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He hated the way they feed into her giving her all the attention she wanted over something so… There were no words to describe it. What she was doing wasn’t for what she said she was. She was doing it for the attention. To have all of them waiting over her hand and foot like little servants. “You’re so insensitive,” his friend Brian had once said to him “Shay’s depressed and you don’t even care!”
Seth glared he remembered that day all too well. All of his “friends” all of the fools listening to her every word, hanging off of her lies. “I would care,” he said back “If she was actually depressed.” They all stared at him for a moment stunned.
“How could you say something like that?” Brian roared getting in his face, “She was cutting herself and you don’t call that depressed!”
“No, I don’t. It was only one cut that she wanted you to find. She’s just feeding off the attention that you’re giving her. Not even you’re that much of an idiot to fall for it. Open your eyes man.”
“Go to hell.” Brian snarled.
“I intend on it.” Seth huffed turning away and leaving.
Now, he was sitting in his room trying to block out the world his thoughts of own. If there was one thing he hated it was self pity. So he wouldn’t pity himself. Not even on the fact that no one seemed to care. That they never even cared that he could leave for hours without anyone’s notice. That he was always the odd one out.
He was however, proud of himself for the ability to go virtually numb, to let nothing bother him.
He was stone and nothing could break him
He jumped when his cell phone rang and Brian’s number appeared in the caller ID, “What?” he snapped.
“Look, I’m sorry about what I said earlier. I know you’re just worried about Shay and you don’t want to believe this is happening.”
Seth paused for a second, he was at a cross road, agree and stay with his “friends” or keep his hold on his opinion and be persecuted for it,. “Yeah, I guess it really is getting to me, I mean its Shay.” He couldn’t believe his own ears lying just to fit into the statues quo.
“We’ll get through this; all she needs is our support.” Seth could practically hear Brian smiling through the other side of the phone.
“Right, I got to go my brothers calling me.” He lied
“Okay I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Seth hung up with out saying good bye. Eden, his brother wasn’t even home. He was at work or picking up something to eat on the way home. The house was quiet with out Eden to bug him. After his parents died in the fire it had always been just the two of them.
And now it wasn’t even that.
Seth listened closely as he stood in the bathroom stall of the school. He needed to make sure that there was no one else there when he did this. He pulled up his sleeve revealing all the scars. He needed to release all of the tension, all of the stress and pain. He took out his razor pressing it into his skin relishing in the feel of just having it in his layers of skin. Gritting his teeth he slowly dragged it across, ideally watching the blood flow from the wound and with it took all of the worry and all of his pain with it. Leaving nothing but a feeling of relief and satisfaction. He repeated this a few more times.
This is how he knew Shay was faking it. Depression is not a word to play around with. But he wasn’t depressed. No. He simply enjoyed reckless behavior. Because nothing was wrong. Everything was fine. Even when he washed the blood off his arm and hands. Even as he rewrapped his arms and pulled his sleeve back down. Even as he managed to smile at his “friends”
Everything was fine.
It was really ashamed though, that people so close to him could never notice that something was wrong. That he would never eat when they went out. That when ever he left the bathroom it would smell of vomit. That there were times when his wrists were so sore that it hurt to move his arms. That there were times when his eyes were blood shot as if he hadn’t slept for days. That on the inside, everyday, he died a little more.
When Seth got home from school he was surprised to see Eden was home before him, and that he was angry. “What’s up?” he asked oblivious to what he might of done to piss off his brother lately.
“Your report card came in.” Eden handed him the piece of paper all D’s and one F. The teacher’s comments said he was capable of better work. They said that he had no motivation. “What. The. Hell Seth.” Eden was deathly calm.
“I am trying,” Seth said “I just don’t understand the…”
“Don’t give me that bull s***. You got a perfect score on your SAT’s there is no f***ing way that you don’t understand.”
“How do you know?” Seth got defensive.
“Seth, you’re grounded till further notice. Am I understood?”
“You can’t do that!”
“Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. I’m tired of hearing you excuses’.”
“You don’t even try to understand where I’m coming from.”
“Seth, just go to your room.” Eden waved him off tiredly.
“Would you be happier if I just died?” His voice was steady.
“If I say yes, will you be happy?”
“F*** you.” Seth snarled before mounting the stairs to his room and flopped on his bed glaring at the ceiling. Life was a b****. Between his brother trying to act like more of a parental figure and less like a brother and Shay getting out of the hospital soon. Most would be emotionally exhausted. But not Seth. He was ready for whatever the world threw at him. Even if Eden thought he was a failure at life. Or that his own brother couldn’t bring himself to look at him. But he was okay with that.
