Life-Ending SecretMature

   The first time you cut is a curious, over-extended thing. You have finally hit bottom. You feel the tightness in your stomach, your heart, your lungs, your throat. Fear changes over to panic, consuming you. You need a release; something else to focus on. Then, you see it. The perfect, unmarred skin. Underneath beats your panic, dissolved into your bloodstream. Get it out. Run to the kitchen, open a drawer and whip out the knife, shining in the artificial light. Walk back to your room, watching the different shapes reflect and shine in the blade. Shut your door and lock it, even though you’re the only one home. Sit cross-legged on your floor, tears streaming down your face and a strange tingling feeling at the base of your spine. You find a good place.
    Here you pause, the knife’s tip poised above your skin, not even touching it. Can you do this? You slowly lower the blade to your skin. All your life you’ve tried to avoid injury, been thrust out of harm’s way. You put the smallest amount of pressure onto the knife, thanking God for the elasticity of human skin. You remember the panic; it seems to have increased tenfold in your mind’s absence. Does the fear of the pain override the fear that’s all over you? No, you decide, certainly not. You take the blade off your wrist and hold it tightly, preparing yourself for the slash.
    You inhale sharply, and in one fast fleeting moment, you bring the knife down and across. The pain flares and fades a bit. You open your eyes, which you didn’t realize you had squeezed shut as you braced for impact. Tears blur your vision and you blink them away. You see the thin red line the knife created, and the evidence that tinges the blade’s edge. One more time, you raise the knife and prepare yourself again. Your body seemingly deflates as some panic slides, scarlet colored, out of you in the tiniest droplets on your skin.
    You watch yourself bleed, and realize you didn’t die. Did you want to? Why did you do this? Are you going to again? Was it weak of you? Of course not, only the strong can cut themselves. Or fools who can’t deal with their problems. How are you going to cover it? Should you tell anyone? The questions overwhelm you, and you only know the answer to a very select few. Hide the knife, hide the knife. A statement, an order, which you follow. You slide the knife under your mattress, ignoring the fact that what little blood is on it will smear and stain the underside of your mattress. Who cares, when was the last time anyone looked under your mattress? Good, you’re getting somewhere.
    You look at your wrist. You’re done bleeding, and the blood droplets have taken on a rigid appearance. You run to the bathroom, even though you are still the only one home. You take a washcloth, toilet paper, anything and wipe away the blood. It stings a bit and stains some of your skin. You turn on the warm water, soaking the material with it and wipe away the scarlet that remains on your skin. The evidence is still there, though much less stark. A thin red line to keep you away from the edge. You’ve escaped this time.
    The first time you try to kill yourself is even more curious, and far more over-extended. When previous survival techniques fail you, when that thin red line is no longer a substantial amount of distance to keep you from the edge, you sink into a conclusion: you must escape from this world. The thousand years between when the knife first touched your skin and the flash of pain when it dug in seem like mere seconds now. The pills are lined up on the counter, the gun cold in your hand, the rope dangling in front of you, the blade shining in the light.
    You detach yourself from reality, desensitize yourself. Soon, it will all be over. Soon, a black room with a black bed will welcome you with open arms. It will wrap you in a black blanket of finality, and you will never again feel this. Feel anything. You take a deep breath and begin to take the pills, hold the gun to your head, climb on the chair and place the rope around your neck, position the blade on your skin.
    Something inside you stirs to life in the face of death. You have not yet reached a lethal dose, haven’t pulled the trigger, have not stepped into open air, have not opened your veins. You can stop it whispers. You don’t have to do this.
    As quickly as it flared to life, the voice dies. Your need to die overtakes a will to live. Suddenly, you are afraid of living. Afraid of having to try to survive another day and you close your eyes. Swallow, pull, step, dig. Darkness, noise, suffocation, blood.
    Then? Nothingness, unless you didn’t do it right. In the event of a failure caused by a savior, there are lights, there are sounds, needles, beeps, fluids and tests. Everyone whispering, guilt and blame. Worst of all, there is life, breath, and existence. Sinking back against your pillows, the thought overwhelms you. Victory to everyone assembled is utter defeat to you.
    I am still alive. And you close your eyes.

The End

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