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Am I Perfect Yet?

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Story Title: Am I Perfect Yet?

Type of story: Oneshot

Main Characters: Matilda, mentions of Lucas and Tony and Beth

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Angst

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Self Harm, Death

Summary: After losing her mum, Matilda isn't coping at all!

Librarians, if you feel this should be moved to the Adult section then feel free

OK................................................ This, I found, incredibly stored on an old floppy disk that I wrote when I was 15 and well, yeah going through a self harm stage. This was how I was feeling but I thought it good to do about Matilda!

WARNING: CONTAINS SELF HARM, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

They don’t know my secrets. What I do at night, when darkness is plentiful, when I am alone in my bed. When nobody else in the house is awake; nobody else can see. They don’t know what’s in my little box; in my bag; under my pillow; in my bathroom cubboard; slipped into the binding of my books. Hidden in the hem of my jeans. Everywhere. They don’t know what I’m hiding, or even that I’m hiding anything. I’ve become quite good at concealing things, you know. None of them suspect a thing. Thank god for Make-Up

My false smiles, the cheery laughter, the passing grades... That’s all you need to focus on, right? Right. Everything’s fine if you’re happy and smart. Perfect. What more could one need? Show up at tea regularly, and everything’s just great. Eat enough so as not to arouse suspicion, and excuse yourself to finish your homework. Nobody suspects a thing. Nobody. That’s the wonder of it…

“I’m going to head up to finish that essay that’s due tomorrow. I don’t know how I forgot that it’s due. I’ll talk to you two later!” I say brightly as I stand up and wave to Lucas and Tony. Lucas mumbles a “Bye Mattie,” and immerses himself in his once more. Tony just makes a strange grunting noise, forking more mashed potatoes into his gaping mouth.

I push my chair in and stride out of the kitchen, turning left once I’m out of the darkened room. As I walk down the hall and push open a door.

I stand there, silently staring at it before entering the room and closing the door behind me, making sure to push the lock in. After a moment of rooting through my pocket, I find an elastic wrap and tie my blonde hair back into a ponytail behind my head. Crouching down onto my knees, two fingers slip into my mouth almost of their own accord and flex. I feel a small heave in my stomach, and do it again, shoving them a bit deeper. With a little manipulating, my supper is streaming out over my hand and into the water of the ceramic toilet bowl. The most recently eaten to least recently; the most calorie dense to least. A dark, rich brown from the cake, milky white from a few bites of ice cream, pale chunks of pasta, reds from the tomato sauce, greens from the lettuce, and finally some bright orange bits from the carrots; my signal I’m done.

I remove my fingers and use some toilet tissue to wipe the food from my hand and mouth, and then toss it into the toilet with the rest. Standing, I flush the colorful mixture and get to my feet. I roll the sleeves of my new black sequined top to my elbows and carefully wash my hands of any evidence. My knuckles are beginning to bleed slightly each time I do this: a side-affect from the stomach acid sliding over them so often and me pulling back my hand so fast that my knuckles graze over my teeth. No worry; I’m getting better at being able to just push on my stomach just below the left side of my ribcage and heaving. It’s coming up easier every day. Quieter, too.

I shake my head to clear my thoughts and gaze at my arms. White, purple, pink, brown, and shockingly red marks blemish my skin, going in every direction. Small groups of parallel lines, carved designs, haphazard slashes. I feel my lips curve into a faint smile, and cup my hands beneath the water. I wash my face and dry the water off on my sleeve. Then I decide to just slip the top off, since it's wet now anyway. Carefully, meticulously, I fold it and lay the bundle on the edge of the sink . That’s how my life is. Everything done to perfection. Nothing but perfection is an option.

My fingers slip beneath the waistband of my pleated skirt and soon find a rip in the fabric. Moments later, a thin, glittering steel blade is pulled out, held deftly between my pointer and middle fingers. The familiar feel is almost soothing. Almost. I turn the razor over in my fingers, examining every detail of it. The abrupt change in the shine as the sides slant toward each other to form a perfect, flawless edge. The way the thicker, rounded rectangle of metal is folded over the dull edge to make the metal easier to hold onto in ones fingers. An oval shaped hole directly in the center of the flat plane, and one half oval on either blunt end. Every bit of it is as perfect and flawless as the last.

My eyes abruptly change their focus onto my arms. It’s a foolish place to do anything self-inflicted, I know. But it’s most convenient, and while I’ve never been overly fond of sleeveless shirts, I’ve found that wrist bands can also hide the outward marks if I ever need to. Until such an occasion appears, however, I choose to enjoy being able to glance down, stare at my wrist ever so lightly, and see a quick glimpse of red to calm me before returning my attention to the lesson.

