Title: Ignoring the Invitable

Chapter One - Broken Glass

I found her curled up in the fetal position.

Her hand was clutched around a rusty Venus razor, her wiry black hair in clumps on the tile floor. My mother's eyes were half closed and I could smell the scent of her lingering in the small room, cheap booze and something sick and decaying. Her small body was wrapped in a worn pink bathrobe and left her exposed. Her brown scalp was covered in small oozing cuts and peach fuzz from where she'd savagely hacked away at her hair. The mirror was cracked and I saw shards of broken glass around her feet.

I had been desperately knocking on the door for about ten minutes, beating it with my fists. I thought she had tried to take the pills again like last time. I had taken a wire coat hanger and fitted it into the lock, jiggling it around until I heard a click. Then I rushed in and found her, a drooling mess on the bathroom floor.

The sight of her was somehow repulsive to me. The limpness of her body, the streaked makeup, and the dripping sweat. She was a pathetic mess. I felt like throwing up. I put a hand out and leaned on the wall to steady myself. I took in a breath and began cleaning up the mess around her.

I went to the kitchen to grab a dust pan and sweep up the glass and hair. Then I dabbed antiseptic on her cuts and I straightened up her bathrobe and helped her up. Her head lolled to the side and I was forced to half carry, half push her out of the bathroom and onto her bed. She felt sticky and hot under my fingers. She murmured something to me and fell asleep. I didn't bother covering her up.

I knew that Tori had been sick for quite a while.

I realized it a few months ago, just after my fifteenth birthday. I had just dropped my books in my room and was about to head into the kitchen when I noticed her half opened bedroom door. I stepped inside to ask if she wanted anything when I suddenly got a good look of her in the dimly lit room. She had been lying in a heap with an empty bottle of sleeping pills at her feet.

I'd felt my heart deflate, and my hands go numb with cold. I fell to my knees and began to desperately shake her. I screamed for her to wake up, I clawed at her shirt till my throat felt raw. I'd crawled towards the phone and dialed 911 with clumsy fingers and waited for what must have been hours until they came flooding in.

They asked me questions I couldn't answer, so I lied. I told them my father was at work and was on his way home. I told them he would take care of me, I made up some name, I can't really even remember it now. So I drove to the hospital with them. There was more talking and shouting and orders. But all I could do was sit in the faded yellow chair next to my mother's bed and clutch at her hand like a life raft.

Everything around me felt liquid. Like nothing was solid, it might have all been a dream. I was to numb to feel scared, or hurt, or angry. All I felt was tired and cold, and when my mother finally came to, and began shouting that she couldn't afford the bill and that they couldn't keep her here against her will and that she would sue them all if they didn't let her go, I just sat with my eyes closed and my hands over my ears.

My mother called her brother to come and pick us up. Uncle Blase made my mother promise that she'd pay him back for the gas money and they had a fight over it for a while. But Blase finally took us away. It was dark by then and the cigarette smell in my Uncle's car made me dizzy. My mother didn't once say a word to me the whole ride home.

She didn't say sorry or thank me for saving her, or tell me why she had done what she had did. She didn't look at me as we made it home but part of me felt like she was mad at me. Mad at me for interrupting. Mad at me for saving her when she had wanted to die.

-This story was previously written on another page but now I've created this new account.