Don't Tell Me To Stop
This story is for anyone out there who's felt this way, or understands what I'm about to show you.
I know it's wrong. I know what the general public thinks about these actions. I am perfectly aware of what I am doing, and how it affects my mental and physical health. I understand that it is affected by both my mental and physical health as well. I'm not stupid, or at least not as stupid as everyone thinks. Not in this area. Not about me. I know I must look happy, but that's only because I have practice. A lot of practice. Probably far too much practice.
It's not very hard to make people see what you want them to see. Just put on a smile and see what happens. People assume that you're happy, that you're okay, and a smile is an easy easy manipulation tool. If people see a smile, they tend to want to accept what you are saying and what you are showing. Just put on a smile and no one will question why your sleeves are pulled up over your hands, why your eyes look a little tired, why your clothes seem to hang off of you. It doesn't matter to them because you're smiling, and that means that you're okay. They don't need to worry about anything. They don't have to look past this mask. This lie that you've created to keep them unaware and content, hiding from the truth. After all, the truth is the hardest thing to face.
The truth about me? What do you want to know? I don't really smile anymore. I don't have to. My 'friends' don't care. They don't pay attention to me anymore. It doesn't matter if I keep up this facade, because there is no one to keep it up for. No one looks at me, no one sees me, everyone ignores me. I don't need to smile and pretend that it's all okay, because whether or not I'm alright does not cross the minds of anyone around me. I am alone.
Well, maybe that's not completely true. Yukio watches out for me. I smile for him. After all, Yukio is my little brother. Until the day I die, I will make Yukio happy. I will at least do my best. My best usually isn't good enough, after all, I am the underachieving twin while he is the twin that burns bright with his own light. Yukio is an amazing person. He is a great exorcist, he is smart, and he has always been better than me in anything and everything we've tried. School, games, friends, crushes... He has totally captured Shiemi's heart, it was his before I'd even met her. Now I don't even have a chance, I'm Satan's son and she must hate me. After all, she's terrified just to be within sight of me. There isn't anything I can do to change that. The flames of Satan are a part of me, and the part that will probably take over and eventually destroy me. But that's for the future to decide. For the present, I've taken up an old habit of mine, one I thought I'd long since broken.
I thought that I could survive without it because I had had friends who had supported me. Maybe for the time, I was right. While they were there, I didn't need it. Now that they're gone, it's just me and my toys. My toys are my friends.
I know, I know you've been locked out of sight
All these years like me
Will I've com home to find you waiting home,
And we're together!
And we'll do wonders.
Won't we? You there, my friend?
My friends are very diverse. Firstly, I have my oldest and longest friend. A pointy rock with a jagged edge. It's dulled over the years, but it's still my faithful friend. My second friend is one of dad's old razors. He didn't shave too often, and this one snapped before it got too dull, creating another sharp edge. Dad didn't notice when I'd nicked it from the counter top in his bathroom when he was dressing my wounds one day. I have also collected a couple of pieces of broken glass and sharp plastic. I have on little orange piece of plastic that is very special indeed. It's from the broken ink cartridge of an old type writer. It snapped off when the cartridge was being removed. I just swiped it from the ground.
These are just toys that I've kept for a long while. Knives work too, but they're harder to use since many people wander around the kitchen all the time. And always at the wrong time. Just because I cook doesn't mean that I can walk around unnoticed carrying a large sharp blade. It doesn't really matter though. Knives are too obvious, and someone might catch on.
I don't really feel one way or another about being a cutter. It's just something that I am. Like I am a boy, like I have black hair, like I am Satan's son. Well, I kind of hate myself for that last one, but it's not my fault and no one seems to understand that. Cutting? Well, I guess it is my fault since I was the one who thought it up in the first place. I can't say that someone else had forced my to injure myself. This is my own idea and my own doing. I think I kind of enjoy it, just a little, but as for the act itself, I don't really feel anything about it, one way or the other. It's just something that I do.
However, I am not unaware of the general opinions regarding this act. No, I am not suicidal, or at least, cutting does not make me suicidal. In fact, I think it prevents it. It's a good think in my mind. Anyone who thinks that it is fatal, sure it is, if you're suicidal and know what you're doing or if you're just stupid. Yes, I could bleed to death, but that would be incredibly difficult for two reasons. One, I'm half demon. I don't think I could lose blood that fast. Two, I cut horizontally, not vertically. Like I said, I'm not as stupid as they all make me out to be. I may not be book smart, but I at least have common sense.
I am aware that many consider the act of cutting horrific, but it's my body, and since when does anyone care about what I do anyways. It's not like they even look at me anymore unless they have to. The way I see it, they're just trying to meld with the crowd. Self injury isn't particularly harmful, people are just far too dramatic. For example, if someone falls off a bike and gets a nice scratch on his or her arm, people would just patch it up and tell them that they'll have a nice scar to brag about. They'd better make up a cool story. But if the injury is self inflicted, it suddenly becomes that much worse, you are a terrible person, you should be ashamed, you're sick, get help, stop it, you'll kill yourself, you could have almost died this time. No. That's wrong. That is all wrong. There is no difference in injury, only in the situation. There is absolutely no difference in lethality.
But maybe they are right on one account. Maybe I am sick and should get help. I probably should stop it. But I don't want to. I'm not really ashamed of what I do, but I don't think that it's anyone else's business. Maybe if they'd understand...
