A Million Jagged Pieces

Go into your closet and find the oldest piece of clothing you've got. Close the door behind you. Turn out the lights. Stuff the fabric into your mouth, as much as you can, until you almost gag.

And then scream.

Scream as loudly as you want to, because no one can hear. Scream until your voice dries up and your throat feels like somebody's raking leaves inside it. Then, calmly hang the clothing back up, smoothing out its wrinkles as best you can, hiding the evidence. Walk out of the closet and turn out the lights.

Walk over to your mirror. Examine yourself. First the hands, the long, thin fingers on the wide palms, the neck that has never once snapped under the weight of your head, the arms and legs that successfully motor you throughout your daily activities with a minimum of difficultly. Peer into the mirror, leaning closer, until your nose almost touches the glass. Scrutinize every pore of your body. Try to find out what part of you it is that seems to make everyone think that you're fragile.

Give up twenty minutes later, content with the fact that your wrists seem to be holding up nicely, that there are no fault lines slicing your face into two diverging halves. Sit on the couch and wonder why, if you are so solid and well put-together, that everyone thinks they must hide the ugly things from you, or else you'll shatter. You see no evidence of such. Never once before in your life, when presented with unfortunate news, have you fainted or had an arm fall off. You have always managed to take the news in good stride, maintaining if not necessarily your dignity, at least your physical health. So why is it that people try so hard to protect you?

There can't be any other reason. Think to yourself that it obviously can't be your emotional health the others are worried about. Remind yourself that they never seem to have concerned themselves with that in the past. Reason with yourself that, if not your emotional health, than it must be your physical health they worry themselves with. Stand up. Go into the bathroom. Take your own temperature. Remark to yourself that it's a perfectly normal temperature to have. Scratch your head and wonder aloud what it is that they are thinking.

Let it annoy you when they treat you like a little child, one they think isn't old enough to hear bad news. Remember the little girl you saw playing in the parking lot of the hospital once, while her father and mother fought about whether or not to tell her her grandmother was dead.

She is too young, the woman had said. It will only hurt her.It will hurt her anyway, when she finds out from somebody else, the man had said. She will feel like we betrayed her.

Pick at your bedspread. Betrayal. Resist the urge to look it up in the dictionary, since you already know what it means. It hides under the guise of love, or sometimes of cowardice, but it always reaps the same results. Know this. Remember. It is important.

Resist the urge to call them all, even the ones on your side, to tell them you already know. That you found out all by yourself, despite their best attempts to dissuade you. Tell them that you're still in one piece. Resist the urge to scream at them that it would have been better if they just told you the first time around. Resist it. Go back to the closet if you have to, and stuff your mouth with cloth until it all dries up and leaves you dry as a bone. But do not tell them that. Make them happy. People like it when you let them think that they were right. You don't need to break a bone to do this. You only need to pretend that you are what they know you to be.

Look at yourself in the mirror, feeling the pain seep through the inside your your body, crisscrossing little fissures under your skin. Break for them. Watch as your fingers fall off and your stomach bursts into a million colorful pieces.


But don't scream.

A/N- Hey, all. I finally came off my writing slump. ::cheers:: Mussolini's still in a coma, but I promise I'll try to resurrect it sometimes soon. I'm working on the beginnings of a new novel, too.

But the one-shots! All of a sudden, things in my life have been inspiring spur-of-the-moment one-shots, and I just pump them out and post them in less than an hour. (Always keep at least one asshole in your life, writers. They make great inspiration.) Hence, if they're not as good as usual, know that they're more emotionally driven, and hence, more crude, and that I apoligise. The above is one such piece.

I hope you liked it, but it would be especially nice if you could drop me a line and say so! Or if you hated it, drop me a line and tell me why. I'll give you smoothies! ::revs up blender::

Elle (the one and only)