There were cigarette butts on the floor with a half-eaten pizza and broken glass. She sat in the bathroom, staring into nothingness. The thirteenth cigarette of the day lay between her fingers, waiting for her to part her lips and put it between them, but she wouldn’t. The bathtub was overflowing and her cat purred sadly in the distance. Heartbreak.
There were cheap spirit bottles lying alongside needles and syringes that she used to put drugs inside of her. The floor was overshadowed by doom, as was her mind. She waited for a phone call, or the sound of the bell, or even the tiniest form of any kind of hope that would keep her from escaping far, far away; from giving up. She sat there, crumbling against the bathtub. It might be the last time she’d ever do that. With her knees held in her arms and her head resting against them, she stayed. There was nothing anymore. No job, her boss fired her due to her refusal to sleep with him. No friends; well, she never really had any. Family? They had given up on her the day she turned 15. She’d be homeless now because her landlord would come and evict her first thing in the morning. What was the point in living? Why should she carry on? For whom? She had already given up. The scars and bruises on her skin were the embodiment of her condition. She couldn’t go on like this any longer.
The bathroom was flooding now, and the letters she’d written to give her sister on her eighteenth birthday lay there soaked in the water. Drowning; just like her. Her cat jumped out of the window and left her for good. The pizza floated on the surface and the drugs sank deeper within her. It was a beautiful night. The moon shone on her pale face.
It was a night you’d go out on with your lover, you’d sit under the stars, and talk about how you first met. It was a night where an old couple would sit on their bed and talk about their beautiful past and all their memories which seemed so distant, a million miles away. It was a night when friends would have sleepovers and families would have dinner gathered around the fireplace. It was a night of grandma’s tales and freshly baked cookies. All of these feelings and moments were new to her. She couldn’t remember a time when she had felt happy or smiled or thought she could one day have someone to give her support, console her, hold her and tell her that she was strong enough to get through anything; and teach her right from wrong.
She couldn’t carry on any longer.
She picked up the $1.99 blade which floated on the water, as if it was waiting to do what it was meant to. She stood up and looked in the mirror one last time. She noticed her pale, but beautiful face with that scar that ran down her neck, her dishevelled but gorgeous brown locks, her deep green eyes which now looked lifeless, her crooked nose, her slightly parted lips, her collarbones, her strong arms, her breasts, her stomach. Everything. She looked at everything like she never had before and she absolutely fell in love with herself, seeing herself in a new light. She smiled. For the first time in what seemed like forever, she smiled because she knew that she finally had someone who loved her with a certain wonderful intensity. She was her own lover. She raised her hand that held the blade, between her fingers where her cigarette usually rested and slit her wrists while laughing through the pain. In that one moment, she was the happiest she had ever been , the most she had loved herself, and everything was over.
Author: Aryaa Shah
Editor: Nandini Patil