Author's Note: Before anybody reviews (not that you will, because NO ONE reviews my stories but, like, ONE PERSON) I'd just like to say that I'm not emo and I'm not gonna kill myself, blah blah blah. This one-shot was originally a school assignment, where the student was asked to write a short story about what he/she would do if given the time just before they died. A lot of people picked really shallow things, like winning the lotto and buying a shitload of stuff, or getting famous, but I thought seeking forgiveness from someone would be a good start. So, without further ado, here it is.
I stumble down the road between rows of pristine suburban houses, wheezing, bloody hands clutched tightly around the knife that did it—the knife that committed the crime; the crime against self; against its master. Outside in the muggy evening air the pain doesn't come through so much. No, I can't feel much of anything; I'm getting chilly. Is that normal? The coolness makes me feel the blood on my skin more, makes it feel as if it's boiling, as if it's scalding my flesh.
It's not sticky—not like it is in the books I've read. I wonder why it's so easy to misconstrue something so simple. If it were sticky maybe I wouldn't be so panicked to get out, to find something I'm looking for.
When it all started I thought I knew what I was doing. The knife was sharp—new too, a nice, shiny new pocketknife. I collect them, you know, and my mom told me when I was ten and got my first one that if she ever saw that I'd cut myself on one—she meant by accident—she'd take them all away. So I was careful with them—especially with the first knife, the one that wouldn't shut properly. I can't take care of animals because I'm not attentive enough and living creatures annoy me, but I'd like to consider the knives my pets—my loving charges. I don't have to care for them too diligently; I just keep them all in an empty desk drawer, and take them out when I need some painful comfort to remind me that the world is still turning, that I'm still breathing.
Only, now I'm not so sure.
I've made it at least a mile through the lanes of neighborhoods, unsure of where my feet are taking me. No one's noticed me, which I find ironic, even though I'm somewhat unsure of why it's ironic—I just know that it is.
The green house with red shutters. It registers with me as soon as I see it. It's her house. The first. The first girl whose heart I broke.
I hate myself all over again.
My grip on my knife tightens, blood coming more thickly down my arm at the action. I think, what an idiot I am, coming here of all places. Why? What morbid inner self-loathing—besides the one that's gotten me into the mess—would drive me to come here? This girl hates me. Tears up pictures of my face, scratches me out of the yearbooks. At least, that's what I'd assume—that's what I'd do. Well, that's a lie. I'm a sentimental at heart, but no one knows that. I keep pictures of people I cared about, even if they've forgotten me.
Maybe that's why this whole thing happened.
I'm sick and tired of the people I love changing around me—and by changing, I mean leaving. Growing out of me. Hating the guts I didn't know I used. Everyone I knew in elementary school no longer remembers my existence, everyone in middle school hates me—thinks I'm a freak, that I'm not worth talking to. I'm already drifting away from my high school pals, it feels like. They probably haven't noticed, but I have. I'm sure it's happening. I always end up alone.
And I hate it.
I hate my life, as corny as it sounds. I hate everything. I hate it all because it hurts—hurts like a pocket knife never can. Physical pain I can handle—I can welcome—but pain that feelings brings, the loneliness that overtakes me, gripping me in feverish fingers until my throat clenches and I feel like I'm about to have a panic attack. I can't take that feeling. I just can't do it. I couldn't, not again.
I bang a fist against the door, leaving a bloody handprint. Now that I've stopped walking, my knees give out, and I sink to the porch, the instrument of my release slipping from my bloody fingers. Her parents aren't home, no car is in the driveway but her own—I'm sure she's there. But maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll let go before she comes to the door. Of course, even as the hope blooms past the tightness in my chest, I hear her footsteps.
The door opens slowly because she can't see me well through the peep-hole. Not when I'm down here on the creaky porch with the growing pool of blood.
She doesn't know how to take in what has happened—who I am. Not at first. But then my name forms on her lips and she sinks to the ground at my side.
I meet her eyes hesitantly, afraid of the condemnation I'll see there. But, there is none, only the sadness I didn't know anyone but I could have. She knows. I know that she knows.
"I…" I croak, my throat still tight, my mouth dry, and my tongue thick and rebellious, "I screwed up."
I don't feel it all too well when she takes my hand in her own, and her sweet voice swims through my head as she asks, "What can I do?"
My answer is not easy coming—I don't know what she can do. What can she do that I haven't already done for myself? There's no going back now, I've lost too much—too much love, too much time, too much blood.
"I….." my voice it getting weaker, my eyes harder to hold open as the muggy air starts to settle on my skin. I look at her, hoping maybe she will know better than I will, feeling the thick tears start to well up and streak down my cheeks.
Her thin arms encircle my shoulders. She doesn't care about how sweaty, grimy, bloody I am. I stop shivering before I realize I had even started. Her limbs feel feverish against my skin, though my t-shirt, and her breath is oven-like in my ear as she whispers to me gently.
"It's okay," she says softly, her arms tightly wrapped around me, "It's okay. It's okay."
Is that what I needed to hear? Why did I go to her in the first place, on my dying legs? Did I know….did I know what I needed…..and yet not know…? But her voice cuts through my doubts, as she whispers over and over again, those two simple words.