DISCLAIMER: CSI is in no way mine, though I wish it was there would have been no GSR.
WARNING: This story contains mention of self harm and suicide.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Sofrost for the beta.
Her blood falls to the floor with a steady drip, drip, drip as it slowly weeps from the wound on her arm that's drooped lifelessly over the edge of the make shift bed. The pool of blood that collects at the edge of her bed looks deep and sticky. The stench of the blood clogs the humid air inside the railway arch with a bitter sweet smell of iron. Somehow it almost over powers the stench of garbage and excrement that clings to the air inside the railway arches.
The light in here is so poor that I have to use my torch to pick my way to the abandoned mattress the girl is laying on. The girl looks to be in her mid-20's. I don't think that she's been living rough very long, she looks too well kept. Maybe she's a runaway. She's wearing dark jeans and a loose fitting t-shirt, dressed for the unusually warm weather. Her long brown hair is spread out over a make shift pillow.
On closer inspection I can see that she has been using a rucksack as a pillow. I move around to the top of the mattress and see there is a photo album sticking out of the top. I almost reach out for the album when my torch light falls on the young girl's face. There are dark circles under her eyes and her lips are tinged blue. She looks peaceful, laying here amongst the squalor and poverty. It's almost like she's just hidden away from the harsh sun light and fallen asleep. Even though I know it won't happen, a part of me expects her to wake up and wonder what we are all doing here looking at her. As I observe her I wonder what was going through her mind as she pressed down on the blade and drew it across her wrist. Was her life that unbearable? Did anyone care that this young life was lost forever? Would anyone mourn her? Would she be missed?
You see as strange as it may seem, I know. I know what it's like to wake up every morning and pretend that everything's okay. I know what it's like to be in a room full of people and still feel so lonely. I know what it's like to reach out to people only to be stung so many times that it's easier to stop trying. I know what it's like to hurt so deeply that it feels like the wounds will never heal.
I've tried it a few time myself, you know. I tried to end it all, nothing so bloody though. After a particularly rough day at work I tried to jump off a bridge. I had been working in the lab at San Francisco and had caught a really rough case. A little boy's family had been torn apart by a violent father. It was just too close to home, watching him being taken away by social service and his mother being led away in cuffs by the local PD. It had brought back far too many bad memories for me, my father telling me how useless I was or how I wouldn't amount to much. On my way back home I found myself staring over the barrier of the bridge down into the waters below. My mind still running over the past, memories still fresh in my head as if they only occurred yesterday. Suddenly my mind was made up and I was standing on the barrier then falling into the waters below. Just my luck that a sewage barge was passing underneath at the time.
After I had recovered I went back to work, luckily I received a call that I thought would help me forget my past and live my life. I had been part of the team for two years when I tried again, this time I took some pills followed with vodka chasers. Once again it was a tough case, followed by a complete dressing down by the one person who had come to mean more to me than anything else. But my luck again, that failed too. I woke up next day with a thumping head ache and my mouth as dry as the bottom of a bird cage.
I tried to hang myself a short time later but I was found. It seemed to me that no matter where I was someone would always find me. I kind of pity these people, the poor saps who think that they are doing me a good turn by saving me. They are wasting their time saving me. I know deep in my heart that I am a lost cause. If there was only a way to show them that I wasn't worth saving that I am useless and unworthy. If only they could see the real me. The one who is a constant mess, the who needs to control every aspect of her life. If they could see what I see when I look in the mirror then they would let me be. No one would be in such a rush to help me if they knew of the demons that plague my every moment. The only thing I need saving from is myself. You see, I have a me problem. I know that I am beyond help. I always want what I can't have.
That's why I fell in love with her. From the very first moment I saw her I knew that she was going to be someone special in my life. But her first words to me seemed to set our lives in motion. I could understand her reluctance to accept me, I was there to investigate the death of a young rookie who was left at the scene by one of her friends.
Even though she was horrible to me I was still attracted to her. She had a confidence about her that I have always admired. As time went on I realised that I was falling in love with her. Her hair always reminds me of the rays from the sun. It always looks so soft that I have to restrain myself from running my fingers through it or burying my face in her hair. I love her eyes. Especially when she smiles. They seem to light up from the inside. Sometimes I watch her when I think she won't catch me. When she solves something that's really bothering her about a case they sparkle like the stars in a cloudless sky. When I stand next to her I can smell honeysuckle.
