The Good Pain

June 9, 2017
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I fiddled with my thumbs, letting my eyes wander, aimlessly looking for something, anything but her. I hated her, for a second I actually hated her. How could she be so selfish? “I cut myself” she said, her voice unwavering, eyes bold. Defying. I had asked her why she was wearing a collection of bracelets, and a sweater on top of it - in mid June. Her confession took a moment to sink in, and that was before I had laughed, “Sure, yeah, don’t joke about that” She had stared at me for a moment - and that quick fleeting moment was all it took - then pulled up her black sleeve and rid herself of her bracelets. The lines were there, crooked, scabbing over, and an irritated red.

Unlike fiction, I was not the confident, ‘everything is going to be fine’ best friend, that knew exactly what to do. I was the, ‘I feel like I’m about to faint-I don’t know what the frick to do right now’ best friend. “Why?” I asked. Because, what do you say? What can you say? “I needed to” she said “It hurt so bad’’ she pleaded with me, as if I needed to see reason. “It was too much. Every day was.. Just too much, and then, I found this way out. And it worked. And goddamn it, if just for a moment it worked, and there was no more pain” and she clutched my arm as if she would drown without holding on. And her fingertips were digging into the soft flesh of my forearm, but I payed it no mind. I felt as if I deserved the pain, because it was bearable - if even noticeable in my numb state. But hers wasn’t. Her pain was raw. “Except for the actual cutting part. That hurts. But the good type of pain. The type that you're willing to sacrifice everything for because it distracts you from the agony that you would experience otherwise.”

I felt the tears before I realized they fell. “I’m sorry” I almost begged for her forgiveness “I’ve been blind, you’re my best friend, a-and I’ve complaining to you about how my life is over, because of the stupidest things ever, and here you are going through hell, and maybe I would have noticed if I hadn’t been so dumb.” I choked on my words. “It’s okay.” She promised me “S’not your fault, I swear. It’s..” And she tried to take a breath, but it wavered because of unshed tears, and so she let everything go. She told me everything that I’ve known for years, small things coming together to create chaos. Demons she had assured me were locked away coming out to create darkness. Everything blended together and returned to this moment. I let out a sob, for her and her demons. And I enveloped her in a hug full of understanding, which is probably all she’s always wanted - for someone to understand - and for someone to help.

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