(AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: I do not self-harm. I made one tiny cut on my arm last year, but it got infected and I never went back to it. Don't worry, guys. I am sad a lot of the time, and I might have an anxiety disorder, but I am nowhere near as extreme as Twyla is.)
No, Twyla. You promised yourself you'd stop. Twyla Robertson scolded herself as she took the broken glass and made a quick, smooth motion on her upper arm, around the place that her seventeen-year-old brother would normally flex. She winced a little bit at the pain but felt some strange kind of relief as the blood flowed from the small wound.
The new scar joining the many others along her arms and legs would fit right in as soon as it stopped bleeding. People would often ask her why she did it. The truth was, it made her feel alive.
Twyla had been bullied mercilessly since kindergarten about anything imaginable. As she began secondary school in seventh grade, it only got worse. She began to feel so . . . dead inside. In eighth grade, she began to be so desperate for some reminder that she was alive. She stumbled off her bike and scraped her knee. She'd been startled by the pain, and then by the blood.
That was when she knew she wasn't just a ghost.
Within a week, however, the dead feeling came back. So she deliberately began to self-harm. It brought the weirdest relief to her, the weirdest ever. But it worked. She became more than just the ghost girl. She became the ghost girl that was still alive but needed pain and blood to see it. If pain was the only emotion she could feel, so be it.
And pain was the only emotion she felt most of the time. Pain from the cuts. The dull ache in her heart whenever anybody called her a whore, a slut (even though she was still a virgin!), or the many other names that she dared not even think.
The only time she ever felt happy or content was when she was reading, or watching YouTube, or on the Internet. The characters she saw just looked so fun, so happy.
She wanted to be with them. She wanted to join them.
And now, July 21st, on the eve of her fourteenth birthday as she sat in her bedroom in northern Michigan, watching the blood pour out of the cut she had just created, she looked out the window to the clear night, the starts twinkling far overhead . . . the same stars her mother had watched when she was born, the stars that had given her the name of Twyla Starfire Midnight Robertson. The stars that had watched her mother die as she named her then-newborn daughter with her last breath. Watching the stars wink at her as if they were saying "We'll always be here," Twyla uttered something she hadn't even thought since she was six years old and an innocent babe.
"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight . . ."
She took a deep, shaky breath, close to tears.
"Wish I may, wish I might, grant the wish I wish tonight . . ."
She was thoroughly ashamed of herself. Wishing on stars was for babies . . . and crazy people. Well, I do fall under one category or the other.
"Do you remember me? I'm Twyla Starfire Midnight Robertson. Yeah, I know, long and weird name. Last time I did this I was probably in like first grade." she took a deep breath. "Anyway, let's cut down to the chase. I don't want to be here anywhere, I don't want to be in this world anymore." she swallowed the tears that were threatening to fall. "I hate it here. I hate the people that make fun of me for no good reason and I hate my jerkwad big brother and I hate my dad for never being around." a silent tear fell and she quietly wiped it away, taking a moment to compose herself again before making her wish, "I wish I could be in a world where I can be with my mom and all the characters I like."
When nothing happened, she just curled up in her blankets like a little homeless lady. That was stupid. was her last thought before she began to cry, the tears only ceasing when she drifted into the bliss of sleep.