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I turned out of the throngs pushing through the narrow hallways and escaped into the relative privacy of the girl's toilets. I felt so much pain, so much stress. I just wasn't good enough. There was nothing to describe the way I felt. There was nothing to say.

I fled into one of the dirty grey cubicles covered in graffiti, locked the door and threw my backpack down. For a moment, and fumbled desperately in my pocket, which was bulging with papers, make-up, and a few lost coins. At the bottom, my fingers closed around it - the knife. It was cold and hard and somehow very real. It described me, because beneath all those notes about who people thought I was, and beneath all those cosmetics I used to make myself look like something that I wasn't, I was sharp and I needed to inflict pain. I needed a name. I needed pleasure and pain and power and proof. I needed reasons.

With urgency, I flipped the sharp little blade out of the red covering. Red like the blood I loved to see. The blade was so small, but it could give me what I needed, because no one else could. I rolled up my sleeves, already unbuttoned just for this. For a moment I paused, building up the rage inside of myself. Setting the blade down on my skin, I felt how cold it was, how heartless. Gently at first, I drew it over my skin, marking out the area. Then again, deeper, with more pressure. And again, harder. I felt it stinging, and I drew it out longer, pushing it farther and farther into my skin with reckless desire. It hurt, but that was all that I wanted. Without looking at the wound, I lifted the knife and set it down again, and repeated the process, three more times. Then I looked down. Four parallel cuts, each beginning to darken with blood. I sighed, and leaned back against the wall with relief. It was like a release, only temporary, but it helped.

Now I had almost everything that I needed. I had inflicted pain. I had a name, because I knew that I could be called a cutter. I had felt the pain, and the pleasure of being even with myself. I had been bad, and now I had been punished. I had the power to control myself. I had the power to hurt myself. I had proof of the reality of my pain. It was there, marked out on my body for the whole world to see.

The only thing that I didn't have was a reason to stop.
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