One Cut

June 2, 2010
Another crack of thunder sounded above me from the dull, stormy sky. The brilliance of the lightning lit up the entire forest, but only for a second. And when that second over, I was left to once again go back into my thoughts. My eyes had not yet adjusted to the blackness of night. I collapsed into a dripping tree, and I heard the sound of my drenched clothing and soggy leaves combine. Some would think in the rain, all alone, in the middle of the forest, I would feel cold and lonely. But the cold I invited in, for I could no longer feel warmth, and lonely is a word I was fairly used to by now. My tears, slowly falling, mixed into the rain puddles below me. Each tear, for a memory. Each memory of a Friday night.

A Friday night, an evening full of passion and lust, two people searching for a release, slapped the money for a hotel room rental on a grimy, lobby counter. Both wanting to escape the pain and hurt of their lives and of this world, thought it wise to make love, even when the actual feelings of love did not exist. And though the night was enjoyable, it will always be remembered by my mother as a tragedy, because in that night, I, a mistake beyond words, was conceived, and I’ve forever been reminded of how much my parents didn’t want me, how much they wished that night ceased to exist.

A Friday night, I, a mere one year old girl, is left home with my alcoholic father. Though out of my memory, I know from my mother’s tales that she had left to go to her job as a waitress at the local diner, with no idea that when she returned, her boyfriend, her “loyal” boyfriend, would have left her. That night, my father quickly scrambled to throw his belongings in a suitcase or two, and left his daughter alone and his girlfriend now a single mother.

A Friday night, I, a two year old girl, unhappily wave my little fingers goodbye to Mother, as she goes off to her second job, a showgirl at the local strip club. The baby-sitter, just a teen looking for some extra cash, puts me to bed without even a goodnight, and invites her boyfriend over.

A Friday night, I, a three year old girl, now speak “goodbye mommy” as my mother tucks me in and goes out to her job in the skimpiest clothing imaginable. I lay in bed, home alone, for the baby-sitter was busy tonight, and mother couldn’t get off. It’s quiet. It’s dark. Too scared of the monsters under my bed to get up and turn the lights on, I lie under my blanket, shaking in fear.

A Friday night, I, a four year old girl, have my first sleepover at my friend Allison’s house while my mother is out working. She, her three siblings, her parents, and I, all gather around a small coffee table and play board games into the night. Her mother and father hug their children and kiss them goodnight before they head upstairs themselves, hand in hand. My heart aches as I long for that loving family filled with happiness. Once again, I went to sleep with tears.

A Friday night, I, a five year old girl, excitingly wait for Mother to come home. All day I worked so hard to learn the Alphabet song, and finally I had the L, M, N, O, P part perfect. The door creaked open, and my mother walked in, swaying from exhaustion. I ran up to her and told her I had something to show her, and started to sing my song, but before I even finished, mother screamed at me. For her head hurt, and I, was only being a nuisance. With a heavy heart, I tucked myself in that night, and sang my ABC’s quietly to myself as I fell asleep.

A Friday night, I, a six year old girl, finally used to the lonliness, hum a lullaby to myself as I color a picture. In this picture is a happy family. There’s a father holding a mother’s hand. And there’s a daughter, with a happy smile, sitting on his shoulders holding an ice cream cone. Next to the mother, was a cute, little puppy, just like the one I have always wanted, but mother always says no. A puppy costs too much, and our money is scarce. Lately, there hasn’t even been enough to pay the bills.

A Friday night, I, a seven year old girl, hold my little doll, who I’ve named Annie. I sit there and imagine this doll is my child, and I hold her and tell her I love her, and that one day she will be whatever she wants. I remember the time that I told mother I wanted to be a famous actress. Her only reply was that dreams rarely come true. I would never be famous. If I was lucky, I would find something to at least put food on the table.

A Friday night, I, an eight year old girl, lie awake, staring at the ceiling, feeling so sick I could die right there. Sweat rolled off my forehead as I felt my temperature rising even farther. I skipped school that day, and I thought I would be lucky, and mother would take care of me. But mother found a best friend in those bottles she hides in the cupboard, and no matter how much I cried, she wouldn’t wake up. So I stayed there, tears and sweat wetting my pillow, and at eight, that was the first time I wished I could just die.

