The blood eased its way from her veins to the edge of her wrist.
Rianne watched as the drops began to form little puddles on the tile floor. The dark pools held her gaze until she realized the razor was still in her hand. She turned it between her fingers, silently remembering the reasons for the dried blood that lined its edges. Rianne stood up and grabbed the hand towel that hung on the wall, quickly cleaning the blood off the floor. When the evidence was wiped away, she tucked the razor skillfully under the wallpaper in the bathroom cabinet and quietly headed for her room.
In the few seconds it took to get from the bathroom to her room, she already began to regret her freshest cut. Blood was still seeping out at a steady pace as she opened the door. Her room was surprisingly dark and cold. She walked over to a switch and flipped on the lights. As the light took its sweet time brightening up the room, she turned on her stereo. Almost immediately, Saves The Day’s “Nightingale” was filling the empty space with sound. Rianne double-checked that the door was locked before lying down on her bed. She did her best to relax, but her thoughts kept her body tense. Her mother would be coming home soon. Who knew if she would be alone, or God forbid, with another stranger.
She let the music play in hopes of redirecting her train of thought. It didn’t work. The second her mind began to wander she heard the familiar sound of a car pulling into the garage. Rianne lowered the volume on the stereo. Please let her be alone. When she couldn’t hear voices, she decided it was better that way. She wouldn’t find the answer to who exactly had come home. Without thinking, she grabbed a hoodie and pulled it around her shoulders. Just as she closed her bedroom door, she heard faint arguing from the garage. She’s not alone. Surprise, surprise. Staying quiet, she crept down the stairs and out the front door.
The spring air felt good as she zipped up her hoodie. She took a deep breath before forcing her body into a run. She ran in silence, letting the anger inside fuel her. With every dark thought she pushed her body further and further. Before, the pain her body endured during a run had satisfied her. But now her problems were worse and the pain wasn’t enough to distract her anymore. The cutting came in when she realized she couldn’t run all the time. There was something about the feeling of a blade breaking her skin that enticed her. Watching the blood drip out of her body reminded Rianne of the slow death her emotions faced. Before slowing down, she ran the few miles to the woods. There, Rianne crept her way between the thick trees being careful not to trip. Soon the trees began to part and the clearing became visible.
The clearing was well hidden from anyone who didn’t know it was there. Through the right side, a small river flowed quietly, providing a perfect place for her to cool off. Between the heat of the day, and the run, her body was burning up. Rianne slowly made her way over to the water. As she walked, she took off her shirt and stripped out of her jeans. She entered with her feet first easing her body into the water. The feeling of the water overtook Rianne. From her feet to her head the calmness was rising. She walked in deeper until the water reached just below her chest. Rianne dipped her head under and pushed the hair from her face as she surfaced. She raised her wrist and studied her most recent mutilation. Why can’t I stop? One of these days, I’ll go too far…Sometimes she cut to have physical pain match the emotional pain. Other times she just wanted to drain the guilt she felt. Rianne ducked her head under again. As she resurfaced, she heard a laugh from behind her.
“Aren’t you cold?”
“Nope. You should join me.” She smiled secretly at the idea before turning to face him. He was standing a few feet from the water, wearing loose jeans and a black shirt that fit perfectly over his upper body. His dark hair looked like a controlled mess, but was gorgeous just the same. Those blue eyes of his had the power to make her weak at the knees.
“Come on, Aiden” she insisted. He made no attempt to move so she pouted her face. “Why won’t you come in?”
“Why don’t you get out?” If I come in, you have no idea what I’d do to you.
“Would you stop fighting with me and just get in?”
Aiden raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms at the chest. “Someone’s a little bossy today. I’m definitely not coming in now.” His voice was full of laughter.
“Fine.” Rianne rolled her eyes prior to getting out of the water. She stood at the edge of the bank so she could shake out her hair.
Aiden couldn’t help but stare as Rianne put her hair into a ponytail. Her frame was long, lean, and pleasantly unproportional. Her hair was dark brown and reached passed her chest. But the thing Aiden loved the most, the one thing that could stop him in his tracks, were her eyes. They went every shade from light green to dark blue. She looked up at him and smiled.
“What are you staring at?”
“Well how do I look?”
He watched as she spun around in a circle. They both laughed when she stopped and struck a pose.
“So… how do I look?”