I often wonder if she smells that good all over. Once when we were working a case together I accidentally brushed my hand down her arm. From then on I often wondered if the rest of her skin was as smooth and soft as the sun kissed skin on her arm. When she's sat at her desk writing up a report she will occasionally draw her full bottom lip into her mouth and nibble on it lightly. I have to admit that I have wondered what her lips would feel like pressed against mine. I love to watch her walk. Her lithe figure shows that she still has the suppleness and grace that she had in her days as a dancer. I find myself wondering, as I watch the gentle sway of her hips, if she's still as supple.
I hate whenever she has a date with one of her boy toys. You know that it went well the next day. Her beautiful full lips are always curled up into a smile. I wish that I could be the one to put the smile on her face. Even though it cuts deep inside that I'm not the one to make her smile, what hurts the most is when she's unhappy. I hate to see her beauty marred with sadness. I wish that I could take that pain away from her and never let her hurt again.
That's the way I've always been, wanting what I can't have. That's where the 'me problem' comes in. From the second that I wake up in hospital, with the doctors and nurses giving me pitying looks, I'm planning my next try. I always fail, but this time I'll be successful. No more pitying looks from people. No more pain from watching her not notice me. The young girl laying there has filled me with the determination I needed. Tonight I will find what I have been seeking for years. Tonight I will get my oblivion.
Some people use suicide as a cry for help. A final last ditch, desperate plea to the cruel, unforgiving world for help. But for other people, people like me who have tried to survive in it. It's an end to the pain and confusion that encompasses us every day. I wonder if it was like that for the girl. A wasted plea for help or finally an end to the misery that has plagued her life. I can see, that just like me, she has old scars and fresh cuts on her arms. I bet that if I was to look closer at the rest of her body I'd find more of the same. There's an unspoken rule for cutters, one that's learned very early on, if it can be covered it can be cut.
If I could see her closet I bet it would be full of long sleeved tops and trousers. That would be her 'uniform' regardless of the weather. I wear the same kind of 'uniform.' The cutters 'uniform.' To hide my shame at being caught out by someone who doesn't understand the temporary relief that I get from letting some of the negative feelings out. It hurts to see this girl. I think in a way, I'm jealous of her. She's so young but she's managed to succeed where I've failed so many times.
This girl has what I've chased for so long, oblivion. She has her oblivion and I have my pain. Pain that'll never leave me or let up. Pain that's constant. Yup, she's lucky. She'd have passed out before death had finally claimed her. The bitter cold that seeps into a body would have been un-noticed by the girl. She'd have fallen asleep before her body started to convulse because of the amount of blood she'd have lost.
As I turn to leave, I take one last look at the girl while I reach for my radio. I place a quick call to dispatch to send another investigator out so the girl can finally be moved to a safer place where she won't be pratcially devoured by the vermin that run amok unseen. Unseen like the girl perhaps? As I exit the building I silently apologise to the girl for intruding. When I move outside I can see an officer looking questioningly at me from the corner of my eye. I stalk past him and resolutely refuse to look him in the eye.
When I place my kit in the back of my SUV I take out my cell phone and dial the one number that I know off by heart. The phone rings out a few times and I start to feel nervous. Secretly I hope that she won't pick up. For once luck was on my side, the answering service kicked in. After briefly hearing her wonderful voice telling me to leave my name, number and a short message and that she'd get back to me I heard the beep.
"Hi, it's Sara. I'm sorry to do it like this, but I want to say goodbye. I just can't take it anymore. I can't live in a world like this anymore and be without you. We see so much horror and ugliness day after day and I know that I, personally, go home after each case leaving a little bit of myself behind with each victim. I know that if I had you I'd be able to regroup myself better. But I don't. I can't carry on watching you date men who can't appreciate how truly wonderful you are. Who don't realise the magic that lies behind one of your dazzling smiles, or who won't see that you are more than just a body, you have the most analytic minds that I have had the pleasure of witnessing. I just can't do it anymore. I'm sorry. I love you. I think I have always loved you from the first minute I walked into the AV lab. Goodbye my Catherine." I close my cell and with shaking hands I start up my SUV and head for home.
