I was getting ready for bed. It was late, probably after eleven. She followed me into the bathroom. She was trying to talk to me about something. God knows what. She was drunk. I hate it when she gets drunk. That’s when she wants to talk. Not when she’s sober. No. And it’s not really talking. It’s all crying and blubbering.
She followed me into my bedroom, still talking. She kept saying, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She wasn’t really talking to me. It was more like she was talking to herself.
I got into bed and turned my back towards her. I had bunk beds with Sesame Street sheets. I curled into a ball and pulled the covers up way over my shoulders so no cold air could get in. Again she said, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She turned off the light and closed the door. As I tried to settle into the scratchy Big Bird and Cookie Monster sheets, I thought to myself, “It’s so much easier to sleep. I can find her in a pool of blood when I wake up. I’ll deal with it then.”
Of course, I knew I couldn’t possibly get a good night’s rest after bringing the vision of her death into my consciousness. Sigh. I dragged myself out of bed and around the corner to the bathroom. The door was closed. I opened it without knocking. It seemed like the thing to do given the circumstances. She was standing in the bathroom with the drawer pulled out, her left arm out, palm side up, with a razor blade in her right hand. I snatched the blade along with the entire package of razor blades and bolted down the stairs. On my way down the stairs, I practiced unlocking the door in my mind. I’ve practiced this action several times in the event of an emergency. I slammed the chain with my right hand and opened the locks with my left. It worked just like I imagined. I was out the door before she was even off the stairs.
Once outside, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. It was late and cold. I was in my pajamas holding a package of razor blades. I pitched the blades and headed back inside. She was pulling another package of razor blades from a drawer. I wrestled those from her and headed outside again. This was starting to get old. I pitched the blades and headed for the door. She was rummaging around yet another drawer. I thought to myself, “Why are there razor blades in every drawer of this house? Who knew?”
Now I’m starting to get pissy. I tell her, “Fine. If you want to kill yourself. Go ahead.”, and headed out the door. Once outside I wasn’t sure what to do. I felt free. I figured I could just walk away and never look back, but I wasn’t sure where to go. I was only thirteen. I got about a block down the street and decided to turn back.
I could see her through the screen door as I opened it. She was standing in the dining room with both arms bent up towards her head. Blood everywhere. Down her arms, torso, and legs. It covered her feet. There was blood down in the little grooves of the tile. I remember when she installed that tile when we first moved into that house.
I screamed and ran back out the door. When I walked out the door, the police were there. There were neighbors everywhere and sirens. Or at least that’s the way I remember it. I don’t remember where I stayed that night. When I think about that night I think about the suicide attempts before and after it. I don’t recall the days leading up to or the days afterwards. Just the various attempts, as if they all happened every day over the course of a week. An overdose Monday, a slashed wrist on Tuesday, please use the gun on Friday.