Chapter 46:

sceNe 46 - ᴄoNNeᴄᴛioN

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

“I’ll be back in a bit! Try to do something while I’m gone!” Sandra said, heading out to the convenience store.

About a week had passed, and I definitely didn’t recognize myself. I was in-bed a lot. I didn’t feel very motivated. When Sandra wasn’t there, I would check my body. There was no pattern. It didn’t feel normal. Three checks, no scars. Five checks, only scars. Two none, one yes, three none, two yes, one none, it was just random. It was always all or nothing, and touching them always felt real. I felt like I was going crazy, and like I would always be disgusting.

Cryztal kept messaging me, but I didn’t have the courage to talk to her about it. It would be like having lied, right? Sorry you thought you had a hot girlfriend with smooth skin, but I actually look like an old leather bag in some places. Would she even believe me? Would they show up when she looks? I can’t even talk to Sandra about it because she knows about the scars, but doesn’t know about magic or whatever.

Wallowing in my own filth seemed to be the only answer. When did I last shower? I wasn’t even showering before or after work. I just didn’t want to look at myself. I missed the curtain in Cryztal’s bathroom because at least then I could choose when I was looking. This absolutely sucked.

I could hear Sandra come back, which prompted me to make sure I was covered. My room was hot, but I couldn’t risk standing up and getting new questions asked. Right as I finished putting pants back on, my door creaked open. That’s not normal for Sandra.

“Can I come in?” It was Cryztal.

I leapt to my bed and put my covers over myself.

“I…um…how did you get here?” I nervously asked. Of course the first time she gets to see my apartment it's after I turned my room into a rat's nest.

“Sandra and I planned this. I was worried, so I took a rideshare out here.” Her voice was a little flat. Was she nervous too?

My door swung open, but I had already covered my head. It sounded like Sandra stomping into my room.

“We’re both worried! Can you please talk to us about what’s going on?” Sandra was loud.

I popped my head out and looked at them. Cryztal definitely looked uncomfortable, hiding behind my door, while Sandra stood at the front of my bed in a very dominant stance.

“She says you two aren’t fighting, but you haven’t opened up to either of us! It’s not right to see you so miserable!” The last time Sandra was this heated was because of my last ex.

“Can I…can I just talk to Cryztal?” I asked it out of reflex, but saw shock on Sandra’s face.

She turned to face Cryztal and waved her in. Sandra left, closing the door behind her, as Cryztal stood at the foot of my bed. I didn’t really say anything or even know how to get the conversation going. Do I apologize first? Or do I just start explaining what I’ve been feeling? Maybe I should talk about how rough middle school was.

Before I could say anything, Cryztal spoke up. “Scars!”

I quickly went to check my body, dropping my covers and looking up my sleeves.

Wait. How could she see them through all those layers?

“I guess I was right…” She said, softly. “You’re missing scars.”

“How did you find out?” Did she know this whole time?

“Jason said something about scars disappearing when I eat people. And that’s what you were talking about at the water park.” She sounded confident, but sad to say it. “It must be weird having a new body. And it’s my fault.”

I sat up better and nearly bounced myself at her, but held back.

“No! It’s really nice! I’m really happy with that part!” I was… “But, sometimes it feels like my scars are back. And they weren’t tiny scars. I really messed up my body when I was young.”

I couldn’t stop after that. I tried to describe to Cryztal how alone I felt when I transferred away. How no one wanted to be my friend. How people pretended to be my friend. How even when people did want to be my friend I couldn’t trust them. About the ritualistic pain I put myself through, just to have some control, and to feel something! Anything more than the judgment and bullying I went through. Even the love my parents said they had for me felt empty then. And the love I felt from my friends felt so far away.

“It’s stupid. I shouldn’t dwell on the past. But because of that, my arms and legs were a disaster.” I didn’t want to hide anything from her anymore.

Cryztal didn’t respond. Maybe she was disgusted. I wasn’t able to look her in the eyes while saying all of this, but as I tried to take a glance to gauge her reaction, I could hear her sniffling.

Trying to meet her eyes, her face was watery. She was standing with her fists clenched. I didn’t know how to react.

“After how much you helped me…” She said, between sniffles. “And were my friend when no one else was…” She wiped her eyes. “Karma couldn’t bother to give it back to you?”

I scooted as close to Cryztal as I could without falling off my bed. I struggled to sit up and hold onto her. Holding my girlfriend while she cries in my arms was becoming too typical lately.

“Look…I got better. I made some friends, and stopped cutting. You don’t have to pity me like that.”

“This isn’t pity! I’m upset! Upset that the world didn’t treat you better! Upset that I couldn’t help you!” She was loud, and snotful.

I pulled her closer and rubbed her back. “I know you would have if you could. We were kids. We didn’t have much of a choice.”

We stayed like that for a while. I was supposed to be telling her about my insecurities, but instead, she was upset that anything made me feel that way to begin with. I really didn’t think about how she’d know more than anyone in my life what it was like to feel so alone.

Once Cryztal wasn’t crying so much, we laid next to each other on my bed and just stared at my ceiling fan. It wasn’t exactly exciting, but I really missed this. Just being near her made me feel better. But I needed to make sure of one last thing.

“Hey…” I said, not turning my head. “Can you…see if the scars are back? On my thighs?”

“A-are you sure? If you don’t want me to–”

“Please. Just check for me. With your hand.”

As she slowly moved her hand over to my hips, and I lowered my lounge bottoms, I could feel her cold hands make contact.

“Well?” I asked, still not looking.

“It’s…not smooth…” She said, calmly. “But it's still you.”

How did she always know what I wanted to hear?