If You Only Knew

I lay on my back on the linoleum floor, unblinking and unfixed eyes staring up at the stained white ceiling of my bathroom.

The house was silent.

Minutes—or hours—later, I came to myself again, feeling that overwhelming feeling of nausea and guilt that always overtook me back when I was an addict and the buzz inevitably ended…

God, I did it again… I can’t believe I did it again…

I believed I’d gone far too deep for remedy; I no longer even cried. There was only an immense disappointment. I hadn’t even lasted a whole month before relapsing…and I had tried so hard…

I cleaned up the mess as best as I could and jumped in the shower, trying not to wince was the scalding-hot stream punished my body. Then gasping as I finished it up with a blast of cold water.

Smelling clean and feeling fresh, I brushed my teeth and combed my slick, long, black hair. I put on clean clothes—a tee-shirt, shorts. My glasses.

By the time my mother came home and the slanting rays of the summer afternoon filtered through the tree in the front yard, I was already clean, sober, and sleeping. I was the typical 17-year old loafing around at home during the summer.

And no one who knew it. Not even the one person that knew me best, suspected what my mother and father could never guess at…

That I wanted to die and end my sorry, good-for-nothing, disgusting, worthless, life.

* * *

When I was nine years old it began: the self-hate. Early in my sophomore year I’d talked to the school shrink, and she’d explained it all without much success. What I did know was that it had its roots in my childhood, and that it was somehow all tied up with an unabated appetite.

Mara, my mother, had seen the early signs when I was nine; children are so transparent. Furthermore,  it takes time and practice to be able to hide things from your mother and to lie successfully to your family. At nine I could not explain away the stray slip of paper and the black writing it contained. She gave me a good and long talking to, and that was the end of it.

But not for me.


part 1 of If You Only Knew

– – –

~ 300 words for Wednesday’s Word Count. Don’t really know where this story will lead…

2 thoughts on “If You Only Knew

  1. Rivera says:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
    **The “POOR IN SPIRIT” are the opposite of the proud or haughty in spirit. They have been humbled by the grace of God and have acknowledged their sin and therefore their dependence upon God to save them. They will inherit the “KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”.
    Blessings Paula…

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