Author's Note: Umm… this is all mine, so steal it & suffer a horrible, painful death. Seriously. It just popped into my head one day… and it may be triggering to some SI's or former SI's, so be safe!
Hypocrite, a little voice in her head keeps whispering. She ignores it, and keeps cutting. I don't care if I am hypocritical, she thinks to herself. I can't handle this anymore, and as long as no one knows, I'm safe.
How are you safe, the little voice whispers back, when you are using a razor to take away pain? That's not anyone's definition of 'safe', Leda. Who are you fooling but yourself?
At least I have myself fooled…Leda got up to go to her bathroom and wash her cuts clean, and bandage them properly. Even after she had broken a thousand promises to her friends and her boyfriend by cutting herself again after a whole year of not hurting herself, she moved with the grace of a swan.
As stared into the mirror over the bathroom sink, a thousand thoughts raced through her head. I can't believe he would do that to me… I can't believe this is all happening. Why am I not waking up? Every other dream I've had like this, I've woken up before I even pressed the razor to my skin. But even as she thought that, she knew, deep in her heart, that this time, it wasn't just a dream. He really cheated on me, didn't he? And, dear God… I really cut again, didn't I?
After cleaning everything up, Leda crawled into bed. How is it that I can help other people, I can stop others from cutting, but I cannot even help myself? Why oh why am I cursed this way?
There was a knock at the door. Thank God I cleaned up in time… Leda thought as she called out, "Come in."
Her mother, Maria, opened the door, but didn't step into the room. She rarely ever walked into Leda's room, unless she absolutely had to. "I just wanted to remind you, dear, that tomorrow you have your hair cut appointment, right after school. Don't forget, or your hair won't be cut in time for your sister's wedding."
Leda sighed. Why is she so blind? "Yes, Mother, I remember. I won't forget."
"All right… good night." With that, Maria shut the door, and Leda was left alone with her thoughts. Once again, they turned to Drew, and the girl that he'd cheated on her with.
I thought he loved me, she thought desperately. Oh dear God, what do I do now?
At school the next day, she pretended that everything was normal. Always the little actress, aren't we Leda, the little voice in her head asked her. Too bad you can't fool yourself; then everything would be wonderful, wouldn't it?
"Shut up," she mumbled as she slammed her locker shut. Her best friend, Naomi, stared at her.
"Leda, who are you talking to?" she asked.
Leda tried to laugh, and apparently it fooled Naomi. "The little voices in my head," she joked as she walked away.
Naomi laughed, but Leda felt like crying. Great, now I've resorted to lying to the best friend I have in the world… she thought miserably.
In gym class that day, Leda sat out, claiming bad cramps. Tomorrow I either need a different excuse, or I'll have to get dressed in the bathroom… those big bandages on my legs are really hard to miss.
Naomi glanced at her suspiciously from time to time. When she had a break, she walked over to Leda. Shit… I'm in for it, Leda thought.
But, all Naomi did was mutter, "For someone who has bad cramps, you sure aren't acting like it," as she walked by. "And we will talk later, Leda Kenly."
Naomi was true to her promise. "What's going on, Leda?" she asked after school, as the girls were standing by their lockers.
"What do you mean?" Leda asked, not looking at her. Maybe if I act stupid, she won't suspect anything.
No such luck. "Did you and Drew have a fight?" Naomi asked.
Leda dropped her history book. Oh God. "What… whatever gave you that idea?"
Naomi narrowed her eyes. "You've been avoiding him all day."
Leda sighed, and quickly glanced at the clock. "Sorry, but I gotta go, I'll have to talk to you later. I've got a hair appointment that I can't miss; I gotta have my hair done before Sis's wedding. Bye!" As she practically ran out to her car, she couldn't help but think, thank God for that haircut appointment…
There were two messages for Leda when she walked into the door after her haircut. One was from Drew, the other from Naomi.
"We need to talk," Naomi's message said. "Call me, or I will call you back later, Leda!"
"Leda…" Drew's message began, before his voice broke. "Honey, call me back as soon as you can, all right? We need to talk… I love you, baby."
Leda ignored Drew's message. The bastard can call me back if he really wants to talk, although I have no intentions of talking to him. Thank God for Caller ID… However, she knew that, true to her word, Naomi would call back later. And call, and call, until she talked to Leda. Damn that girl and her stubbornness!
She sighed as she picked up the phone, and dialed Naomi's number. "About damn time you called!" Naomi said angrily as soon as the picked up. "Now what the hell is going on?"
Leda burst into tears. "H-he cheated on me!" she said through her sobs.
There was a silence at the other end of the line. "Drew?" Naomi said, shocked.
"Of course Drew!" Leda cried out. "Who the hell do you think I'm talking about?"
