"So the kids just called him, "nothing" and the name just stuck."

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“So the kids just called him “nothing” and the name just stuck.” ~Stephen Chbosky



Irvin couldn't take the pain. His head was a beehive swarming with memories. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to blink. It hurt to think. She's not dead, he told himself firmly. She's not dead. My Nia, she can't be dead...

Grappling the edges of the white sink, Irvin stared at the mirror; his green eyes roaming frantically over his sharp features. More visions stained with blood exploded behind his eyes. The boy moaned, trying to find a fragment of sanity somewhere in his reflection. He knew it was impossible. Only terror creased his young face. Terror and anguish

“I can't take this!” Irvin gasped. “I can't...I can't talk!” He moved his face closer to the mirror and pulled at his lips with bony fingers. Scrabbling at his gums and teeth in desperation, Irvin pulled on his jaw as if possessed. Nia! Why? How can I do this without you, Nia? How?

Then, all at once, the boy froze. He removed his hands from his mouth slowly; spittle dangling from his fingertips like wet, broken spiderwebs. A sense of clarity overcame him. Irvin steadied his shaking and swallowed his emotions.

I have to stop this, he thought in sudden realization. I have to stop this – this feeling thing. I can't take it...I can't afford to feel anymore. It's too dangerous.

Irvin wrenched open the mirrored cabinet and found a roll of medical tape. Methodically, the boy unrolled the tape and began to wrap his mouth slowly and evenly with the gray strips. Once his mouth was covered in several layers, he tied a knot at the back of his head.

Lowering his arms, Irvin sighed through his nose. This is it, he thought as a strange calm encompassed him. This is it. I'm done. Done talking, done thinking, done feeling... The boy closed his eyes briefly and then opened them. He turned away from his reflection and stepped towards the bathroom door. Placing a hand around the doorknob, Irvin opened it and entered the room beyond.

It was complete chaos. The furniture sat busted and upturned on the soiled, blood spotted carpet. Busted bottles and smoldering cigarettes lay scattered on the floor. Irvin stepped over an ash tray and gazed at the lifeless form of a girl slumped against the opposite wall. He looked around, expecting to see some sort of answer painted on the walls. Nia...why did you do it? Why was I too late? I've always been too late... Irvin continued to stare at the young woman; her body lay limp and broken, like a used ragdoll. Nia's skin resembled porcelain, but the beauty of her face was shadowed by her locks of red hair. A dark trail of blood seeped from a gash on her right forearm. The blood matched her hair in a terribly disconcerting way. What were the last words I said to her? Irvin racked his brain, trying to picture their last conversation together, but tears clouded his thoughts. I can't even remember. I can't remember anything at all.

He brought a hand to his taped mouth and absent mindedly traced the edges of the fabric. But it's over now, Nia. It doesn't matter. I can't hurt anyone else. My words will mean nothing. I won't have to speak. Irvin nodded, as if trying to convince himself. I'm done feeling. I feel nothing. I feel nothing. I feel nothing...I'm nothing.





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