Sarah Ann

The First Cut is the Deepest

Copyright, Sarah Ann

Clutching her hand-me-down backpack, she walked the streets of her neighbourhood thinking of all the things she should have said. Her face still burned with anger and embarrassment as she thought about the events that had just happened.

‘Sarah swallows! Man, I bet she does! She’s one of those raggedy good girl wannabes that’s just another cheap whore’, one random classmate shouted as he followed Sarah home.

‘She’s pretending she can’t hear us! She knows she wants to jump on my dick. Don’t you, Sarah?’ A bout of roaring laughter followed and she quickened her pace.

‘God, please just make them leave me alone. Please God, please,’ she prayed silently. Her eyes began to sting with tears as one of the boys threw an empty pop bottle at her back.

‘I am not going to cry. Not in front of them. That’s all they want’, she thought to herself.

One girl, who was known for the favours she gave her boyfriend and the rest of his wide group of friends, decided to join in with the rest of the chorus, ‘what? Is a little dick not good enough for you? I bet you d like some of your friend’s nasty ass pussy instead, you dumb dyke’. Another empty bottle was thrown and it struck hard in the back of her head.

She couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. She felt so weak and so helpless. All she could do was to listen and keep walking. She had to keep walking.

When she reached the intersection, the group of teens went their separate way. She was relieved to see them go. She could finally slow down and catch her breath.

‘At least it’s the weekend now’, she thought to herself. Being the weekend, she had three days to strengthen her spirit and enjoy herself. She wouldn’t have to listen to her schoolmate’s insults until Monday.

As she continued walking home, she thought of things she should have said. She smiled to herself at the comeback’s cleverness. Next time would be different.

Approaching her house, she vigorously wiped her face in an attempt to hide the day’s events. Her mother’s car wasn’t in the parking lot, which meant her mother was out having another night on the town. It’d be the fourth night that week.

She sighed heavily, pulled out a key and let herself into the building. She was the only one home and she figured she had an hour or so before anyone would get home.

After dropping her bag off to her bedroom, she headed to the bathroom with a small stereo in one hand and a basket of things to make her beautiful in the other. She set the items down on the porcelain counter, shut and locked the door and began to draw herself a bath. She made sure the water was as hot as it could be and soon the bathroom took its temperature.

She peeled off her ragged clothing, beginning with her old t-shirt first. Once she was completely naked, she began to scrutinise every inch of her body.

Her legs were long, but not quite long enough. They supported her large thighs that didn’t match the rest of her body. It gave her the only curves her childish body had. Her hips weren’t shapely and her chest was quite flat.

Her focus continued travelling up her body. Her arms were long but small in width, her hands were child-like but rough and her nails were broken and chewed.

When she spotted her face in the mirror, she wanted to laugh at its hideousness but cry because it was her own. Her face was fair, quite possibly fairer than the rest of her body.

Her lips were broken and chapped, her nose was oily, and her eyes, though normally a light blue, were a dark, angry blue and red and puffy from crying. Her hair was long and ratty and a very dirty, confused, blond colour.

She ran a brush through her hair, pulled her hair up with a clip, and began to massage a cleanser into her face. She turned the bath water off and pondered why so many people disliked her as she let the goop set.

After coming to no solid conclusions, she rinsed her face and headed to her bath. She stepped one foot into the steamy water. Nearly melting from the warmth, she slipped her entire body into the bathtub. She closed her eyes and began to relax. Soon enough she was asleep, dreaming of a nicer, more peaceful world.

‘Sarah! What in the hell are you doing in there? You’ve been in there all night! Get out now and watch David! I’m leaving!’ screeched Amy, her sister, while pounding on the flimsy, locked bathroom door and abruptly waking Sarah from a peaceful dream.

Sarah looked at the clock. It was 8:00 meaning she had been in the bath for five hours. Sighing, she pulled her wet, waterlogged body out of the tub and grabbed a towel to wrap around herself.

‘Where ‘s mom?’ Sarah asked while leaving the steamy bathroom, fully aware of what the answer would be.

‘Where else? At the bar. Now hurry up and get dressed. I’m leaving and David is yours for the rest of the night’, her sister responded.

‘What? I’m not taking him! He’s a monster! Besides, isn’t our dad taking us tonight?’

‘I don’t know. I just don’t know. Now I’m leaving. Bye’, Amy said, rushing down the stairs before Sarah could argue back. There was a slam of the front door and the entire house was silent.

After getting dressed, Sarah picked up the phone and immediately began paging her mother. She was sick of spending nights being left behind by her mother and sister, being forgotten by her father and taking care of a brother that took his hurt and anger out on her. She was finally going to stick up for herself.

Hours passed without their mother calling and David was cranky from hunger. Sarah wearily headed to the kitchen to find something to eat. She couldn’t find anything to satisfy his tastes, so she sent him to bed hungry and soon followed suit.

The next morning she woke to her mother’s shrieks. She pulled the blankets over her head and rolled over to catch some more sleep. She was never much of a morning person. Besides, she didn’t want to wake up yet.

