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A Dark Night II (Part Two)
I sat alone in my parent’s house, staring at the knife in my hands. I had six long, pink scars that stretched across my forearms. I wished that every cut had done what Elizabeth had said. “It will all go away.” She had promised. “All the problems wash out with the blood.” I remembered the strange odor around her, and the odd look in her eyes. Five times. I had cut myself again five times before I realized what had been different. Before I remembered what Elizabeth had told me in the closet. Elizabeth had been high. When I tried to question her about it, Elizabeth had broken down and run off crying. And then I had been arrested. I guess I should explain that. Elizabeth’s brother told me that he had slipped the drugs into Elizabeth’s drink, and I had beat him within an inch of his life.
I heard somebody knock on the door. I put the knife down carefully on the kitchen counter carefully, and walked into the living room. I opened the dark, heavy oak door with it’s golden doorknob. Gabrielle was standing on my doorstep, a thunderstorm raging outside. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed. Gabrielle was wearing a pair of baggy jeans and a red sweater that was about three sizes too big. Her eyes were full of tears. “May I come in?” She asked me.
“Ummmmm...............” My parents weren’t home, so I would get into tons of trouble if they came home and Gabrielle was here. “Come on in.”
Gabrielle and I sat on opposite sides of the wide couch. I had made us each a cup of tea, using this as a chance to hide the knife.
“Why were you crying?” I asked her.
“It’s just.......” Gabrielle bit her lower lip, and I thought about how cute she looked when she did that. “I don’t really want to talk about it. I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright.” I told Gabrielle. “I.......understand not wanting to tell somebody about a secret.”
“Like your cuttings.” Gabrielle said.
I stared at Gabrielle, paralyzed by fear. I realized that I was wearing a T-shirt for the first time since I had started cutting. ‘That has to be it.’ I thought.
“Nick?” Gabrielle said tentatively. “Are you alright?”
“How did you know?” My words barely managed to slip out from between my lips.
“I watched you do it once.” Gabrielle told me. “I was on your front porch and I saw you through the window.”
I nodded, because I remembered that cut. It had been the newest one, in November, and the only one that I had made outside of the closet or the outside of my bedroom.
“You’ve cut yourself six times.” Gabrielle noted.
“Almost seven.” Once more, the words barely slipped beyond my lips.
Gabrielle bit her lower lip again, then did something that completely surprised me. She moved across the couch and kissed me. I wrapped my arms around her. After a moment, Gabrielle removed her lips from mine and curled up against me. “Is the cutting over?” She asked me. I thought about Elizabeth, whom I hadn’t seen since I beat up her brother. And I realized that Gabrielle had the same strange odor around her. “Almost.” I told her. I still had one more thing to do. I wanted to try and save my best friend.
It took me two days, but I finally found Elizabeth. She had run away from her house, but I finally found her in the last place that I looked, but the first place that I had thought of. The janitor’s closet. She was sitting in there with a knife, but it was different. This time, the blade of the knife was at Elizabeth’s throat. “Elizabeth!” I screamed. I sprang forward and knocked the knife out of her hand. “What were you thinking!” I yelled. Tears began to trickle down her face. “I hate this.” Elizabeth whispered. “I hate watching my family slowly draw apart, and my brother is slowly killing himself with drugs. And my best friend, the person I love, is going out with somebody else.”
“Who?” I asked. Then it hit me.
“You.” Elizabeth said. “I love you, Nick.”
I bit my lower lip, and I knew what I what needed to be done. And I finally understood what I truly wanted.
“Elizabeth.” I said. She had looked down at the floor, but she looked back up at me. I held out the knife, and another choice.
That was three months ago, and this is now. I held out the knife to Elizabeth, and the other choice was my hand. Elizabeth had taken my hand, and me. Gabrielle has not spoken to me since I broke up with her, but I don’t care. I may have thought that Gabrielle was cute, but she didn’t understand me the way that Elizabeth did. I’m happily dating Elizabeth, and I hear her calling my name now. But there is just one more thing that I wanted to get out of the way.
You know why Elizabeth cut. You know why Gabrielle was crying. But I never told you why I called my life warped and twisted. And that was because I lied. Because, even when I was crushing on Gabrielle, I truly loved Elizabeth without realizing it. My life was not and is not warped or twisted in any way. I just didn’t want my best friend to be alone when she was in her darkest hour. And now, her hand is curled around mine. And I have to go.