Hell is empty, and the devils are here.Drip. The sound of the faucet leaking water echoed in the bathroom.
Drip. Another slice along the tethered skin of the top of my thigh.
Drip. A drop of blood slowly surfaced.
Drip. The sound of my tears hitting the tiled floor.
Drip. The blade cut in deeper, the pain radiating.
Drip. I dropped the blade and wiped my tears away.
I turned to the faucet, landing my fist hard on it to stop the dripping. I looked back down to my thigh, taking in the nature of it all.
Angry, bloody, red welts were forming alongside pink, healing ones and white, upraised scars. I wiped another tear that escaped the cage of thick lashes. I wiped the blood away with my finger and examined the red liquid.
Smells of rust filled my nose. I wiped it on the napkin beside me, and carefully placed a band-aid on my leg. I washed off the blade and set it in a box under the sink.
Yet another time I'd broken promises to myself. I shook my head in disgust and threw away the saturated napkin. I pulled my long brown hair into a loose bun and washed my face off, the tears easily blending in with the water. It was easy to put on a show.
I left the bathroom quietly, hoping no one noticed how long I was in there.
The descent down the stairs to my basement room was a creaky one. I tip-toed quietly, not even letting myself breathe as I went down the steps. My foot landed on the one creaky board that I always managed to hit. I paused, closed my eyes, and continued slowly.
The basement was moist and cold. It was the only place in the house that wasn't insulated and didn't have any heat. Instead of basking in the warmth like the rest of my family did, I huddled under quilts to keep from freezing every night.
I closed the door behind me softly and crept to my bed. Once under three layers of thick quilts, not to mention my flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks, I closed my eyes.
I'd learned to never expect sleep to come. Usually I only fell asleep if I'd had an extra long day.
Why did I find myself religiously sobbing almost every night? Because all through the day, I had to smile at my friends, teachers, family. All through the day, I had to hold myself together. I had to make it through school, I had to make it through cheer leading.
I know what you're thinking. How could I, a girl with friends and a place in life, feel such pain?
Simple. My life was constantly teetering on the edge of insanity. With my parents divorced, I lived with my stepdad and mom. My parents never noticed that anything was wrong with me; they were too caught up in their jobs and my two younger siblings to realize that I was hurting.
As a child, things had happened to me that I never talked about, not even to this day. Things would trigger those memories, and I'd be sent down a spiral of pain and anxiety.
Through my early teen years, I'd been made fun of relentlessly about my weight. Through methodological exercise and diets, the weight quickly fell off. But looking in the mirror, even now, I was sent into fuming tears and hatred towards myself and those people.
The point where I really kicked off the self destruction was a year ago, when my best friend Anslee killed herself.
Nobody knew why, she left nothing behind to say. I found her, lying in her bathroom with an empty bottle of pills by her side. Depression that had always been there became even worse. No amount of therapy was getting the image of her cold, pale body limp on the floor out of my mind.
And nothing anyone could do would stop the crushing feeling that surrounded me all day long. Not that anyone noticed enough to do anything about it.
I held it together all through the day, and when it settled in on me, I exiled myself to my chilly basement void and cried myself into unconsciousness.