Today I am thinking about death.
As I walk out of a house that threatens to squash me flat, the monster whispers dark thing in my ears. The cool, dark morning embraces me, and I think about the vulnerability of my skinny wrists. I think about my pale, blue-veined wrists every time I pull out a knife to spread PB&J on my sandwich. I think about splitting my pale skin open in a chasm of red every time I unveil the sharp silver of my razor blade. And now, walking down the street and blinded by headlights, I am thinking about a vehicular death rather than a silver-stained death. It would be so easy to throw myself under the crushing wheels of the approaching truck. The thought brands my mind in glowing letters. I keep walking. The attempt probably wouldn’t kill me anyway. I pull my hoodie up over my head as I approach the bus stop. It makes me feel better somehow.
The other kids that go to this stop trickle onto the concrete driveway. I can feel curious eyes poking at the fabric of my hood, then sliding away onto glowing phones. The low growl of the bus engine provokes me to move off of the driveway and greet the yellow monster’s approach. It pulls up in front of me with a screech. Aaron shoves his way to the front of the line, and I squeeze in behind him. A shout attacks me as I climb on.
“Miranda! What’s up with the hood?”
I glance at her, shrug, and sit, pulling my earbuds out of my bag. I plug the buds into my phone, insert them into my ears, and open up my music. Not long after I click on Breaking Benjamin’s “Diary of Jane”, my phone buzzes as Liz replies to the “Good morning” text that I had sent earlier. We text back and forth until the bus pulls in in front of the school and it’s time to go in. I yank off my hood, smooth my hair, and walk into social hell.
As soon as I reach my first period class, all I want is for AEP to start. Whoever thought up the forty-five minute Academic Enrichment Period is brilliant. I spend my AEP’s in my Graphic Design class, bringing my ideas to life on the computer screen. At the beginning of the year, I obtained an everyday AEP pass from Mrs. Boine so that I could come every morning without worrying about stopping by before the first bell.
My first period class is Advanced English. I like English, but today, like most days, all I want to do is disappear into my art. Mrs. Wolfe yaps on about projects that we have to do on the mysterious meaning of life. The rest of the time ticks by with discussions of Thoreau filling my head. I sign myself out five minutes early in my eagerness to leave. Finally, the bell’s electronic drone fills the halls, and I dart out the door.
I am the creator. A normal eye, made strange only by a bright orange iris, suddenly bursts into flames. A teenage girl has feathered black wings growing from the raven tattoo on her back. I can bring my dreams to life on the computer screen. All it takes is a few clicks and swipes of the mouse. But I cannot sit and create forever.