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A Cut so Deep (Thornes & Roses #1)
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Handsome. Dangerous. Tortured.
From a young age I learned love is a smokescreen. It does nothing but bring heartbreak and pain. My solace came from the darkness, from watching fear flicker in their pretty eyes. It’s all I knew.
We’re forbidden. We shouldn’t crave this. But there’s no longer a way out.
Polished. Pristine. Broken.
From a young age, I found solace in the dark, comfort in pain, and relief with a blade. It became normal to hide away, to watch the crimson trickle out as contentment flooded me. It’s all I knew.
It’s illicit. It’s morally wrong. But desire has a mind of its own.
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Sixteen years old
One thin slice.
Just one touch of metal to flesh.
Pain. A pinch.
And then, freedom.
It’s only the second time I’ve done it, but I already know that it’s going to be so much better than talking to some rich bitch who makes notes on her iPad about my well-being. Not physically, no, she’s testing my mind to see if I’m ‘normal.’
It’s low. Nothing more than a giggle.
Everything around me comes alive as I feel the warmth coat my skin. My hand is shaking, the blade drops from between my fingers, as pure relief shoots through my veins.
I’ve heard all about how it works. The internet is an amazing thing. Anything I need or I crave, I can find it there. I’m no longer shaking. I feel at ease with the world. Like everything is going to be okay.
Opening my eyes, I glance down at the incision I made, and a tear drops into the dark liquid. The deep crimson dribbles slowly. Languid in its path down my leg. As it escapes the thin slit, it takes my anxiety with it.
The trickle slows, creating pretty patterns over the tanned flesh of my inner thigh.
The euphoria is inexplicable.
My body is so free. Relaxed. I’ve only ever felt like this when I accidentally cut my hand on a broken glass.
It happened so suddenly.
But the moment the sting caused me to whimper, it forced out the worries, which plagued me for months, years even. I’d been so numb, so empty, the cut forced breath back into my lungs. The anxious knot that constantly twisted in my gut eased, and it was a release of all the stress and fear that held me hostage.
I was made to feel. Not expected to.
Every day, I have to be polished, poised, and beautiful—the perfect daughter of the perfect couple, who lives in the most perfect house. Everything the media sees; all the photos are made to look like we’re happy.
But we’re not.
My father fucks half his company—all the women, obviously.
My mother spends her days at the country club, where her pool boy tends to her needs that my dad no longer does.
When they come home, they smile and play happy family, loving parents, and honest people. I’ve numbed myself to it all, I’ve emptied my soul and shoved it into a box that I’ll never open again.
I have one year left before I can leave. Twelve months before I walk out of this place and never come back. The fancy rooms, the hefty bank account, the exquisite gifts, everything about it is fake; nothing more than a shiny surface for a filthy underbelly.
The need to be away, far from my life, from the normal that I’ve become accustomed to burns through my veins, reminding me that I can never be loved in the way I need to. Not from my parents, and not from the boys at school.
I’ve made my choice.
It won’t take much for me to walk away because I want to leave this place and never come back. I want to find my own way, without the rules and regulations that my parents have imposed on me, where I have to be perfect all the time.
Perfection is not real. It’s a myriad of broken pieces fit together just to shimmer when the light hits it. But, in reality, it’s broken, it’s shattered. Nothing more than an illusion to show off a poised, polished person that you can never be. Under scrutiny though, the fissures show up, and each time you fear someone might notice them, you add more jewels, add more makeup, more expensive clothes, hiding the ugly truth underneath.
I look at the cut on my inner thigh, it’s not deep, but it’s enough to release the pent-up frustration that’s taken hold of me. Enough to make me feel alive, real. I push off the floor and wince when the skin tingles and stings.
It’s high enough to be hidden from view. Only I know it’s there. Only I can see the truth of what I’ve done, and that’s how I know it needs to stay. I apply the plaster gently over the wound and pull the leg of my shorts down.
Time to be the happy child they created. Time to be the perfect doll my parents have portrayed me as since I was born.
And that all starts right now.
Happy birthday to me.
Two years later
There’s nothing more dangerous than time.
People come and go and, sometimes, they go before you’re ready to let them. When you have no choice but to say goodbye. It’s been a year since my father died, twelve months since I first found solace in the actions that I’ve become addicted to.
I can’t explain why, but I need it. Anxiety tightens my stomach when my mother knocks on my bedroom door. It’s my eighteenth birthday, and even though I can legally move out of the house and get an apartment, she hasn’t yet allowed me that freedom. Her argument is that I’m safer in the home I grew up in. For now, I’ll indulge her.