**Be nice to me, this is my first story**
CW/TW: Suicide, self harm, sexual assault mentions
Everything was bright. Too bright. This world didn’t make sense to her. She sat there on the ledge, looking at her own fingers and seeing them, really seeing them for the first time. Shriveled, though she can’t have been any older than 16 (Although sometimes she wasn’t so sure). She was a monster. She knew that much was true, but somehow, for some reason, seeing it as true was the final break of the camel’s spine. A soda straw, but not for drinking soda anymore. She knew she couldn’t have been born like this, she had smelt the pure, fresh air of a newborn child. What could have shaped her into such a creature? Who?
Perhaps she could blame it on the fact she was useless. Had always been. She was not short on memories of everyone choosing her last. Always last place but now she was too deformed to be able to care. She was not enough, had always been not enough to make you stay, to make you love her. Sure people loved her, but they loved the idea of her. They thought if they could concentrate long enough they could force her into being the perfect her. She was sure that was what he was looking for when he was reaching inside of her. He was trying to clutch onto her soul with his meaty, greedy fists. Right?
She woke up from herself, the monster that had closed its fists around her throat. She knew it was all going to go, even though she wanted to stay.
She needed something, someone to show that they cared, really truly cared. The mother-creature always told her she dreamed too big, because stories are woven of cotton candy and rainbows. She read too many stories. Best friends, love-at-first-sight, romance, caring; really, truly caring. But surely these stories must have come from people who had experienced these things? They can’t have been all imagination. Right?
It was getting warm now; too warm for a november. It had to be close to zero by now. She could feel herself start sweating under her pumpkin orange snowcoat. She hadn’t felt this warm for months. The people in the white coats, the people who had to know everything, told her this is all part of the illness. As she warmed up she pondered this. Surely you cannot put such a label as ‘illness’ on her? Is there truly a cure? If there were, she was certain she would not be here teetering on the edge of a literal and metaphorical ledge.
She was done with thinking. She was done with living. She knew she should stay for everyone who said they cared, but she couldn’t be trapped inside herself anymore. People called it selfish, that she was just putting her hurt on all of the others, but they had never lived inside of her head.
She truly didn’t understand why she felt this way. Something had to have made her into this ugly monster. All the research she had done, the groups she had gone to, the therapists(and how does that make you feel?) all said that this ‘illness’ was most common in trauma victims. She couldn’t think of any outstanding trauma. Sure, she had bad experiences with boyfriends and men in general, but doesn’t everyone? She didn’t get along with her family very well, but she was a teenager. That’s what teenagers do. She had family members pass away, but death is just another part of life. Everyone else got over it fine. What was wrong with her? She couldn’t put her finger on it.
Why did people care about suicide victims as much as they did? Especially people who have never been suicidal. She always heard stories on the news about complete strangers talking someone out of suicide. Mental health hotlines. Why did people care so goddamn much?
“Your father has already lost one child, don’t put him through this again”. Perhaps that is the reason she had chosen today. She would have been exactly his age today. Was it punishment to her parents or had she always loved little connections and coincidences? Either way, people would view it as selfish so she might as well throw in as many little connections and coincidences she could.
She loved too easily for a monster. One casual nice word flung off the tongue as an obligation would embed itself in her like shrapnel. She would be yours to touch, yours to chew, yours to swallow. She was shaped, and pulled, cut, stitched, twisted too much. She was unrecognizable now to those who knew her, because they knew her. People blamed her for being disfigured, but she was twisted because of their twisted views. BY BEING TWISTED THEY HAD TWISTED HER INTO UNRECOGNIZABILITY. Surely it must be their fault, she thought to herself, analyzing every cut, scar, claw, determining her as a monster. Surely she couldn’t have done this to herself?
Blocking the bright; the aura of everything; she sighed to herself. Looking down over the ledge she remembered his kind words. “I’m proud of you. You’ve managed to keep your head above water even though it’s so hard. You’re so brave.” How long had she wished to hear those words? Every birthday candle since age 12, every shooting star and elderly dandelion. She knew how hard she was trying, but all anyone else ever saw was not enough. Except him. She tried to cling to those words, use them as a vine keeping her from sinking into the inevitable quicksand that is the life of monsters. Unfortunately, the more she tried to stay the better leaving sounded, and that is the dilemma. Isn’t it? The paradox. The more you try to put a price tag on life, the more worthless it seems to be.
These days, she was sure none of this could be real. The blind stupidity of it all. Surely whatever higher being there is here would have put more thought into this than just monotonous existence? The world belongs to the happy. The people who can always see the light, who can see a purpose in this endless monotony. Those are the people who plaster over everything with a “well, some people have it worse off so the way I see it, we should enjoy what we’ve got.” Aren’t those people slowly dying? What even is the point? He said to “make your own purpose” but what if she can’t see any purpose in anything anymore? Then what?
