1.2 That Night

In order for you to understand what happened that night, there are a few things you need to know about Sarah and I. First of all, I loved her. Secondly, she was depressed, and her cutting happened in phases of getting worse and better. I had first found out about it about 8 months earlier, but didn’t pay much attention to it because I hardly knew her at the time. As I got to know her better, I began to understand her moods, and how I could help her. Most of the time all she needed was someone to be there with her, hold her, soothe her, and tell her things would be okay. This was one thing I was good at, and she began to rely on me to be there for her, and I let her get attached to me.

Sarah and I grew very close, but it was one of those things that I didn’t notice until it had happened, and I found myself unable to let go. When she was hospitalized for her cutting because her parents thought she was suicidal, I went to visit her as much as I could in the psychology ward of the Children’s Hospital. I would sit with her and hold her as she cried everything that was inside of her, out. She would cry until there was nothing left, and would collapse in my arms, with no more energy to face the world. She was released a few days later because there was nothing they could do because she wouldn’t open up to anyone except me, and there wasn’t anything I could do to help her.

The real events of that night are something I’ve never been able to tell anyone. Sarah had been doing a lot better, and hadn’t cut herself in weeks. She promised me she would stop because she knew it broke my heart when she cut herself. We were having a sleepover in her basement, because her parents still didn’t know we were together. Her mom found her cell phone, and decided to read all of her messages. On that phone she found very personal love messages that only Sarah was ever supposed to see. Outraged, her mom called Sarah upstairs, and I could hear her mom yelling, Sarah crying, and Sarah’s dad trying to break up the fight before it got worse.

A few minutes later, Sarah came back downstairs, and collapsed into my arms, shaking and crying so hard she couldn’t even tell me what had happened. I could feel her body tensing up as the rage consumed her and her eyes turned dark and empty. She shoved me away, grabbed a piece of wood from the fireplace, and used the ashes to draw an arm and hand on the cold pavement floor. She violently drew slashing cut marks all along the arm as I watched with horror, not knowing what to do or say. Eventually she stopped, and brokenly began to try to wipe it off the floor. After a while she explained that her mom was forbidding us to be together, and after tonight we would never see each other outside of school again. She looked like she had been beaten up, and was now left to clean up the mess it made.

Cautiously, I asked Sarah if she was okay. It was about 3:00 in the morning, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted. She told me to go to sleep, things would be better in the morning. I can’t count how many times I have told her those exact same words. I curled up in my sleeping bag and started to fall asleep. That is when I heard the strange sounds: sputtering and gagging. Confused, I looked over at Sarah, and saw her slump forward. In a complete panic, I leaped across the room and frantically tried to untie the knot she had made around her neck using the string on her sleeping bag. I finally got it undone, and leaned her onto her back, realizing she wasn’t breathing. I had taken first aid, but forgot everything the second I needed to know it. I was completely panicked and about to run upstairs to get her mom when she started to cough as her body begged for oxygen. I sat there, completely shocked, with tears streaming down my face as she came back to me. I don’t know how she could have tried something like this. Did she really want to die? Sarah sat up, moved closer to me, and said to me, “don’t worry. I’m okay,” as she wiped my tears away, as if this single act could fix all our problems.

Sarah and I weren’t meant to be together. We were a toxic combination, and she needed to be free of me so that she could be her own person and grow into who she wants to be. That night could have ended it all, but thankfully it didn’t. I never told anyone about that night, because she made me promise not to. Even her parents don’t know how close she came to dying. I don’t know where she is now, because it has been years since that night.. She has been getting professional help, and I truly believe we are better off this way. I don’t know what will happen to Sarah, but I hope she will find herself and be able to leave the past behind her and move forward into discovering the person she really is.

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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

4 responses to “1.2 That Night”

  1. sarahmarie1632 says :

    i can’t even to begin how much this explains a lot of the reasons i am the way i am. my mom doesn’t accept that i am into girls and guys. the only time she accepts it is when i am with a guy which currently i am. and she loves me again. but it’s hard. and my ex went through the same shit with me. i know how it feels to be in that position. because i was once there as well. with the last girl i dated before i got with my boyfriend. and believe me it’s hard, but it’s better to not know how they are doing.

    • janinerussell says :

      I’m glad you found it easy to relate to. There are some aspects of my story I’m hesitant to share because I know people will judge. Especially when it comes to questioning your own sexuality, it’s a really hard thing for some people to understand. I don’t think my mom will ever be able to accept it, and I feel like in a sense she can’t really accept me either because of it. I have faith that she will come around. And I really agree with you. As much as I want too know how she’s doing now, I can’t handle communicating with her, so this is for the best. Thank you for posting this comment.

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