Haven’t written a post–an honest-to-goodness, nothing-but-me post in a very long time. So I put down the manuscript I’ve been working on and took up a blank sheet. Here’s what spilled out…
I See You
My hand trembles. In it, I clutch a steak knife. Not a fancy TV knife, but the simple kind my parents got as a wedding gift decades ago. She hasn’t noticed the whole in the knife block, the one my knife should be sheathed inside. She never notices. She is never home. Never around. Head stuck in her computer. At her desk. With her friends. In a bottle. I’m dust to her. Flakes of dead skin that rest on her furniture. Annoying and in need of disposal.
To him, I am invisible.
“How’s your day, darling?” He asks her as he presses past me in the hall. Never comes home. Stays with someone else’s family. Lives in another place.
The only time I materialize is when my grades don’t meet their standards. Then they yell.
“You’re better than this.” My report card waves, freshly printed, crackling like a whip before me.
What if I’m not? I want to scream. To cry. I try, but I am that bad. Those marks are who I am. Can’t they see that? They can and they don’t like it. It’s as plain as the furrow between their brows.
The knife scrapes across my skin, lightly at first.
Derek sees me. Tom. Michael. Josh. Tall, dark, and devilish. I loved him. But he…he prefers someone else. Equally tall. Equally dark. Equally devilish.
The knife sinks. A breath. It is enough. Small bubbles of red dot the angry line. Then it comes. The sting and bite of the tool in my hand pressed against the white of my forearm. I tip my head back. Sigh.
I don’t want to die as tears spring to my eyes. I want to be seen. To be like the remarkable dots of red. To sear this world like the pain I feel. I don’t even notice the sobs that shake my shoulder until the hiccups begin.
I gulp for air.
Set the knife anew and etch another perfect line.
Pain leaks past the numbness. Past the anger, the frustration. Pain I govern. I can master the cut. Perhaps it’s the only thing I can control.
I don’t want to die.
I am weird. The one in the hall that no one talks to, but everyone stares at. I am the one with the strange haircut that spikes my unnaturally-colored hair. I am the one who captains the cheer squad. I am the kid who pushes against wire glasses to see the teacher’s writing. I am the kid who fits in as long as I am not myself. I am the kid who shoves away the crowd even though I desperately want to be part of them.
I don’t want to be afraid. I want to be heard. Seen. But I live in a world that is deaf and blind.
Or…maybe…is it possible? Can you see me? Find me? I let the knife sink to the floor. Raise my eyes. I am your future. Will you be mine?