February 8th, 2017
Hadley read the old Digitex clock on her nightstand. 7:12 PM. She had forty-eight minutes until Simon would be getting home. I’ve put this off for too long as it is. Forcing herself out of bed, she headed to the bathroom. The room was dark, blinds and curtains drawn to hide the fading summer sun. Halfway to the bathroom, Hadley lost her footing and fell, hitting her face, hard, on the carpet. Dazed, she sat up, feeling foolish, realizing she had tripped on a pile of clothes that had grown into a mountain over the past weeks. Hadley groaned, pushing herself to her feet. She walked the last few feet to the bathroom, and reached around the corner to fix the lights. She set them to a dim, comforting glow. Walking past the sauna, she turned left, reaching for the drawer to the right of the sink.
She opened the top drawer and briefly searched through the various pillboxes. Pausing, she considered her choices and decided on the oxycodone and ibuprofen. Clumsily, she opened the oxycodone, taking four pills out of the pillbox. One extra. Might help. She turned the sink on, putting two of the pills in her mouth, she bent down and took a gulp of water, easily swallowing the pills. She repeated the process for the second two, choking on the water this time. Hadley picked up the Ibuprofen, staring at it in a daze. She could already feel the oxy getting to work. This will save me.
Hadley dumped the ibuprofen on the counter. She counted out eight two-hundred milligram tablets and took them, one at a time. She turned to face the Jacuzzi. Stumbling, she walked up the two steps, and tripped as she climbed down into the tub, slamming her head on the nickel-plated faucet. Blood dripped from her nose and forehead as she reached down to stop the Jacuzzi’s drain. Hadley cranked up the hot water all the way until the tub was nearly full, topping it off with cold water. Needs to be hot. The water burned her skin at the meniscus as she stepped into the water. The burn felt good. Perfect. She sat down and laid back, letting her meds kick in. A little better.
After a time, she sat forward, reaching back to stabilize herself on the Jacuzzi’s side and stood up. She struggled to step over the Jacuzzi’s edge, almost losing her balance, light-headed as her blood pressure plummeted. She stood up and gazed in the mirror, blood slowly dripping from her forehead to her left eye. She’d lost more weight. Last she’d checked, she was down to ninety-three pounds, and that was three weeks ago. Her baggy tank top, now soaked, hid much of her skeleton figure, but her legs and arms were a reminder, a morbid template of what she used to be. What she could have been. Her green eyes, which she’d always been proud of, had faded to a dirty olive. Maybe it’s the drugs. But if my hair can turn to grey, why can’t my eyes lose color? How did I let this go on for so long?
Smiling, Hadley took a few steps forward, and grabbed the pink razor behind the sink. She removed its head, and took out two of the blades. She turned around, steadier now, and walked to the Jacuzzi. Effortlessly, she swung over the edge, wading again into the scalding water. The pain felt good, it felt peaceful. No more conflict. This is it.
The drugs made Hadley feel safe, made her feel at home. The running water became muted, all she could hear now was she and Simon laughing, back when they were whole. Setting the back-up razor behind her head, on the side of the tub. She held her left arm in front of her face, bracing herself. She cut her left wrist from left to right, slow and deep. It stung, a manageable pain. Carefully, Hadley switched the razer to her left hand, cautious to keep the wound out of the hot water. Not yet. I need to deepen the cut. She repeated the cut from right to left, on her right arm, but it wasn’t deep enough. She went over the cut again, twisting the blade back and forth, grimacing in pain. Tears welled up in her eyes. It’s too late to quit now, this is the one thing I can’t let myself fail at.
As a new wave of pain hit, Hadley dropped the razer. She cursed herself for not taking more of the oxycodone. Struggling to stay awake, she grasped the other razer with her right hand. Holding her left arm out again, she dug the razer into the base of her palm, screaming weakly as she slowly moved it an inch towards her inner elbow. Panicking, Hadley’s bladder released, her breath quickened.
She pictured herself with Simon, kissing, the day he’d brought her Silgan. For a moment, Hadley thought she heard Simon call out to her. It’s the delirium. Renewed, she sliced through another two inches of flesh, whimpering. Her wrist now formed a cross of sorts. Her tears shifted to laughter and back again as tore another inch. Struggling to keep her eyes open, she moved the razer to her left hand, and dug the blade into the same spot below her right palm, twisting back and forth to compensate for the lack of strength. Again, she thought she heard Simon call out to her.
This time, as she struggled to make the cut she screamed “Simon!” in agony.
Another inch she gouged “Mommy!”
Another inch she lacerated “Simon!”
A final inch she gained “Adam!”
Crying, Hadley looked at her arms, she’d done it. Now all she had to do was let them fall into the water. She would finally be free. Smiling, she saw her mom tucking her in when she was young. She saw Adam, being born. She heard Simon, call out to her, stopping her from getting on the plane, so he could get on one knee, to prove he loved her. Her arms fell into the water, which quickly turned pink. She heard Simon call to her again, she saw his face when she’d told him she was pregnant. She saw his eyes, as the water turned red. Hadley heard her husband call out “Hadley where are you?! Hadley!” A moment later, the bathroom door slammed open, it was Simon. No! He wasn’t meant to see me…like this.
As the water turned a muddy, blackened red, Hadley whispered “Simon, you’re…early.”
Next Chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/chapter-twelve/