[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.She woke up realizing she was another year older, and she didn’t care.Caring wasn’t something she did much, anymore.Caring was dangerous.Caring could mean pain, and pain wasn’t something she could deal with.Sarah walked a tightrope these days.She had been for the last few years.The bad experiences had piled up and her soul had reached a tipping point.She’d realized that she was just a step away from going bonkers.One feather touch was all it would take to send her flying.It wasn’t long from flying to falling.She’d realized this one morning at the group home.She was sitting outside, looking at nothing, thinking of nothing.She was scratching an itch on her arm.She blinked, once, and an hour had passed.Her arm hurt.She’d looked down and found that she’d scratched herself until she bled.The moment had pierced her numbness.It had terrified her.She didn’t want to lose her mind.Sometimes too, she’d get the shakes.She tried to make sure she was alone when it happened.She didn’t want to show her weakness to the other girls.She could tell when it was about to happen: She’d get a queasy feeling in her stomach and the edges of her vision would get dark.She’d go lie in her bed or sit in a toilet stall and wrap her arms around herself and shake.Time had no meaning when this happened.The moment would pass.So she was afraid, and she had reason to be.Staying sane was work now.Something she had to make happen, not take for granted.But most of the time, she just didn’t care about anything.The big black pool was inside her, bubbling and oily, always hungry.She fed it her memories and lost a little more of herself every year.She was fourteen now.She felt like she’d lived forever.She felt old.She got out of bed and got dressed and went outside.She hadn’t heard from Cathy, and she was getting ready to drop Cathy into the big black pool, but she figured she could sit outside and wait one more time before doing that.Maybe Cathy would show up.Maybe she’d bring Sarah a cupcake.Cathy did her best, Sarah knew that.Sarah understood the war that went on inside of Cathy’s heart, the struggle with closeness.She didn’t begrudge the cop for it.It was a nice day.The sun was out, but there was a cool breeze, so it wasn’t too hot.She closed her eyes and leaned her head back, let herself enjoy it for a moment.A car honked, loud, startling her from her reverie.It honked again, insistent, and she frowned, looking toward the street.She was seated near the fence that surrounded the property, away from other people.A residential street was to the right of her, and the car was there, by the curb.Some shitty blue American car, looked like a real beater.Someone was at the passenger-side window.It honked again, and now she was pretty sure it was honking at her, and she wondered for a moment if it might be Cathy, but no—Cathy drove a Toyota.She stood up and went to the fence.She peered at the car, her eyes focusing on the face at the dirty passenger-side window.She could almost make it out, it was a young woman…The face was slammed against the window, and Sarah saw it clearly, and her blood turned to slush in her veins.Theresa!Sarah stood, transfixed.She couldn’t move.The wind ruffled her hair.Theresa was older—(she’d be twenty-one now, yep)—but it was Theresa(no bout adout it, take a picture it’ll last longer)—and she was terrified and sorrowful and weeping.Sarah could make out a shadow behind Theresa.The shadow moved and Sarah saw a face, a face that looked melted by the panty hose that covered it.It grinned.Sarah stood on the precipice and felt her arms pinwheeling as she tried to keep her balance, and something bubbled up from the big black pool, it was(Buster’s head, Buster’s dead, Mommy hugged the gun) and she was still pinwheeling but—(Whoopsie…)She turned her face to the perfect sky and she screamed and she screamed and she screamed.Time passed, probably.Sarah woke up and marveled that she wasn’t crazy.It occurred to her that maybe it wasn’t such a good thing.Maybe sanity was overrated.Her wrists were strapped to the bed.So were her feet.The bed looked medical, the way, well, medical beds look.She grinned at this.Drugs, they’ve given me drugs.Good ones.I feel happy and like I want to kill myself at the same time.Yep, definitely drugs.Sarah had woken up in this place once before, after a vivid dream that—golly—she just couldn’t get out of her head.Sarah giggled once and passed back out.Sarah sat on the edge of the bed and tried to plan how she’d do it.They’d released her from her restraints two days ago.She was in a locked ward, but they didn’t keep a real close eye on her.Just gave her meds that she faked taking and left her alone, which was fine by her.It gave her time to plan her suicide.How do I kill thee? Let me count the ways.Something they couldn’t bring her back from.She gave it a lot of thought.In the end, she realized she’d have to get out of this place first.They’d never let her die here.Annoying, but true.She’d have to convince them she was back in control, ready to head back to the(roll your eyes, party people) healthy environment of the group home.No big deal.It wasn’t going to be that hard.They didn’t care enough here to look at you real close.Sarah arrived back at the home a week later.Skinny Janet seemed happy to see her, and smiled.Sarah thought about Janet coming upon Sarah hanging by a rope from a rafter, and smiled back.She arrived in her dorm to find a new girl in her bunk.Sarah explained how things were to her.She explained by breaking the girl’s index finger and tossing her and her shit into the middle of the dorm.Sarah wasn’t mad—the girl was new.She didn’t know what everyone else did: Don’t mess with Sarah.She glanced at the girl, who was holding her finger and howling, and thought, Now you know.She rolled into her bunk and tuned the girl out.Sarah had more important things to think about.Like dying.She was still thinking about this a few hours later, when one of the girls came in and walked over to Sarah’s bunk.She looked nervous, deferential.“What?” Sarah asked.“Mail.” The girl was really nervous.Sarah frowned.“For me?”“Uh-huh.”“Well, hand it over.”The girl gave Sarah a white envelope and fled.Sarah stared at it, and recognized the false banality of the white paper for what it was.This is from him.She thought about throwing it away.About not opening it at all.Right.She cursed herself and opened it up.Inside was a single sheet of white paper.It was a letter, typed on a word processor and printed out on an ink-jet printer.Faceless, like him.Menacing, like him.Happy Belated Birthday Sarah,Do you remember my first lesson about choices? If you do (and I’m sure you do) then you will remember the promise I made to your mother, and you know that I kept that promise.Think of that, as you read the next.Theresa is fine.I won’t say she’s well—she’s a little under the weather, to be honest—but she is healthy.We’ve been together now for some three years.She wants to see you again, and I would like to make that happen.But she won’t see you while you’re in that place [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]