The Needle

This is a true story. I didn’t write it. The person who did wishes to remain anonymous, but wants us to see inside the head of someone who’s bullied every day.

It would be so easy to push the plunger. At my disposal every day was a drug that could kill me in a matter of hours if not minutes. Then, I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore.

In my hand the bottle felt cool and soothing. Pulling the plunger out was automatic. I didn’t have to count or really even pay attention. The sting of the sharp needle was hardly noticeable now, a constant companion for the past 8 years.

The music blaring behind my closed door couldn’t drown the echoes of their words.

“You’re so weird.”

“What a freak.”

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Did you invite her to the party?”

I had one friend. She lived down the street. To her I wasn’t weird or a freak. I was a friend who took shots and had to sneak brownies when her mom wasn’t looking. My mom never made brownies. I wasn’t supposed to eat them.

We pretended our bikes were horses with jump ropes tied to the handlebars. Sometimes we would ride across Oak Street into the rich neighborhood. The houses there had three or four floors and sometimes pools. The yards were pretty with shaped bushes and stone sculptures. We daydreamed that we lived there and were married to the cute boys we had crushes on.

She let me cry when my mom and Granny were fighting about who I should obey. She understood the reason I bowed my head and offered a million explanations before I asked her for a favor. She cried when I told her I had to pick my own switch from the bush in the backyard. The demon of mental illness possessed my house and she offered hers as a safe place.

All these thoughts crowded my mind. If I pulled the syringe back too far tonight I wouldn’t be able to play with my friend anymore. She would be lonely. I couldn’t do that to her. I would just have to deal with the pain.

Another Monday alone in a sea of 7th grade faces. Quiet. Alone. Forgotten. Thinking of the needle again.

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