Having the last of his family rejected him.
Emotion built in his chest. He never liked that feeling. It was a show of weakness. Almost like he was about to cry. And that was the one thing against the only rule he set for himself. No crying. He had to rid it of his body of it. He stumbled out of bed practically falling.
He doesn’t know how he found himself in the bathroom or why he was plunging his finger in the back of his throat, again. His eyes watered as he felt acid coming up, burning everything and tearing his insides raw. He panted softly, clutching his gut. Physical pain can block out almost anything. He learned this after his parents died, that time he accidently cut his hand and felt the relief of the distraction as blood and emotions flowed free. He also found purging emotions just as good. The sensation of his belly, curling in on itself, it hurt after words. There were no words to describe it.
Seth decided that humans were naturally stupid, or more so naïve. Wanting nothing more than to believe that the world is a perfect place. And when disaster struck, there was always a way to get pass it. Seth sighed at the thought as he left Shay’s welcome home party. He decided to take the long way not wanting to deal with his brother just yet. Eden had let him go to the party just because of the circumstances, who wouldn’t let their brother go to a friend welcome home party after they just got out of the mental hospital?
He loathed the thing; Shay kept glancing and smiling at him like she wanted him to say something. He wasn’t going to; she would not get any kind of sympathy from him.
He stopped by the park and sat down. The last thing he wanted was to be back at Shay’s house. He smiled a bit, he loved this park, his family used to come here and have picnics in the summer and sled in the winter. The more he thought about it the more he missed the time, this family. Eden now being a brother and trying to play parent, made him want his parents back all the more. He squeezed his wrist were cuts were still healing. He didn’t want to think right now.
“Hey!” He froze hearing a voice the relaxed when he realized that it was just Brian, “You ran off and Shay got worried.”
“I’m grounded remember? I need to get home soon.”
“You could have stayed longer.” Brian said sitting down next to him on the bench, “You’ve been anti-social lately”
“I just wanted sometime to myself, is that so wrong?”
“No, I guess it’s not.”
“Why are you here anyway?”
“Look, after Shay did what she did everyone been worried about you.”
“You guys were really close and then stuff happened and, you just haven’t been the same since. We all know you were kind of in denial about the whole thing. Did you ever think she was actually depressed and we just caught her before it could get worse?”
Seth stood up abruptly, “You think that you just happened to catch her in the beginning! No one gets caught in the beginning! They just let them go on and on till they die! There is no such thing as help!”
“Seth, calm down,” Brian stood up as well, “You don’t have to freak out.”
“I’m not freaking out!” He pulled his voice till it was horse, “You would know if I was! You know what scratch that you wouldn’t! You don’t know anything!”
“Seth, what are you talking about?”
“You know what forget it, just f***ing forget it!” Seth stormed off.
“Where were you?” Eden asked when he got home, “Brian just called asking if you were home.”
“I was at the party and then I went home.”
“Yes, where did you think I was?”
“I don’t know. You’ve haven’t been acting like yourself.”
“Of course I’m not, because you’re around me enough to know what me being myself looks like.”
“Don’t sass me.”
“I’m sorry; I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to “talk back” to my brother.”
“Seth, you’re making this more difficult that it has to be.”
“No, I’m not. I’m just saying what you don’t want to hear and you can’t handle that, can you?”
“Seth.” It was a warning.
“You’re not around any more and you hate yourself for it.” Seth said smugly, “You’re becoming like dad, and soon you wont come home till late at night, just to go right back out in the morning. You’ll start missing my school functions, you and your girlfriend’s anniversary…” His breath caught in his throat when he realized Eden had jacked him up the front of his shirt pressing him against the wall.
“Shut up. I’ve put up with too much s*** everyday to come home and have you talk to me like that. I’m jumping through hoops to support you and the only thing I ask for is a little corporation,” He set his little brother down, “But no, all you want to do is argue. You started failing classes. Can’t you get anything right?” Eden sighed leaning against the counter.
Seth was a loss of words for what was just said. His brother all but telling him that he was a failure. Not worth an ounce of life. “Fine,” Seth shrugged suddenly calm, “I’ll go back to my room and stay out of your way.”
“Seth, you know that’s not what I mean.”
Seth didn’t answer; instead he locked himself in his room. Eden would probably go to bed after this and give him the time he needs to do what he wanted. He pulled of his shirt showing all his scars to the world, though they will never see them. His road map self destruction. He fished under his mattress and pulled out his knife then cut deeply into both wrists. Dropping the knife and lowering himself to the floor, he waited.
