(Also posted on Fanfiction.net)
One more chapter of sadness...after all, light shines the brightest right after darkness...
I slip out of bed without you noticing and head for the kitchen. I don’t go to the bathroom; my scrubbing will wake you up and there are too many things keeping you awake at night for me to add to your list.
I’ve learned that simple hand washing doesn’t do. I’ve taken to using a Brilo pad to get the stains out. It works for dishes, it should work for me.
Why doesn’t it work for me?
My skin screams for mercy that I can’t give.
I live in fear someone will find me out, realize what pain I’ve caused other people. How badly I’ve hurt each and every single one of them.
I swear I would never be like her, my mother. Swore I’d never hurt anyone.
I lied. I’ve hurt everyone. Meaning to or not makes no difference; the end result is all that matters.
My body count is astonishing. Not my official kill count, which still rests at two even after all these years. I mean the list that matters, how many people are dead because of me, has many more names.
As I purify my skin, I stare at a Christmas card I received last year. From a victim I helped. She’s doing well. In college. Studying Criminal Justice. She wants to be just like me when everything is said and done.
Be nothing like me, I want to tell her. Be as little like me as humanly possible.
Her card and the others don’t leave a dent. Not as long as the ones who will never write me a card and those who can’t remain in my memory.
I don’t hear you coming into the kitchen. The lights flickering on barely register.
“You won’t have any skin left if you keep doing that.” The sleep in your whisper is deep. You reach around me and turn off the water. “Come back to bed, baby.”
“I will,” I promise you. “As soon as I get it all off.”