Press and Release

She lifted the blade from her skin and watched the white pressure line fill back in with blood. She never got up the nerve to actually slice, but only ever pressed and released, watching white fill in with pink. Watching her life’s blood flow back into the numbness and wishing that life itself worked that way. Press, and release. Press, and release.

Her sister didn’t believe her. She could tell. Her family thought it was a phase, something she wanted to experiment with before coming back to her senses.

It counted that they never said anything or did anything to judge or try to change it. They accepted it as far as they thought it could go. But they were waiting for her to realize that she was normal, wanted a normal life, and it wasn’t going to happen.

She was forever a disappointment.

The first person she had talked about it with was her sister, and she had never said anything wrong, had never given bad advice, and that was a blessing. But she couldn’t tell everyone, because her family’s conviction that it was a phase made her wonder sometimes.  Was it just a phase? Was she enamoured with the idea of being something other than heterosexual? Was she looking at self harm and depression as Hollywood-worthy life events?

No. No, she had to stop second-guessing herself. What was, was, and no matter what her family thought, it wasn’t going to change. They would get used to the idea of it eventually and stop thinking she would “grow out” of it.

But it still hurt that they didn’t think she knew herself well enough to be able to distinguish her own sexuality.

Press, and release.

She tried to focus on the fact that her sister hadn’t treated her any differently when she’d told her. She’d shrugged and said, “Okay,” with a smile, and then had continued on with their conversation. Her mother and father had told her that it didn’t change anything. She was lucky. Many people didn’t get that much.

She sighed and put down the blade. Not today, she thought. Today would be a good day.

Today will be a good day.


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