“Seth,” It was Eden’s voice, “I wanted to apologize for earlier.” The door handle rattled, “You going to let me in?” Standing outside of the room Eden could sense that something was wrong, “Seth, don’t make me break down this door.”
Seth’s heart was hammering, causing him to lose blood faster. Eden shouldn’t be here. What would he think if he found him like this? What would everyone think? Would they think that there was something wrong with him? There was a banging and Seth could barely register that Eden, had in fact, kicked the door in. Then there was a scream, pressure on his wrist, and what sounded like a call to 911. Then, there were more people as everything went black.
Seth opened his eyes ands was practically blinded by a bright light and his only though he had was, “Is this heaven?” He tried to sit up and found that his arms were restrained. “You’re awake.” Gods voice maybe, but he looked to his right and saw that it wasn’t so. It was Eden. Which meant that he was alive. Eden smiled at him, a sad smile but a smile none the less. His eyes were red as if he’d been crying and tears still threatened to fall over the edge. “I was getting worried. They said you could be in a comma.”
“I’m fine.” Seth said not wanting to make things any worse than they already were.
They were silent for awhile, Eden clutching Seth’s hand the whole time. All the oldest of the brothers could do is wonder, how he didn’t notice this. How he didn’t see this coming. How he let this happen. “I’m sorry,” His voice was just above a whisper.
“For what?” Seth asked, “You didn’t slit my wrist. I did that myself.”
“For not seeing that you were this depressed.”
“I’m not depressed,” Seth said simply, looking at the ceiling, “I just didn’t want to live, there’s a difference.”
“I don’t care, I don’t feel. I’m perfectly fine.”
“Seth, you tried to kill yourself and now you’re saying that nothing is wrong?”
“Yes,” Seth mumbled as he moved his arms a little to see if the restraints gave any kind of leeway, “I’m fine.”
Eden shook his head tears slipping out, “Seth,” he hugged him close hoping that something would get through. “Of course you feel, you’re human like the rest the rest of us.”
Seth didn’t he just laid there not saying anything, even when he felt wetness on his shoulder and was sure that Eden was crying.
Seth sat in his therapy group looking around at the people he considered to be whack jobs. They were all here for what seemed to be suicide attempts and eating disorders. He still couldn’t figure out what he was doing here, after all, he didn’t have a problem. He never even paid attention when they were having group discussions,
He’d been stuck here for about a month and wanted out. His birthday was coming up soon and he wanted to be home for it. Sighing he looked out the window watching the trees sway, every now and then a bird would pass by. “What do you think Seth?” he jumped when he heard his name. He looked up to find everyone looking at him like they were expecting him to respond. The head of the group, a therapist named Jenny, smiled, “What do you think Seth.”
Seth shrugged, “I don’t have an opinion.”
“Alright,” Jenny nodded writing something down in her notes, “Everyone can go back to there rooms, except you Seth. I want to talk to you.”
He sat back down watching everyone clear the room, “What?”
“You’ve been here for a month and haven’t made any progress.”
“Define progress.” He challenged.
“Your brother signed a form and you’ll be moved to a different wing. One we believe will better help you with your problem.”
“Seth, you haven’t talked to us since you got here, and we’re worried that if we let you out that you’ll try something again.”
“What I did wasn’t wrong. You just don’t understand.”
“What is there to understand?”
Seth glared, “I’m not falling for your mind games. You’re just trying to trick me into talking. I’m not stupid.”
“Do you want to know what I think?”
Jenny smiled a bit, “I think you just want someone who will listen to you and what you have to say. I think you just want what you had with your brother and your friends back.”
“I could careless.”
“Why don’t you talk to your brother when he comes to visit you?”
“I don’t want to talk to him.”
“What about the stuff he gives you? You just throw it out.”
“I don’t want his pity,” Seth voice started rise from his calm demeanor, “What I don’t get is why people are making such a big thing out of this. I’m fine; I’m not like the rest of these people. I don’t have a problem.”
Jenny gave him a sideways look, “Do you really believe that?”
“So cutting yourself and a suicide attempt is normal, just like forcing yourself to purge?”
“Don’t say it like there’s something wrong with me!” He stood up angry, “You have no right to judge me just because you think that what you do is normal! You don’t know right and wrong like you think you do!”
“Then what is right and what is wrong?” she stayed calm.
“It’s wrong that…” his voice caught, “That people can de so blind an uncaring and…” he took a deep breath, “That people die for no reason when there are plenty of bad people who deserve to die. It’s wrong that everyone leaves me!”
