A Stranger to Myself

"I feel like I don't even know myself. And if I don't know myself, how can anyone else ever know me?" Autumn has always felt alone, like an outcast. But when a girl comes into her life and reveals things about Autumn she never would have known otherwise, can Autumn learn to accept her differences she's so used to hating?


11. Alone With A Stranger

I thought things would be different after that, I thought that things would be better, easier. But that wasn't the case. Everything got more complicated. Everything was different. And I wasn't sure if it was in good or bad way. 


After I kissed Carmen back, she pulled away from me, her expression unreadable, before leaving my room without another word. And if anything I just felt worse than I had before. I felt like I had ruined something unintentionally. I felt like she would never talk to me again. Things weren't going to be the same, not ever. 


Even after everything Carmen had done for me, even after all the things she had tried to do, even after she had stuck by my side and been so sweet and helpful, I still felt like I was living inside the body of a complete stranger. Right when I was thinking I was starting to discover what I truly was like, right when I was thinking I could start to be an interesting, genuine person, Carmen left. Just walked right out of the room. And I felt so alone. 


Alone with a stranger. 


She didn't follow me through the halls anymore. She didn't come over to my house uninvited after school. She didn't arrive when I was at my worst to comfort me or just to be there. She didn't even take the bus anymore, she either walked or got a ride. She was starting to act as if I didn't exist. And it was making me really start to believe that was true. It even made me start wishing that it was true. 


She had kept me grounded. She held me to the Earth even when I so wanted to just let go and leave it all behind me. Now she was gone. What was I supposed to do? I felt so lost and abandoned and hopeless. 


When she had shouted at me that day, when she had told me how my self-harming made her feel, I had subconsciously made a decision never to do it again. But then she had taken herself entirely out of my life. She left me. And I needed an outlet. And the blade was still in my room, she hadn't taken it. So I still used it. 


It was different though. The cuts were deeper. Wider. Because I didn't feel any sort of reason to remain alive. Not without her. Somehow the bleeding always managed to stop, though it took a good few hours and it left me feeling very lightheaded. My father or sister never noticed any of it. They didn't notice how empty and emotionless I was when I walked around the house and they didn't notice my lack of contact with them. They didn't care. They wouldn't care if I was gone. 


And apparently neither would Carmen. 


I just wanted to talk to her one more time. Ask her what I had done wrong. Try to rectify it. Anything to get her back into my life. Anything at all. But she avoided me. Very effectively, I might add. I never even got into a range where if I shouted she would be able to hear. In class she didn't look at me anymore. It was like I wasn't there. Like I didn't exist. Maybe I should make it so I truly didn't exist. Maybe that would just make it easier on everyone else.



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