They won't. They don't understand that I am not Satan and that I didn't choose to be born with these demonic flames that I've known about for only three months. They will definitely not understand something that is my fault. And this is where I start to feel ashamed. Because there is one other person I know. Yukio. He understands that these flames are not my fault. But he won't understand this. He thinks I'm stronger than this. Cheerful Rin Okumura, always smiling and doing his best to brighten everyone's day when all he can really do is betray everyone that he cares about because he's a demon. Not even a trace of human. Just demon. Satan's son, and that's all. Just me, I'm alone.
Loneliness wouldn't be too bad on it's own. With only loneliness, I can still pretend that I'm loved. But not this way. It isn't just loneliness. It's loneliness coupled with ignorance. All of the students who had once called themselves my friends ignore me and want nothing to do with me. With ignorance, I can't pretend that there is some sort of love out there for me. The opposite of love is ignorance. They are showing me that my existence doesn't gold a single morsel of worth in their lives. It is completely the opposite. I can't believe that I was stupid enough to make friends in the first place. It just goes to show what a complete fool I am.
And with that thought, I can drag my pencil across my skin. That plastic piece that always sticks off of the mechanical pencil, that piece that you use to clip the pencil to a piece of paper, I snapped it off, and it left a tiny point, a sharp bit of plastic sticking out of the body of the pencil. Rip that across my arm and watch it bleed. Not deep, not enough to scar, but enough to watch blood seep through and slowly run down my arm. A few minutes from my elbow to my fingertips. Ruby drops fall into the cream white sink.
I don't want anyone to tell me to stop what I'm doing. It's a safe way for me to vent my negative emotions, and I like it. It looks pretty and I can make whatever patterns I want. I'm a pretty shitty artist, so they never look very nice, but I can choose which way to draw the lines, and where they will cross. Maybe I shouldn't be too harsh on my arms though. Yukio might notice long sleeves in summer, but if I cut on the outside of my arms, I can probably get away with wearing t-shirts, revealing a couple of scratches that I could have gotten anywhere. I fight demons. Scratches are bound to happen. That's why I don't cut my abdomen. I've been punched through the gut too many times. Anything that doesn't look like a massive puncture wound or scar will stand out. My legs can be torn up as much as I please. Pants are acceptable at any time of the year in any heat.
And I will not stop. I like it. It helps me stay in control, rather than being the other way around. Without this control, I could go crazy at any time. This is a vent. I let it all out, I take it out on myself. This way, no one else gets hurt. It's perfect. And no one ever has to know. I'm much too careful.
I remember each scar I have and I remember how and why I have each one. Each tool, each reason, each emotion. I am a cutter through and through. I will not change. No matter how long I stay sober, I will always be drawn back. It's been quite a long time since the last time I cut, a couple of months before dad's death. I found out just how much of a failure I was in school. They didn't want me, no high schools would ever consider me, so they told me not to apply. I was also told that I would never be hired as the delinquent that I am. I just smiled and told those teachers to go to hell. It's my life and I can do whatever the hell I want with it, be whatever I want. I would be successful in something. Then I went home, I cried, and I carved a nice line from the outside of my right calf, behind my knee, and halfway up my inner right thigh. I think it's a pretty scar, and the one that represents just how much of a failure of a person I am.
But the one that I plan to make right now, it's the one that will represent just how much of a failure of a friend I am. For symbolic purposes, I had debated carving a large X over my heart, but I can't do that. That would be way too cheesy. This time I'll make the vertical cuts up my arms. I doubt I'll bleed out. I don't think that's possible, and I don't really want to die yet anyways. I just want to cut, to let it out, to hurt.
I picked up my trusty piece of glass. This one is from a shattered wine glass. One of the pieces of glassware that Mephisto left for us in this dorm, I bumped it with my arm by accident and it fell into the sink. It broke. I tossed most of the glass, but I kept this piece for my own purposes.
I held the large shard in my right hand and pressed it against my wrist, just over the thin blue line that showed me where my vein is. I may be no good at art, but I can at least follow a line with whatever instrument I use to write with. I pressed in, and dragged it up my arm.
Too shallow. I jerked it the rest of the way up. Pain, beautiful. I deserve it. It hurts for a second, then it feels nice, I hardly feel it at all. My blood drips into the sink and I smile my first real smile in a month. Even if it's hollow and ironic, it's real. It's mine. For once, I'm feeling slightly better. Just a little less stress and emotional pressure since my friends started ignoring me a month ago.
I thought I heard a soft thumping. Maybe it's just my heartbeat. After the cut, my sense become a little heightened, probably from the adrenaline. That and the dopamine released both go towards making me feel a little better.
Then some mumbling. Sounds like Yukio. I guess he's talking to himself, trying to make the lessons easier for me to understand. I never was good at school stuff. He's probably just rehearsing.
Then I hear the handle of the door turn, and the ever familiar squeak as it is pushed inside. I see Yukio and all of the other exwires standing outside the door. They stare at the ground and then look up. For a second, their eyes are sad and they look apologetic for some reason. Then their stares turn to ones of shock, and Shiemi even looks like she has tears in her eyes. I'm confused. Then I look down.
They see the new scar, the blood, the cut that shows just how shitty of a friend I am for lying and keeping secrets from them. I guess this is no different though, what else could they expect from me.
I don't know how to explain this to them, and part of me doesn't really want to. I don't need to explain it to them because they don't actually care anyways. I can only think of one thing to say, so I say it.
"I don't expect you to understand, and I don't expect you ever will. Whatever you think about me, just please don't tell me to stop."
I walked over to the group, my blood dripping off of my fingers and on to the floor. I put my hand on the door and began to shut it.
"Don't tell me to stop."
I closed it, leaving a bloody hand print stain on the clean white door.
Song credit: Sweeney Todd: My Friends