I wake up to the sound of sizzling oil and the smell of eggs. I bring my hands up to my face and I am met with caked blood on my wrists. It is not surprising anymore. I hear tiny feet pad down the hallway and my brother opens my door.
“Ada, breakfast is ready,” Timothy says. I chuckle. He still has not managed to get his lisp under control.
“Okay, thank you for waking me up, Tim. Let mom know that I’ll be up in just a second,” I reply. I stretch upwards. His round and chubby face lifts and his eyes widen at the sight of my wrists. I quickly clasp my hands in front of my chest and he runs off. If only he knew.
I get out of bed and slide into my robe. I walk into the hallway and wash my wrists of the dried blood in the bathroom before entering into the kitchen.
“Good morning, Ada. How’d you sleep?” My mother asks as I walk into the delicious aroma of fokdy. I shrug and walk over to the kitchen table where I plop down in the seat next to Tim. He’s playing an intense game of cop cars and trucks.
My mother sways over and places down two plates of scrambled eggs, fresh bacon, and a cinnamon roll for my brother and I.
“Thank you,” My brother and I say in unison. She smiles, nods, and walks back to the counter to grab her plate. She returns to the table and gracefully sits down, across from me.
“Timothy, please put your toys on the ground for now. Right after breakfast we can play with them together,” She declares. He mournfully sets his toys on the ground next to the table
After we say a prayer in thanks for our food, we dig in. As I tear my bacon pieces in half, I can see out of the corner of my eye, my mother’s gaze drifting towards the scars on my wrists. When I look up in her general direction, she shifts back to eating. If only she knew.
I shove the last few bits of egg into my mouth, thank my mother for the meal, and place my dish in the sink. When I go back into my room, I drop my robe onto the floor and hop back into bed. Solitary confinement during the day is something I enjoy and practice. I turn on my laptop and open up all of my social media sites.
I browse the web, watch videos, and look at pictures for the majority of the day. This is a regular thing for me and it is probably unhealthy. After a while, I get bored and look intently at my wrists. There are layers upon layers of scars. My mother has questioned me about it and I try to explain to her that it’s not my fault. There have been too many failed counselor meetings due to my “ignorance”. I am numb to the shame. I am called an attention whore. If only people truly knew.
For lunch, I eat a few snacks from the pantry. It’ll tie me over until dinner. I go back into my room and continue browsing the internet and refresh my feed yet again. I see pictures and videos that have virtually no meaning to my life pop up. It takes me about two hours to completely finish scrolling back to where I started yesterday.
By 4:00 PM, I am surprised that Timothy has not barged into my room, requesting for my presence to help make dinner. I bounce out of bed, exit my room, and walk into the hallway. On my way to the kitchen, I glance into Tim’s room to find my mother and him cuddling on the ground in the midst of toys. I smile and let them nap. When I get into the kitchen, I decide to heat up some leftover noodles from the night before and eat it in my bedroom.
While slurping up the remains of my dinner, my laptop screen flashes a bright blue with an incoming call from my internet friend, Vicky. I hesitantly accept the request and plug my ears immediately. Muffled screeches come from my speakers and I see her bouncing up and down on her chair while clapping.
“Oh my gosh, Ada, we haven’t spoken in what seems like forever! How are you? How’s your mother? How’s your brother? Is it cold in Minnesota? Wait, it’s June… I’m so happy to talk to you!” She babbles on the other end.
“Vicky, quiet down, my brother and my mom are napping in the other room. We are all doing well out here and no, it isn’t cold,” I tell her.
“I was looking at your profile the other day and saw a picture of you and your family. Then, I remembered that we didn’t do our regular monthly call!”
“Yes, very true. I’m glad you called,” I say. I stare at her bright jet black hair and blue eyes as she continues to talk. She looks genuinely happy. She used to be depressed and lonely. She’s completely different now. After a while, we stop talking and we are both completely silent.
“Ada, you do know that I am here for you if you ever need someone. I’ve been through it. I get it. You know what I’m talking about… the, um… cutting,” She whispers. If only she knew. I look away from the camera for a while and ignore what she said. She won’t believe me if I tell her the truth and doesn’t know anything about what I am going through. I change the subject and we continue talking for another good hour.
After I hang up on Vicky, I continue browsing on a search tab I pulled up from yesterday. There are images of razors, bloodied wrists, and suicidal quotes. These pictures are of people who willingly choose to scar themselves. I am jealous that they are able to spill their own blood with their consent. It is not fair. They are able to make that decision and I am not.
I shut down my computer at 10:00 PM and try my best to fall asleep. I lie on my bed, forcing my eyes to close. No matter what I do, I cannot coerce my brain to rest. I dreadfully admit to myself that I am going to be alone with my thoughts.
My family and friends believe that the slits on my wrist are the cause of depression. As if being a teenager influences this and that a possible reason for my scarred wrists is the death of my father. This is untrue on various levels. My mother has, on several accounts, attempted to see it happen in action, but she truly has no idea. It has never harmed my mother or my brother. And it has been this way for ten years.
No matter the circumstance, the cutting does not stop. It will not come until my mother or brother has left the room, it has found a way to harm me while sleeping over at friends’ houses without them knowing, it has destroyed cameras I placed in an attempt to record it in the past, it gets the job done right before my screams are heard, and it will cut me whether or not I am awake and aware. It ensures that there are no witnesses of these occurrences other than myself. The only person that knows about it from what I know, is me.
By 11:52 PM, my anxiety is becoming terrible. My heart is pounding loud enough for me to hear. I know what is coming. I know it is coming. At 12:00 AM, I pull my comforter over my head out of habit and my breathing becomes raspy and harsh. After what seems like an eternity, I slowly emerge from the covers and glance at the clock. It is only 12:05. I am now unable to move. It is not a physical binding that is stopping me from running. It is here. It is here. It is here. The door slowly creaks open. Ten rusty scythe-like fingers and a bloody face with black holes for eyes meets my gaze though the half-opened door. Sweat beads roll down my face and I close my eyes, awaiting the horror. I anticipate it. It is here. I open my eyes in relief to find that it is no longer in my room. I then hear Timothy scream.