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My cheeks feel wet. I blink and realize that I’m crying. Tears streak down my face and I try to wipe them away with my swollen hands. Why are my hands swollen? They leave my face and I look down at the puffy, destroyed flesh which used to look normal. I stare at the angry red welts implanted on the insides on my palms. Black stains from my makeup are streaked across the surface of my swollen fingers. I trace one stinging finger up my arm. It is as destroyed as my hands. I assume the other arm is just as bad. It hurts. It hurts so much. My body is on fire and it is not a pleasant flame, it is a furiously burning forest fire, overwhelming and destroying everything it encounters.
I am at a loss to explain the state of the hands that do not look like mine. What is going on? Why am I crying and why do my hands hurt so much? My teary eyes scan my surroundings. I am half sitting half lying on the kitchen floor of my mother’s one story house.
The white tile beneath me is cold and I notice a pool of steaming liquid where my hands were before I had raised them to my face. I look closer. It is hot oil. And then I remember.
The pan, filled with popping oil is burning on the stove. I am home alone. Mother left early this morning to go on a rode trip with her new boyfriend. They’re going to spend a weekend in Las Vegas. I hate my mother. She only cares about the different men in her bed and how much wine we have left in the cupboard. She does not care if I do not like being alone over the weekend or not.
She does not know me. She does not want to know me. If she did she would understand how dangerous it is to leave me here alone all the time. When I am alone, things happen. Bad things happen. Last time she left, a mirror in her bedroom was smashed and she came home to find me dead-to-the-world drunk on the bathroom floor, laying in my own vomit. The time before that I had slit various pieces of furniture with a butcher knife and when she came home, she was too busy with her man to realize that her only daughter was passed out on a cut up couch covered in her own blood. A neighbor found me a few hours later and rushed me to the emergency room.
That was six months ago. After that happened, my mother tried to take responsibility and did not leave for more than one night for five months. This is the sixth month. It is her second time this week.
The oil is popping loudly now. It has come to a boil and the shiny bubbles explode loudly above the burning pan. I have forgotten what I was going to do with the oil. Oh yes, an omelet; an omelet that will never be eaten.
I near the stained stove. The oil is hot and steaming. I look down into the pan and jump back when the bubbles explode near my face. I am intrigued by the boiling grease. It calls me. It speaks.
When all is warm it is good.
I move in closer.
Near me. Near me.
Are you speaking to me?
You are alone. Give in and be with the ones you love.
I plunge my hands into the greasy liquid. It burns!
Make it stop! I cannot take it anymore! Why did I give in to you?
You lied to me!
I will only suffer. I want to love, to be loved, but now I will die.
Is dying a good thing? Maybe it is…
The pain is dulling out…
The floor tilts and the florescent light above me is brighter than I am used to.
The light blinks out.