Whirlwind (Excerpt)

by Avery Epstein, age 12
Whirlwind (Excerpt) Avery is in 7th grade. She reads and soccer player in her free time.

“So there I was, sitting at the poolside, roped up and bleeding. I was shaking with a feverish violence that seemed to come from a scorching hot place, deep in my chest. Right then, I knew what I was going to do. The little voice of reason that lives in the back of my mind was desperately wondering where Grace was.”

 

Entry 11

So there I was, sitting at the poolside, roped up and bleeding. I was shaking with a feverish violence that seemed to come from a scorching hot place, deep in my chest. Right then, I knew what I was going to do. The little voice of reason that lives in the back of my mind was desperately wondering where Grace was. But it quickly became clear that she wouldn’t be back in time.

I kicked my legs through the clear water and saw the tiny, pink streams of blood that flowed from my wounds. I swear I don’t crave pain or any psycho thing like that, but it sort of gave me the same satisfaction that writing did. I was making my mark.

I kept swishing my legs until all the water around me had a pinkish tint to it. Less and less blood was coming out, so I lay down on my stomach with just my arms and head peeking over the edge. I swished my roughed up arms through the pool. But it wasn’t enough, I needed to be fully engulfed. I need to leave everything behind and just be. I knew my pain was real. But I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t even truly experience it.

I just reread that, it doesn’t make any sense. Jesus, that’s the whole point. I’m trapped, and I want to explain why so badly, but I don’t understand it myself. I guess I was trapped, and I guess now I can explain. But sometimes at random moments, I feel this sense of dread, it overtakes me. I will have just left school or put down my book, when this wave of just… just everything I guess, will hit me and send me spiraling.

I took one more rope, and with even greater difficulty, I bound my arms and legs together. A permanent cannon ball. Curled up like that, I felt safe and unperturbed, but it only lasted a second. My stinging arms were beginning to get numb, and the cold was shocking me back to reality.

Then, I got a text. My phone kept buzzing, and it lit up my pants pocket. I figured it was just another missed appointment, another message reminding me what a disappointment I was.

It was Grace:

 

Grace Cameron 5:31 pm

Hey! I got locked out😞… r u still at the pool???💧🙆. Will you let me in?

 

Grace Cameron 5:34 pm

Did u leave? I left all my stuff in there… plz help!

 

Grace Cameron 5:40 pm

Wtf!? I can see ur phone lighting up through the window. Ur the worst! I am standing out here in my swimsuit. I can’t leave like this!

 

Grace Cameron 5:43 pm

LOOK AT UR PHONE. 😵😠💥

 

Grace Cameron 5:49 pm

What are you doing? R u OK? Wtf r u bleeding? Plz just answer me u r freaking me out!

 

If I had seen those messages, I would have rushed to the door and tripped over myself with apologies. Grace would have deemed me a blubbering idiot, but she would be relieved to be reunited with her stuff. She probably would have hardly noticed, much less registered, my wounds and the blood that had begun pooling at the edge of the water. I would have been so ashamed that I had even considered what I was, well, considering. I knew that there were families that were starving. Children without homes. Victims of human trafficking.

Lately, people always seem to be reminding me of that, that there were people less fortunate than I was. As if I didn’t know that. As if I thought I was the most disadvantaged being alive. I think that made it worse. I am a semi-smart white girl from a supportive family. Yet, I wanted to die. I couldn’t justify my emotions. I think if I had something horrible, and I mean truly horrible, going on in my life, I might have strangely felt better about feeling this way, if that makes any sense. I would have been a fighter, but instead, I’m a lazy girl who puts off her school work and wants a quick way out of her tiny problems. It was a vicious circle. I would tell myself that my pain wasn’t real. I didn’t need to pop pills until I fell dizzily asleep because there was nothing to feel bad about. But I did feel bad, I felt awful. I shouldn’t have, but I did.

So I was there with this whirlwind of thoughts spinning around, making my brain hurt, until I decided I was just going to end it. As soon as that decision had been made, I felt another hundred thoughts coming in about why that was the wrong choice and all the heat it would bring me. But then one last perfect, cleansing idea came to me, I wouldn’t be there to face the consequences. I felt it was less of an escape than a resolution, it was my fate. Like my whole life had been leading up to this one moment, and it was up to me to either accept myself and embrace it or be overcome by my fear and let it pass. That’s right, I felt almost courageous for knowing what I was going to do. Some people feared death and it’s finality, but I had partnered with it. Seen how death could enhance my existence and pursued it. I felt… heroic.

I was a fucking idiot. I made up this whole story about how great it was that I was going to kill myself, because even as unstable the foundation of the idea was, I wouldn’t be around long enough to see it come crashing down and hurt everyone around me. At least that was the plan.

 

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