|The Broken Girl
Author: Kowala PM
I could see it then, the monster inside, swallowing her up. I cried because she's my world and she didn't think she's good enough.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Words: 920 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3028443
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Firelight danced on her cheeks, casting shadows on every ridge in her gaunt face. I could see it then, the monster inside, swallowing her up. Her small smile tried to trick me, her shining eyes flashing fear. I felt like crying, like crumbling into a pile. I had known her so long. How had I missed it? Why hadn't I seen it, the grey numbness writhing inside her… She poked a stick into the fire, sending a flock of sparks skittering skywards. I watched them flicker against the stars, fading into blackness as they rose. I watched the moon, so silent, silver and bright, looking down at me.
She turned her eyes onto mine. "I guess there's no use hiding anymore." Shaky breaths and quaking shoulders as she forced the wobble out of her voice. "I guess you've seen it."
I had. I had seen it. I didn't know what to say, what do you tell a girl who's shattered, how do you reconstruct a world?
The fabric fell away with a scritch. The faded white lines mingling with pink puffs of skin. My breath caught. How many were there? She reached out a finger, stroked over the lines. They crowded down her forearms, an army of scars.
"You're disgusted. You're just like all the rest." She looked to the heavens, the edges of her eyes wavering. "You'll leave me like all the others. You look at them and all you see is a weakness, someone who can't be strong. I used to be strong. Now I'm just broken."
My lips would not move. The silence choked me, the chirp of crickets breaking the stillness of the night. The fire popped and cracked, the flames spun and twirled. I tried to speak, to say something, anything, but no words came. She looked into the fire, eyes begging it to swallow her up.
"I was going to do it yesterday. I was going to free myself. But I couldn't. I was too afraid, even though that's all I want." Her fingers pulled at the sleeve, covering up the lines. "It doesn't matter if I tell you or not, I'll be gone soon enough."
Glistening eyes bored into me. My words were frozen, they would not thaw. I had known her so long. There had been so many signs. I didn't know how to apologize, how to make it better. How to stop the hurt, the sadness, the numbness…
"There's no use in going on. I mean, no one cares, right? I'm just an ugly girl who can't deal with it anymore. I just want it all to be over." She rubbed a thumb over her forearm. "It helps, you know. It's painful, but just for then, I'm feeling again. It's like a little bit of red in a world of black and white."
She paused. I stared for a moment, trying to catch my thoughts and put them right. My mind was a jumble. It hurt me to see her so pained, so broken, the shards of my best friend barely there anymore.
I touched her arm, sliding back her sleeve. "I think you're beautiful. I think they're beautiful. They tell a story. Where you've been, but not where you're going. They're a piece of you, but they don't define you. I know you, and you aren't what they call you. You're amazing."
She looked at her lap, glancing at me, gazing back into the fire. Now she's the one with no words. I pulled her shoulders to look at me, tilted her face to mine. Took her hand.
"Just know, please…" I looked into her eyes, begging her to understand, to stay, never to leave. "No matter what, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I love you."
I dropped her hand and walked away, walked back home. I couldn't keep her from cutting. I couldn't keep her from dying if that's what she wants. All I could do is be there, and I was terrified it wouldn't be enough. I reached my house, found my room on autopilot. My bed waited, watched as I curl into a heap. I cried because I wasn't there before and I might be too late now. Because I couldn't lose her. She was a part of me, and I wouldn't be the same without her. Because she felt like there's nothing else. Because she wanted to leave. I cried because she's my world and she didn't think she's good enough.
I didn't know that in another house down the street, she sat and wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote and read back over everything.
This was supposed to be my suicide note. You weren't supposed to be in it, because I didn't know what to say. I know now, and it's still goodbye. I'm not dying, not now. I can't stay here. You will forget me one day. I'm going somewhere new, and maybe it will be better. If not, I don't know. Maybe you'll find me again.
I'm sorry I can't stay for you. I have so much to be sorry for. I have to go. I don't know where yet.
Thank you for loving me,