Band Aid

She tried to hide it. And it worked.
No one else could see what was behind her smile, or her sleeves. She kept up her image, didn't let anyone in. Her "nothing's wrong" face deceived us all. But one day, she came clean. I wasn't ready for it. I thought, "Why did she choose to tell me? Why did she have to tell me?" We're not close. We're hardly friends, more like acquaintances. I guess she didn't care. But it didn't matter what I thought of here. When she showed me her wrist, and I couldn't move. I was frozen in time, my mind wouldn't think. My heart skipped a beat, an overused cliche, but it fits perfectly. I felt my next breath stop mid-throat. All at once, my eyes started to water. I tried to be strong, strong for her. But I couldn't. The water leaked out of my eyes, and dripped down my cheeks. I turned away. What could I say? What could I do? I had no experience to bring this time, no advice. I had nothing. This was a place that I'd never been, a place I never thought I'd see in my life. A place I never wanted to see. But she looked up at me, and I couldn't look at her. I choked out some words. I don't remember now. Something like, "You're special" and "Nothing is worth that." There are no words to say to someone who hurts themselves. There are not enough smiles to make them feel better or hugs to make everything go away. Closing your eyes doesn't wash the cuts away. It doesn't heal magically. I couldn't make her realize her own self worth. I couldn't force her to love herself or to value her life. I couldn't make her see how she was the world to some people. I couldn't. I made her promise not to do it again. She said she wouldn't. Did I believe her? She told me that she had informed an adult. That I was glad of. The gravity of the situation was too serious for me to handle. I knew she needed professional help. What could drive someone to do this to themselves? I gave her a tight hug, but she didn't receive it, she didn't want to. She couldn't. I walked away, but my mind was clouded and my vision blurred. My thoughts were fading. I took steps, but I didn't know where I was going. I packed up my bag, but my mind was somewhere else. I went through the motions, but I realized that none of it mattered now. None of it.
A few days later I saw her at school. She was wearing a band aid to cover it up. She wanted to hide it. And it worked.
Sometimes I almost forget. Almost.





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