When I finally get home I go into the bathroom and run the hot water in the bath. While that's filling I go to the kitchen and remove a bottle of wine from the fridge and a glass from the cupboard. I move into my bedroom and pick some of my favourite CD's to listen to. I quickly move back into the bathroom to check on the running water before moving back through to my bedroom. I go to my closet and pull out a large storage chest that's sat on the bottom of my closet floor. Inside the chest I have hidden my 'special' pack. I keep it hidden away out of habit not that anyone would see it now though, no one cares enough to pry.
I quickly gather up the wine, glass and pack then go through to the bathroom. I place my 'pack', glass and wine at the side of the bath tub and quickly undress. I avoid looking at myself in the mirror, if I did that I already know what I'll see. Pale flesh criss crossed with old scars and fresh new cuts. I climb into the tub and lay back to relax and enjoy some of my wine. As the soft tones of Nine Inch Nails 'Hurt' drifts through from my bedroom I think over my life. All I can come up with is misery. Nothing but pain and hurt. Especially the last few years, since I met her. Every barb, every harsh word and every sneer we shared comes back to me with stunning clarity. There are a few times that we managed to make it through a shift without ripping strips off each other. I wish I knew what it was about me that she hated so much. If I knew I might have been able to change, but now I know that I'll never have that chance. The water has grown colder around me, so I let some of it out and top up the tub with more hot water. As I recline back into the warmth of the water I realise I'm ready. Now is the time.
I lean down the side of the tub to where I left my 'special' pack and flip it open. I lay everything out in a neat line and gently run my fingers over its contents. The most important piece of the pack is the switch blade laying in its pouch at the centre of the pack. Surrounded by antiseptic wipes, gauze and medical tape. I pick it up and look at it, turning it one way then the other. I like how the light reflects off the blade. It's almost pretty. I run my thumb along the length of the blade to test its sharpness. When I lift my thumb away I'm satisfied to see a single red line on the pad. I lay the knife on the edge of the bath and discard the rest of the pack. I have no use for the rest of it now. I reach for the half drunk glass of wine and down it in one swallow. I lean back into the bath and shiver when I realise that the water has turned cold again. I wonder how long I've been looking at the blade but discard the thought and refill the tub with more hot water and relax back into the tub. The hot water and wine have me relaxed to a point where I could have just dropped off to sleep. But I'm here for a purpose, I'm here for oblivion and tonight I'll receive it.
I pick up the knife and place the tip of the blade against my wrist. I hesitate for a moment and thoughts run through my head. Will it hurt? Will anyone care? Will she care? How long does it take for 2.5 litres of blood to pump out from a human body? I hear Placebo's 'Running up that hill' coming from my room. I can't help think how apt that song is. I push the stampeding thoughts out of my head and push down on the blade. The tip tears through the thin layers of flesh at my wrist, my goal is clear. Suddenly I see everything with stunning clarity. I dig the blade further into my wrist and drag it up my arm. I stop halfway up my forearm and remove the blade. I flex my fingers a couple of times, glad that I haven't damaged the tendons and ligaments too much. I swap the knife to my left hand and dig into my right wrist without hesitation. Once the blood is flowing freely from both wrists I drop the knife into the bathroom floor. I lay both my arms in my lap and watch with fascination as the water turns a deeper shade of crimson with each beat of my heart.
After a while my head falls back against the side of the tub. It feels too heavy to hold up on my shoulders. I think of her, of our time together. All the fights and harsh words we exchanged. Lack of blood must cause hallucinations because I can swear that she's here in the room with me as I die. She's wrapped towels around my wrists. Her hand is on my face, her breath on my lips. Her voice is in my ear asking "Oh, my beautiful Sara, why?"
I reply easily "because I don't have you!"
I can see tears roll down her face and feel them splash in the water beside me. I realise that my own face is wet as a darkness descends upon me. I know that this is it, this is my time. I feel her lips on mine. If this could have happened for real, then maybe things wouldn't have gotten this bad. Maybe if I had her as part of my life I wouldn't have gotten this bad, I wouldn't have gotten far. All of a sudden there is nothing, no her, no me, nothing.
This is it, this is mine
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