Behind These Eyes

Copyright, Crimsonide

Four letters ran through her head and she knew them so well; she had spoken them thousands of times. Just the echo of the letters sent a calm feeling throughout her body, almost as if she was normal again; alive. She laughed at the thought to herself, “who the fuck wants to be normal? That means feeling happy.” She said with surety and self-doubt.

It’s been a while since Dakota has truly been happy and not had to question what she was feeling. It’s been so long that she doesn’t know what it means anymore. Dakota rolled around on her bed hoping her father wouldn’t come up the stairs and tell her to get ready for school. Looking around, she stopped to look out the window; it had snowed all night. The trees were softly feathered with the purity of cleanliness and innocence; the ground had the soft kiss of winter freshly bestowed, and the wind was breathing out life in swift motions. Then in one quick second she turned away, the perfection of winter made her feel hopeless. She closed her eyes in an attempt to fall back asleep. Interrupted by the soft click of the downstairs door, she knew she was going to have to wake up.

“Dakota, honey are you up? It’s time for school” her father softly bellowed up the stairs.

Sighing deeply she wished her father would just give up and let her sleep, she didn’t care about an education about her life she just wanted to sleep and no one would let her. After several seconds of debating whether or not she should try to get away with the excuse of being “sick”, her father began his way up the stairs. She didn’t want to go to school but she also knew that she had missed three days of school this week and he would not let her stay home.

“Dakota? Are you awake?” his voice said with concern.

“I’m up” she said in a clear note of annoyance.

She wasn’t annoyed about getting up early, but at the fact that she awoke alive. Pulling herself upright, she sat at the edge of her bed trying to will herself to stand up completely. Looking at the clothes on the ground from the night before, she reached her foot out and drew her jeans closer. Getting dressed in the morning was never a difficult task; she just threw on whatever was in front of her. After finally standing up and reaching into her dresser for a tee shirt she began the daily search for her bag.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, this always happens in the morning” she repeated several times in her head and aloud.

Scanning the room with her dreary eyes she noticed the long rough black strap, and the green material that enveloped her books in a protected shield. Making her way across her floor, she slipped on one of her mom’s letters that she forgot to put away the night before.

“And there it is the one reason I hate living, the one reason I hate being me,” she thought to herself.

Grabbing her backpack she slid it over her shoulder and made her way out of her room through the path she had cleared coming in. She came to the foot of the landing and stopped.

“I can do it. I’m going to be fine. I have it with me, nothing can hurt me.” She repeated this over and over as if it was a prayer.

Her hand reached out and touched the cold black handle where she rested her thumb along the top indent. Pulling the door in, and lifting in an up and out motion, she walked into the kitchen. It sent a chill by her and the scene from outside made her feel dissolute and detached. Walking from the carpet on to the smooth wood floor she remembered when she was little and would enjoy sliding on the freshly polished wood with her socks. Mesmerised in this memory she was startled to hear the sharp scream of the kettle. Its sharp voice ushered her back to reality. Staring out at the steam, she watched as it would rise up and then fade into the atmosphere. Snapping out of her trance she reached for a banana, and made her way to the front door. Her house was a maze and she loved it. It was extremely deceptive, the front of the house made it look so small, but once you were inside, you could easily get lost. The wood panelled floors intensified the appearance of the old wood stoves, and the doors that opened and closed every room. In one room she particularly loved the ceiling. It was a dark wood, which allowed for you to see the beautiful grain that ran along it. The shape of the ceiling was a square, so the wood was installed with longer pieces on the outside. So that by the time it got to the centre, the wood had gotten smaller and taken on an appearance of an optical illusion. But she was away from that room now, so it didn’t matter. Stepping out into the cold grey December day, she couldn’t help but see the perfection in the air. Everything around her was beautiful and she felt as if she was a dark black shadow hanging over the crystal white beds of frost bleeding in to its innocence, and polluting it with her corruption. Even the steps her father had taken to heat up the car looked beautiful. They were a harsh and ugly grey, but it seemed like the perfect colour and size.

“Alright lets get a move on, I don’t want you to be late you know,” he said slightly startling his daughter.

Dakota caught up in the perfection only managed a nod. She did not want to disrupt the suppleness of the morning snow. Piling herself into the car she moved as far as she could from her father. He had so much energy that she didn’t want to catch any from him. Ever since he found out she wasn’t “happy”, he would make an effort to have a lots of energy and enthusiasm around her. And it just made her feel worse.

“Hold on to your tea Dakota. I’m going to blast down this hill; it’s going to be fun!”

“Uh-huh” she said not caring if her tea spilt on her leg or if on the way down the car somehow swerved into a tree and she died.

