Title: Control

Completed: February 26, 2004

She had started the day he left.

She just took the scissors into her shaking six-year-old hands and began cutting. Random flashes of the cold silver in her pale hands. She needed to forget, to stop that pain that threatened to crush her.

Her mother screamed, ranting and raving at the sight and mess. And she cried in streaming, hot tears. But it left her with a cold sense of control too. Although she didn't see it then, it was a feeling that only this action could give her, and she began to rely on it.

Over the years she had always maintained a relationship with the silver blades and their gift of cut, but it never filled her with the same sense of control. She only reached for them in that way when her world spiralled out of control, only then the cuts from the cold metal would reinstate it. It was always paired with her sense of chaos: the moment she felt something slip from her grasp she would compensate by grabbing on to the scissors' shining handles for support.

Twenty years past before she reached for that comfort of the flashing silver again. Knowing that only it would give it to her.

She started the day he left.

She just took the scissors into her now steady hands and began cutting. Each lop was planned, no longer random slashes but careful and calculating.

There was no screaming; no ranting and raving parent seeking to protect. And there were no tears from her yet. Only the cool sense of control that washed over her as the sound of the mirrored blades filled her ears. She needed to cut him away. She had a desperate need to forget him, banish his voice, the taste of his lips and the feel of his weight crushing her. She needed to repair the loss of him and it was only this ritual that returned this control to her.

In a blur it was all over in much the same time as it had taken to start. Quick. And now she was left standing there in the mess the liaison had created. She laid the shiny silver down, thankfully that they had granted her this taste of control. Also praising them as one would a false idol – capable of giving her more than any inanimate object could. They cut away what had been attacking her, but left her with the ritual of cleaning up in its wake. She saw it as a small price to pay.

Carefully and calmly she crouched down near the floor and began sweeping up the discarded hair; the fallen pieces that the silver blades had liberated, and then she saw it. The realisation of the situation's reality. She had been cutting away the losses, severing that pain: a fallen piece for the lover who left her bed, another chunk for the father who had disappeared. Sitting among the rubble it was so much clearer than what she saw when she was six. The ritual cutting was some trick to cut away her past – control the minuscule to feel control over the great.

Broken tears fell from her eyes now, among the limp hair chopped away and swept together. All false control washed away in her streaming, hot tears. She was forced to face the things that had really cut her – it wasn't a pair of silver scissors, but the never-ending blades of life.