Permanent Black (4)


“Can you believe you used to be alone with him? I mean, he could have snapped at any moment. It would have been all over for you.” All over, permanent horizons and midnight blacks and blues against my face forever. A soft silence in my head for the first time since words and fierce thoughts started to spin. Wasn’t that the last time we talked? That final conversation of stilted and awkward phrases, a secret hope he could rescue me through the thick, black cables that connected the phones across the country? As if his words could have gripped me like soft fingers and pulled me back to safety, from the need to claw out anything, everything that tied me down to that place, my home with the lights always out, my neighborhood small and cold, those long, yellowing tiles of the high school’s hallways I hated so much? The thousands of eyes from peers who knew, could see through to my spine, see how fragile and thin it was?

What did he say that last time? Nothing. He said nothing. Just listened to my dark words, still heavy and slow from taking too many pills, again. Too many pills from amber tinted bottles carried in my purse for emergencies, for moments when the secrets spilled out of blue eyes onto hot cheeks and everyone noticed. Handfuls of pills in those yellowing school hallways with sterile overhead lights that burned all bright and white against the floors. And I couldn’t wait to collapse all hard and fast against smooth, cold tiles, watching feet fade in and out as they passed. Scurrying teachers with bad ties and chalky fingers pushing black buttons for the police in shiny blue hats and gold belts, guns and questions on their lips. Questions I wouldn’t ever have to answer again.

But the curtain never closed, no velvet darkness and final smiles. Only a trip to a nurse’s office and a stomach ache, pinched faces and quizzing eyes as they dialed the number to my dad’s work. They left me alone in the sick room with the hard cot and cheap, starched blankets, glossy posters decorated with crappy, upbeat slogans and cuddly kittens wearing bow ties until my dad got off work. I heard hushed voices on the other side of the door, could feel their shoulders shrug, heads shake with pity.


2 Responses to “Permanent Black (4)”

  1. Wow, great little serial story you have going on here in your blog! Can’t wait to see what you have up next for it =)

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