Cool air pulsing from the window unit and the hum of a brand new desktop PC were the first friends to visit that night. Katie was the second. And the third…well, the third stayed longer than a visit. And was revealed to be no friend at all.
This had proved to be a rough year. Dad’s affair. Mom’s leaving. Dad’s coming back. Mom saying no. No one ever really paid much attention to the little girl crying in the backseat. All of a sudden the world had become one giant Bugs Bunny cartoon and the rug had just been ripped out from under tiny little feet. Confusion and chaos reigned. Anger visited occasionally. And despair was always close at hand.
Katie. Sure she played the tenor saxophone in the middle school band, but do not be fooled, she also played a mean game of basketball and could run circles around you on the track. Calm, cool, and collected. She had a humor like no one you’ve ever met. Especially for an 11 year old.
“Can I tell you a secret?”
She asked on the basketball court one day after school.
“Sometimes I hurt myself.”
The conversation wasn’t visited again. Until much later. Secrets shared. Secrets kept. Neither knew that those secrets would breathe lies and death into the lungs of a little girl who knew very well the pain on the inside and was suffocating already…she just wanted air.
*BING* An instant message flashed on the screen.
AL87: hey. how wuz your day?
KT1986: it wuz ok. i got pissed again & cut
AL87: did it help?
KT1986: yuh. it did. at least i have a reason to be pissed
KT1986: & they didnt tell me how 2 feel
Lies told. Lies believed.
Katie’s words provided a way out
Maybe this could actually work…
If it works for her, maybe…
Little hands, little 11 year old shaking hands, longed for control. Longed for escape and security and for a stop to all the shit inside her head.
Little feet, little 11 year old feet, wanted to run. Wanted to run far from all of the sadness and darkness and pain they were cemented in.
The little girl, the little 11 year old girl crying in the back seat, needed something sure. Needed something tangible and immediate and constant.
Innocent 11 year old fingers frantically searched for a remedy. Through drawers of junk, backpacks filled with incomplete homework assignments, and medicine cabinets filled with all sorts of quick fixes for pain.
It wasn’t until the box of tools that little eyes were captured by the lie. Shining, reflecting the light, almost beckoning her 11 year old grasp. It whispered sweet words of control and escape to a captive and imprisoned heart. It promised to deliver. It promised release.
Sharp edges. Pressed against the skin. Shattered innocence.
Claiming to be a friend, this monster took advantage of a confused and hurting little girl. He overstayed his welcome…
and she is still begging him to leave.