a/n: Hey loves! Kay, so this one is kind of… deep. Like it's a little dark? I'm not really sure how to splay out a warning for this, but it may be triggering I guess? Basically, I was inspired by a real life situation (not my life) and after I read the girl's story, this is something I really wanted to write. This kind of serves as a little something from for Suicide Awareness Week (still got 'love' on my wrist), but it also goes out to anyone who's ever self-harmed, or wanted to kill themselves… this is my way of reminding you that someone cares. Even if you think no one does, remember I do, and I'm here to talk if you need it, and I love you :)
I was exhausted. And not the usual "didn't get enough sleep" kind of exhausted, I was just so tired of everything. Tired of being picked on, tired of hurting, tired of crying…
Tired of living.
Honestly, if tonight wasn't the night I'd end it all, I don't know how I'd end up seeing the end of this week. It was only Wednesday, and already, everything felt like the devil had personally called me out for hell week.
The only reason I'm still alive right now, the only reason I haven't died from exsanguination because I'm really ready to take the knife to my wrists right now, is because of these stupid butterflies.
My best friend, Carlos, heard about the Butterfly Project online - and of course, he got all excited about it because he thought it would "save me" when in reality, I'm beyond saving. But he talked me into it so that's why I haven't cut myself all week. Whenever you get the urge to cut, you draw a stupid butterfly on your arm and you're supposed to name it after someone you love, so if you cut it's like you're killing them. And when you get the urge to cut, you're supposed to draw another butterfly, and that's supposed to keep you from self-harming. And unfortunately, it worked for me because every time I grab my razor or my switch blade, I see the stupid purple butterflies on my arm, and all I can do is cry until I pass out. And even though they're starting to fade now, I still see them, I still know they're there. Like a constant reminder saying "you can't cut."
But nobody understands, nobody will ever understand. They all just think I'm crazy, that therapy could fix me. But it can't because I'm truly beyond saving now.
Cutting is the only thing left for me in the world; it's the only release I have, the only thing that makes the hurt go away. But at the same time, I feel like I deserve it; like it's the only way I can really see my guilt and shame that I feel and just let it all get away from me, so to speak.
And speaking of getting away, that's why I'm here right now in the back of Starbucks, trying not to cry because once again, today was another hell day. At least I was lucky enough to order a drink and the guy at the register was really cute - and he offered to bring it to me. Must've taken such pity on me because I know I look wrecked. I ran my hand over my face and slouched down in my seat. Just relax; you can get through this, I lied to myself. It'll be okay…
I've been lying to myself a lot lately.
"One soy latte for ya." the cashier from before caught my attention. I tried to force a smile and choke out a thank you as I took my drink from him, but when I reached for my cup, I noticed his smile fell. "Those butterflies on your arm." he said softly. "Are they for The Butterfly Project?"
I blinked. Other people knew about this? I didn't even know about it before Carlos told me. And then I found myself wondering how he even saw the butterflies on my arm, but as I grabbed my drink, I remembered that I had rolled my sleeves up. And there was my arm, scars and butterflies exposed for the world to see. I cursed in my mind, my cheeks heating up and probably turning red. Slightly flustered, and now embarrassed, I told him yeah, they were.
"For yourself, or did you do them for your friend?" he asked me.
My heart jumped into my throat, and it was pounding so loudly, if he had said anything afterwards, I probably wouldn't have heard it. I had to lick my lips a few times before I was able to whisper, "They're for me." What was the point in lying? You could see the scars clear as day mixed in with the butterflies anyway.
He paused a moment, I couldn't read his face. He then startled me by asking, "Can I sit?"
I blinked. Why did he want to sit with me? Why did he want to talk to me? He didn't even know me. "Um, s-sure." I could feel my eyebrows knitting together as he sat down across from me. I opened my mouth to ask him why he wanted to sit with me, but he did one thing that left me completely speechless.
I watched as this boy I didn't even know pulled a black Sharpie out of his pocket and asked me, "Would you please let me draw a butterfly on your arm?"
