Thick layers of dust cake the ceiling fan blades as they lazily sway in a circle, drifting wafts of congested air to breathe in. A poster faces the floor while the bottom half remains tacked to the baby blue colored wall. Vacant noodle cups next to brown bottles cover the floor along with mounds of dirty clothes. A heavy red curtain drapes over the two windows blocking out the sun light.
Savanna tightens the stale blankets around her thinning body and arches her feet near her body, stiffening into a fetal position. Her hair is oily and has been unwashed for days, her once beautiful eyes seem more like excavated sockets haunted by ediolons. She reaches across the incommodious mattress and clutches her phone from the night stand. A glow from the light briefly reveals a ladder of crooked scars across her wrist.
Clicking the power button, a single text reads: Haven’t heard from you, you good?
A hoarse whisper slithers from the dark, “Tell him you’re fine.”
She texts back FINE then drops her phone onto the bed. A tear begins to roll down her cheek as she sits up. Her ribs push out stretching her skin that feels too tightly wrapped around her bones. Under her loose fitting shirt she wore no pants, just a pair of mismatch socks. Pink, faded lines curve across her rail thin thighs. She wasn’t fine, so badly she wanted to scream and shout, for anyone to do something. Yet all she could do was bottle the sadness and anger, until it overflowed in short bursts of regretful, painful actions. She slides the drawer open on her night stand and grabs a pocket knife. Beneath the coat of old blood was a veil of rust. She places it across one wrist and applies a light amount of pressure.
“I can’t do it,” she says turning her head.
“Allow me to help you, dear,” the voice in the dark responds. Two icy arms slide beside her waist and under her arms, making their way up to her shaking hand. The texture of the skin resembles a mixture of a galaxy stirred into oil, the touch is uncomfortable to feel against. A clawed hand gently wraps around Savannas wrist and bends it backwards. The other hand takes control of the blade and presses it down, hard enough to cut and divide the tender flesh in half. It slides across as blood trickles down to the crease of her elbow.
She bites her lip whimpering, “I can’t keep doing this.”
A second cut glides, deeper this time. Pain bands around her wrist in a locket of fire; she’s never cut this deep before.
“It’s what we know, what we do. Accept this, allow it to course through you. They don’t understand you like I do.”
Savanna takes the knife and makes another swipe herself. Her eyes reddening with tears, she drops the weapon as her wrist locks up, fingers twist into a fist as blood drains down her arm and onto her shirt laying on the carpet.
The nails drape her hair back and a cold feeling is pressed against her shoulder. “Rest for now, we’ll try again later.”
Brushing it off, she jerks out of bed and picks up a dirty shirt off the ground, using it as a tourniquet for her forearm. Biting down onto one end of the knot she pulls back with her teeth. The blood slows down but the throbbing pain continues on.
“I don’t wanna keep doing this. It-it’s not fair that this is what I have to feel! What did I do to deserve this?”
The dark figure positions itself on its knees in the center of her bed before leaning forward. Smiling widely it exposes brilliant teeth to match the milk white eyes. Sinewy strands of hair fall down past the shoulders, drifting with each step it takes. Getting closer to Savanna, it stands upwards and slides one leg off the bed before making its stance in front of her.
Two hands land on the teenagers shoulders and begins to caress them. Those lifeless eyes look into hers, then it speaks. “Who understands you like I do? I’m here for you, and this is what takes the pain away, remember?”
Savanna nods her head, arguing wouldn’t help or change anything. If anything, she would be convinced to do more, or willingly do it herself; at this point, was she even being forced to anymore?
She closes her eyes and allows the being to wrap their cold arms around her in a comforting hug, her heart begins to pound and suddenly the idea of death feels more welcome and warm, than anything else.