Scars

Rebecca One lies in her bed. She can hear her sister's soft, steady breathing. The girl is sleeping peacefully in the bunk below her... normally it's a comforting sound, a soothing one. Normally, it reminds her that she's not alone, reminds her that at least someone understands... but not tonight. Tonight it's making things worse; each breath is like salt in her imaginary wounds. You lied to her, they seem to say. You lied and you're lying again...

She files her nails, doing her best to forget the events of the past few weeks. She remembers the advice she had googled on coping with a broken heart... The stupid, pointless websites had offered all kinds of advice... but none of it seemed to work. This isn't the worst hurt you've felt... remember when he shot you. This isn't the worst... People suffer every day. You're not the only one. You're not.

She's repeating it over and over in her head... But it's not helping.

This is worse, she thinks. This is worse than when Will shot me.

The miserable yet reassuring words she'd repeated to herself mere moments ago are all but forgotten now. She looks down at her newly filed nails, each one filed to a sharp end. She wonders if she was filing them like that on purpose; or maybe it was just an accident? She runs one finger down her forearm, slowly and forcefully. And the slight pain makes her forget... forget about her. Forget about what they were, forget about what they could have been... she closes her eyes, adding the rest of her fingers, bringing them down harder, faster. It hurts like hell. But it's so much easier than remembering... easier than remembering them, easier than remembering her...

No. Forget.

She mirrors her actions on the other arm. Her arms sting, and she feels blood spring to the surface of her pale skin. It's all that's on her mind. Pain, heat, stinging, all over her arms... it's the only thing she's processing, the only thing she can. Every few seconds, she stops. It's all she can do. She places her cool hand over the burning scratches, reliving the agony for an instant.

She can't remember... It's incredible.

Until the throbbing stops. Until she remembers. Remembers them, remembers the submarine, remembers her.

So she starts again.

She doesn't stop, not until the last of her energy is spent. Until all she can think of is her arms, and hell, it hurts... In the dim light she can see the scars everywhere, a few drops of blood along the worst of them. She can feel the blood pounding through her arms... it's a strange sensation, one that calms her in a strange way. She drifts off to sleep, thinking partly of Elliott, partly of her dead father, and partly of her throbbing arms.

She wakes to the sound of her sister's alarm the next morning, and her first thought is the same as it has been for the past six weeks.

Elliott. God, she's so incredible!

You stupid, stupid fool. To think she could ever fall for you.

She's come to love those few seconds in the early morning; when she's too tired to think about the truth... before she remembers.

She recalls her foolish actions the night before, glancing down at her wrists. Only a few scratches remain, the few places where she actually drew blood... hardly noticeable.

She brushes it off. It was just a one night thing... she swears it. She'll never do it ever again. It's stupid and selfish and dangerous.

And then she remembers.

Idiot.

Idiot, idiot, idiot.

The only pain she feels is the pain in her heart... it's unbearable. It's like she's burning inside.

She glances down at her wrists again. It's hardly as if anyone will notice... right?

They're hardly visible... she recalls the freedom, the pain of the night before. The way that just for a while, she could forget.

Would it really that bad?

No one will notice. She's sure of it. The scratches had faded.

And what you can't see can't hurt you... right?