I was eight the first time I died.
The memory is almost stapled into my brain. I remember every single moment, thought, feeling. Sometimes I wish that I didn't.
I had been home alone, except for the maids, and I had been in an adventurous mood. I snuck out and went to the nearby park. I remember looking up at one of the huge trees crowding the edge of the park. I'd just read a novel where the hero could beat anyone in a race to the top. Something about the idea enthralled me, and only moments later, I was halfway up in the tree and starting to feel afraid. Each gust of wind had me clutching to the trunk of the tree. The way down seemed much more precarious than the way up.
I slipped and gravity took care of the rest. The impact shattered me to the core. I landed face up, sprawled on the ground. My heart was not beating. My lungs were not expanding. There were no thoughts. Then life came smashing back and I felt as if I had once again fallen. I sat up, not sure if I should cry, laugh, or scream. I shakily stood and made the walk home. I told my mother I loved her and never climbed another tree.
I was eleven the next time I died. My friend Jordan and I had snuck into the country club's pool late one summer night. We were attempting to show each other up, diving and flipping into the pool. Jordan jokingly pushed me and I slid forwards into the pool, slamming the back of my head into the concrete edge.
By the time Jordan realized I had been underwater for way too long, he didn't know what to do. He attempted to search for me in the dark water, I know that much. The next thing I knew I was on my back again, looking up at Jordan who was crouched over me, tears in his eyes. He was blubbering about how I hadn't been breathing and there had been blood in the water and how sorry he was.
I gingerly sat up, feeling completely fine, and insisted that everything was alright. Jordan walked me home, still apologizing. After I snuck back in my room I tried to look for the place I'd hit my head, but there was no wound. I didn't know what to think.
After eighth grade, I died again, but this time on my own terms. I had carefully planned the night for nearly two months. It was August. The night of my parents anniversary. I knew they wouldn't be home until late... Although they were never really home to begin with.
I went through the motions, tidying my room incase my immortality was somehow short lived. Finally, I leaned against my bed, my back pressed against it's sturdy frame, grounding me. I took a few pain pills and moved to my tub, filling it with warm water and sitting, clothes on, waiting for the numbing sensation to take effect.
Maybe thirty minutes later, my eyes were heavy-lidded as I picked up the knife I'd picked out. All my hesitation was gone once the drugs were in my system. I easily pressed the tip of the knife against my skin and mercilessly dug three gorges from the wrist to the elbow. The pain was so bad that I nearly fainted before I could complete the last cut.
That was when I started to question myself. Did I really want to do this? I let my arms rest beneath the warm water, which felt nice. I was suddenly very tired and the pink water was amusing. Then I started to feel cold, even though I could feel the warmth of the water. I felt anxious, but I was delirious. I knew something was off, something bad was happening, but I couldn't comprehend exactly what it was.
I sat up with a jerk, splashing the murky red water. My heart pounded as I looked at the blood all around me. I jumped out of the tub as fast as I could, remembering what had happened. I quickly checked my arms
I sat up with a start, feeling refreshed and no longer high. I instinctively inspected my wrists, expecting terrible wounds. There were six scars making their way down the underside of my arms, already healed to the point where they'd no longer fade.
Naked, I pulled up the stop in the bath and stood, shivering, waiting for the red water to drain. I turned the shower to scalding and climbed back in, holding myself as I let the water clean me. My mind still felt numb, but it wasn't the pain medicine anymore. I didn't bother dressing as I climbed into my bed and forced myself into an early slumber.
I switched schools for highschool and I guess killing myself had changed me a lot. For once, it was difficult to make new friends. I found myself holding back, trying to blend in. I was worried that people would only want to befriend me because of my parent's money.
Even though I tried to keep to myself, I caught the attention of a few popular juniors. My parents were working more than ever and I spent most of my time alone or with Daniel, who was the one who took the most interest in me. There was something about him that just seemed so collected, so nonchalant. I guess I envied him, looked up to him.
Then, Daniel moved away and everyone else graduated. The only people left were the others in my class that Daniel and his group had taken interest in. I started to go to parties and get fucked up. I had to keep myself busy. I didn't want to face myself.
I still can't face myself.
"Cam, you busy tonight?" Aiden asked as we walked down the hallway.
