We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you a concept story so dark, I feel morally obligated to give a trigger warning:
I made it two-and-three-quarters inches down my wrist with the razor blade before the sight of gushing blood filled me with panic and very quickly changed my mind. I was alone, and didn’t know what else to do, so I called 911 and numbly kept a towel pressed over the cut as I waited for the ambulance to arrive, hoping that I didn’t pass out before the paramedics got there.
The next hour was the highlight of my life. The doctor was surprisingly tender as he stitched my wrist, and a therapist stopped by for a chat. I had expected everyone to treat me like some suicidal idiot, and was surprised by how much they seemed to care. For a moment, I believed that I mattered – just like everyone else – and I lost myself in the fantasy that from then on, someone would be there to listen to me, to treat me like I existed.
Then my mom arrived to take me home.
She complained about the inevitable bill that the insurance wasn’t going to cover, and I wished that I hadn’t chickened out. At the very least, I wouldn’t be around to hear her grumble about the cost of the funeral.
As much as I wanted to hate my mom, I couldn’t. My dad smacked her around for a few years, and when he started on me she finally worked up the nerve to leave. I was too young to remember much, but every so often my aunt liked to talk about how my mom was never the same after that. I’m sure that at 18, my mom didn’t look to the future and imagine herself trapped in this mess, left as only a shadow of what she used to be. I wanted to blame her for a lot of things, but instead I took all of my hurt and directed it against myself, because I wasn’t strong enough to make life any easier for her.
Still, my mom must have cared enough to make a phone call, because the next day my cousin, Christine, showed up to take me to the movies. Christine was smart, witty, popular, beautiful, perfect – everything that I wasn’t and could never be. I imagined that my mom had consulted her sister, and they had decided to arrange our friendship with the hope that some of Christine would rub off on me. I don’t know what my aunt bribed my cousin with to get her to cooperate, but it must have been good.
That was the moment our desitinies were carved in stone. It was no surprise that we wound up on opposing sides, each of us willing to fight with everything we had. She wanted to preserve the world, while I so desperately sought to end it.