A Friday night, I, a nine year old girl, cover my ears and hide my head under the pillow, hoping to muffle the unpleasant sounds coming through the wall. My mother didn’t come home alone tonight; she brought home a man, Henry. Mother shoved me in my room and told me not to come out. And so I sat there all night, listening to them, wondering what was going on, but at the same time realizing I probably didn’t want to know.

A Friday night, I, a ten year old girl, hide in my closet, behind the biggest box, in the darkest corner, wishing I could just disappear. Fear flashes through my eyes as my door opens slowly, the light from the hallway flows in as if to announce danger. Henry walks in, and I shrink farther into my closet. Tears begin to flow as I hope he doesn’t find me. Frustrated, he leaves, but I stay in my closet, and stay awake. I don’t want to risk him finding me. I don’t want to feel his hands on my skin again.

A Friday night, I, an eleven year old girl, lock myself in the small bathroom upstairs and analyze my every feature. A boy from school called me fat, those words were replaying over and over in my head. I sat there and cried. I’m too fat. Terribly fat. Hideously fat. I couldn’t even imagine the pain it must be for others to look upon me. That was the day I promised myself I would be beautiful, and I would do whatever it took.

A Friday night, I, a twelve year old girl, sit on my bed with a pair of scissors. I chop away at my long, brown hair in random angles. I needed a change. And this seemed right. The pile of hair lies in front of me. I look down at the cold, metal scissors and wish that I could just…cut away at my fat like I do my hair. I’m still hideously big. I have only lost about twenty-five pounds, and it seemed like there was so much more to lose before I would be beautiful.

A Friday night, I, a thirteen year old girl, went to my first school dance. The boy I liked told me he would meet me by the snacks table at nine. And so I waited, but he wasn’t there. And the dance ended, and he still wasn’t by the table. Grabbing my tiny purse, I shuffled towards the exit in despair. That’s when I saw him, kissing the popular girl Emily, against the lockers. I could feel a tear falling down my cheek. That was the first night I felt, truly felt, heartbreak.

A Friday night, I, a fourteen year old girl, sat on my windowsill, letting the cold breeze whip around me. Mother brought home a different guy that night, and this time I wasn’t going to hear it. Sliding out my window, and down a ladder conviently placed where I left it, I went walking around the block a few times. The cold. The lonliness. It seemed inviting. The darkness really was the only place I belonged.

A Friday night, I, a fifteen year old girl, got invited to a party. A guy, much older than I, told me I was pretty, and for the first time I believed it, but he was using me, and he got what he wanted. And I, in pain from many bruises, walked home, and collapsed on the bathroom floor. I picked up my razor, and felt the blade, and wanted so bad to feel the same release I did from my last cut. They lined up nicely by now, straight down my arm. I wanted to feel as alive as possible.

Tomorrow, is my sixteenth birthday. Sixteen years of pain, of despair, of tears cried, and sobs choked on. But no longer will I feel such pain. With me I bring just one single object, and tuck it away in my jacket pocket. Thunder shakes my house, and lightning lights up the sky as I sneak out my window one last time. There is a forest near my home, and I run straight in. I walk for hours, the rain getting heavier. Crashing down, I lean my head back onto a tree and let the tears fall. The tears for memories, the tears for Friday nights.

Out of my pocket, I pull out my only way of release. I pull out my razor blade, and place it to my skin. I press down, hard. One cut for the night in which I was created. One cut for my father who abandoned me. One cut for my mother, who’s love I never felt. One cut for the baby-sitter who didn’t even say goodnight. One cut for the monsters I thought lived under my bed. One cut for the perfect family I wished I could have. One cut for the alphabet song no one ever heard. One cut for the puppy mother could never afford. One cut for being told I would never be famous. One cut for the days I was sick but no one cared. One cut for the sounds coming from mother’s room. One cut for the nights Henry didn’t let me sleep in peace. One cut for how terribly ugly I am. One cut for my hair, chopped into pieces. One cut for the boy who left me waiting at the dance. One cut for the nights I had to sneak out. One cut for the night I was used.

The glistening red mixed with the rain puddles and my tears. For the first time in my life, I felt happy, I felt peaceful. I made one last cut, for all the tears I ever cried. Pressed as hard as I could. My strength seemed to be floating away, but with it went my pain. I let one last tear drop, and looked up to the sky, and whispered, "I love you," to my mother before I fell into my last and forever sleep.

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