It is currently a quiet evening on December 22. In the streets of this unknown town I was currently staying at, I walked. It was snowing — it was cold… it was cold, right? Right now, I was wearing jeans and a thin black jacket that contrasted with my straight, long, brown hair that was hidden by the jacket’s hood… it was cold, right?
That wasn’t of any concern right now. After a few minutes, I arrived at my destination — a supermarket. I walked through the automatic sliding doors and was instantly hit with the store’s warmth… right? Was it truly warmer here than out there?
Nevertheless, I continued. I tried humming a peppy pop song I heard and fell in love with once as I walked, but couldn’t because of the feelings of lumps in my throat, so I resorted to replaying the tune in my head. I was unaware of this place, so I relied on my nose to find my destination; the bakery section.
Bagged bread and other delicious looking pastries lined the shelves, but I ignored them. I arrived at the clearance section; a place with items that are discounted because they would soon expire… I let out a weak chuckle. On the three-layered rolling cart were various bread-like products, but the thing that caught my eye was a muffin in a plastic container of its size. The muffin was decently sized, about the height and diameter of one of my hands.
I picked up the package encompassing the pastry. It was 50% off. Think! It’s $3.99, divided by 2 so… about $2.00. Oh, but plus tax, and that’s… $2.25! Okay, I guess I’ll buy this. The muffin’s flavour — raisin bran. Well, of course, it was. I took it with me as I trekked through the store to the checkout counter. I looked at the item I was about to purchase. It made sense that it was on clearance; no one chooses nor wants anything embedded with raisins! Upon others, it was left behind… it’s fitting that I’m the one buying it.
Some time passed. Snow continued to fall at the rate it fell at before I entered the grocery store. It was a good distance away but I arrived. H-H-Home!
It was home. Yes. This is my home, always will be, always have. My home! I set my purchase on a kitchen table and sat at it. I grabbed a nearby knife and used it to unbox the pastry. Afterwards, I forced out a great big smile… I felt that it wasn’t big enough, so I let out another.
“Happy birthday to me! Hey, you’re fourteen now. You’re steadily growing up,” I said excitedly.
I started to unwrap the muffin and cut it into four slices with my knife.
“Fourteen, wow! You must be so excited about your future. Just think — in a year, you can start driving; that’s like a rite of passage that demonstrates transition into adulthood!”
I undid the zipper of my jacket and exposed my chest covered with a thin blue t-shirt. I took a bite of one of the prepared muffin slices. The taste made me want to chew slower, but I kept chewing. Along with the foul taste was another. I tried my best to ignore it, and I barely did. I continued.
“And in high school, I’m sure you’ll find a sweetheart. Hah, with your looks, body figure, and, uhm… p-personality, you can sway anyone.”
I started to eat another slice.
“And then, you’ll graduate from school. Maybe top of your class? Nah, never gonna happen. After, you’ll get into a prestigious university and land your dream job. That’s… er… uhm…”
Halfway through my third slice, I felt something land on my hand — a raindrop. No way. It’s snowing. I looked up at my ceiling and found the roof that’s always there. Regardless, I continued. However, something was interrupting my speech. I did not know what it was… no, that’s a lie.
“Y-yeah. After you graduate, you’ll be working your dream job. Then, the o-one you met in high school… you’ll both get m-m-m-married. S-start a family. Raise beautiful ch-ch-children. Live h-happily… ever… a-a-a-after…”
In my chair, I looked down and leaned my forehead on my left hand. Smile… smile… smile! Littering my pants were many stains from many water droplets — I refused to acknowledge them for what they really were. My heartbeat hastened. My fingers started to tense up. After a minute, I slowly lifted my eyes and focused them in the direction of the last muffin slice. I extended my hand, but did not grab it — I grabbed the knife beside it.
“Happy… happiness. I-I-I hope you find it! A life of freedom. A life where you are able to do what you want. I hope… no, you will find it.”
I raised the knife, pointed end in the direction of my chest. I smiled. Why was it harder to do than any other time? I do not know why, but I found myself raising my voice, though I was not angry. Why was that?… Defiance?
“This is a happy life, right!? A life where there exists no pain, right!? Yeah… yeah! No sadness. No bad things. No risks. No suffering! Yeah… it is!... right…!?”
I stared at the raised knife, bracing for what would happen soon. My smile was wide, though I didn’t know if it was intentional or not. Nevertheless, I was smiling — the universal symbol for certainty and happiness.
“Well, you’re only fourteen. It will be a long time until you’ll be able to grasp it. Yes.. the life you’ve always dreamt of. H-h-however, depending on your actions, y-you… can start… now!”
And with that, I plunged the knife into my chest. It’s been three weeks, and I am proud of that fact. There was a sharp pain in my chest. There was a sharp pain in my chest! There was a sharp pain in my chest? I… couldn’t tell. Was the pain because of my knife, or was it…?
Nothing was happening. I decided. I pulled the knife out and shoved it into my chest again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. The concrete pain I needed was not occurring… why!? Again. And again. And again. And again. And again!...
How long was that action going on for? ...at least a couple of minutes I think. It… it was useless. Blood and… t-tears painted my table around the last muffin slice.
No… it was over. I tossed the knife away and slid off of my chair. I refused to look down, so I raised my hands above my face. Blood was all over them. I leaned to my left and laid on my side, keeping my eyes looking forward.
“Camryn… Camryn… Camryn. There are two beings within you… they are so… so cruel to each other.”
It was night and I was exhausted. It was over, and I wanted it to be over. I dozed off to sleep. Y’know, I like sleeping — nothing but nightmares can bother me, but even so, they’re tolerable — believe me!
Camryn. The broken young girl slept in the reality that was forced onto her. Her “house” was a makeshift tent in an alleyway. The “blood” was an abundance of her tears. And her “knife” was a dull shard of glass she found.