I never expected things to go the way they did. I still can’t believe it.
“What’da’ya’mean gone? He was here last night! He can’t be gone!” My hands were gripping the edge of the art instructor’s table so hard that my knuckles turned white, my heart pounding in my chest. Poor professor Reid had the misfortune of telling me that Goethe had vanished, two weeks before the semester was going to end. We had gotten so close since midterms, and now here I was, lost without this man I used to be frightened of.
Professor Reid put his hand on my arm, shaking her head gently. “Honey, I know it’s got to be hard for you, but sometimes people do have to leave. From what I heard, Goethe has been planning to leave since day one.”
A fist, ice cold and made of steel, closed around my heart and I abruptly pulled back, my eyes going wide and burning with tears. He planned to leave... All along… Why? I wanted to ask so badly, but the pity in the teacher’s eyes made my throat close up. My pain was too visible, too exposed, and before anyone could grab me, I bolted out of the room, down the steps, across the courtyard. Everywhere there were memories, newly made and infinitely precious to me. Everything seemed so empty now, a gray monotone of sorrow and despair.
I don’t remember consciously returning to my dorm, nor do I remember locking the door and grabbing the decorative letter opener from my desk beside my music carousel.
More memories came to me, darker memories, ones to amplify my pain beyond reason.
I was nine when I had my first episode. It started as a simple blackout. I’d gotten into a fight with an older girl at school, then punches were thrown and I thought I’d been knocked out. When I came to, however, the older girl was on her side, curled up in a bloody, whimpering ball, and my little fists were covered in red.
My parents dragged me to a therapist, who told them I had violent tendencies, and that I should be put on medication. They spent ridiculous amounts of money on trying to “fix” me, but it didn’t work. When I was twelve, it happened again. This time I took down a football player who tried to grope me at a pep rally. I knocked him flat out, then pounded his face and kicked him viciously until I was yanked off and hauled to the principal’s office. All I remembered was blackness.
I was sent to “rehabilitation”, which was nice-talk for the nuthouse. I stayed for two nights before I had my third blackout. I had escaped my cell, knocked out an employee, then scaled the fence. I nearly got away, too, but a coil of barbed wire at the top snagged around my waist, nearly ripping me open. Even though I was stitched up at a hospital within half an hour, I was now left with a crescent-shaped scar across my waist, a permanent reminder of my sins.
I was allowed back into society when I turned sixteen, after fur long, lonely years in a more secure nuthouse, and I behaved myself now. Mostly.
Remembering my past brought a fresh wave of agony, and I remembered staring at the letter opened with an intensity that made every inch of me ache.
And then I blacked out.
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