Hey everyone! I've been on a long hiatus from writing, so please give friendly advice! Leave a review if you like ^_^ Also, trigger warning, travel safely guys.

Alyssa sat on her bed, knees hugged tight to her chest, blade slowly twisting between her fingers. It had been a long day at school. She had been trying so hard to have a decent day, to stay calm and get through one day without a breakdown. Of course, her mom had other plans...

Things weren't always this way. There was a time when small things went over her head, and each day was filled with laughter and fun. But that was before boys really meant anything. Before she had to deal with any real loss or heartbreak. But that was a long, long time ago.

To cut or not to cut... Sure, it was getting warm out, approaching summer break. People were bound to notice if she wore long sleeves all the time. People at school anyway. Her mother certainly wouldn't... She could barely even look at her anymore.

She didn't really care what people at school thought; it's not like she had friends to worry about. But teachers... teachers notice. And want to "help", force you to go to therapy, and won't leave you alone.

So maybe a no on the long sleeves. Not like she's not used to cutting strategically anyway. She's had years of practice.

She slid out of bed and slowly padded into her attached bathroom, blade clutched carefully in her hand. She didn't want to deal with stains and clean up. There was always something so satisfying about watching the red hit the white porcelain and stream down the drain, so dark and fascinating.

She closed the door behind her and placed the blade on the edge of the counter.

'Will this really help?' She thought to herself, as she always does. There's always at least one moment. One moment where she debates with herself. Will this make mom notice me? Will she realize how much pain I'm in? Will it somehow bring dad back? Will it make anything better?

The answer was always the same. It didn't matter. What mattered was the glistening silver taunting her, telling her that a little bit more pain will distract her from her mess of a life and bring her some peace, even if just for a moment.

Her rough nailed fingers snatched up the blade with haste, bringing it to her bare wrist. Slowly, she dragged the blade across the pale flesh, entranced as little beads of blood slowly rose to the surface before running down her arm and into the sink. It was such a thin, shallow wound. It wasn't enough.

She brought the blade to her wrist again, making more and more shallow cuts. There just wasn't enough blood! Barely any pain.. She needed more.

She brought the sharp corner to her wrist, and once more, she swept it across; only this time much quicker, causing a deeper wound that promptly streamed all over her arm and the sink. The blade clattered into the small puddle of blood as she stared at the new cut. It was deeper than she intended.. and the pain was wonderful.

She watched it bleed for a few minutes, letting the euphoric feeling overtake the pain and struggle of the day. This cut... This cut will help her keep going. Get through another day.

She flinched hard as she heard a commotion from the kitchen, pots and pans clattering to the ground. She quickly turned the sink on, letting the pool of red slowly get washed clean. She grabbed a paper towel and started wiping her arm down, going through the motions of patching herself up that she knew so well.

Time to play her role.


Alyssa took a deep breath with her hand on her door handle, trying to get her act together. Her arm was freshly bandaged and covered with a sweatband, nothing to see here.

She built up her nerve and walked out of her room like nothing happened. Her mom, Beth, was standing in front of the sink, eyes glazed over as she stared out the window. The pot in her hand was overflowing with water, splashing around the sinks edge.

Alyssa walked over and turned the water off, taking the pot and draining a little water so it wasn't filled to the brim. She took over putting it on the stove, cooking a simple dinner for them both.

When it was finished, she set the table and walked back to her mother, softly touching her arm. Beth flinched and turned her back to her daughter. Alyssa went to the table and sat down, staring at her plate with a small handful of food on it. She doesn't eat much nowadays.

Her mom grabbed a bottle out of the cabinet and brought it with her to the table, plopping down loudly into her seat. She twisted the lid off and filled her glass with vodka, never making eye contact with her daughter. Dinner was a quite affair, as usual. It was going to be one of those nights.

The glass of vodka was finished before Beth's food, and another glass full was gone by the time Alyssa was clearing the table. The rest of the bottle was taken to the couch, where Beth collapsed and flipped the TV on.

Alyssa closed herself in her room and curled up on her bed, hot tears slowly building and falling down her cheeks. She hated seeing her mother this way, but there was nothing she could do.

Maybe if her dad never left, things would be different... Maybe then they could've been a normal, happy family.