I shook my head as Aiden trailed me closely to the back of the school, along with a few jocks that tagged along on the way. Before he could respond, Marina skunked up out of nowhere, wrapped her arm around his and snapped her gum. She was still in her cheer uniform from earlier that morning.
As soon as we were far enough away, I slipped out the flask I kept beneath my uniform jacket and took a swig. My lunch today was a hardy serving of Jack Daniel's, not enough to get messy, but enough to not really be here.
I knew Aiden didn't exactly approve of my dietary habits, but he also didn't exactly know how long it had been since I'd last eaten. Aiden and I sat on the bleachers shaded by the trees, my preferred spot to spend time at Bradley Prep. There were a few others sitting in their own groups.
"Chessy is throwing a party after school." Marina mentioned, breaking from her constant chatter. Her eyes going from Aiden to me. "You guys will be there." It wasn't a question.
"Yeah, sure." I murmured, taking another sip of the harsh liquid. Chessy was probably one of the least annoying people in our group, besides Aiden. I didn't see her on the bleachers today though.
Marina began rubbing Aiden's thigh and popped her gum again. Predictably, Aiden murmured something about seeing me soon and the two of them walked towards the parking lot. Aiden was the closest thing I had to a bestfriend. We'd always been around eachother, since Matt and Daniel were good friends and I was always with Daniel and he was always with Matt. We probably could have been closer, but I would never let him in.
I stayed a while longer, but with them gone there was really no reason to stick around. Silently, I slipped off my bleacher and walked back towards the school. I was going to lay down on a bench somewhere and sleep until lunch was over.
By the time I arrived, the party was already in full swing. People were tipsy and the music was loud. I made my way to the back room where I knew Chessy would be. She usually had a surprise for me.
Just like I'd thought, Chessy was in the back room with a few college guys and some girls in tight clothing. As soon as she saw me she grinned and skipped over, hugging me and then absentmindedly rubbing her hands up and down my arms. Her pupils were dilated and she was swaying to the muffled music..
"So glad to see you baby." She purred.
I smiled and she took my hand, leading me towards the back of the room. She picked up a tiny white square from the dresser and stuck out her tongue.
"What is it?" I asked, my voice sounding weak against the music. Chest shook her head and grinned again. I stuck out my tongue and she placed the paper square beneath it. Before I could react, she slipped something else into my pocket and mouthed 'for later'.
"Thanks Chess." I said, leaning in to kiss her cheek. She smiled and waved me off.
"Go have fun Cameron!"
I turned and walked to an empty couch. After a minute a nasty chemical taste filled my mouth and sat in the back of my throat. Now I just had to wait.
A few songs later, my head started to feel light and the edges of my vision began to swim. The shadows of the people dancing in front of me grew and took stretched. Geometric shapes within the shadows, within their skin, fading when I attempted to follow. Smears, blurs, maybe animals... maybe not.
Then my mind started to race and my thoughts were on me and I didn't really like it. I couldn't stop thinking about how lonely I was, how horny. How much I tried to keep myself busy. How much it hurt to touch myself, how disgusting it felt. I watched the images in front of me start to get darker, more haunted.
Then the song changed to a more upbeat rhythm. Thankfully, my body and mind changed with it. Perfect porcelain figures walked past me. A girl from across the room glanced over and her features looked almost mouse like. I smiled, feeling warm.
I stood and walked to an empty hallway. I stood in front of the mirror and watched myself. My eyes darkened and became more sullen in their sockets. My face thinned and became more emaciated. It was like an image of me from the future. Somehow, I knew it was just an accentuation of how I looked now. I'm doing it to myself. The right side of my face started to smear slowly outwards. I wasn't afraid, just curious.
"Oh, there you are." Aiden's voice. I looked over, and then looked back at the mirror when he was standing beside me. I was back in place and Aiden looked amused.
"What?" I asked him, noticing shimmering fractals in the floorboards from the corner of my eye.
"Looks like you're really tripping." Aiden remarked, laughing hard. Almost too hard.
"Drunk already?" I asked, turning to face him.
Aiden shrugged and started grooving goofily to the pounding bass-line. I couldn't help smiling and when he started to walk, I followed. Aiden led me to the kitchen, where there was a couple making out heavily on the far counter. He grabbed a Smirnoff from one of the open coolers and I got a water bottle. Aiden didn't stop moving until he was outside.