“Who left you?”
“Everyone, no one cares enough to stay. Not even my friends.”
“If you’re talking about them not visiting you should know right now, that the only visitors you’re allowed are family.”
“Right now you’re considered to unstable. Any little thing can set you off.”
“That’s not true.”
“I told you the reason you were here in the first place, and you started to yell. As much as you hate this Seth, we can’t move forwards until you recognize that you have a problem.”
“There’s nothing wrong with me.” He snarled.
“Okay, okay. I think we’ll stop here for the day, but if this pattern continues till the end of my evaluation, you will be moved.”
It had been a week since Seth and Jenny’s first talk and there was a little bit of progress, if you could call it that. He put his opinion in during group discussions, which proved to be a bad thing because he was freaking out the other patients out whenever he opened his mouth. Thus Jenny decided that a one on one session would be best.
“So, how have you been?”
“I had better days.” Seth sighed knowing he was probably going to be here for awhile.
“Anything you want to talk about.”
“Do you still think that you don’t have a problem?” she raised a brow.
Silence. “My roommate Peter, he says he wanted to kill himself because he doesn’t want to go back home. So his dad wouldn’t beat him anymore. He has so many bruises on him, how could anyone not see that he needed help?”
“You could tell because he let you see. At home and at school he worked at hiding it.”
“No one hides things without letting something slipping though the cracks.”
“You think they ignored it?”
“They had to. He showed me a picture of him when he was younger. You can see how everything took a toll him; his face just looks so worn out now.”
“Does it scare you?”
“Why would it?”
“Does looking at him remind you if yourself in a way.”
“No,” Seth slouched in his chair looking for a reason that his suicide attempt was reasonable. Everyone else had issues, he had come to terms with that, but they all seem more serious than his. “I feel, I don’t know, stupid?”
“You mean about what you did?”
“I had my reason,” he glared at her, “I meant not knowing there were others out there who have it worse off than me.”
“You’re talking about your friend, Shay?”
“Just forget I said it.”
“Okay,” Jenny scribbled something on her pad before looking back at Seth, “Let’s talk about you for a little while. When did you start cutting yourself?”
“I don’t know, maybe two, three years back.”
“Do you know why?”
“No,” that part wasn’t a lie. The first one was on his hand, but it was an accident and after that that things just took a turn for the worst.
“You have no idea?”
“It was a long time ago.”
“Then why did you keep going. The last time you cut yourself, what triggered it?”
“I don’t know, anger, frustration?” Seth shrugged.
“What about when you feel sad or lonely?”
“I don’t get sad. It’s one of those emotions that are physically impossible for me.’
Jenny brow furrowed as she jotted something down again, “Do you think that it’s normal for people to be the same way.”
“I think everyone should be that way.”
“That includes when you purge?”
“When you force yourself to vomit.”
“That’s when I can’t get to my razor quick enough.”
“Quick enough for what?”
“To get the emotions out.”
“None of your business.”
“Okay,” she wrote something down again, “I think that enough for today.”
“You seem upset today.” Jenny noted, last week Seth had gone into an episode trying to pull the stitches out of his arm and clawing at his face. Once he was restraint he started throwing up. “You want to talk about last week?”
“Kind of,” he whispered, “I always thought that I could stop when it got too far, like it was the only thing I could control.”
“Me and everyone else.”
“It was something they didn’t know, something they couldn’t see.”
“You were hiding?”
Seth bit his lip, “Peter said that there was something wrong with me. He said that he heard some of the other doctors talking and that they think I’m just mentally disturbed.”
“That’s what set you off?”
“I…I think so. I remember starting to yell at him, and then I blacked out.”
“What were you feeling then?”
“Mad, I guess, kind of offended. He said that I was just doing it for attention.”
Seth glared, “I’m tired of these white walls, this place is supposes to help, but this color drives me crazy.” He sighed, switching the subject
“It’s so blinding, un-blemished, perfect.” He trailed off.
“And why does that bother you.”
“Nothing and no one in this world is perfect.”
Jenny nodded writing something down, “Right, back to you, why do you cut yourself.”
“Why do you care if I hurt myself? Why does anyone care what I do to my body? It’s my choice. If I were to kill myself it’s not murder, its suicide. No one is at fault but I and I’ll be dead so why does it matter?”
“So you do realize that there is something wrong with what you’re doing?”
