September 22, 2011
Her hair fanned out around her pillow as she dozed peacefully before school the next day. She wore her favorite pajamas; a simple black tank top and a pair of slight blue pajama bottoms splattered with thorny, black roses. Her old doll, a symbol of protection from all of her childhood and a best friend that would never change, was clutched loosely to her chest. Her other hand was hidden beneath her comforter as blood carved out a path down her wrist.

As her mother peeked in, she sighed happily. It was so sweet to see her fifteen-year-old daughter looking so grown up, but so young at the same time; teetering on the brink between childhood and the adult world. What she didn’t know was what her daughter hid beneath her covers and that she was not quite asleep. Just as she did every night, the girl’s mother walked across the clothing-strewn floor, brushed her daughter’s hair out of her eyes, tenderly kissed her goodnight, and walked back to her own room. As quickly gone as she had appeared.

When the door shut, a single tear escaped the girl’s eye and crept down her face. Staring wide-eyed at the glow-in-the-dark constellations that remained scattered across her ceiling, she wondered if she would still be relieved when she watched a line of blood ascend to the surface if her mother kissed her like that during the day instead of allowing her to be plastered with ugly, dark bruises from her father’s alcohol-filled fists.

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