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Dark Night II (Part One)
The first time that I cut myself, it had been with my friend Elizabeth. I had accidentally walked in on her when Elizabeth had been cutting herself. She was sitting on a small stool in the janitor’s closet. When I walked, I had been frozen by the sight in front of me. Elizabeth was bent over a yellow bucket. A knife was in her left hand, and her right hand and forearm were covered in a sheet of red blood.
“Elizabeth!” I said, just barely below a shout. “What are you doing?”
Elizabeth looked up at me. “Isn’t it obvious?” She said. Her long, straight blond hair masked most of her face, and I realized that some of it was in the bucket. “I’m cutting my arm.”
I shut the door of the janitor’s closet and took two steps to go to Elizabeth’s side. I crouched down beside her. There was a dim, naked light bulb hung from the ceiling above us. In it’s faint light, I could see Elizabeth move her hand, and the bloody knife in it, to her right arm.
“Stop!” I reached out and and grabbed Elizabeth’s wrist.
Elizabeth stared at my face. “It’s the only thing that makes me feel better.” She told me.
“How long have you done this?” I asked, horrified. Elizabeth stood up and walked over to the small sink. She turned the water on and stuck her right arm underneath the stream. “Agghh.” She said, hissing through her teeth slightly. “Can you roll up my left sleeve?”
I nodded and stepped over to Elizabeth’s side. I carefully rolled up her thin, long-sleeved shirt, and gasped. Several dozen long, thin, pink lines covered her whole arm. Elizabeth pulled her other arm out from under the running water and held them both out for me to see. Her right arm had just as many lines, several of which were an angry red color and one the had blood welling up out of it. I grabbed her right arm and put it back under running water. Elizabeth gasped again.
“Stay here.’ I told her. I gripped Elizabeth’s left wrist and the knife dropped out of it. I pick it up. It was over six inches long, and it looked like a chef’s knife. “Elizabeth, please stay here.” I told, a begging tone entering my voice. “I’m going to go get some bandages.”
“No.” Elizabeth said. “I can leave if I want.”
“Do you want people to know that you do this?” I asked.
“I don’t care.” Elizabeth said.
“Yes, you do.” I told her firmly. “If you didn’t care, then you wouldn’t wear a long-sleeved shirt every day of the year.”
Elizabeth flinched, and I knew that I had won the argument. “I’ll wait.” She said softly, her gaze dropping from mine.
“Thank you.” I said. Then I left the closet and headed for the nurse’s office.
The door to nurse’s office opened just as I was knocking, and I accidently struck the person coming out with my fist. “Ahhh!” The girl staggered back.
“Gabrielle!” I said. Gabrielle Vince is one of the cutest girl that I have ever met. She has long, thick, dark brown hair and hazel eyes that always look like they can light up a room. “Are you okay?”
Gabrielle removed her hand from where it was covering her nose, and I saw a trickle of blood. “I’ve seen too much blood today.” I muttered to myself.
“What?” Gabrielle asked.
“Nothing.” I said. “I just came to get some bandages.” Then I noticed that Gabrielle’s left arm was in a sling. “What happened?” I asked her.
“I fell out of a tree.” She said. Gabrielle turned and walked back into the nurse’s office. “Coming?” She said over her shoulder. I walked in after her as the bell rang, and kids started to go into classrooms.
The nurse’s office is a small room with a desk, two chairs, and a long metal bed. The desk had a computer and was covered in paper. The nurse is a young woman whose name is Karen Hassleberry. She is also my mother.
“Gabrielle, didn’t I just fix you up?” She asked. My mother has short black hair and the same gray eyes that I have.
“Your son decided to hit me in the face.” Gabrielle said.
“Nick!” Mom yelled.
I opened my mouth, but Gabrielle answered faster. “It was just an accident. I opened the door at the same time Nick knocked.”
Mom pursed her lips. “What do you need, Nick?”
“Why?” Mom asked.
“One of my friends hurt themselves.” I said.
“Why doesn’t your friend just come here?” Mom asked.
“She’s............um..” My voice trailed off as I tried to think of an acceptable excuse.
Mom sighed. “I guess you’ll tell me when you’re ready. She reached into a cabinet under her desk and tossed me some gauze and medical tape. “Will this work?” She asked me. I nodded. When I turned to leave, my mother called my name. “Nick.” I turned. “Please tell your friend to come here next time.” I nodded and started to leave again, then turned for a second time. “I need two hall passes.” I said. “One for me and one for my friend.”
Mom sighed and nodded. She reached into a drawer and handed them to me. “Get going before you’re any later for class.” I nodded and left the office as fast as I could without running.
I reached the janitor’s closet about five minutes later and opened it. Elizabeth was sitting on the stool, her cut arm on her lap. “I’m back.” Elizabeth nodded dully. I crouched down by her side. “Elizabeth, are you okay?” I asked her gently. She nodded, then shook her head. “I don’t know.” She whispered. Tears began to form in her eyes. “This always happens to me. I feel an urge, the need to cut, but I always regret it afterwards.” The tears began to fall from her eyes. Elizabeth’s whole body began to shake with sobs.
“Elizabeth.....” I felt completely useless. I had no idea what to do. “Why do you keep doing this?”
“Because of the way that I feel. It feels like everything that is wrong with me and my life just washes out with the blood. But when the blood is gone.....” Elizabeth’s sobs over came her voice, and I acted on instinct. I reached out and wrapped my arms around Elizabeth’s shoulders. She leaned against me, sobbing. I held Elizabeth close, my eyes closed. I did not need to ask Elizabeth when she had started to cut, because I already had a good idea of when she had started. Two months from that day in the closet, when Elizabeth started to drift away from me.
I stared at the knife that I had left in the closet. ‘Everything that is wrong with me and my life just washes out with the blood.’ I thought about my warped, twisted life. Before I had even realized what I was doing or had done, the knife was in my hand and had slid down my left arm, opening a thin line and mingling my blood with Elizabeth’s.
That was six months before I wrote this down. Now, I’ll take you to three months before I’m writing this down.