Karen San Giovanni
Promise Me You Won't Leave
A teenage boy and girl are sitting on a bed. The only light in the room is coming through the window and the girl has a distressed expression on her face while the boy is bent doubled over his arms. The girl tucks her long, brown hair behind her ear and then runs one hand through the boy's black hair, which is falling over his face and covering it. Within the black is a strip of hair dyed bright blue and it stands out in the low light.
There isn't any noise in the room other than their breathing, some talking from outside the room, and the occasional sniff or sigh muffled from behind the boy's hands that are covering his face. The girl eyes him, her blue eyes full of concern and sadness. She does not understand why he has done what he has, and has been trying to get him to stop. The boy just tells her she does not understand anything about him at all whenever she tries to convince him to stop. He doesn't care if it's not healthy; he feels he has to.
All the girl wants is for her best friend to be happy again.
She hasn't seen him genuinely happy since he was eight, and they are now sixteen. She runs a hand through his hair again and she hears him take in a deep breath as he tries to pull himself together. She looks toward the door as she hears one of his little sister's pass, screaming for her mom.
The boy lifts his face away from his hands some and wipes his cheeks free of the tears that had been shed. The girl leans forward slightly to try and look him in the eye, but he pointedly looks away, not wanting to see the disappointment and utter sadness in her deep blue eyes. He hates making her upset, but he couldn't help himself. He reaches out slowly with his right hand to cover his left wrist gently.
The girl sighs. Covering it up is not hiding the fact that he has done what he has; multiple times no yet. The scars will remain and both of them know that. Only thing is, they will bother her more than they will bother him. He doesn't mind the fact that the scars will always be there to remind him of what he has done to himself. She does mind though, because every time she sees them, she wants to cry. She cannot stand the fact that he does this to himself when there are so many other outlets he could use.
He eyes her quickly and then moves his left arm to lie over it, covering the renewed evidence completely. The girl sighs and lets out a choked sob as she holds back the tears that want to roll down her cheeks. The boy looks up at her with a distressed expression and reaches out with his right hand to touch her cheek gently. She pulls her face away from his hand and turns to face his door. He sighs and rests his hand lightly on her leg. She eyes his hand out of the corner of her eye, but doesn't move.
Each of them is stubborn, and she knows if she moves again, he will move also and try to comfort her.
The only thing he doesn't understand though is that the only thing that will comfort her would be the fact that he would never do this again.
"Kyra," he whispers. Kyra looks back at him quickly, attempting and failing to try and not see the hurt expression on his face. She sighs and turns to face him, crossing her legs in front of her as she pulls them up onto the bed.
"Tyson, why?" Kyra asks quietly, keeping her eyes on her hands. Tyson sighs and reaches out with his right hand to play with her fingers lightly. She keeps her eyes focused on their hands, refusing to look into his eyes. She does not want to see the regret there, because she knows he doesn't regret doing what he did to himself, he only regrets making her so upset; again.
"I don't know. I just felt I needed to," Tyson whimpered in response.
"There are other ways to release feelings, Tyson. I don't understand why you can't just punch a wall or something," Kyra cried out to him. He sighed.
"I never had the urge to do that, Kyra. That's why," he added, trying to look her in the eye, but she just moved her face.
"You never had the urge to punch something, but you had the urge to inflict pain upon yourself?" she asked as a tear broke free and began to roll down her cheek. "It doesn't make any sense, Tyson. It really doesn't."
"Maybe not to you, but to me it does," he told her, reaching up to wipe the tear off her cheek. The action was void, because more tears began to slowly roll down her cheeks.
"I don't understand how," she added. "What if you go too deep, and kill yourself?"
"I won't," he assured her.
"You don't know that," she retorted angrily. All she cared for was his wellbeing, and he was not getting that message. "You don't understand, Tyson, at all."
"About what?" he asked her.
Then, she finally met his gaze.
"About how much you mean to me," she choked. A shocked expression crossed his face. "You don't understand. If you leave me, I don't know what I would do with myself. You're my best friend. I could never bear to lose you, Tyson."
"Kyra, Kyra. It's okay. I'm not going anywhere. I promise you," Tyson assured her, cupping her cheek with his right hand.
"You can't promise me that as long as you are doing this to yourself," Kyra replied forcefully before grabbing his left wrist and pointing to the healing cut. Tyson immediately dropped his gaze from hers.
"I'm not going to die, Kyra. I would never go that far, nor would I want to," he replied quietly.
"You never know what is going to happen, Tyson. It could be a complete accident," she told him as more tears rolled down her cheeks. "I wish you would just stop."
"I have tried, but I always go back," he said.
Then, they both fell silent for a minute and listened to the sounds coming from the other areas of his house.
"I'm sorry, Kyra. I'm so sorry," Tyson finally whispered. "I wish I wouldn't do this to you. I hate to see you so upset."
"There is a solution," she replied as she looked down at her hands. Tyson took a deep breath.
"I know, but I just can't," he added.
"You could try, for me," Kyra said, meeting his gaze. "Please, Tyson. For me."
Tyson lowered his gaze from hers and then looked down at their hands as he began to play with her fingers lightly again. He took a deep breath and Kyra watched him carefully. She felt as if she could almost hear the gears working in his brain.
When he raised his eyes back to hers, his green eyes were determined but slightly upset.
"Alright, Kyra. For you," he told her. "For you, I promise I will try to stop. I promise."
At these words, a small smile broke across Kyra's face and Tyson gave her a small smile back.
"I promise," he whispered again in her ear as he pulled her to his chest and they wrapped their arms around each other.