Softly, my fingers trail over the freshest wounds. Miniscule scabs break away, and I watch as equally miniscule droplets of red rise up to take their place. I close my eyes and trace each scar and wound on my arm. I silently count them in my head as I go along. Each time I lose track of where I was or count the same mark twice, I start over at the beginning once more.

It’s become almost a ritual now. My life has become a ritual. Each day is as carefully planned out as the next. From when I wake up, to my classes, to what I eat, how many bites I take, how many lines on each piece of paper, the number of times I tap my pen, this… It’s all done to perfection. Shining, precise, exact perfection. Nothing but my best is acceptable. Every letter must be identical. Every line of writing perpendicular to the edge of the paper. Every single one of my teeth straight and porcelain white, with the constant brushing. Every bite of food quickly and carefully calculated, measured, timed. A never ending cycle of perfection.

I finish counting, and smile again. A nice, even, round number. Perfect. As usual. Gently, I let my blade ghost over each and every line marking my pale flesh. Crimson droplets roll down my arm, leaving a red trail in their path. Like one long, straight, perfect footstep. More perfect than I’ll ever be.

The truth is, I’m not as perfect as everyone believes I am. I’m never going to be perfect, but not being perfect is not an option for me. It never was, and it never will be. I must be perfect. I have to be perfect. The best. The smartest, the neatest, the thinnest… It’s never going to end. Not until I’m perfect. Only when I have achieved that state of perfection will I be worthy enough. Worthy enough for what, I don’t know. But I’ll know once I’m perfect. I won’t be perfect until I know. Knowing and perfection go hand in hand.

I watch as my hand drags the small piece of steel across my skin as if it has a mind of its own. I don’t stop it. There’s no need to. Blood quickly fills the cavern created in my skin and spills out, running down my arm, my wrist, my hand, and into the whiteness of the sink. It looks almost orange against the blinding white porcelain.

Another slice, parallel to the first. Wounds just beginning to heal are ripped open again, blood flowing out to join the rest. The blade switches hands and slices twice in exactly the same spots on my other arm. Exactly. Yet again, a smile forms on my lips. The feeling is exhilarating; refreshing. It’s almost like a high. I gaze at my arms, and a faint giggle escapes my throat.

Almost perfect.

I walk to the door and peek out into the hallway. All is silent. Lucas and Tony have finished eating by now, and are probably getting ready to go to bed, well Lucas would be, TOny would be drowning his sorrows on the couch with a bottle of rum, or is it whisky these days over the loss of mum. Slowly, I walk to my bedroom, not caring about the remaining blood droplets still in the sink in the bathroom.

My footsteps echo as quietly as they did earlier. Scarlet drips from my fingertips, making its way from my arm to the floor. It’s beginning to slow, and I’m feeling only slightly faint. Not much blood has been lost from my wounds. The cuts weren’t that deep. Just enough to bleed nicely.A few moments later, I am standing in the entrance to my bedroom.

I look down at my arms and smooth my fingers over the drying blood that has caked on. The razor is still held in my fingers. I slash at each arm, reopening the wounds. They begin to bleed in earnest again, and I can’t move my eyes away in morbid fascination. I cup my hand and blood begins to form a small pool. Quietly, I walk to the blank wall just above my bed. Dipping three fingers in the blood held in my hand, I raise them above my head and spread the scarlet liquid over the wall in almost mechanical movements.

Feeling a bit dizzy now, I lower myself to the onto the bed just below the wall, leaning my back against it. I wipe the silver blade against my skirt to remove the redness. For a minute, I watch the blood slowly stream down my arms and soaking my white crimson sheets with red. My body is buzzing almost pleasantly. Yet at the same time, it’s numb.

I feel only a brief, sharp pain as I swipe the sharp metal against the arteries at the back of each knee. Another sharp pain for both cuts from elbow to wrist. Across each wrist. A quick stab deep into the large artery visible in the crook of my elbows. The blood is flowing quickly now as I let the blade fall from my fingertips. The room around me is beginning to spin, slowly one way, then a tug and its tilting and spinning the other way. Black spots of random sizes flash across my vision, each one outlined with specks of colors, like glitter. I tilt my head back to gaze up at the dripping scarlet on the wall. Suddenly, I feel a weight being lifted from my chest, I’m light as air, and I’m spinning, falling…

Four words grace the wall beneath the shining hourglasses. Four words will greet each and every Summer Bay High student come morning. Four perfect, straight, identically sized words.

Am I perfect yet?

What do you think?

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