A lot more time had passed than I had realized. It was starting to get chilly outside and the majority of the party had moved indoors. We stumbled our way to a dark stretch of grass away from everyone else and laid down, watching the sky and stars. The sky seemed like a giant panel of squares, but it curved inwards towards me, like I was encased in a giant, see-through disco ball.
I reached down for the little pill Chessy had slipped into my pocket and I took a quick swig, swallowing the pill as well. "Where's Marina?" I asked. Usually if they were in the same vicinity they were on top of eachother. Plus Aiden was drunk. Aiden hardly ever drinks.
Aiden rolled his head towards me so we were looking into each other's eyes. He was awkwardly close, but neither one of us had the energy to move.
"We got into a fight." He muttered.
"About what?" I asked. It had only been a week since their last big fight, where they had both agreed to take another 'break', which was basically trying to make the other person jealous until they ended up furiously having sex and then being back 'on' again.
"She says I don't make love to her, I just fuck her." His voice took on an annoyed tone and he moved his head back so he was looking at the sky.
"I don't make love. I fuck. But that doesn't mean I don't love her." Aiden shook his head. "Let's just not talk about it. She'll come running back after she's done flirting with Adam."
"Adam is so boring." I muttered. Aiden grunted in agreement.
A few minutes later, my skin began to get clammy and I quickly sat up. It was a very familiar feeling. I was going to vomit. I stood and rushed over the the fence, leaning over just as my stomach began to heave.
I puked twice. It was mostly water, since I hadn't eaten anything in a while. Dark lines danced at the edges of my vision for a moment while I leaned against the fence. Aiden jogged over and offered me my water bottle. I rinsed my mouth out and as I did, I felt my entire body suddenly pick up and buzz with almost pent-up energy. . I was suddenly filled with pent-up energy.
"You rolling?" Aiden asked, concern in his voice.
"Yeah." I answered.
"You okay?" He took his arm off me as I walked away from the fence and back towards the house. He followed close behind.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
Aiden grabbed another beer on our way in the house. I was suddenly extremely thirsty and chugged down the rest of my water and half of another. Aiden chuckled at me and them we made our way to the living room where there was still pounding music and hordes of people dancing in the near dark. I danced over to the crowd and Aiden followed after he finished his beer.
I danced alone and with anyone who wanted to, the touch was welcome. I was sweating like crazy, and my heart was beating like mad. Everything that touched me felt amazing, including my clothes. I felt like I could dance forever to anything. I spotted Aiden with a cheerleader named Becca dancing together occasionally, and eventually they moved so that they pressed up against the wall, so I looked away.
As the song switched to a slower one, I took a break and went to get some water. The couple that had been on the counter earlier were out of sight, so I hopped up and sat there while I sipped my water. After a song or two Aiden walked in.
"There you are," He said, grabbing a water, leaning against the counter and taking a drink if it. "I haven't seen you dance like that in a while." His voice was amused.
"Yeah." I chuckled quietly. It felt good. I was having fun.
"You want to dance some more?" He asked as I shook my head.
"Lets find someplace quiet." I offered.
Aiden led the way to one of Chessy's off limits rooms, locking the door so we wouldn't be bothered. It was actually Chessy's upstairs bedroom, which I noticed when Aiden turned the lights on.
"A bedroom? Trying to seduce me?" I joked, plopping down on her window seat.
"Oh baby, yes." Aiden moaned, grinning and sitting on the other side of the seat. He peered out the window while I rubbed my legs, which felt freaking amazing thanks to the MDMA, and watched the wall seem to shiver. I noticed that Aiden's drunken liveliness had ceased, he seemed morbid actually.
"You alright?" I asked.
He didn't move his eyes from whatever he was staring at outside, if there even was anything.
"I'm fine. Just don't want to go home tonight. I was planning on going to Marina's but that isn't happening."
"You can stay at my place whenever." I offered. I didn't know anything about Aiden's living conditions except that his father died our Sophomore year and that he had a little sister.
"Okay." He said quietly, his voice sounding thick. Then he contenued after a few minutes of silence. "You know, it's weird that you're my bestfriend, but we're more like acquaintences. I know you're really closed off and I can be the same way. I just want you to know that you're the person I trust the most."
"Aiden..." I didn't really know what to say.