Naomi sighed. "I'm sorry, Lee. You just… surprised me. What do you mean, he cheated on you?"
"He slept with another girl." Leda whispered. She shocked herself by saying those words. Before then, it had almost been a dream, but when she said them outloud, her last hope of waking up and it all just being a nightmare disappeared. She barely heard Naomi's answer.
"That bastard!" she yelled. Then there was silence for a moment. "How do you know?" she asked.
Leda stared into space, and thought about the day before, when Drew had visited her house, and when he told her…
* * * * flashback * * * *
Leda leaned closer to Drew as he told her about the day he'd spent at his aunt's house. He'd only just arrived back, and was already at her house, telling her how much he'd missed her. They'd been away from each other for less than 48 hours, but to Leda it had seemed like forever.
"… and I played football with my cousin, too. He's about our age… you'd like him, Lee." He said.
She sighed, and rolled over, so she was on her stomach, and facing him. "You really like your family, don't you Drew?" she asked.
He looked surprised. "Well… yeah, I guess. I never really thought about it before, but I do."
Leda smiled up at him. "You're lucky," she whispered, going in to kiss him. He pulled away before she could, and she frowned. "Is something wrong?" she asked.
He sighed, and said, "Leda, there's something I need to tell you."
Leda smiled. "You can tell me anything, Drew, you know that."
It was his turn to frown. "Leda, I'm being serious."
"OK… what's wrong?" she asked, getting worried.
"Lee, while I was at my aunt's house, I… I met someone."
Leda was confused. Met someone? What does he mean? The look on her face must have been obvious, because he said, "I met a girl. My cousin introduced us, actually. I think he forgot that I had a girlfriend…"
Wait- had? Why is he using past tense? And what girl is he talking about? He can't mean… oh God.
"Drew?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Leda, I love you. But… well, the girl I met was… really nice. And pretty. And… well, one thing led to another, and… I slept with her, Lee."
Leda immediately pulled away. "You… another girl… oh my God, Drew! We haven't even…"
There was pain in his eyes as he reached for her. "It was a mistake, Leda, I swear that to you," he said hoarsely. "And I swear that it will never happen again, never, not as long as I live. I love you, Lee!"
She recoiled the instant he touched her, getting up and backing to the wall. "I loved you…" she whispered, in shock. "I loved you! I stayed true to you, even when other guys, guys who I know would stay true to me, tried to get me to be with them. Even when I was tempted to go to other guys, I stayed true to you! My God, Drew, do you even know what that means? Staying true to someone?"
He was breathing heavily by the time she finished, and looked close to tears. "I screwed up Leda! I'm sorry-"
Leda laughed, a dry, tear-choked sound. "Sorry?" she whispered. "You're sorry?" Then something dawned on her. "It's happened before, hasn't it?"
"No!" Drew shouted. "No! Never! God, Lee, I love you, please, forgive me, I promise it'll never happen again-"
"Get out." Leda whispered, glaring at him. "Don't come back, and don't ever talk to me again. I never want to see you again, Andrew McKerny!"
With one last pleading look in her direction, Drew had walked out of the door. It was then that Leda turned back to the blade.
* * * * end flashback * * * *
"Leda? You there?" Naomi's worried voice broke through Leda's thoughts.
"Sorry, Naomi." Leda whispered. "I just… got lost in my thoughts."
Leda then told Naomi exactly what happened, from the time Drew arrived at her house, to the instant he walked out the door. She didn't mention what happened after Drew left, though, and Naomi didn't ask. She was too busy talking about how Drew could've done that.
"My God, Lee, I'm so sorry!" she said. "I… I can't believe it. Drew? I thought he really loved you, I mean-"
"Yeah, I thought so, too." Leda whispered. She started crying again.
"Oh, Lee, I'm sorry!" Naomi said. "Please don't cry, I feel terrible now…"
Leda laughed. So typical of Naomi to feel bad for making me cry, when I have been crying a lot since last night… "Don't feel bad, it's not your fault…" she said.
There was silence for a minute. "So you two are broken up?" Naomi finally asked.
"Yes." Leda answered. "If he did it once, he'll do it again. I can't trust him, Nao. How could he do that to me? God, I loved him…" and her sobs increased.
Naomi sighed. "I'm really sorry Lee, but I have to go, Mom just got back with groceries and needs my help. I'll talk to you tomorrow in school, ok?"
"OK…" Leda whispered. But I doubt I'll be in school tomorrow… "Bye."
Click. Naomi had hung up. Leda put the phone back down, but as soon as it was down, it rang, and she jumped. Oh, that's great for my nerves right now…she looked at the phone. It was Drew's number. Hesitatingly, she picked up the phone.
