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She put the cover lid down and sat on the toilet for a few minutes. Bathrooms were the worst place to find yourself alone in when on the verge of a breakdown… exit stairs on the other hand – a very handy place in the ‘Pit of Death’ to escape to when you need to have a quick panic attack. But bathrooms came equipped.

Especially the one at home, and all she needed was access to that small, locked room with tissue and sharp objects intended for hygiene day.

She opened the little cupboard sitting on the floor in front of her. It didn’t fit there; many bruises had graced her frame over the past year due to its sharp corners. The legs broke off mid-move, so it no longer fit as it should have, over and behind the commode and out-of-the-way in the tiny bathroom. But she really didn’t mind the occasional sharp graze to the hip when rushing in and out of the door that never closed. This time though, she removed the brightly colored kimono from the back of the door and forced the door shut, turning the lock securely.

As she absent-mindedly looked through the small cupboard, she came across an old razor she’d hidden in there when friends were visiting and she needed to powder her nose in the privacy of a locked room. Tiny flecks of white still lined the edge of the blade. Perhaps it will make it feel that much better, she thought. She previously hadn’t thought it possible to really hate something she was addicted to. Unlike with drugs and alcohol, where the act itself and especially the lies, are all in good fun, she hated this act, hated making up excuses for people who didn’t honestly care in the first place, but most of all she hated the craving. It was strong. But thankfully it’s the kind of addiction you don’t have to indulge in everyday. A couple of times a week, sometimes less frequently, is the perfect dosage to satisfy without depletion. She learned early on there is no such thing as real pain relievers, there are only pain distracters. And even then, most of them only distract for a short, short period of time. This was one of those short but sweet distracters. In reality it hurt very much, but it was the only pain she could stand to feel.

Taking out your frustrations on others never helps. Taking them out on the ceiling of your apartment with a baseball bat really didn’t help much either, except to leave little patches of missing stucco – tiny reminders that if she hit it again and any harder it would make a destructive hole and the deposit would go down the drain. So she learned soon enough to take her endless frustrations out on herself. The scars from the car accident were decent reminders to always buckle up for safety and to stop wasting time with people who don’t matter. These new scars would not only give her head a rush, but they would also become carefully placed reminders of the choices she made and the torment she locked away.

The loss of blood was insignificant, as long as it didn’t slide off her skin to stain the grout between the tiles… A few weeks previous, a bottle of bright red nail polish fell off the window sill and shattered, staining both wall and grout. It looked somehow more obscene than blood would have, brighter and seemingly more real. She guessed to herself that the deposit would probably be lost to cleaning anyhow. Fuck it- add it to the list. A tear slipped down her cheek and landed on her forearm. It trickled around the curve of her muscle, mingling with the drops of blood that kept resurfacing despite feeble attempts to blot them away. Her migraine slowly eased. The blood must have started to leave its favorite pulsing place behind her eyes to run down her arm… stealing silently away with her tears, to a kind of freedom from this hell.

Profile photo of Matilda Beaumont

Matilda Beaumont

Exploring humanity through poetry and short scenes

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