“Just go, alright?”
Just go? How?
I can hardly take my eyes from her shivering shoulders. She expects me to leave just after something like this has happened. She really wants me to, but I know I can never bring myself to do something like that. She needs me now more than ever. I know she does. Her eyes show the same desperate peal for help, that I myself have possessed so many times.
“Victoria,” My voice isn’t as caring as I want it to be. It not nearly as soft or sympathetic as I can make it, but that’s not what she wants right now. She just wants me to leave. “Please, just-“ The words catch in my throat at the sight of her arm being pulled closer to her stomach. I can’t breath, I can’t think. This feeling is nothing compared to a hot knife stuck in my side.
She keeps her back turned to me as her eyes examine the many dust-collecting mementos she has gathered over the year. They lay sprawled out over a shelf, along with a few stacks of paper and dull pencils. Pictures hang along the walls of her room, slightly crooked to match the clutter of the floors. A screwdriver is lodged into the powder plaster underneath the blue paint, jutting out at an upward angle. The dust still falls from the fresh blemish on the wall, but I don’t dare move forward to remove the tool.
I take a step towards her.
More than anything else, I just want to understand where she is coming from. How destroyed do you have to be to fall apart like she has? She’s strong and breaking – such a dangerous combination.
If her words hold a form of stability, and she can convince me, I will leave, without a hesitation. But as she chokes out a shaken, “Go!” I’m convinced of something entirely different.
She is breaking.
And I am shattered again.
The world crumbles around me. Blue walls turn to dust and cluttered floors break away beneath my feet. The world is disappearing and suffocating me with the sensation of silence. Why? Why has this happened? Why is the scarlet so deep in vertical lines across her wrist? Why does her expression hold more pain than I ever wanted her to know existed? Why is this happening? I wanted to protect her from the demons that can grow in one’s mind.
I’m dying. That’s what is has to be. That is the reason the world has disappeared. This is a nightmare, so vivid it seems reality. My hand begins to shake much like her shoulders.
“Victoria. Please. I just want to help, I want to make sure you’re,” It’s painful to bring myself to speak the next word, but I do, “Okay.” I muster up the strength because this is something that I have to do. Not for myself, but for her. For that broken expression and bleeding arm, I need to make sure she’s going to be okay. I need to make sure. I need to. I need to.
I need to see her smile again so I can break free from this dream. It will save me from this black world of confusion. It will save me.
But she can’t.
Every bit of her expression screams that she is broken. The sheer fact that her arm is torn by her own choosing amplifies that. She isn’t breaking, she is broken. And I was too ignorant to even notice.
She whispers. Wrapping her arms around herself, she pulls the shame from her eyes and turns to me, “Go.”
I am convinced now.