"Answer me when I talk to you, look at me." The angry, hated voice intoned—the voice of her father. He didn't understand her, didn't even care to understand—he said he did but his mind was always blinded by the image of what he wished her to be.

And she hated it; she hated him for his approval of conformity, for his materialistic mindset, and assumption that she shared those qualities. She never really knew him when she was growing up; he was a stranger to her and her two brothers, always at work, always abandoning them to the care of their mother. She couldn't remember a single time when he talked to them with a fully open mind.

"Are you all right with everything that's been happening?" A long pause with silence pervading the room. "I want your opinions, things are going to change around here, your stepmother's moving in and if you disrespect her you're gone."

By the open doorway leading from dining room to living room, she stood, listening as her father droned on, it was always the same thing—talk about their stepmother, about how different things would be; never truly about her or her brothers' well being, nor about their true thoughts concerning the suddenness of the changes.

Her mother had only been dead for three or four months when her father remarried—not surprising since he'd been seeing his new wife for two years now. It was an arrangement that her father and mother had agreed to after her mother had admitted she was lesbian. Her father had accepted that, allowing her mother to have girlfriends, and her mother had allowed him to have his girlfriend.

Though her mother didn't accept it as graciously as her father appeared to; though the woman would deny it with a passion whenever accused of jealousy. Her mother had been jealous of all the attention her father gave to his girlfriend, she could tell by the bitter undertone in the viciousness she used whenever she talked about the other woman.

Her mother had been a bitter woman to live with, with a vicious tongue that could hurt worse than any slap, punch or kick. That black-haired, brown-eyed woman had been the bane of her existence for nearly nineteen years—she was the woman who she hated most, but the only one who would accept her.

That black-haired bitch was the one she focused her hate on, focused her murderous desires on, her wishes, hopes, dreams of revenge and completion all focused on her. She hated her mother with a passion akin to that of how Christianity hates witches. She wished for her to die, and had meant it—when her mother had really died, she didn't shed a single tear.

All her tears had been shed long ago, and any new ones were forever reserved for the first and only one to break her heart.

She didn't want to think of that person now. She didn't want to feel that pain again, though it constantly ate at her through her waking life.

"I want you kids to talk to me, I hate answering my own questions." She focused once more on her father's angry, frustrated voice, trying to stop the tremors rushing through her body.

'You say you want to talk to us, say you'll have an open mind about what we say, but you don't have an open mind. Our silence is our words, if you knew how to read it.' She felt the coldness of her heart suffocating her as she thought, too fearful of judgment to say aloud her responses. 'The boys don't like you remarrying, Jon won't ever get over mom's death, and Josh…I don't know what he thinks, but he won't ever accept your new wife.'

She breathed out lazily, knowing her expression was cold. 'And I don't care what you do. I stopped loving long ago, so I don't care what you do, I'll just go along with life until death comes.'

She ignored her father until he got tired of trying to force them to talk, and left the room angrily, her whole body was shaking now and the cold heat radiated through her.

She needed to get upstairs, to the safety of her attic room with the heavy shadows and solitude, the silence and comfort. To the room where no one bothered her, the room where she carried out her self-sentenced exile from the world.

And the place where her blades were.

She needed to cut, and very badly too—her tremors were getting worse, she couldn't stifle them much longer; she needed an outlet for her adrenaline-induced mania—she needed to slice her skin, feel the blood running down her pale arms to the floor. She needed to feel the drug-like high she got from feeling the pain, of seeing the mesmerizing red against the white of her flesh.

And she needed it before she snapped and attacked anyone like she'd done approximately four times in the past. Three times she attacked her older brother Jon in the past, always chasing him until he left her view before collapsing on the floor, shaking enough to rival an earthquake.

The other time she'd done in front of her whole nuclear family, about a month after her mother's death.

That time she knew she'd snap, had felt and stifled the bestial urge to throw all inhibitions off her anger, but she hadn't found an escape route in time to settle her racing heart. She snapped and ended up holding a butcher knife to her throat, breathing erratic, and heart rate skyrocketing — she desired nothing more than to be free of all those around her.

She also wanted to be free from herself, to be free from having to control that poison inside her that caused her to suffer everyday. She wanted to be free from feeling, wanted to be free from consciousness and conscience.

She also wanted to be saved, she wanted someone to notice, who was strong and kind enough to bring her to the help she needed since she couldn't bring herself to ask for it.

But her siblings were too weak, and her father—her father believed she did it only for attention.

Of course it was for attention, but not selfishly—there was a fire blowing out of control inside her and no one noticed, so she seized her strength and the moment to send out a signal. A signal left unanswered or misinterpreted, and she had to struggle again in the ashes to wait for the next fire.

Alone in her bedroom now, she picked up the razorblade left on the blue, scratched-up headboard of her bed, eyes gleaming with tears. Tears she could only shed when she brought the blade to her forearm, slicing open the flesh that burned with pain—physical and emotional. She felt her tremors continue and cut again, deeper this time but not close enough to the wrist for that to be a problem.

Her blood was so thin now, flowing easily out even with the shallowest of cuts, but she wanted to see more blood. Thus she cut again and again, making her way to the wrist, instinctively holding back when she placed the blade to where she could see the blue veins beneath her pale skin.

She didn't fear dying as much as being alone if she happened to change her mind about wanting to die. She knew she wouldn't be saved if she cut too deeply—no one ever came to her room, or if they did they never opened the door unless she answered them first. She could hide in her room for days and not have anyone go up to bother her, thus she wouldn't be found for days if she happened to cut too deep and died in her own blood.

Right then, she didn't want to die—mostly she only wanted to experience major blood lost, the lightheadedness, the falling into unconsciousness, and to survive to savor the memory of it. She wanted to have a flirtation with death not a marriage to it.

Truthfully she did want to die sometimes, almost constantly—for various reasons. Death was the ultimate nepenthe, and the ultimate surrender as well as the ultimate defiance of society and the ultimate action of control one could have over themselves. It also was the biggest mystery to grace the consciousness of human thought.

And, if the exhilaration she felt when cutting herself was any indication, it would be the greatest high one could ever feel.

If only she could die and not have to stay in death.