Much to her disappointment the car did not swerve off the road. The ride down was smooth, and she didn’t spill her tea. Going away from her home, her room, made her sad. Looking out the window she stared into the blurring objects which she saw as trees, houses, cars, and people. She liked it when everything was blurry, especially when other people would see the same thing. It made her feel a kind of comfort. It was as if for that one moment they would see things exactly how she saw things; a blur of motion that she felt a sort of home in. Of course that moment would end, and they would go back to seeing things the way they understood them. And Dakota would be forced to close her eyes and pretend she wasn’t there. Still enjoying the deformities of the outside world and the blur of motion, she was drawn out of her trance by her father’s routine questions.

“So, what are you doing in English?”


“You can’t be doing nothing, it’s school you have to do something.” he said with laughter.

“No. I said I was doing nothing, which means nothing. And what the hell’s with the laughter? Are you trying to infect me with your perfection, your want for life, your happiness, the purpose and drive you feel to live?” She said silently to herself.

“I don’t know we’re just reading stuff,” she said aloud.

“Oh, reading is fun. What are you reading?” he said desperately trying to make this conversation last.

“Just different stuff, from some book.”

“Is it a novel?”

“Would you like to see it? Jesus! I told you all this yesterday, when you questioned what I did at school. If you’re so god-damned keen on knowing what I do at school then why the hell don’t you follow me to my classes?” she said extremely pissed that he always seemed to have to push her to this point.

It was as if he thought these morning conversations would somehow bring her back into the world of social interaction. But he was wrong. And Dakota most of all knew he was wrong. She didn’t want to talk, she didn’t want to live, and she didn’t want to be a part of this family, a part of the world, apart of the statistics.

Chapter 2

Arriving at the school, Dakota pushed open the door and stood in the silent rush of the students. Peering sharply at the doors that lead to her lockers she noticed the group of students standing frozen.

“Shit! I’m late again,” she said blankly.

Dragging herself unwillingly toward the doors, she pulled the cold metal handles, and steeped onto the slushy surface. The carpet softly sighed when Dakota repositioned herself to lean against the wall. Waiting for the announcements to finish Dakota studied the carpet; she couldn’t tell what colour it was from all of the snow, slush, and dirt that had been absorbed into its skin. To her the carpet seemed to be grieving, it looked like as if it was reflecting its feelings. The carpet was her friend; it was just as sad and depressed as she was. It cried endlessly whenever someone hurt it by their weight. She also cried when someone hurt her, except her tears were transparent and his were an ugly grey, that were not attractive. Suddenly aware that she had just befriended the schools doormat, she looked up and tried to focus on something more… normal. Observing the strangers she was standing with, she began to stereotype them all. Jock, jerk, insecure, promiscuous, slut, and regular. She knew that what she was doing was wrong but she also knew that those people were fully aware of the way they were. So she didn’t see the point in feeling guilty over it, in fact she didn’t see the point in feeling anymore.

“And that’s all of the announcements for today, Huntingworth High” the voice said crackling over the announcement system.

“Fucking finally!” a voice shot out with anger.

Weakly nodding, Dakota made her way up the stairs. Taking each step slowly, she moved away from the snow that was melting into puddles, and walked on the steps that had turned a sulfuric white from the salt on the snow. Opening the doors into the hallway, she couldn’t help but think if she was dreaming. She always felt like she was dreaming, everything seemed like an illusion, and soon she would wake up in her room. Unfortunately she never woke up, it was reality and she couldn’t even tell the difference anymore.

“34, 56, 78,” she said pulling down on the soft metal that secured her locker.

Grabbing her books, and throwing her jacket into her locker, she slammed the lock down hard and walked toward the bathroom. The school’s clock above her head glowed in crimson numbers showing that it was 8:35; she was almost thirty minutes late. Feeling the guilt rush into her by not being able to walk into class late, and be like all the others students and have the drive to go to class, she quickened her pace toward the bathroom.

The washed out blue door swung inward and she steeped into the solitude of the silence. Breathing inward, she didn’t have to question the fact that she was excited and happy about what was going to soon happen. Almost dancing in the bathroom, she hung her bag on the silver hook which jutted out from the door. Rummaging through her bag, she felt around for the only friend she knew she couldn’t lose. Her fingers prickled at the sharp edge of the razor. She immediately calmed down at the thought of the razors cool teeth running along and into her arm. She did have to think about anything when she cut. She didn’t have to be herself. And that’s what she loved the most. The truth was she didn’t even know who she was anymore. All that she knew she was disappeared into each cut she made. Pressing the cool teeth of the razor into her skin she stopped breathing, she put her full concentration into the cut making sure it ran just deep enough to relieve her pain. So, she pressed and she pressed hard, and ran into deep into her skin. Mesmerised by the depth and the blood that poured inward from the skin she took in her first breath, and smiled for the first time in a while.


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