I wander through the empty, dark aisles of the place I used to call "home" before. I enter the bathroom and turn on the cold, blinding lights. I blink twice to get my eyes adjusted to the intensity. Everything in there is white marble in different shades, glistening and sparkling and oh-so-beautiful. I turn on the heat and wait until the atmosphere is asphyxiating and I have to fight for breath to take the clothes off the sweaty skin. It used to be flawless, I vaguely remember opening the tap and waiting for the water to warm up. While the bathtub fills itself, I stare at my naked form in the mirror. I'm tall and have full, big, firm breasts with soft and dark pink nipples, beautifully shaped, and rounded hips, and long and slender legs. My hands are delicate, my fingers elegant, my body slim. My waist is minuscule, my belly flat and hard as a rock, my shoulders well rounded, my collarbone delicate and showing, and my neck slender. My hair is long and dark, and it would be shiny and silky, if not dirty and entangled and knotted. It reaches my hips, in which I still see the print of your corrupted hands. I then stare at my face. There one can see my waste. My eyes are big, in the little common colour of mint, surrounded by thick lashes and crowned by delicate, thin, elegantly arched eyebrows. They were once sparkly and beaming, but pain has dulled them, and I have dark purple circles under. My forehead is wide, but not too much; my nose is little, a bit pointing; my cheekbones marked, my cheeks silken and smooth. My lips are lovely; I used to like them until you forced your venomous tongue into them.

I used to be so pretty that men (and sometimes even women) turned their heads when I passed to stare at me with widened eyes, no matter what little the effort I put into my looks. I grew confident, and proud of my beauty, not knowing it would bring my disgrace. I am so young, but already look like a woman. Now my lips are swollen and bitten, my skin pale and marred, my cheeks covered with scratch marks, my eyes dull and surrounded by black circles. And yet, sadness hasn't managed to take every bit of beauty from me.

I grab the tools I'll need and slip into the steaming water. It burns my skin, as I hope fire will purify me. I submerge fully, and my hair gets wet and weighs more. Then I start. I take the exfoliating gel and the mitt and I scrub the skin of my whole body (which has turned almost fuchsia) as I used to do before going out. Then I grab the razor and shave my legs, as I have no hair anywhere else (I took the permanent depilation on my underarms as a present for my 15th b-day). Smiling, when my skin is clean and hairless, I wave the razor over my thighs and press just that little bit too much. I tilt my head back and rest it over the bathtub's edge when blood starts to flow. I change place and do it again. I have done it hundreds of times, because pain is the only thing you haven't dulled me to. The water slowly dyes in red. I smile. After a few cuts, I change thigh; and when I'm done, I scrub myself brutally again, trying to clean the humiliation from me but also enjoying the stinging pain as I widen my open wounds. Then I take the comb and start to untangle my hair –I have been a whole week in bed. I have to be beautiful again, I think, applying a good-smelling shampoo to help me undo the knots in it. Jade plant and French lavender, it says in the bottle. Well. When I have untangled it, I apply another shampoo –this one with silk and pearl protein, claiming to revive and smoothen down the hair. I apply another with bamboo and aloe for rebel and dry hair; this one is cream no shampoo. I even use one with figs, passion fruit and henna for darker and richer reflections in my hair colour. Then I apply a rich cream with shea butter and lilies to complete it. I smile as I streak my fingers through my silky, untangled, clean and perfumed hair.

I go out of the bathtub and empty it. Then I dry myself and let me fall to the ground. I grab my nail scissors and carve my calves with their nib. I, once again, have done this hundreds of times, experimenting the different kinds and grades of intensity of my pain, to finally decide carving with a curve scissor nib was better for my calves, the razor feather-light cuts for my thighs, the knife's intense pulse in deep wounds all over my forearms. That is my better pleasure, but it still has to wait, today.

When I finish carving I apply deodorant to my underarms and rub my whole body with a rich-smelling cream –Noa, by Cacharel. My favourite, since it also leaves tiny sparkly bits here and there, like rhinestones sewed upon my skin. I brush my hair and my teeth and lead for my bedroom.

I cleaned and tidied it up today. Naked, I prepare the lights for my scene, lay on the bed and over the pillows and cushions and grab my knife.

I slice my flesh open, which is your flesh, and watch my blood run, which is your blood. I was fifteen when you, my own father, raped me on this bed, when I was coming back to sleep from my bath.

I rip my veins open, one wrist, and then another. I calmly switch on my Mp3 player and listen to the sad, sweet song that has always made me cry.

We pray for our fathers, pray for our mothers
Wishing our families well
We sing songs for the wishing, of those who are kissing
But not for the missing

So this one's for all the lost children
This one's for all the lost children
This one's for all the lost children, wishing them well
And wishing them home

When you sit there addressing, counting your blessings
Biding your time
When you lay me down sleeping and my heart is weeping
Because I'm keeping a place

For all the lost children
This is for all the lost children
This one's for all the lost children, wishing them well

And wishing them home

Home with their fathers,
Snug close and warm, loving their mothers
I see the door simply wide open
But no one can find thee

So pray for all the lost children
Let's pray for all the lost children
Just think of all the lost children, wishing them well
This is for all the lost children
This one's for all the lost children
Just think of all the lost children
Wishing them well, and wishing them home

At the bit "home with their fathers" I manage to pull out a sad, maniacal laugh. When the song ends, tears stain my face. I feel so weak I know I could not move if I wanted to. I take a deep breath, finding it hard. There's no much time left. I'll die while listening to the heavenly voice that used to soothe me.

The next song is the saddest. Reminds me of myself. It'll be the last thing I ever hear. I smile.

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart...
No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities...
'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me...

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...
It's been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates and adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?
People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate,
For the Childhood I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like fantastical stories to share
The dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
The painful youth I've had

Have you seen my Childhood...?

No, I mutter, my vision blurred and obscured, the sobbed question and the crack of the door opening the last things I hear.