Seth looked down at his heavily casted arm that was too sore to move with out using the other arm to coddle it. His throat was sore from vomiting. And he knew without even looking that “I’m tired,” he said, “I want to stop.”
“I brought you a cupcake.” Eden smiled sadly, “Happy birthday.”
“Thanks.” Seth smiled back, kind of. And when he did Eden brightened up, it was like for some reason seeing his little brother happy made him happy. Seth hesitantly peeled of the wrapper on the bottom. “Do you want a piece?”
“No,” Eden said, “I brought it for you.”
Seth let a real smile grace his face. It was almost like the time when they were younger and Eden made him a cupcake for his birthday. Those were happier times, when their parents were still alive. When he was still naïve. When they were still brothers.
Smiling again he took a bit, welcoming the taste of the red velvet. “It’s good.” He said, slightly surprised that Eden remembered that red velvet was the favorite.
“Really? Because I got the recipe online, I didn’t like it but I never liked that flavor, but I know you do so I took a chance and brought it anyway.”
Seth just kept smiling at his brother antics taking in the moment trying to figure out how he hadn’t realized that this whole time, Eden had cared. “I’m trying to get better.” Seth said, “I know I was difficult the past few months but I’m really trying.”
“That’s good; it gets lonely in the house without you there.”
“I miss you.” Seth said hugging his brother, “And I want to go home.”
“It’s going to be okay, even if it’s not right now it will be.” Eden hugged him tightly.
The last thing he wanted was a welcome home party; all he wanted to do was sleep. It was a long drive from the mental hospital that he found himself stuck in for almost half a year but it was worth it. “You’re not going to eat anything?” Eden asked as he saw Seth heading for his room.
“Maybe when I wake up, besides I don’t even remember what my own room looks like.”
“Fine,” Eden helped him with his bags, “You should know that I replaced the carpet. I tried to find the same color but…well I think it’s close to its original color.”
It tool Seth a while to comprehend what was being said to him, “Oh, well, it’s okay. I didn’t even really like it to begin with.” Seth smiled pushing the door to his room open.
“I tried to put everything back in the same place, you know because we had to take everything out in order to put in the carpet.”
“It’s alright.” Seth dropped his bags on the floor before flopping on the bed, “I missed this bed, the ones they had there were basically concrete.” He sighed.
Eden shook his head, “I’ll wake you up when dinners ready.” He said before leaving the room.
Seth was happy to be home that much was true, but it was almost like the whole place was a new as the day he first moved in. It was like he was a stranger in his own house, and he found it impossible to sleep. So he got up and he decided to search his room, which lead him to his CD collection. To his surprise there was an unopened pack with a note on the front. It read: “I saw this in the store on your birthday but Jenny told me you weren’t allowed to have it so, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!! With love, Eden”
He smiled softly seeing that it was one of his favorite bands. His happy thoughts were interrupted when he heard voices down stairs, “I already told you he’s asleep right now, you can wait for him to wake up but don’t go wake him up.” He could tell that, that was Eden voice as he made his way towards the stairs.
“You said he would be back today.” He didn’t recognize that one, “I want to see him.”
“Tough, he needs to rest and I’m not going to…” he paused seeing Seth on the stairs, “We didn’t wake you up did we?”
“Seth!” Brian smiled up at him. His voice must of gotten deeper over the time he was gone for him to not recognize it.
“H-hey,” Seth was happy to see him but didn’t really know what to say. Brian was his best friend. Brian was the one of the last people to see him before he left. And some where along the way Brian had tried to figure out what was wrong.
“You’re doing better aren’t you?” Brian looked worried again AS Eden excused himself, though he was right in the next room in case anything happened.
“Yes. Look, about before, I want to apologize about blowing up at you…”
“Don’t worry about it. I forgave you the moment it happened, besides I think that we all noticed that something was up with you, we just didn’t want to…”
“How has everyone else been?”
“They really want to see you.”
“I’m not sure I’m ready for that.” Seth said calmly but was panicking on the inside. He really didn’t want to face anyone, what if they thought he was faking or was weak?
“Don’t worry they’ll understand. We’re just glad you’re doing better.” Brian grinned, “Shay was scared the worse though, and she wanted me to ask you to call her if you get a chance.”
“I’ll try,” he whispered. After all this he realized it was possible to cry out for help. That Shay really did have something wrong and wanted help. That he needed to apologize even if she didn’t know what he was apologizing for. Somehow he needed to express this, now that he realized just how sever denial could be. When you think nothing’s wrong, but everything is wrong. When you think you’re not depressed and you’re right because it turns out you were just a little mentally disturbed.