"What's that you're drawing on your arm?" Kendra asks as she sits down at the table next to you.
"Nothing," you mumble.
"It looks like a butterfly," she says and then wrinkles her nose. "A scary looking butterfly."
"It's not scary looking, it's just a butterfly." You reach for the red pen in your pencil case and for a second your fingers touches the paper knife that lies in there between all your other things. You really have to make an effort to not grab the knife and run out of the class room. To lock yourself in a bathroom stall and press the knife against the skin of your arm. You sigh as you take the red pen and start to draw again.
"A butterfly with razor blade wings," Kendra says. "That's scary to me. They even have blood on them."
"It's who I used to be."
"What?" Kendra asks confused.
"Nothing," you say instead of explaining to her how you – a 13 year-old girl – used to cut yourself. You don't expect her to understand anyway. You don't even truly understand turns back to her own things and leave you to continue on your drawing. When you're finished with the butterfly you write in green letter under it: 'Lucy's butterfly'.
*When I stopped cutting it was only because I could afford to, because the need for it had apparently run its natural course, like the fever the body mounts to fight off infection, that subsides when the danger is past*