She took a deep breath.

Was she really going to do this?

A tunnel appeared before her – as she stared at the bathroom door.

What would happen when she walked out of this room?

Everything would go back to normal. How it had been.

Her heart thudded in her chest.

And in her wrists… at least she knew this would work.

Life couldn't go on. She just couldn't.

She shifted her body up against the wall – hearing the paper rustling under her sneaker.

The paper.

The letter she wrote.

A note.

She imagined her mom reading it.

Finally knowing her hell.

Or seeing it writing.

She clenched the metal in her right hand, anger rippling throughout her body.

Her mother should have seen.

Must've known.

Must've seen it.

And didn't care.

It hadn't always been that way. She liked her stepfather. She had been ten when her mother married him. He was a fun guy, especially to a little girl. Always taking her out to the park, or the arcade, or the movies – a father she'd never had.

And her mother had been so happy. So excited to finally have someone to share her life with.

So happy she didn't notice.

When he would pick her up and set her on his lap – she was ten. She didn't like sitting on people's laps. But he would smile – and tell her she was such a great girl when she did. And she loved making him happy. He was her daddy – something he loved her to call him.

Her mother didn't notice.

When he would get her ready for school in the morning, tenderly brushing her hair back into little pigtails. He loved holding her hand.

She wiped the tears off her face, inhaling quietly as she cried. She couldn't let her mother hear her.

And then it escalated. A snowstorm. Her mother was stuck at work.

She could see it – like it was happening right there again.

She said it made her feel uncomfortable – the way he was touching her.

He told her to be quiet. That she needed to be a good girl.

She asked for her mom.

He told her the words that would forever haunt her. "No one's here to save you. Now lay down."

No one was there to save her.

And there was no one to save her as she sat there in the bathroom.

She was saving herself.

From the endlessly sleepless nights. It seemed like hours that he would spend in her room. The fondling. The groping. The horrific way he would use her.

All while her mother slept upstairs.


No one would save her.

But as she put the blade to her wrist, as she dug it as far into her arm as she could. As she bit into her shoulder to keep from screaming out.

As the tears and blood ran – if no one would save her – she would save herself.