"What do you want?" she said.
"Hi…" said the voice on the other end. "Honey, I just want to talk."
"Don't call me honey, you bastard!" she snapped. "And I don't want to talk to you!"
"Just one minute!" Drew said before she could slam the phone down.
"Fine. One minute." She finally answered.
"Lee, I love you!" Drew rushed out. "It was a mistake! I barely even knew what was happening, I was half-drunk-"
"What?" Leda said. "You didn't say that before!"
There was an uncomfortable silence. "I… didn't want to mention it, Lee. I know what you think about drinking, so-"
"You know damned well what I think about drinking, considering that my father died because of a drunk driver!" Leda hissed. "Boy, you're really pissing me off lately, aren't you Drew?"
Drew sighed. "Leda, I'm sorry… how many times do I have to say it before you'll forgive me?" he asked.
"Truthfully, Drew?" Leda said.
"I could never forgive you." With that, she hung up.
Hours later, Leda was still sitting on her bed, crying. God, why now? Why, when I've been okay for so long? What will I do now?
She glanced at the corner of her room where her razor was hidden. I can't live like this… she thought.
She reached for the razor, and pressed the razor down.
And so it went on. Drew never did give up on Leda, calling her night after night, begging for forgiveness until she hung up the phone. And, night after night, she would cut more and more to release her pain. Each time she reached for the blade, the little voice whispered, hypocrite in her head. And she knew that she was a hypocrite; she spent countless hours trying to help other self-injurers, but told no one that she had started again.
One night, a month to the day that Drew had told her, Naomi hesitatingly told her that she thought that maybe Drew was sincere.
Leda hung up the phone, furious. My best friend! Taking his side! But her fury quickly turned to pain. Oh God, what do I do?
As had become her habit once again, she reached for the blade. She was still cutting 20 minutes later when she heard the knock at her door. Shit! She tried to rush to the bathroom, but was too late. The door opened, and Naomi and Drew walked in. Naomi stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the blood that was slowly dripping down Leda's legs, and Drew ran into her.
"What-" Drew sputtered, but saw Leda's legs before he could finish his sentence. He paled considerably, and stared.
Leda stood there, frozen. What do I do? She asked herself quickly. Even if her body wasn't moving, her mind was racing.
For a few minutes, it seemed as if time stood still. The three stood there, each shocked and not sure of what to do. Finally, Drew made the first move.
He walked slowly towards Leda. "Let me help you… I love you, Leda," he whispered.
The last thing Leda saw before she blacked out was Drew reaching for her.
It's been 10 years since Leda died, and Drew's yet to forgive himself for her death, Naomi wrote. I doubt he ever will. I tell him every day that it's not his fault; no one is really to blame. But somehow, he still blames himself. He doesn't have to say anything, either. I see the pain in his eyes every morning when we wake up. I think he still expects it to be one bad dream… I guess I still do, too. But it's not, and I know that. I miss Leda, but Drew and I are happy together… now.
I know that Leda hated herself for turning back to the razor, and Drew blamed himself for doing it, but deep down, I knew it would happen eventually. Leda was never as strong as everyone thought she was, or as strong as she pretended to be. She thought we would be disappointed in her… which, we would be, but not as much as she believed. Poor Leda, she never realized that we really all did love her… and thank God she never knew that it was me who was the one that Drew slept with that fateful day.
We couldn't tell her, of course. It was his idea to say that he met a girl at his aunt's house… I wanted him to just pretend it never happened. He couldn't do that, of course. He loved her too much. It was a mistake though… and we were both drunk. But neither Drew nor I had planned to drink, someone had spiked the punch at the party we were both at. I still can barely believe that it happened… Leda was my best friend, and she trusted me more than anyone. I broke that trust, even though I didn't know what I was doing at the time.
I know that Leda called herself a hypocrite, she wrote that in her diary, the day before she died. But, I guess, it was I who was the hypocrite. I tried to comfort her when her boyfriend cheated on her with me, and I acted as if I knew nothing about it until she told me. I'm the hypocrite, it's my fault…
Author's Note: I'm sorry. Seriously. I know I am gonna get so many flames for this story… and I am very, very sorry. It just popped into my head… But what do you think? & no complaining that it's short, it's 2,765 words, according to MSWord word count. :)
Guess what! I might write a story with a -gasp- HAPPY ENDING next! Maybe. I almost made this one have a happy ending, but that's too out-of-character for me, and I have a different idea, anyways. :)
Trav: don't get any ideas, I'm not worried about anything. I love you!
All my other friends, Tig especially: Again, I'm sorry that this is… well, this. No, I am not getting any ideas, I was just in a sorta pissy mood. Don't be mad, and don't worry!