Author's note: This piece really means a lot to me. It comes from the heart and is full of pain and sorrow but... Show full author's note »
Chapter ONEThe feeling I don’t want to live haunts me. It creeps up on me when I’m not paying attention and slowly fades out as I cry at night trying to put the glass of a broken picture frame down. The cuts sting, but they’re not too deep. They bleed, but not too much. I pull my Phone out from under my pillow and try to comprehend the words displayed on the bright screen.
Someone is reaching out.
Trying to save me.
Trying to save Lawren.
That’s when the glass gets put down. That’s when I stop. That’s when I look down at my stomach and know that I can’t tell anyone. Not even him.
He can’t know.
Aaron can’t know.
I have to hide these incisions.
These stress relievers.
These pain relievers.
As I lay my phone on my bed the cuts start to hurt. Once again I feel pain. Finally the numbness is gone.
I am back.
Lawren Lane Lewis, 1008 Summer Drive, Spotsylvania Virginia, 22445, is back. Falling asleep won’t be hard tonight as the cuts on my stomach burn. I wrap an ace bandage around them applying pressure. All the doctor shows say to apply pressure. I rest my head on the cool side of my pillow and my eyes slowly close. Part of me hoping this time they will close for good. Another part hoping they will open tomorrow.
My phone begins to sing to me at six-thirty in the morning. My brown eyes slowly open. I study my room.
Nothing has changed.
I don’t want to get up.
I should stay.
Stay here and never get up.
I have school in an hour. The bus comes in thirty minutes. I’m still in bed.
Why get up?
Why go to school?
What’s the point?
Time seems to keep moving as I just lay in my bed wrapped in a pink and white comforter. My head pounds to the beat of the unknown song that keeps reaping. Id press snooze but I don’t. Twenty minutes after the first sound crawled out of my phone and I get up.
Not knowing what my emotions will let me accomplish today.
Hopefully I can get through today.
Hopefully I can make it.
The yellow bus comes in ten minutes. I’m not ready. Sweats, an oversized shirt, and Uggs. That’s what I wear. My make-up is put on quickly and I brush my hair on the way to the bus stop. As I step outside the wind sends a shiver up my spine.
My legs shake.
Each step hurts my cuts I have given myself the night before. Each step reminds me that I feel something.
Finally we arrive at school. I walk towards the spot where Aaron and I meet every day.
“Hey babe.” Aaron leans down and kisses my nose.
“Hey.” I make myself put on a half smile.
“Nothing I just don’t feel well.”
“Do you want me to drive you home?”
“No I think it’s just cause I didn’t sleep well.”
“Lo, did you have another nightmare?”
“Yeah, it’s nothing I can’t handle.”
I leave it at that and Aaron walks me to class.
He hugs me at the door. I suck up the pain, but still make a facial expression.
I think he saw.
What do I say?
What can I say?
I haven’t planned for this talk. I wasn’t even going to think about the talk I might have to have. Maybe I should tell him that I fell.
How do you fall on your stomach?
It’s easy; tell him you were playing with your brother.
No that’s no good.
As I have a conversation with myself I realize if he sees the face I made and starts to question me there is no way out of it. I will have to tell him and that will be that, but maybe not. Maybe I can just turn right now and walk away with no other explanation. I would never just leave him though.
Then again I would never cut myself ether.
I’m a different person now and that calls for new things.
My stomach drops as the bell rings. This is it.
Maybe I should just go with the flow.
Yeah, I will do that.
“You sure you are ok?”
“Yeah I’m fine. I will see you after class.” I sigh with relief that he buys it.
When I walk into my class room I feel as if everyone is looking at me. As if they all know what lies under my shirt. I know they have no clue though. They all think I am some sort of happy cheerleader. But they only think that because that is what I portray. Cheerleaders are never sad. They are never depressed. They are perfect.
I can feel the cuts burn as I sit down at my desk.
Seems like every three minutes I look at the clock wishing school was over and I could go somewhere.
Aaron meets me outside of my class and he walks me to the girl’s locker room. He hugs me and this time I make no noise and just suck everything in and hold it until he lets me go to face my best friend, Allie.
If Allie sees she will tell my parents and then what?
Then they will punish me for what I have done, right?
I make a quick decision to change in the bathroom. I grab my clothes out of my locker and go to the stalls. I take the bandage off of my cuts and change clothes. After I’m done I walk back to my locker and place my close back into the old chipped paint locker.
