duffel bag. I’m about to toss in my mascara and eyeliner when it occurs to me that I probably need to reapply it. At first everything is fine. But then the makeup starts to run and I can’t figure out why. I look at myself in the mirror on the vanity. The lighting isn’t very good but I can see the lines of black moving steadily down my cheeks. It isn’t until I begin to sob that I realize why the makeup is running.



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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

imrighthereyouknow said...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm:
OMG! truly amazing!!!
 
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sparkofheart said...
May 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm:
wow really good! great job!
 
notebookgirl replied...
May 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm :
thanks that means a lot
 
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