Bryce

He was infuriated. More or so, he was angry at himself. He couldn't bring himself to calm down. Pacing calmly around his room, glancing to the floor once in a while, to look at the broken lamp, he overthought everything he could have done over the past 8 months to make her (along with himself) so upset. "I was nice to her, I never laid a hand on her, all my comments towards her mother were respectful, I never said one sideways word about her father, but where the hell did I go wrong?" He plopped down on their multi-coloured bedspread, almost glaring at the open bedroom door, along with the broken lamp he knocked off of the night stand. He felt like he was staring into the gateway to Hell and Satan was smiling coily at his face; Mocking him with a sweet smile. He leaned down, burying his head in his hands. A warm liquid filled his palms and it stung his eyes. He heaved heavily, his breaths pushing his chest out and pulling it in forcibly and quickly. He felt like he was about to fall out, but a jolt of energy kept him from doing so. He stood up too fast, but didn't get dizzy. He kicked the shards of broken glass out of the way and stormed out of his room.

The short walk from his bedroom to the attic stairs made him calm down and think. Juli was probably just menstrul, and he stuck with that conclusion. He smiled at the thought that nothing was wrong and he reached up to the chord to the entrance. He opened the attic hatch and climbed up the long staircase. Once he reached the top, he turned on the light. The dim orange light illuminated about half of the attic, but that was all that he needed. The three boxes in a perfect row lay nice, tidy, and straight and organised. He walked to the first box and bent down, a searing pain shooting up his leg as his pajama pants rubbed against a certain spot on his thigh. He rested his hand on the spot, and more pain came from it. He rubbed the spot gently, reminding himself that he should check it later. He placed his hands on the box, being sure not to bend the flaps as he gently opened it, revealing some crumpled up notes, a book, and a composition book. He pulled the composition book out and flipped to the page he was writing the night before.

Today is mine and Juli's 8 month-iversary, or as she calls it. I forgot to get her a present, but she was okay with it, I guess. So far, we've just sat inside and watched some of her favourite movies. Child's Play, Edward Scissorhands, and one called My Girl, which was actually really depressing. It made her cry and I had to hold her for a few minutes. I didn't mind though, I love holding her. It gives me a certain role of

That's where it ended. He wondered why he just stopped in the middleof a sentence. He figured he went off to watch another movie with Juli and that was that. But he noticed a little red patch on the paper where his hand must have been. Red or brown, one. He looked at it and deciphered it and decided it was too brown to be jelly from a piece of toast, but it wasn't sticky enough to be it either. The spot was driving him crazy. He wanted it gone. He rubbed at it with the tip of his finger, at first, but then started scratching at it. It wasn't going away. He became frustrated and dug his finger into the paper lightly, wanting the spot to be gone. The spot wasn't even fading. He dug his finger in deeper, making a face of pure concentration as he did so. The paper under his finger began to roll up into tiny slivers and a tiny hole appeared. He ripped the piece of paper out of the notebook angrily and tossed the note amongst the other crumpled up papers. He placed it in its own special place and pushed it down a little, so it wouldn't moved once placed. "Nothing is wrong," He muttered to himself. "I didn't do anything." He smiled in reassurance and closed the box back, making sure not to bend the flaps again and he placed it back in the same straight line it was before.

He wandered into the living room and turned the television on. He surfed through the channels and nothing seemed to spark his interest, except for a TV show called "The Twilight Zone." It was an episode that he'd seen before, but he appreciated it, it was one of his all-time favourites. It was an episode called "Where is Everybody?" and it was about a man and he's alone in an abandoned town. He knew how that man felt sometimes. Alone, scared, confused, not knowing what's going on. One minute, the inerts of his mind are bustling with thought about Juli, his sister Lynetta, and school, he could be happy, and everything is okay, but the next minute, something could happen and Lynetta would be crying, Juli would be mad at him and he would somehow be behind in school. He wasn't even sure that something was wrong with him at times. All he knew was in that moment, he was fine, he had nothing to worry about, and pretty soon, Juli would come back and explain all this to him.

