What do you do when your fingers shake everytime you tip a little white pill into the sweating palm of your hand, until more and more tumble out of the little orange tunnel, until your hand overflows with little rolling what-look-like-candies and you’re so sure that with enough apple cider you’d never even taste the bitter chalk of each one.
When the only thing stopping you from sinking to the bottom of cold, unlit, murky depths, is the absolute certainty that you’d inevitably rise back to the surface, pale-white and swollen, face like a full moon, pocked with holes where my light used to shine through.
I’ve got a best friend who spent so many nights whispering she wanted to die to the dark of her room, that her own body has begun to believe her lies, poisoning her slowly from the inside out.
I’ve got another who loses her hours, climbing through her eyes and escaping out of reality using little pieces of paper and the patterns no one else notices, hoping no one else notices.
My brother’s been clenching his fists for years, trying not to let me see them shake, but I can always hear him punching things, can always recognize split knuckles for what they really are, which requires more than just a bandage.
A boy told me once that my words saved his life on a night when I couldn’t sleep, and every night since then I’ve broken his heart a little bit more. Another boy told me once that I could always help him, just by being myself, but I haven’t talked to him in months, not since he realized just who that was. The boy I’m in love with tells me I treat him too good, when all this time I’ve been lying awake mourning the splintered pieces of him he’s left behind in my body that I’m not sure time can ever work out.
This darkness runs deeps into my roots, black, scurrying beetles have always lived just under the bark of my family tree, boring holes in the soft flesh beneath where insecurities hide and it’s easy to see that no one really knows how to raise a child.