Trying out a new beginning I wrote last night. What do you guys think?
I was thirteen the first time I tried to kill myself. The knife was very different from the one I currently held. I swiveled the blade, watching more lime juice soak into the maple cutting board.
I placed the freshly sliced fruit into a plastic container, grabbing another victim from the grocer’s box. I wasn’t sure what made me think of that long-ago day. It might have been the song playing over the satellite radio, speakers tumbling out the tinny tune. Could have been the fact that I’d almost severed my thumb, the dull paring knife skidding off the peel and missing my digit by a hair’s breadth.
I dropped another handful of lime garnishes into the container and eyed up my stockpile. I grabbed the box of lemons and extricated a few of the lesser bruised choices, placing them on the counter top. It was probably more likely that today was the second anniversary of my divorce.
I turned over a lemon, neatly clipped off the ends, and cut it into halves, quarters, and then eighths. I scored each section with a horizontal gash, making it easier to wedge onto the top of a glass, then dropped the pieces beside the cut limes.
The first anniversary had landed me in the hospital, a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit. I hadn’t consciously been trying to kill myself. Though, I’d never driven drunk before. The night was a bit of a blur. It involved confronting Ron, a screaming match with his current conquest, several bars, and too many shots to remember. I thought I’d been lonely in my disaster of a marriage. It’s amazing how low you can sink when there’s no distractions, and it’s just you and your thoughts.
That’s where I was eighteen years ago, hiding in that closet, rubbing the switchblade across my wrist. Lost in thought. It wasn’t like I’d had a terrible childhood. I had friends who’d had it much worse. My brain just tended toward the melancholy, and my parents were emotionally unavailable. I’d had all the creature comforts in life, but none of the love and connection to go with them. I was a piece of litter adrift in a bleak, infinite ocean. In my opinion, there hadn’t been much to live for.
I glanced at the flawless, porcelain skin of my forearm. I’d been too terrified to do it, but I had craved the silence that I knew would come with a swift, deep cut. My blood would have flowed with suppressed tears. I’d have finally gotten their attention.
I shook my head. Jesus, that was morose. I finished cutting the lemons and carried both boxes back to the walk-in fridge in the basement. I’d come a long way since my accident, and I wasn’t that sad little girl anymore. I glanced at my watch and took a deep, cleansing breath.
I had five minutes until the doors opened, six until Jake and Adam sat across from me, each seeking solace, a friendly ear, and a pint of Guinness, and thirty seconds or less until Lisa accosted me about last night. I shoved the shroud of memories back into the closet with the rest of my skeletons and found my smile. It was show time.