The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 40

My shaking fingers fidgeted with the razor I’d smuggled from my art class that day. I ran my fingertips along the cold steel surface, hating myself for the sick rush of pleasure I felt when imagining the blade, the pain, the blood. The alarm bells in my head screamed no no no no, but they didn’t stop the temptation.

I unfolded my body and strode to the window, peering out at the sleepless city beyond the fogged glass. Pulling out my earbuds, I sought any sight that would distract me from my own mental noise. Speeding cars whizzed by. A couple laughed drunkenly as they stumbled down the sidewalk. A gust of wind ripped through the trees with a mournful wail. And none of this was enough to keep my mind off the truth: today had hurt like hell, had caused a clamor in my brain that I desperately needed to shut down.

There was only one way I knew how to do that.

I stroked the blade with my finger and thumb. Lifted it. Lifted my wrist to the windowsill, overcome by a strange mixture of shame and pleasure as I regarded the cluster of scars I’d acquired over countless nights like these. The bad thoughts writhed and snapped and choked out the strength that had kept me going lately, replacing it with one sibilant demand: Just end it all already!