Chapter One: Lightning Bolt Scars

"I just don't want to die without a few scars." ~Chuck Palahniuk~

The sheets on my bed are sprinkled with light drops of blood. Not the sort of blood you're thinking about.

I wipe the tracks of red off my arms and lay back onto my pillow, rubbing my left wrist with a wet cloth. It stings, probably because I got the cloth from the kitchen and it had some of the grains from last night's spicy rice still stuck to it. I groan and sit up, looking down at the pale skin which I've scarred so carefully. Sure enough, I see little flecks of red and black powdered spices surrounding the long thin cut.

I've made the cut perfectly straight and exactly as long as I wanted it to be. Maybe I should make a career out of this. At least I'm good at something. Maybe people would pay me to make lightning bolt scars on their foreheads like Harry Potter's.

I study my reflection in the dusty, full-length mirror standing opposite my bed and bite the edge of my lip. Should I try making one on myself first? I mean, I'm certainly not getting anywhere trying to kill myself.

I grab the little razor knife that was laying on my bedside table and stand up, walking over to the mirror.

But before I can feel the cool steel of the blade against my forehead, I hear the front door creak open downstairs.

I wait.


Sighing, I drop the blade onto the floor and drift down the stairs to where my mother is waiting in the kitchen.


She looks at me. "What were you doing upstairs?"

"Dancing." Hah, like she believes that.

Her eyes dart to my wrist and narrow… but only for the slightest second. "Jimmy is coming over for dinner."

"Who's Jimmy?"

"The engineer; the handsome one with the dragon tattoo on his arm. You remember him."

I don't. I never bother remembering Mom's boyfriends because none of them stick around long enough for me to care. But I don't point this out to Mom. Instead, I make a little "hmm" noise to pretend that he sounds familiar.

"So, he's coming over and I'll need you out of the way. Any friends that you can visit?"

"No, but I was planning on going out anyway." This time I'm not lying or pretending; I'm always planning on going out.

"Oh, that's great." Mom smiles at me. "I love you, Becca."

Yes, that's why you pretended not to notice the fact that I'm trying to slit my wrists and kill myself.

"Love you too, Mom."

We moved to Greentown a week back. It's this little area of houses and schools and small buildings right next to a city which reminds me of New York; with skyscrapers and clubbing at night. When Mom first told me we were moving here, I imagined it to be like where the Powerpuff girls live in their house. You know, a quiet little place just on the outskirts of a big city like Townsville.

But Greentown is nothing like the neighborhood the Powerpuff girls live in. Greentown, for starters, isn't green. It's grey. We live in a small dusty house that overlooks a busy, noisy grey road and everything either seems too overcrowded or too lonely. The parks have rocky ground instead of grass, the trees are all withery and old and the buildings are all dirty with stupid swearwords sprayed everywhere like some wanna-be graffiti artist suddenly decided to curse the world. The only good thing about Greentown being so grey is that it's cloudy a lot, which means it rains a lot. And I love the rain.

It's raining right now and I keep glancing longingly at the window as I pull on my boots. I grab my coat and rush out immediately. The street is empty. Apparently, Greentown civilians don't like rain too much.

Well, it suits me just fine.

I pull on my coat and dig my hand into my pockets, hiding the chipped-off black nail polish. I let the rain drench my hair and pour over my face.

I suddenly have an urge to sing. Humming under my breath, I kick pebbles out of my way until I find myself kicking puddles of rainwater, letting my boots get all wet and worn-out.

I look up and see a group of little girls jumping in a much bigger puddle. They're all bundled up in big, puffy coats of green, pink and yellow. They keep splashing around and I stop my own kicking just to watch them. The splashing seems to be the best thing that's ever happened to them and they can't stop laughing; gasping and clutching at each other's arms, they form a little circle and, taking turns, they do silly dances, trying to see who's the funniest.

My heart aches and I badly want to join them. Tears gather in my eyes and I don't bother wiping them away; the rain takes them with it, dripping down… down… down…

A woman of thirty-something emerges from inside a dull grey house and begins to yell at the girls for coming out in the rain when they could catch a cold. I almost beg her to let them have their fun but then I think better of it and walk on without saying a word.

The rain has picked up pace and it's now raining cats and dogs, which is an expression you're supposed to use when it's raining very hard but one that has never made any sense to me. Why cats and dogs? Why not pigs? Or cows? Or elephants, if it's raining really hard.

I've started walking in the middle of the road without realizing it and I can hear a car honking in the distance. I pause but then I stay exactly where I am.

So many times I've tried to slit my wrist or swallow pills but I've never been brave enough to do it properly, never done it right. It has to be spontaneous, I know it. It has to be a spur of the moment thing.

The car is honking louder now and it sounds almost as though the sound is coming from right behind me. I swirl around and hear the tyres screech as though the brakes are out of control. I hear a guy yell out and I hear the car skid on the wet road. I hear all of this right before I'm hit and knocked out – unconcious.

Well, that was spontaneous.

I will upload the next chapter as soon as I get a review! Please do review and let me know what you think! :)