The screams didn’t stop and soon they became louder. Out of nowhere, her bedroom door flew open and her drunken mother entered. She was several feet away, but Sarah could still smell the putrid scent of liquor that poured off of her. She just looked at her mother’s glassy blue eyes, too scared to move. They were the same angry blue that Sarah’s eyes were the day before.

‘What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t you think I deserve some time to have fun and be with my friends? What the fuck is your problem child?’ her mother screamed.

Too scared to speak, Sarah just stared. She looked at her mother in fear. Every muscle in her body was fighting her will and trying to make her cry.

‘God, please just make her leave me alone. Please God, please’, she prayed silently. Her eyes began to sting with tears.

‘I am not going to cry. Not in front of her. That’s all she wants’, she thought to herself. Her mother picked up a doll, one she had bought for her daughter when she was younger and threw it at her. Seeing the shock in her daughter’s face, she picked up more things and threw them at her until the floor was bare and she was out of breath.

‘Clean up this damn room! And you better start packing, because you re going to your father’s’, her mother said, making her grand exit.

Still shaking, Sarah pulled out of her creaky bed and began picking things back up. She wasn’t sure whether to take her mother’s words seriously or not. She’d heard them before, but she seemed so much scarier this time.

‘It’s just my imagination. She wouldn’t do that’, Sarah said to herself. Her stomach growled and she headed to the kitchen to find herself something to eat.

Her mother had brought home some left over spaghetti from a nearby pizza place that night. She pulled the cold noodles from the aluminium container, placed them onto a plate and grabbed a fork. She didn’t bother to heat it up. She was used to being sent to her room before dinner and being allowed to eat once it was already cold.

She sat down at the dirty wooden table that was designated the dining room area of there living room. With the table in their living room, they wouldn’t have to miss a thing on TV when they sat down for dinner. That is, when and if they sat down for dinner.

While eating, she looked around the old apartment room. The walls were once white when they first moved in but they had turned yellow years ago from tobacco smoke. The carpet, once a comfortable place to lie, was worn and thin. Stains could be seen everywhere and were a symbol of the carpet’s hardships.

She began to smile as she thought about a time when her whole family lived together as one. Her dad and mom fought too much so one day he just left. Many of his things he just left behind. He was eager to get out.

Her older brother Daniel, who also once lived in that shabby house, was kicked out for merely mimicking his mother’s lifestyle. He began drinking, smoking and doing minor drugs. He got a young girl pregnant and dropped out of high school after their mother kicked him out.

‘What the hell are you doing? Didn’t I tell you to get packing, god damn it! Move!’ Sarah’s mother shouted, knocking the dazed child out of her seat. Sarah took a moment to collect her self before getting up. A single moment though, was a moment too much for her mother.

Her inebriated mother picked the plate and threw it at her. It was cold and it stung a little, but the worst part was that she felt like nothing all over again.

Sarah got up and tried to run to her room, but her mother gabbed her by the shirt and began to drag her to the front door. Desperate to keep the family’s issues hidden inside the house, she grabbed the doorway leading to the basement.

Clutching the railing, she looked at her mother with a child’s pleading eyes. Her mother, more malicious than ever grabbed Sarah’s blond hair and attempted to drag her up the stairs. Despite Sarah’s cries, she wouldn’t stop. In an attempt to make Sarah lose grip of the rail, she began slapping her, clawing her and hitting her. Whatever was needed, she’d do.

Mark, her mother’s boyfriend, stumbled down the stairs, stoned shouting, ‘what the hells are you doing Pamela? Knock it off! Leave her be!’ He pulled the grown woman off of Sarah, giving her enough time to run up the old stairs and make it to her bedroom. Shutting the door to her haven, she sat against the door and used her body weight to keep the door from stirring.

Sitting next to her, was her craft box that she’d had since she was much younger. In it were things such as beads, cloth, yarn and safety pins. She picked a safety pin and looked at it. It gleamed in the fluorescent lighting above her. She opened it and carefully dragged it against her skin. It stung, but it was a pain that soothed her.

She had heard of people cutting themselves before and she’d done it before too. She didn’t care for it much, but then she did it for an adrenaline rush. This time, it was different. It was a release and it felt greater than anything she had ever felt before. She nearly forgot about the riot going on outside her door as she drew her own blood.

She watched the blood drip down her arm in amazement. She felt so much stronger, like she had control once again. She felt like no one could harm her because she could harm herself and to be able to harm yourself you had to be strong, right?

Just as she was about to make another mar, there was a knock on her bedroom door.

‘It’s the police, we’d like you to open up your door so we can see if you’re all right’, barked a voice outside her door. She was scared to leave her retreat but she put the safety pin in her pocket and reached for the closest long sleeve shirt from her bedroom floor. She threw on the shirt and opened the door warily.

‘Hon, we’re going to find somewhere else for you to go. Your mom won’t be able to hurt you there. Just come with us’, one of the two men said in a fake soothing voice.

She was scared, but she placed her hand in her pocket and felt the pin. She took a deep breath and followed the two men down the stairs and out of the old apartment.


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