Labels

“You know it doesn’t work like that,” I say, trying to keep the shakiness from showing.

I feel cold and my eyes burn. I grasp the hemline of my loose tank top. The air around me swishes menacingly through the hair around my ears. I purse my lips making sure I don’t say anything I’ll regret. I nod as a way to say I’m not continuing the conversation, then stalk off down the hall.

I feel the faint sting of a layered label along my stomach. I know immediately what it is: odd. I frown, looking down trying to see my collarbone. I close my eyes, willing the red shadows away. I close my eyes and let out a breath of hot air. The hallway is small, confining, making it hard to expel the blackness rising in me.

The pastel yellow door of the bathroom mocks me. Smiling garishly at the obsidian ice building in me, I grab the handle pulling the door open violently. I get ready for a shower, careful to not bump the new lacerated label. I stare at myself in the mirror. There is black scrawling all over, at all angles.

I begin to rub the new label, causing twinges to run through my legs. As I turn the water on scalding, I scrub it gently at first, then furiously to where the pain is almost too much to bear. I keep scrubbing until it starts to bleed again. The sobs start coming as fast and easy as breathing. I sit down carefully, the snowy porcelain of the shower floor slowly becoming a pale pastel pink.

The tears and the hot water are mixing together. The water shuts off – the allotted time over. “There are other living souls in this house that need the shower!” my mom calls from outside the horrid yellow door. 

I don’t justify her calling with a response.

I quickly stand up to grab the heavy-duty band aids out of the cupboard, praying that my mom doesn’t open the door and come barging in like a freight train. I struggle to cover the entire surface area of the label. “Sawyer!” I finish the sad attempt to bandage my leg and sling a towel around myself. Trying to look as dignified as possible, I leave the bathroom.

The path from the bathroom to my room is even narrower and lined with mirrors. A knot forms in the base of my throat. I stumble halfway to my haven without looking at a mirror. But I can’t help it.

I glance up at the mirror. The person that glances back is me but darker, more attractive, and has a murderous gleam in its sinisterly blackened eyes. Its elegantly sculpted brows raise, asking ‘what do you think?’ A slender finger beckons, a full red mouth pulls into a grin, revealing teeth sharpened into points. I can feel it pulling me forward. I struggle to pull myself out of its grasp, until I’m once again staring at my scrawled-on feet and the smooth clean floor.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

I lift my heavy, leaden feet and shuffle the rest of the way to my haven, my room. The dark wooden door opens without so much as a whisper. I make sure to turn on all the lights so there is no shadow left anywhere in the room. The rich cobalt walls reflect all the light, making it seem like I’m underwater.

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