"Sorry I'm being so emotional. I'm just missing Matt a lot and the shit with Marina is getting to me. You're the only person I can talk to."
My thought started to drift to Daniel at the mention of Matt and I didn't want to think about that, but I wanted to show Aiden that I trusted him as well. Suddenly, I did want to be closer to someone, anyone.
I unzipped my thin jacket and slowly rolled up the sleeves of my shirt. I looked down at my arms and then slowly up to Aiden's confused expression, before finally holding my arms out for him to see. He peered at them for a moment, his expression hidden from me. I felt my heart race as I waited to see his reaction. He took one arm with his hands and ran his fingers over the vicious scars. The contact felt good.
"Why?" He choked as he looked up. His face still shimmering from the hallucinogens.
I looked down at my own wrists, watching the scars start to morph. They looked careless, jagged, messy.
"I was trying to die."
Now I felt raw, exposed. Like my mind and my heart were scraped against sandpaper. I felt jittery with adrenaline. I felt good, but nervous at the same time.
Then I felt overwhelmed, like I wanted to pour everything out to him. I'd never felt so out of control, so powerless. My emotionless dam was breaking. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. Suddenly, I wished I hadn't showed him anything. I wanted to keep everything inside.
"But you're still here." Aiden said with a small, sad smile. Something about my face had his expression turning more serious.
"Wait, do you still-"
"Sometimes." I interrupted.
"Why? What for?" He asked, obviously confused and emotional.
"I just- I, I don't know. There's obviously something wrong with me. I don't work right." I tried to explain as I felt the bitter hot tears overflow my eyes.
"I would be so... If you died I wouldn't..." Aiden tried to articulate.
Then I was bawling, I couldn't stop. It was so strong, so much bigger than me. It forced me to curl up, to bite my hand so I wouldn't moan. I felt my entire chest rack with sobs. I was so incredibly embarrassed. I couldn't live up to this. What the hell would Aiden think of me?
After a minute I pulled away, shuddering and catching my breath. I wiped my nose and looked at the floor opposite of Aiden. I felt sick to my stomach, this was starting to feel like an endless bad trip, but even that wasn't real. What was that? I'd never lost control like that. Was it the MDMA?
My eyes slowly found their way to Aiden's, who was surprisingly close to me. He shook his head with a small, sad smile.
"We don't have to talk about this now, you know? There's no pressure. It's okay. Let's just have fun tonight."
That was what I wanted, but now I felt so emotionally strung out. I felt like I wouldn't be able to keep everything together anymore.
We sat quietly for a few moments before I got up and moved over to Chessy's bed, laying face-down on the sheets and curling up. It felt unbelievably good to rub my arms up and down against the fabric. That was definitely the MDMA.
"You look like a starfish." Aiden laughed, helping lighten the mood.
"Try it, it feels amazing." I called to him, causing him to roll his eyes, but he moved over to the bed anyway.
He plopped down next to me and rubbed his hands against the sheets. He seems much less enrapt by the action.
"Think Chessy will mind that we're all over her sheets?" He asked with a quiet laugh.
I shifted to face Aiden a little and he sat there, looking down at me. Aiden's face became 2-d, like he was flat, his eyes were huge and seemed to peer into my soul. His sandy blonde hair seemed to become liquid, dripping and blending on his head. Then his hand moved forward and brushed back my hair a little. The touch felt good, but it was weirdly affectionate.
Aiden inched closer, his eyes half closed, and I felt my breath catch in my throat. His hand slid behind my neck, stroking my hair as it went and the other slipped around my waist. I felt my body shiver from the contact and my skin buzzed where he touched it.
Then Aiden was leaning over, his mouth tentatively pressed against mine, before becoming more self-assured and more passionate. He suddenly flipped us so he was on top, straddling me. He harshly grinded our pelvises together and he moved both his hands behind my neck and kissed me more animatedly.
All I could process was how good it felt, how I wanted more physical contact. I hadn't moved an inch and hadn't thought about this at all, and couldn't think about this at all. Because this is Aiden, on me, touching me. It's his tongue in my mouth and his hand against my thigh. It was his.
I shoved Aiden away, back-peddling hard, falling off the bed and inching into the far corner.
This chapter has been edited and updated on 9/27/14 (it desperately needed it) I'll get around to editing the rest of the story soon. So some things won't completely match up and I apologize to any new readers for that.