It was getting close now, that in between time when everything comes to haunt you. She knew the sunset was coming soon, her phone had told her so. She had not come to any conclusions worth living for yet. She started today early, in hopes of saving herself, she had been sitting here for so long, too long. For what it was worth, she knew people heal and she, a monster couldn’t. So really, it was a hit-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of transaction. She liked to think of it as a transaction. Like a bank. An eye for an eye, a life for freedom, a body for peace.
She knew everything had to be perfect. She set down the words, remembering writing them. I know this is selfish, but I have to escape myself. Quoting Virginia Woolf. If anyone could have saved me, it would have been you. She had filled it with reassurances, condolences. So what if they were all lies? That’s what monsters do.
She had paid her debts. The transaction was complete. She lay there on the ground, looking up at the ledge with honey glazed eyes. As the sun went over the horizon, she closed her eyes and slept, truly slept, for the first time ever.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
Hi Rayney, Congrats on your first story. :) You have an interesting perspective, and I'd like to see more stories from you. some nice lines like: "One casual nice word flung off the tongue as an obligation would embed itself in her like shrapnel." a few small things past tense here would be more consistent ('she was sweating under her...' or 'she'd begun to sweat under her...', rather than: "...could feel herself start sweating under her pumpkin..." Maybe you want to capitalise November, but it probably doesn't matter that much. :) ...
AHH THANK YOU for your kind words and the constructive criticism I super appreciate it. I will make sure to edit those out when I can, most were just stupid mistakes on my part :) I very much appreciate you taking the time to read and leave a comment, means the world to me!
Sure thing. That's why it's helpful to have a critique crew--I've got folks who always catch stuff that I simply can't see anymore. :)
Oh wow. You said you wanted criticism. I can't find any. "BY BEING TWISTED THEY HAD TWISTED HER INTO UNRECOGNIZABILITY." I am unsure if that was supposed to be in all caps? Maybe watch repetitiveness of your words. It bugs me the most. Not your story, just with books in general. When I write I always let at least a page go by without using that same word, a whole chapter if I can help it. Now, names and stuff like that is fine. but discriptive words I mean. I loved how you wrote this from a girls POV. Your bio said pronouns were a he/the...
wowowowow thank you so much. I am actually trans, so writing this was kind of like writing my past self?? If that makes sense. The all caps was on purpose... was it too much tho?? Thank you for the tips, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I appreciate it and you so very much.
Of course. Yes, it does make sense! I will def. take the time to read your future stories! Also, when you do respond to comments, sometimes it says it hasn't been sent and it has. You responded to this about 30 times ;)
oh geez i dont know why that happened lmao
Wow, this is heartbreaking. I think the snapshot-style structure really adds to the narrative, emphasizing the unstable nature of her thoughts. I hope to see more of your writing in the future!
Thank you so much! It means a lot that you took the time to read my story and comment!
Wow. I can't explain how this story made me feel. I keep trying to pick quotes that I liked, but I loved them all. I really relate to this story, I seriously think it's going to make me cry! You have a talent for conveying emotion- this emotion, at the very least. Agh! I just loved all of it. Either there's nothing wrong with it or I liked it too much to stop and look for errors. GREAT first submission. I'll be looking forward to others!
Wow, thank you that means so much! Everyone in the comments either has sparkling comments or tons of edits, but I'm so glad you like it, even though I'm sorry you relate:( I've gotten so much love for this story already and it makes me want to write more, so you can probably look forward to that!<3
Tons of edits are usually a good thing! Whenever I have a ton of edits it's just tiny things... because I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to writing ;) and awesome! I'm excited!
Whew. You certainly didn't pull any punches. It reminds me of how I felt in July 1992. How empty life felt. Why bother going on? I was still trying to think of how to end it all without hurting anyone else when I met my female best friend for the first time. Even if it seemed like no human was really listening to me before that meeting, apparently God was listening. God gave me a reason to go on living when I didn't think I had one anymore. As one writer to another: Please tell me that your life is getting better (at least some of t...
Wow, thank you. Right now, and for the past while I have not been doing well, but I can't do that to other people, you know? This story was a way of living it, without going through with it, because even though there is nothing for me here, people need me. Or, more so, the idea of me. As for the edits, I VERY MUCH appreciate them. I wish everyone would be as honest as you when it came to comments. Will fix those now, and should be able to now that the contest is over. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Well, people like me *have* been through it and are still going through it. Sometimes it's not so bad, sometimes it's worse. You're very welcome. I wish you happier writing in the future. When it comes to creative writing, I find that a balance of happy/sad, light/dark yin/yang, etc. is a good thing. Achieving it might not be as easy as aspiring to it, though. I try not so much to be honest as helpful. If I can help you improve your writing, then someday you'll be doing these sorts of edits (or most of them) on your own without any as...
Thank you! I truly appreciate it and you:)
You're very welcome. As I said near the end of my short story "Revelations" (the sequel to "Bridging the Divide"): "That's what friends [...] are for." (I omitted "and sisters" because you and I obviously aren't sisters. In my case, I can't be: I'm a guy.)
Well, thank you, I appreciate it:)
<removed by user>
thank you for the sweet comment! it made my day that you took the time to read my story and then say such sweet things! i super appreciate you!