warning this chapter containes self harm and may cause triggers,if you are uncomfortable with the content please do not read.
“Hi Cecilia how are? “My mum greeted sweetly
“Hi mum “something was up, I could feel it
“So how is work? “The sweet tone continued
“Have you met someone?”
Theeere it is
“No, mum still a spinster”
“ohh Cecelia I wish you would stop joking about this”
“Its fine mum I don’t mind my humor “
“You know that smart mouth of yours won’t get you a husband “my mum said making me feel we were in the 50’s
“Mum did you want anything, are you ok?”i asked cautiously
“Yes dear I’m fine, but I would really like it if you could join me for dinner “she said seriously
“But I was just there yesterday, is something wrong mum? Is…Is someone dying?
“No, Cecile you morbid goose no one is dying” my mum answered now annoyed
“I want you to meet someone “she returned back to her sweet voice
“Mum no…just no, your last fix up was a disaster!” I said exasperated
“Honestly Philips was completely fine” she huffed
“Mum he smelled his hands after scratching himself, who the hell does that!”
“Water under the bridge dear” my mum said dismissively “I want you to dress up cause I invited Tom for dinner he’s decent and he has his own hardware store in town , I have a feeling you will hit it off”
“With Tom the handy man “I said mockingly
“You know Cecilia I really don’t appreciate this tone and I’m quite upset that you take my effort for granted when all I’m doing is helping you have your happy ending!”
Aaaand cue the guilt trip
When is the dinner mum?
“Tonight at 8, you can even bring Chris, I know how much he helps you relax and it’s been a long time since he’s been over”
“Mum he was there last month “I deadpanned
“I know, hence long time”
“Mum are you also setting Chris up?” I asked mortified by the idea, I’ve seen it before it doesn’t end well “Cause I can tell you that is doomed to fail “
And apparently he’s already taken I thought bitterly
Stop it Cecilia! You had a fight, he has a secret someone and you should accept it and move on
“No, I know he has a special taste”
“Mum for the hundredth time, Chris is not gay”
“I know, he didn’t register on my gaydar “
“Anyway invite him over with you and don’t be late “
And then she hung up
Ohh for the love of Google!
I headed back home around 5:30 after an exhausting day, I took a shower followed by a power nap, and started to get ready at 7:30
I wore that flowy forest green dress I adored, put on some light makeup that emphasized my light hazel eyes and headed out.
As I closed my door I slipped Chris a piece of paper under his door telling him about the invitation
I know I’m being childish by not texting him , and there’s a big chance he won’t see it or make it on time ,but I was so hurt by his outburst I didn’t care .
I don’t understand how he could be so closed off after years and years of friendship, I was his best friend for god’s sake!
I arrived 15 minutes early which meant I had to endure a reprimand/advice from mum about how I spend my money, take care of my skin and how I’m running out of baby popping time.
At 8 sharp the bell rang and surprisingly it was Chris, my mum had opened the door greeting Chris warmly without hugging him (she had learned that the hard way), I stayed in the kitchen pretending to prepare the food being the coward that I am I didn’t feel up to another yelling match, but I could easily hear my mum’s voice
“Oh Chris you look exhausted”
“Yeah, had a big case I’ve been working on “Chris answered quietly
“Oh and have you won?”
“Yes, actually the closing argument was today he answered his voice sounding off to me
My mum didn’t notice
“That’s wonderful dear, I hear you’re quiet the successful lawyer “
“Not particularly “Chris said in a miserable voice
Again my mum hadn’t noticed
What was going on, I thought he won why did he sound defeated?
“You’re such a humble and kind man Chris, it’s a shame you’re still single”
What was mum doing?
“I mean, any girl would love to have you as her husband “
Mum don’t go there
“I don’t think it’s in the cards for me Mrs. M” he answered sadly
“Oh don’t be silly dear, I’m sure the right girl is just waiting under your nose”
Shit shit shit
It was a setup, there was no Tom!
I had to intervene before my mum’s anvil sized hints would get blunter
I finally had the courage to step out
“Hi Chris “I greeted him as if we haven’t had the mother of all fights this morning
“There’s my girl, look at her Chris, isn’t she just lovely “my mum cooed sweetly
Chris had his piercing eyes on me and I rushed to interrupt whatever he was going to say, because honestly I wasn’t sure if his response would make me happy or hurt.
“Mum I thought Tom the handy man was coming “
“Oh bad news dear, he just texted saying he couldn’t make it “
Lies all lies
“That’s too bad” I said faking my disappointment
Chris’ eyes shot up at me
“Oh Chris, what will I ever do with Cecilia, she doesn’t seem to want to meet someone”mum said disapprovingly
“Hello I’m right here”
“Maybe she needs to work on her people skills “Chris offered
What the flying axe of Thor!
”My people skills are just fine Chris “I looked him straight in the eye
“Maybe more of your sense of boundaries then “he said coldly
“Well if I wasn’t dealing with a stubborn brick wall maybe I would back off “I raised my voice
“Well maybe that brick wall is comfortable being what it is, and doesn’t need you picking at it! “He raised back
“Ha! Oh I assure you that brick wall can shove as much bricks up it’s…”
“Cecilia!” my mum interrupted looking miffed
´I’ll go prepare the salad “I said before storming out
The dinner was as awkward as it could get, after we finished Chris excused himself to the bathroom
After 10 minutes I started to worry, so I went to find him in our guest bathroom, but it was empty
I climbed the stairs to look in my bedroom bathroom when I heard scratching
The door was slightly opened due to a problem with the latch, and apparently Chris hadn’t noticed
I slowly edge near the bathroom and peer through the crack.
And my heart broke…
I saw Chris leaning on the wall his back sweating through his shirt, the soft black hair at the back of his neck also damp.
He’s breathing irregularly like the air around him is toxic
His sleeves are rolled up
I can see the bruise clear as day, but what chills me to my bone is what I see him doing
He’s scratching himself, hungrily like there’s something eating at him from inside, his arm is starting to bleed but he doesn’t stop
He continues panting and scratching and it’s getting so bloody that it’s just awful to look at what he’s doing. His nails are bloody as well as his palms, but his sleeves remain rolled up neatly and clean
He knows what he’s doing
And then he slows down, and gradually his breath starts to even out.
I edge back as quietly as possible and climb down the stairs in a daze
Chris is hurting himself
Chris has done this before
How could I have not noticed?
I head out to backyard because I felt I would burst out and howl from the scene I just witnessed.
I don’t know how long I remained motionless tears threatening to burst at any moment
But I snapped back at the sound of a car driving out of our drive way
I don’t have to guess, I know its Chris.