8.2.11

She had never said she wouldn't hurt herself. Just that she wouldn't cut. She could still burn, or bite, or scratch herself. This didn't count as breaking her promise. Yet.

The girl bit back tears as she sank to the floor of the bathroom stall. Thankful for the heavy doors that gave the stall so much privacy, she curled up in the corner, hugging her knees and wiping her eyes on her jeans. She took the box of matches she had stolen out of her pocket, opening it and taking one out without looking. She wiped her eyes with the back of her wrist once more, and pushed her left sweatshirt sleeve up, revealing the large number of scars on her forearm and wrist.

A single tear escaped from her eye as she lit a match, holding the flame against her wrist until it burnt out.

Why couldn't they just call her Rae? It was close enough to her legal name that it was a socially acceptable nickname, and it was androgynous enough to not immediately give away her biological sex. People were stupid. Most called her Rae, but the few who didn't... they made it worse that if no one called her that at all. She was so close... but still so far. People still considered her male, even if so many couldn't tell. It was torture.

She took out another match and lit it, holding to her wrist again until it burnt out. She did it again, and again, throwing each used match in the toilet, until she had just one match left in the box. With this last match, she bunt the matchbox, tossing the ashes in the toilet. She flushed the toilet and walked out, pulling her sleeve down as she did, rejoining her friends outside.

"Dude, I heard it smells like fire in the bathroom," one said.

"No idea," she responded, her voice dropping again. "Didn't when I was there. Maybe someone was smoking or something."

"Maybe. Whatever, bro, let's go." She followed her companion to the rocks, sitting on them, ignoring the pain growing in her arm. That girl, in the bathroom, wasn't her anymore. This was he.