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Don’t look. Stop it, Anna, seriously. Focus on what she’s saying. Quit starring at her arm. Stop it, now.
“Uh, Anna?” Busted. “Are you listening to me?”
I stumble through my words, “Yep, I’m all ears.” Okay… Looking at her face now, just looking at her face- nope, there I go my eyes are now darting towards her arm. I should say something, right? No. Maybe? Crap. Focus on what she’s saying, Anna. “Then we all took a taxi an-” My hand reaches for her arm, she stops talking. She presses her arm so tightly against her chest and now all I can see is her innocent forearm. I let it go, and walk towards the fridge to get something. She continues with her story
“Anyway, we all get in the taxi” I loose my focus, again. Maybe it’s because of her father or her ex-boyfriend… possibly because of her home life? Ideas rush by me like a gust of wind.
“Uhm, Anna, you having trouble finding the milk?” Right, I forgot…My head is still in the fridge.
“Nope, I got it, ha-ha, sorry.” I turn towards her again and she isn’t the same person. She’s smiling, sure. But I know she isn’t happy. Well, now I know. Those three vertical lines down her wrist aren’t only her scars anymore, they’ve scarred me. I’ve failed as a friend, haven’t I?
“Anna, are you okay? You seem a little preoccupied.” I am.
“I love you, you know that right?”
“Yeah, I do” she answers. She knows I know. I take her arm in my hand, her cuts exposed.
“Why?” She hangs her head, tries to hide her tears and finally breaks down.
“I’m fine, I really am.” She isn’t, I’m not either.
We walk down the stairs and neither of us mentions it again. I’ve failed as a friend.