You look amazing. “Good. Except…” he stepped forward, bringing his body closer to hers. “You missed a piece.” He reached down and took the loose strand between his fingers. Gently he replaced it behind her ear, leaving his hand on her face as his thumb stroked her cheek. Their eyes locked as he leaned his face toward her. Aiden snaked his free hand around her waist and pressed her body into his. When their mouths were barely an inch apart, he whispered her name. He closed his eyes and…
“Wait.” She spoke softly, her voice a hoarse whisper. “Aiden, I can’t.”
He watched her eyes turn glassy, threatening to let a tear fall out. She closed them and looked down.
“Come here.” He said gently. He pulled her tightly against him, realizing that she was still in her bra and underwear.
Rianne let her body lean into his. I’m no good for you Aiden. I’ll just bring you down. One kiss could ruin everything. Being friends was one thing, but being anything more was different. She was still crying when he took her chin in his hand.
“Look at me.” Once she didn’t make any attempt to move, he knew she wasn’t going to answer. His thumb rubbed under her eyes, wiping away the tears. “Please, Rianne.” Slowly she forced her eyes to comply. “Thank you. Now please tell me what’s going on.” He looked her straight in the eye, hoping this time, she would answer. She broke the stare to rest her head against his chest. Rianne felt overwhelmed when he wrapped his arms around her. His embrace held so much love and reassurance that she just couldn’t take it. For Chris sake’s I just turned you down. You’re supposed to get mad and not comfort me.
“I love you, Rianne.” The words made her body go still against his. He loves me?! She looked up at him, her eyes filled with fear and shock.
“Aiden… I … I gotta go.” She pushed out of his arms and picked up her clothes.
He grabbed her arm as she turned to walk away. “You know I wouldn’t lie to you.” His grip loosened slightly, giving her enough slack to pull away again.
As she hurriedly pulled on her pants and zipped her fly, she couldn’t help but look back at Aiden. The look on his face was going to haunt her; it looked like she had just slapped him. She refocused herself before grabbing her shirt. Staying any longer was only going to hurt them both even more. As she pulled the shirt over her head, she felt the blade calling to her.
As she began to leave, he came up behind her. “Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone loves you?” he whispered in her ear. He’s so not making this easier. The minute she got home, she was going to break skin and let the regrets flow out. The promise of pain and pleasure had her running home.
Aiden stood alone for God only knows how long, before he realized it had begun to get cold. He lazily walked the short way home. The first thing he did when he got there, was throw himself on the bed. I shouldn’t have let her go. The thoughts had him lying in the same spot until exhaustion eventually took over and forced him to sleep.
Hours later an alarm went off waking him. Rolling over he swung his feet off the side of the bed. He glanced at the clock. Five thirty in the morning. Aiden groaned, then sluggishly made his way to the bathroom. Within the next five minutes, he had brushed his teeth and gotten into the shower. By 6 o’clock, he was dried and ready to go. It would still be another half hour before the bus. He needed to kill time so he decided to go eat.
The lights were already on as he walked into the kitchen. Guess mom’s up. The first thing he noticed was his mother cooking eggs and beacon on the stove. Before greeting her with a kiss on the cheek, Aiden grabbed a plate off the counter. While she put the food on his plate, he noticed that the table was already set with cups and silverware.
“Morning honey.” She said smiling. Aiden couldn’t resist smiling back. His mother was always cheerful, lifting the spirits of others.
They sat together, eating in silence. When he was finished he took his plate to the sink, took hold of his book bag and walked out the door. He strode right passed his car knowing it would be too lonely without her in the passenger seat talking and laughing with him. Plus right now he wanted to be around people. Damn, she would take the bus too, wouldn’t she? But at least there were other people he could hide among.
Aiden couldn’t even remember the last time he rode the bus; it had to be at least two years. By the time he reached the stop, a few people were already there. When the bus came, he went straight for any vacant seat away from Rianne. He was just about to sit down when she called his name. “Aiden.” All of a sudden driving doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. “Aiden please. I’m sorry.” The regret in her voice was obvious and the guilt in her eyes drew him in.
“Aiden I’m sorry for leaving the way I did. It’s just; you told me you love me. I mean come on, you don’t really love me. As a friend maybe, but defiantly not more.”
“You really think that? You really think I don’t love you? Why don’t you believe me?” He let his temper flare not caring if anyone noticed.
“Aiden seriously. You don’t love me!”
“Well **** you.” With that, he stood up and changed seats not even bothering to look back. Why the hell would she say that? She has no idea how I feel about her. He turned his ipod on using the highest volume setting to distract him from his frustration.