I stare down at the bed, looking at all the shiny metal blades spread at my feet. I feel him behind me, leaning over my shoulder. He breathes in my ear, his breath smells like a mixture of blood, death, and rot. It almost makes me vomit.
“Come on, do it. You know you want to. It’s easy. All you have to do is grab one and slide it across your skin, it does the rest of the work.” He picks up one of the small extra sharp blades and hands it to me. “Come on.”
He hold my hand and guides it to my wrist, pressing it lightly against my skin. Then a quick jerk and my wrist opens up revealing the blood. It beads up quickly and drips down my arm. I wince a little and he smiles revealing his chipped and jagged teeth. they look like daggers in his mouth. He takes my arm and slowly licks up the blood then sucks on my cut until it stops bleeding.
“Your blood is so sweet and delicious.” He smiles and I see his daggers now covered in red. I give a fake smile back.
He pulls his hand away and I cut more, longer, deeper. It isn’t long before bed is stained. I stare at the new cuts, reveling in their beauty. The way the blood drips, the rivers it creates on my skin. It’s my favourite colour ever. The smell, I can’t even explain how happy it makes me. I’m always calmest when there’s a blade in my hand and cuts on my wrist.
I hear footsteps and quickly pull my covers over myself, and he escapes out my window. Mom opens the door.
“I just wanted to say that dinner is ready, if you want any.”
“Maybe later mom, I’m not hungry.” I give a little smile to try and brush her off.
“I’m just worried about you, you almost never eat anymore, you’ve gotten so skinny.” She looks down solemnly at the floor.
“I eat at school, I just have so much homework when I get home, I want to focus on that instead.” She knows that I don’t eat at school, but she accepts and closes my door again.
He comes back in. “That was close, she almost saw. You need to be more careful, maybe you should start locking your door,’ he says slinking around me.
“We both know she would only get more suspicious. Now why don’t you leave, I think it’s about time to clean up and get some dinner.” I push him away and start getting up but he throws me back down on the bed and stands over me.
“ No no no no, you can’t. If you start eating now then everyone will call you fat. Go ahead and just wait one more day, can you do that for me?”
I look up at him and sigh laying back down. “Yeah, I can wait one more day.”
He turns out the light immersing me in total darkness. He lays next to me in bed till I finally fall asleep.
I wake up to see him with a leer on his face. I slowly pick myself up out of bed and rub my eyes.
“What is it Toska?” I smell bacon and quickly get out of bed.
“No no no sweetheart.” He puts his hands on my shoulders and slowly lowers me back down so I’m sitting on the bed. “Think of all that fat and calories in that bacon. And the eggs? Forget about it. One more day I promise, then you can have breakfast. Just look at how skinny you’ve gotten, why would you want to give all of that away for 5 seconds of happiness.”
I look down at my thin legs and know that he is right.
“Let’s take your mind off of it, come on.” He hands me my phone and I put my headphones in. He puts Black Veil Brides, and I lay back down, getting lost in the world of my music. My stomach grumbles and I curl up in a ball to try and ease the pain. Toska turns up the music a little to try and drown it out a bit. I end up falling back asleep. I wake up around noon to the sound of my mother leaving for work.
“Come on, get up it’s time to do your workouts.” Toska pulls me up and leads me to my closet. I put on my sweats and go out into the 90° heat. I exercise for 2 hours like that. By the time I’m finished I can barely make it back inside the house. I down four glasses of ice water with lemon to keep my metabolism going.
“That’s already eight calories, be careful.” Toska scolds me.
I nod and make a cup of calorie free green tea to sip on while I watch TV.
“Good idea, distract yourself, keep your mind off those evil temptations of food.”
“Can’t I just have a little of something? Maybe just a salad?”
“No, you’re gonna cut up the lettuce but you’ll want some chicken, yes its a lean meat but next you’ll want dressing, and then croutons, and then what do we have?
I sigh. “A bowl of empty calories that’ll make me fat and sad.”
“Exactly, good girl.” He pats my head, and I give a weak smile.
“You’re always right.”
Too weak to make it back up the stairs, Toska picks me up and carries me to my room depositing me on my bed. He turns on my tv and I get lost in the world of fantasy, forgetting about the fact that I haven’t eaten in almost 4 days.
The next day I get up and get dressed brushing my hair, chunks begin falling out. I head downstairs where my mom is making breakfast. The smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes wafts through the air making my stomach grumble.
“Ah, ah, you know better. Just a plain piece of toast.”
We chant together “Gotta stay thin if I wanna fit in”
“And don’t forget your vitamins with a shot of lemon juice in tea to keep that metabolism up.”
I pop the bread in the toaster and make my tea.
“Don’t you want breakfast honey?” My mom taunts me by putting a plate of food in my face.
“Oh… no, my stomach isn’t feeling well, I don’t want to upset it anymore.” She mumbles under her breath as she places the plate on the counter. I take my pills and take the rest of breakfast for the walk to school.
Most of the time Toska has to drag me. As I walk through the halls I keep hearing poeple behind me whisper about me. This group of 5 popular girls made sure I could hear what they were saying.
“Oh my god, what is that god awful outfit. It’s way too dark for her skin tone, and besides she way too fat to pull it off anyway ew.”
“Eww, don’t look at her or you’ll catch ugly.” They all laugh.