Juli

She wandered into her bathroom, wanting to cry. He held her sides and closed the door behind her. She locked it and backed up against the door. She slid down it slowly and once her bottom hit the floor, she propped her hands on her knees. She rested her head on the back of the door and placed her palms on her eyes. Her tears streamed from her eyes like two mini water taps. A feeling like she was going to be sick engulfed her. She heaved and her back made her collapse onto the door heavily. She looked at her arm, the gash was just beginning to heal. She ran her finger over it and winced. "My Bryce did that..." Remembering how he did it. So angrily. So lazily. So... Unlike himself. She didn't even know what triggered him, either. One minute, they were eating a nice dinner in Juli's empty home. Bryce was happy and all smiles, he snuck a few kisses onto her cheek, even. The next minute, Bryce looked weird. Like he didn't know where he was, what he was doing, who he was or who he was with. He threw his fork across the room and it hit just above the microwave, leaving a spaghetti sauce splatter on the wall. He picked up the knife that he was using and he started slashing. Once, he hit her arm and left a gash. The rest of the slashes were made onto him and they were so sloppy, it was like it wasn't even Bryce. He slashed his cheek, his arm, and his leg. He didn't care, though, he kept slashing until he dropped the knife unexpectedly. He passed out then. She wanted to think that she was dreaming, that she was having some sort of twisted thought and it would end after Bryce passed out, but no. She woke the next day and the gash made her sick.

After about an hour, she wandered out of the bathroom and into her empty house. She slowly wandered throughout the house, into the living room, and into the kitchen. At first, she only glanced in. Anxiety was engulfing her, just looking at the still askew chairs, the messed up table cloth, and the awkwardly placed dinner plates, lazily piled high in the sink. She galnced up at the spaghetti stain on the wall and cringed, remembering the clang the fork made when it hit the wall. A single tear slid down her face when she saw the knife on the floor. She bent down slowly and gently picked it up gingerly, handling the handle with the utmost gentleness. She placed it into the sink and with a clang, it hit the lazily stacked dishes. She winced at the sound and she jerked her hand back.

She sat down in the seat Bryce previously sat in and she looked around the dimly lit room. The laughs had, the jokes made, the kiss still burning on her cheek. She clenched her hands together and she rested her head on them. She began to think of everything she might have did wrong. "Maybe he didn't want to watch the stupid Disney movies? Maybe he didn't want to eat spaghetti? Or maybe it was because of my not noticing that he was wearing my favourite shirt..." She honestly felt empty. She regretted having dated Bryce for so long. She regretted having him for a first kiss. And lastly, she regretted saying she loved him. She heard a knock on the door at that moment, a sound at which she jumped at.

Both

Bryce stood eagerly at the door. He wanted to apologise for what he did, whatever the hell it was. Juli slowly opened the door and peered outside. When Bryce's face peered back at her, she choked back a million tears. "Hi Bryce." Her voice cracked. He stepped forward into her house. "Juli, I would like to-" She jerked away from him and stepped a few steps back. She stared at him in awe, unbelieving that he didn't know what happened. "I don't want to be around you right now, Bryce." She hook her head, shock dousing her being. "But, Juli... I don't remember what happened..." He looked down. "Bryce, I think you need help." Juli turned her back to walk away, but she felt a hand on her shoulder. She whirled around and made a windmill movement with her arm. Her hand ended up in Bryce's hand, just like how they'd met. Bryce looked at her, eyes tired and glazed over. Juli jerked her hand out of his angrily. "There's nothing to say. You hurt me last night, don't act like you don't remember." Bryce's eyes fell onto the gash on her arm, and he moved towards her. "Juli..." He pointed at the mark on her arm. She showed it to him, "Yeah, Bryce. You did that. Stop acting dumb. YOU did this. YOU did."

Bryce didn't know what to think. He brushed his cheek and he felt the gash on his cheek. He darted into Juli's bathroom, despite her constant protests for him to get out of the house. He looked himself over, looking at the gash on the upper part of his muscly arm. And lastly, the stinging he felt earlier had returned. Except, it was magnified and way worse. He winced and sat down on the ground, putting his back up againt the tub. He pulled up the leg of his basketball shorts. He saw a big and deep gash with dried blood all around it. He gasped at the sight of it, and a distraught Juli filled the doorway. "Now you see why I don't want to be around you. You could lash out at me again." She walked away and slammed the door to her room. Bryce followed her and knocked lightly. "Juli, I honestly don't remember, and I'm grateful that you're telling me all of this. I don't want us to be done, either. I just... I don't know what happened in order for me to do that to you. I got more damage than you, but one cut is the equivalent to 50 knives, in my opinion. Growing up, I could never hurt a girl and you know that from experience." He waited for a few seconds. He knew Juli was sitting up against her door, so he slid down and sat on the floor with her. "Please don't be mad, Juli. I... I didn't mean it." His apology was sincere, but Juli wasn't buying it. She sat in silence listening to Bryce sob and after a few seconds, she heard him get up and make his way to the door. She opened the door and walked to him. "Bryce." He turned around. "I'll help you out, if it kills me."