Waiting for me.
“Uh, why’d you change in the bathroom?” She asks.
“I don’t know.” I say in a serious tone. I then realize that’s a giveaway.
“Ok then.” Allie says sounding annoyed with me.
I sit down on the bench. As I bend my hand goes to my cuts. They sting as I sit.
“Nothing I’m fine.” I smile
“Don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?”
“Lift up your s***.”
“Umm, no thanks.”
“Lawren, lift up your shirt.’
She deserves to know. My hand reaches for the bottom of my shirt. My stomach is in knots.
What is she going say?
Is she going tell?
This is not what I had in mind when I said go with the flow.
I lift my shirt up to reveal what was underneath.
“Are you serious?” Allie finally speaks. She rolls her eyes and walks away.
I’m left here.
After a moment I stand.
My legs struggle to hold me up.
My eyes can’t see.
I feel nothing. All I know is where that bathroom is so, I go there.
As I walk the pain from the cuts no longer bothers me. I pick a stall and quickly shut the door behind me. I can feel tears fall from my eyes.
I feel like I have a fever, but I am not sick.
Although, my stomach does hurt.
Maybe I should go to the nurse?
Maybe I should just stay here.
I walk out of the locker room. There she is. I slowly walk towards her. She does not speak. She turns and walks away.
We’re playing soccer today. It’s cold.
My cuts burn.
The cold January air makes my body shiver.
We’re playing Allie’s team today. I walk over to Allie. She does not walk away.
‘Why are you mad?” I ask.
“Yes you are! I really need you right now and you just walked away like it was nothing!”
“I’m sorry it was just a lot.”
“I know.” I say quietly
“Just don’t do it again”
“I won’t I promise.” Lie.
“Pinky swear.” I lie again
My heart rate climbs as I run up and down the soccer field.
I score a goal.
I have forgotten all about my cuts.
All about Allie’s reaction.
The whistle blows. I stop running. The pain of my cuts rushes back to me all at once. My hand covers them. Their hot. We walk into the locker room. My eyes adjust to the dimness of the school. I walk to my locker. Number 1299, combination 51-22-32. I quickly get dressed. Allie looks at the bandage I put back on. My eyes drift down and I stare at the bandage. I can’t even remember why I did that. Last night was a blur. I was crying. There is no stability in my life.
I never know when the next move will be.
I never know when the next parent will walk out.
I just never know about life.
Last night I was cold. I was mad. My hand shook as I took a piece of glass and pressed down and watched as blood started to drip. I didn’t feel it. I was numb. I was lost.
I finish getting dressed. I finish thinking about last night. Allie waits for me. We walk to third period. It’s silent. No words exchanged. I turn down the hallway to my class.
“You’re not going to walk me?” Allie yells down the hall so everyone hears.
She wants me to walk with her?
She needs me?
I need nothing more than to be needed the only problem I don’t want her to need me.
I turn around and walk Allie to her class. She walks away, out of my life for fifty-five minutes. I watch her blonde hair fade into the distance.
The bell rings.
I am officially late to third period.
Third period is quickly over and I walk upstairs where I see Allie for the last time for the day. Her locker right next to mine. We exchange looks before speaking.
“Here” She hand me a folded up piece of paper.” Don’t read it yet.”
“I won’t” saying this as if it was some sort of promise.
She walks away.
I see Aaron walk towards me with a smile upon his face.
He looks so happy and so unaware of what lies underneath my shirt.
“I wanna show you something.” he says to me.
On the way to where ever Aaron is taking me I read the not from Allie.
My eyes read each word, never skipping.
Allie is telling me to stop.
Begging me to stop.
“What’s that?” I suddenly feel Aaron’s eyes on the piece of lined paper in my hands.
My mind trying to figure out what Allie is saying.
“Nothing, just Allie over reacting.”
“Did you guys get in a fight or something?”
Here is where I pick to lie or tell the truth to the only person I really care for.
“I guess so.” I am not sure if that was lying or not. For my sake I really hope not.
Aaron nods it off as if it’s nothing to surprising and leads me to this empty class room.
“Why are we here?”
“Lift up your shirt Lawren.”
“Uh, no? Why does everyone keep asking me that?”
“Why?” I can’t tell what his motive is. Does he know too? Am I making it that obvious?
I lift up my shirt halfway to where the cuts are. Aaron’s eyes look down at the ground.
Now I am here standing.
