The Neighborhood

Let me tell you a little secret, can you keep it?
I'm Quinn. I'm 17 years old living in a small neighborhood with my tiny family. Our neighborhood is kind of scary. There's drug abuse around every corner, no police in the neighborhood. They have to drive miles after miles to get here. But no one does that anymore, they've given up hope for us. But one thing is more important than that: I haven't given up hope ... yet.

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3. She never cared

She never seemed to care, my mother.

She never raised her hand for a question for me to answer. She never seemed to care about what I thought. What felt. And what did I do? Well, I never said a word against her. Never said anything that could hurt her, betray her or disappoint her.

But it is hard. Hard not to stand up for justice. Cause I've always been in for justice. But apparently I have that from my real father, not from my mother. If it would have been my mother, she'd never treat me like this.

I had all these thoughts while I was walking my way to school. Another day, even though I had my long sleeves tugged in my hands, to keep myself from the cold. My legs were stiff, and I could barely walk because of the stomach pain.

I told my mother this morning. About the pain I had in my stomach. But no, she did not listen as usual. I think I have been home from school once or twice in these years of school. But like I said before, she did not listen.

"Hey, Quinn!"

I smiled. It was Toby. My good friend, who probably was the one and only I could trust, when it came to anything at all.

"Toby!" I was laughing out loud at this point, because it was such a long time since I saw his face, just himself in general.

He came running towards me with his school bag over his one shoulder, struggling to hold onto it so it wouldn't fall to the ground.

He nearly picked me up in his arms, and I happily swung my arms around his narrow body and hugged him tight. I never saw him as anything else than a brother of mine, even though he clearly had some other feelings for me. But I did not care to think about this just yet.

"Long time no see!" I said, still with a laugh on my face. He placed me down on the ground again, so that I could stand by myself, still with my arms around him, hugging him tightly. He let go of me before it would turn to an awkward situation. 

I let go too, not wanting anything to be weird between us.

"Yeah," he said slowly, still with his crooked smile and with his deep blue eyes on me. I have been missing him so much.

"Shall we?" He swung his one arm in one direction towards the school, while he put his school bag over both of his shoulders and looked at me. I gave him a small nod.

Later on that day with plenty of laughter, smiles and teasing, I went home with the bus. My mother or her husband never cared to pick me up nor drive me to school, even though they actually had the time. But so what, I did not care. Thus more time away from them, thus better.

When I got home, no one was at home. So I took the chance, glanced around, before I quickly got to my room and swung my school bag over onto my rather small bed. And as an average teenager I sat down with my laptop, my dearest laptop.

I sat down on the chair and turned on the laptop. The background of the laptop was special, that's why I never let anyone loan my laptop, ever. Sheila and I were on the background screen. That night when we first kissed, it was that night my mother's husband took the picture.

I stared at the picture, not knowing what to do. Here I sit again, staring at my background screen, shaking and touching my lower lip. I missed her. I missed the taste, sweet sense of her. I missed her voice, her hair, her face ... everything about her.

Before I knew I shed a tear.

I closed the laptop; I didn't know what to do. But  on the other side I knew exactly what to do:

before I knew I had taken out a new blade from a pencil sharpener I bought a couple of days ago for school. I was on the bathroom floor, tearing myself wide open. Painting on the canvas that was my skin.

Red paint on my skin. The blood. Flowing beautifully, yet so terrifying.

I cried.

I didn't know what to do.

Every time I sliced my arms up, it felt just right,

but now ...

I threw the blade away, still shaking. I covered my scarred arm in a towel. The blood was dripping from my arm.

Even though I were crying, I felt calm. This is what happens when you harm yourself like I do. You get addicted to it.

"Please," I whispered, and uncovered the arm with the towel, looking down at my arm. I needed stitches. But I couldn't do it, cause then my mother would know. Everyone would know.

"Please," I whispered again.

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