I didn't know what to say, or what to think. I think for a minute I forgot how to breathe even. "Please?" he repeated, and I knew I was going to cry. Nodding, I stuck out my arm towards him, trying to make it stop shaking as he took the sharpie to my skin, drawing a butterfly on my wrist. He drew stripes in the body, and polka dots in the wings, and made the antennas curl like a spiral. "It's okay," he murmured, because I was still shaking, but I was mostly just tying not to cry. "There we go." he smiled when he finished, proud of his work.
I looked at the newest butterfly on my arm, how it contrasted against the faded ones, and tears started to slide down my cheeks. "Thank you." I choked out, not knowing how he understood this is just something I really needed. "How…" I paused for a moment, tying to get myself together. When I was somewhat okay, I asked him, "How did you know about the Butterfly Project?"
He sighed heavily, a haunted look in his eyes. "I found out about it last year." he started. "I had this friend, well he was more like a brother to me. His name was Kendall, and he, uh… he committed suicide." I didn't even know this kid, but something in me started to hurt. My heart skipped a beat, and I could feel more tears ready for takeoff. "He was bullied a lot in school because he was gay, and one day he couldn't take it anymore." he continued. After that, I looked up as many suicide prevention and self-harm help things I could; that's how I found about the Butterfly Project." he rolled up the sleeve of his work shirt to reveal a butterfly on his wrist with the letter K in one of the wings. I wasn't sure if it was a tattoo or something he had drawn on him but I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was beautiful. "I didn't want anyone else to commit suicide or harm themselves for any reason. Everyone has a reason to live; some people just need help finding theirs."
His story hit home, but I didn't know what to say. "I'm so sorry," I said after a moment's pause. "I, um, I know what your friend went through." I didn't know why I was basically spilling my guts to someone I met all of five minutes ago, but talking to him just felt… right. "I came out about a year ago, and it's been really rough. Every day is just…" I shook my head, not wanting to go on but I did anyway. "So damn hard." I sniffled, and he reached over to rub my arm. "I- I mean there's therapy and my best friend tries to help me but I just feel so… helpless."
"You're not helpless." he told him. "You're so much more."
I bit down on my lip, willing myself not to cry because once I started, I wouldn't be able to stop. "Thank you." I choked out. "Really just… thank you so much."
"No thanks necessary." he smiled at me, and then glanced back at the counter. "I've got to get back to work." he said apologetically. "But keep in touch; I work Mondays, Wednesdays, and weekends if you ever want another soy latte, or if you just want to talk."
"Okay." I said numbly. How could a complete stranger be so nice, so loving - and to me, of all people. Me, the world's biggest screw-up, the biggest mistake - how did I deserve someone like him in my life?
The two of us stood up, and I immediately felt a little sad. I didn't want to say goodbye just yet. "I'm James." I felt the need to say, hoisting my bag onto my shoulders and holding on to the straps of my backpack tighter than usual. I could see my knuckles going white.
He smiled at me. "I'm Logan." he said. I though the was going to shake my hand or just say goodbye, but once again, Logan surprised the wits out of me. He extended his arms towards me and pulled me into a hug. Personally, I don't do hugs; I don't like being hugged at all, and it's rare moment when I let Carlos, or even my own mother hug me. But with Logan… after everything that just happened, hugging him felt right. "I love you, James." he whispered to me, and I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I buried my face in the crook of his neck, feeling kind of… ashamed? Embarrassed? It was one of the two, I don't know, but at the same time, for once I didn't care. I didn't care that I was crying like a baby to this kid I just met, I didn't care what anyone else in this store thought about me. All I cared about was Logan. And him holding me just a little bit longer. "Please, don't ever hurt yourself again." he told me." I know it's hard, but please… stay strong for me."
I don't like to make promises I can't keep. If it's something I know I would go back on my word against, I'm not going to promise it to anyone. And when I do make promises, it's legit.
Sniffling, I pulled away from Logan and told him, "I promise."
ps: this is dedicated to my personal butterflies, Zaneta & Laura -infinite hearts- I love you guys SO much :)