“She’s so gross, I heard her throwing up in that bathroom, that’s disgusting, she sounded like a cat hacking up a furball.”
I’ve got to pretend like they aren’t getting to me. Can never let them see all the pain they cause, I’ll never give them that satisfaction. I look down at my wrists and pull my sleeves over my hands.
Third period I sit in my desk and try to focus on my work despite the hunger pains and everything everyone has been saying about me. The girl who sits behind me, Iliana, decides it would be fun to smash her desk into the back of mine. Over and over she slams her desk into my chair. The whole class laughs. A boy across the room crumples up his class work and throws it at my head.
“Whatcha gonna do emo? Gonna cry? Go to the bathroom and cut yourself? Waah I can’t deal with my emotions like a normal fucking human being. Waah wahh wahh pity me, I want attention so I cut myself. Boo hoo hoo.”
I close my eyes and try to block them out. The boy across the room starts throwing pencils because he ran out of paper. The tip of one hits dangerously close to my eye and blood begins to drip down the side of my face. Iliana laughs. I look up to see the teacher sitting at his desk reading a book, he looks up sees me and continues reading. Slowly I pack up my things and leave.
“Waah, I can’t take the things people say about me because I’m a little pussy emo bitch, wah wah wah!” Iliana taunts as I open the door. She, the boy, and a few other kids laugh.
I look over at the teacher and still he does nothing. I leave and head to the girls bathroom. I feel him looming over my shoulder again. He moves around to face me.
“What was it this time?”
“Iliana kept slamming her desk into mine, and some asshole threw paper at me.”
“Aww, forget them, you don’t need them, you have me, always and forever.”
I walk into the girls bathroom and sit down on one of the toilets, Toska stands in front of me and pulls out all of my blades.
“Here, use these, they help.”
I grab one of the big box cutter blades, he grabs a blade from a straight razor and together we hatch and slash chicken scratch into my thighs. The blood gushes from my legs dripping down the sides of my thighs and onto the floor. Drop after drop hits the blue tiles echoing through the bathroom. I hear the door open and people shuffle in. I don’t even bother to clean any of it up, at this point I don’t care if anybody sees. I want them to see what they have done.
“Oh my god, do you guys smell that?”
“Ew, yeah. It smells like blood.”
“I bet it’s Mira, she’s always got fresh cuts on her arms.
“That bitch is so gross, have you seen what she wears? Yikes.”
“And when was the last time she took a shower? My grandpa soils himself and he still smells better than her.”
The five of them laugh. I feel my tears drip off my chin and watch as they mix with the blood on my thighs turning it orange. I shove toilet paper into my cuts and pull up my pants. I burst out of the stall and make a run for the door, but one of the girls gets in my way.
“And where are you going emo bitch?” She shoves me back and I fall backwards onto the floor.
The girls gather around me in a circle. The leader is the first to kick me. Her foot hits me hard in my ribs knocking the wind out of me. They all take turns kicking me.
It must have been at least five minutes before the bathroom door opened again. I looked up to see who had come in but instead was greeted with a shoe in my face. My vision went blurry as blood trickled down from my forehead.
“That’s enough! Get off of her! GO back to class right now!’
I wipe the blood from my eyes and see a monitor pulling the girls off me. She picks me up by my shirt.
“Principal’s office right now!”
I follow her to the office and sit down in front of the principle. He hands me a tissue for the blood dripping down my face.
“So… Miss…. Black. How did you provoke these girls?”
“What are you talking about? I didn’t provoke them.”
“Are you sure?” He says in a contemptuous tone, while leaning ever so slightly forward and folding his hands on his desk, “why would they attack you if you didn’t do anything?”
“Um… because they are teenage bitches, they attacked me becasue they don’t like me.”
“Exactly, so what did you do to them?”
“I can’t believe this… are you actually saying that you believe I deserved this?”
“Well to be blunt, yes. I think you did something to anger these girls.”
“You want to know why they attacked me, you really want to know?!” I feel tears begin to well up in my eyes and my voice begins to crack a bit.
“Yes I would.”
I pull down my pants and show him my fresh cuts. Some of them reopened and have started bleeding again.
He gasps. “Young lady, pull up your pants this instant, that is very inappropriate.” he turns his head away.
“Yeah whatever, I’m leaving.” I pull up my pants and grab my bag. The principal says something as I am leaving, probably about how I can’t leave campus, but I don’t really pay attention. I just flip him off and keep on walking.
I decide that school is no longer worth my time and head out the front office. A couple of the ladies tried to tell me that I had to have a parent sign me out, but I didn’t even acknowledge them, Toska follows me. I walk down the busy street, cars rushing by me and the wind blowing through my hair.
I feel Toska put his hand on my shoulder. In a single instant he pushes me out in front of an on coming car. The force knocks the wind out of me and sends me flying. I lay there on the asphalt as I hear screams and voices all around me. Toska stands over me.
“Always and forever.” Then he transmutes into smoke and dissipates into the air around him. I feel my body give out and my eyes close for the last time.
A teenage girl, with a long history of suffering and depression has to deal with every day life. Nobody listens, and even fewer care. The only one who sticks by her side, is her friend Toska, but he isn't all that he seems. He promises to stay with her till the end, he promises to stay... always... and forever.