This Story:
Chapter One

this is a short, five-chapter story i wrote for my friends. ive posted it on faecbook, and decided to post it here too! please read and review with thoughts and suggestions, thanks. :) -xx

The music raised to a crescendo, climbing higher and higher, the violins growing louder and more violent – at least, that's what it sounded like. It wasn't your traditional classical; merely a simple orchestra performing a delicate piece, the notes flowing from their instruments like water from a spring hidden deep in the mountains. The music rushed past in a blaze of sound, painting colourful scenes in my mind. I listened with joyous ears, before suddenly – the music was gone.

Not gone – just that nothing else reached my ears. It was over. The end.

If you hadn't known any better, you would have thought the volume on the CD player had mysteriously been turned down; or else the CD had skipped.

But I knew better.

I had burned this CD for myself, carefully and purposely choosing this strong, powerful piece for the end, knowing full well that it ended abruptly at the highest point, its climax. I had done it for a reason – though I wasn't quite sure what that reason was. Maybe it had just been me going out on a whim, but it felt important to me.

Don't ask me why.

I'm not into that deep, spiritual stuff – if you want Astrology, past lives and shit, you'd be looking for my sister, Theresa. She was married to a hippie-type man she had met at the community college; they lived the next town over.

As these thoughts trailed through my mind, I stared at my gaunt expression in the vanity mirror of my bathroom, listening to the empty silence, my ears still ringing from the music that had been playing just seconds before.

My irises were void of emotion, unless a hollow emptiness counted as an emotion. There were bags under my bloodshot eyes, clearly visible against my pale skin. I had had a tan, once – but despite the warm summer sunshine, I had lost it. I leaned forward, lifting my right hand until it brushed along my cheeks, where faint tear streaks still shimmered in the bright, artificial light.

My face scrunched in distaste, before I smoothed my features, reaching forward and grabbing the mascara. I applied it carefully, not exactly sure why I was doing this simple day-to-day procedure. I knew full well what my intentions were . . . my eyes slipped from my reflection in the mirror to the razor lying so innocently on the countertop.

Without thinking, I put down the mascara wand and reached for the razor instead, picking it up and examining it slowly. Wondering if it knew it would be ending a life soon, I turned it slowly in my hands, running my fingers down the smooth, silver side.

It was so insignificant, this small piece of metal, so normal and yet . . . it sent shivers racing down my spine. I blinked slowly, raising the razor up to the light, never averting my gaze.

It scared me to think that just weeks ago – maybe even days – it had been sitting in line on the factory's conveyer belts, packaged with its mates and resting on a shelf in the drug store. Now it was in my hands, waiting patiently to be used. The glimmer of the bright yellow bathroom light glinting off the silver handle flashed maliciously, and for a moment I wanted to drop the razor, drop it and run as far as possible.

But where did I have to run? Nowhere; there was not one place in this world I could go to escape my troubles. My mother had run away herself, so long ago I hardly remembered her. My father was never around, he was so busy with work, it's not like he would come home and find me doing this bullshit – and my sister was off with her husband, living her happily ever after.

Where was my happily ever after?

Definitely not here.

Those girls, those princesses and maidens in the fairy tales, they all had friends, or at least a sanctuary, a place to escape; 'sanctuary' didn't even exist in my family's vocabulary, and my friends had long deserted me – not physically, of course, but emotionally it felt as if they were no longer there. My boyfriend, of course, tried to understand what little I would share with him, but I didn't think Colton could understand or handle all my troubles.

He'd probably desert me as well if he knew.

With a heavy sigh, I stretched out my left arm and slowly, carefully, brought the razor to my upturned wrist. I narrowed my eyes, pursing my lips with the concentration it took to keep my hand steady. I didn't want anything going wrong before I was ready.

This was my first time cutting, so I wasn't exactly sure what to do. I mean, it seemed easy in theory, but right at that moment, in real life, it was a lot more difficult. I pressed the blades to my bare skin, shivering as the cool metal brushed attentively along my soft, vulnerable skin.

Almost like two lovers getting into bed for the first time, both eager yet shy at making the first move.

I almost smiled as this thought crossed my mind, before instantly throwing it
away. Hadn't Bryant, that blonde jock at school who made it his business to bully the shit out of everyone, been teasing me about the very same thing?

Growing angry at the thought, my hand jerked without my knowing and cut across my skin, leaving a thin yet blazing, red trail of blood behind. I hardly noticed the pain and there wasn't that much blood, but, still, the strong, rusty scent flooded the air.

With a shocked yell – more ashamed at myself than anything else - I quickly dropped the razor and grabbed the nearby towel, pressing it against the wound. It wasn't deep, and I don't think it had cut any major veins.

My eyes flickered instantly back to the razor, lying on the counter so innocently. I picked it up awkwardly, still pressing the towel to my wrist, and held it tight between my fingers. I closed my eyes, taking a few deep breathes to fight back the dizziness that swam over me; I really disliked the smell of blood.

Suddenly, my eyes snapped open and raised my hands – one holding the razor, the other still holding my wrist – and threw the razor against the opposite wall.

"You bitch!" I screamed, not able to contain the anger. "Oh, my God, you stupid piece of plastic! How could you do this? How could this happen?!" Hot, angry tears pricked at the corners of my eyes and slipped down my face, and I leaned against the cheery, lavender-painted wall, sliding down until I was sitting, crumpled against the cabinet under the sink.

Sobs racked my body, and I wasn't sure why I was crying. The stupid, God-damn tears managed to escape past my lashes, no matter how much I tried to blink them away, and my chest hurt from those painful sobs. The pain in my wrist was nothing compared to this!

I was so angry at myself for reaching this new low. Why the hell had I done something so damn stupid?

I pushed myself to my feet, letting the towel wrapped around my wrist fall to the ground; it had stopped bleeding by now. I didn't glance at the mirror as I turned around and escaped from the dreaded, lavender-coloured room, not wanting to face myself at this point.

I walked quickly, almost reached the front door before I remembered it was raining out. I turned around and grabbed the thin jacket draped over a kitchen chair, then left through the back door. I slipped the jacket on, not bothering to pull the hood on; who cared if my hair got wet? It's not like I was trying to pull boys; I just wanted to go for a walk.

Without a backwards glance, I followed the stone path around to the front, and headed out in the pouring rain.