A/N: There's only a few stories in this category, and I'm not sure if anyone will read this, let alone review it, but I thought I'd post it anyway. If you do read it, feedback would be appreciated. :)
Disclaimer: Handle With Care and all related characters etc belong to Jodi Picoult; I make no profit whatsoever, unless you count reviews.
To be honest, I can't remember back to a time when I could look down at my arms and my thighs and not see the scars - those ever-present reminders of what I've done; the person I've become. Well, I can remember, just not very well. The images are faded, as though they belong to someone else's life. In a way I suppose they do. They belong to a younger Amelia O'Keefe, the one who had friends, family and you know, any sort of life to speak of. I envy that girl for what she had, and I wonder if I'll ever get her back...
At that time a year ago - has it really been that long? - I knew who I was, as much as any twelve year old could. Now if you asked me, the best I could give you was that I was the result of millions and millions of atoms buzzing around, so small and fast that they bunched together and made me. Or perhaps that I was the DNA of Charlotte O'Keefe spliced with that of some guy I've never met, and don't care to meet.
But what does that tell you, really? Strings of science, letters and numbers that will give you say, my physical appearance, coupled with the probability of passing my revolting looks onto kids, or whether I could even have kids. But people are so much more than that - they are memories and stories and joy and despair; so much that it can't be put into words. Amelia O'Keefe is so much more than that. Or she was, once upon a time. I say she because although biologically we are one and the same, there is miles seperating us, and I don't mean in terms of physical distance.
I can't understand Willow most of the time, simply because we're so different. How is it that some people can take a bad situation and make a good one out of nothing, and others can take a great one and feel utterly hopeless, to the point where pain is the only relief? To put it in layman's terms, she sees the glass half full, whereas for me it's always half empty.
The first time I cut, I went up to my bedroom and cried for hours (into my pillow of course, so Wiki couldn't hear). It felt as though the world had stopped spinning. I knew it hadn't, obviously, but some tiny part of me believed, or maybe hoped that something would change because of what I'd done. It didn't take me long to realise that the world doesn't work like that. It is not kind, it does not twist itself just to suit a single persons needs. It is relentless in the fact that it, that daily life just never stops.
I wonder how long it will be before I can look at a knife or a pair of scissors, or even a paper clip, and not immediately think: weapon. Maybe it'll be three months, if I can ever break this cycle of vomiting and then hurting. Maybe it'll be three years. Maybe it'll be never. Perhaps you can put a stop to an addiction like this, but the urge doesn't really go away. How can it? The solution to anything is right there, inviting you in - don't you want to feel something other than this?
Words and expressions and feeling march around my head in an impossible mantra. I can hear Emma and her cronies: Gold digger, gold digger!
I can hear Willow: "You can't come Amelia, it's for people like me."
And then Adam: "I was just thinking about you." How dare he use those words, that filled me with such a rush of warmth it was embarrassing, and made me feel as though I were flying? And then he dumped me, and I came back to reality with a thud. I didn't have wings. I couldn't fly. I was just fat, friendless Amelia O'Keefe who wasn't even good enough for a kid with OI.
I can hear my parents:..... Or I guess I should say I can hear the silence of them not giving a damn about their eldest daughter.
The cycle gets faster and faster until it is all I can hear, all I can see, all I can think. It's late, I have to get to sleep, but sleep is impossible when I am feeling like this. It is as though I have lost all hope. I am walking through fog. Where do I go, which way do I turn?
This has to stop, and there's only one way I know how. I didn't eat enough at dinner, so puking is not an option. I reach out, blind in the dark that is lit only by the numbers on my digital alarm clock, and find my pencil case. I open it carefully, watching Willow to make sure she doesn't hear. Out come the scissors. Arm or thigh? Thigh, I decide. I draw the scissors across the skin, and bright red beads of blood rise to the surface. I sigh. The voices recede. I can sleep now.
I scare myself sometimes, you know. I have a family, food to eat, a roof over my head, I get good grades, so why do I have to make everything worse than it is? I have no reason to do this to myself. I am stupid, plain and simple. I've tried blaming my mother, and then I'll see parts of me in her and parts of her in me, and I'll think; if I blame her, then technically I'm blaming me too. But why can't I do both?
Despite what I said before, I think there is one clear similarity between Willow and me: she was born broken, and so was I.