Feeling like nothing good can ever come of this.
I wait for him to say something, but nothing comes out. I let my shirt drift down over my stomach. I turn and look at the door.
Do I leave?
Do I stay?
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do about anything anymore. So instead I just stand there looking and waiting for something to happen. Waiting for some words to be exchanged.
It never happens.
I turn to the door and begin to walk towards it.
“Wait.” I turn back and look. Aaron is standing there looking at me. He looks as if he could faint at any moment. “Why? Why are you doing this?”
“I don’t know.”
“Yes! You do know.”
“I need to go.”
I look behind me and walk out the door.
The next few hours go by quickly and I avoid everyone I know.
But now I must go there,
There is nowhere to go when I get home. I must sit there trapped in my mind with a piece of broken glass looking at me.
It’s stained with red.
The walk back to my house feels like miles. It feels like it takes days to get back to my four bedroom home. When I finally get there I don’t want to enter. I don’t want to unlock the solid white door. I don’t want to go to that place where I can’t escape, but I must go in.
So I do.
I walk into my room.
Just as it was last night. The night where I got so lost I almost couldn’t find my way back. It was dark,
I couldn’t see,
I couldn’t feel,
All I know is that there were replays of my life plying over,
And over again.
They wouldn’t stop. So I reached for the glass of a broken picture frame of what used to be my family.
I was so angry,
All I could do was just. . .
I’m numb, I feel nothing.
It’s dark again. I glance at the clock it’s only three pm. I’m so lost. I feel so
My heart is racing. My hand doesn’t yet reach for the glass. My hands are rested on the cuts from last night. The night I couldn’t take it.
I’m almost too deep in my thoughts now. My hand reaches for the glass. I hold it front of my eyes. I look at the blood that has dried on it.
I lift up my shirt, and I find a place where I am about to find my way back.
I find a spot.
I start to swipe the broken glass across my pale skin. I watch as the blood starts to flow out of me.
I don’t feel it at all.
I start another one. I push down just a little bit harder on my already red skin. I push the glass into my skin and move the glass from left to right. It hurts but nothing I can’t bare.
I’m still lost.
I try again.
This time pushing down as hard as I physically can. I just continue moving the glass back and forth until tears begin to fall and finally,
I am no longer lost.
I stand up quickly trying to find my ace bandage. When I find it I wrap it around the open wounds on my stomach. I can barley walk because of the pain.
Finally the hurt. I have been waiting for this feeling. I sit on my bed and cry. I am not crying because of the pain though. The pain I can handle. I am not crying because of my past. I am not even sure why I am crying.
I lay my head down on my pillow and try and go to sleep.
I can’t sleep.
I will get lost.
In a dream.
So I lay awake.
I can’t get lost in a dream.
When I do get lost in my dreams it’s hard to find my way back. I lay on my bed awake. I stare at the ceiling above me for what seems like hours, but I can’t be sure. All I know is that
I don’t eat,
I don’t sleep,
I don’t think,
I just lay there, alone on my bed waiting for someone to come snap me out of it.
But no one will.
I will just lie there,
Cold and alone.
I’m in pain. I just want to disappear.
I lay here staring at the white ceiling when my dad, calls for me.
How long have I been laying here?
He calls again, I don’t bother to answer.
“Lawren Lane Lewis.”
My ceiling fan more entertaining than my father yelling my name. My ears are ringing as I hear knocking on my bedroom door.
I lay there silent. The knocking on my door suddenly stops. He marches in my room.
“Lawren, get up!”
I can’t see my dad; I can hear my dad though. His presence in my room is unknown. All I see is a white ceiling. My dad is invisible. The only time I feel my father’s presence is when I’m lost.
When I’m numb.
When I can’t take it anymore. That’s the time when I feel my dad.
Some how I slowly get out of my warm bed and walk to the dining room where my family waits. I peek around the corner to see the picture perfect family sitting around the dinner table. My brother sitting up right talking about his report card. He got straight A’s. I did not. My brother, Ryan has never had trouble with anything in his life. He gets good grades and has a fine group of friends. He knows his place in this world.
My step mother sits there congratulating my brother on his grade and promising the world to him.
At that moment I walk back to my room silently. I shut the door behind me and try to think how my life wasn’t always like this. My weight is too much for my legs to bare anymore. I fall to my knees. I feel the tears begin to stream down my face and I realize I have never felt so
So . . . numb.