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I wake up.

"She's awake. Mark, she's awake."

I hear muffled crying. I close my eyes, and somewhere stings dully.

Then it all comes alive.

My wrists. My chest. My stomach. Sharp licks of fire all over me.

Then I realize that I'm still alive and I start to sob so hard that my mother comes near me, hands fluttering around, looking for what hurts.

I wonder: Where do you put your hands on someone who hurts all over?

* * *

I remember the Before. When I wasn't in the hospital.

There was David, my boyfriend. There was Isabelle, my bestfriend.

In the After, there was...

There was me. The doctors. My mom's sadness. My dad's sadness. My therapist, Mrs. Huy.

My healing scars.

And then, there was him.

In the darkness, I found light.

* * *

"Sarah. What do you see when you look at the scars now?"

I stare at Mrs. Huy, weighing my answer. I hate group sessions.

"I don't know," I say. Someone snorts. Someone coughs. Mostly just silence.

Mrs. Huy sighs. "Alright, Sarah. Anyone else have something to share?"

"Yes," says Mary who always has something to share. "I had a dream last night that..." I stop listening fully.

Then, I hear a man's voice from around the corner, saying, "My son is just a very troubled young man. We were hoping that bringing him here would help him. I need to know that this will help him."

Then, a woman's voice,"We just want our son to be happy." I can't help but think that she sounds very fake. "Come on, Connie, will you please just talk to us? We're trying to help you, sweetie."

Connie. Weird name for a guy.

I hear no one reply, so I assume he's not going to talk to them.

"He'll settle in fine," I hear. They sound authoritative, which probably means it's one of the doctors.

"We love you," the woman says. She still sounds fake.

He doesn't reply to her. Their voices fade out and I assume they must've walked further down the hallway.

I tune back into the conversation. "...Alright, Mary, thank you for sharing with us."

The group session disperses, and we're left to either return to our rooms or go to the recreational center - where there's a crappy TV and stupid board games.

I choose my room. I walk inside, close the door. I stare at my scars, and think, what do you see when you look at your scars?

I see failure.

* * *

My boyfriend had stayed, when I was committed into the hospital. He had.

He visited me when he didn't have football practice after school. He would sit next to me on the plaid couch in the visiting area, and tell me about school and his friends and I would try to smile and listen.

And every few seconds, his eyes would drift down, to my wrists. I would pull down my sleeves over them, and I would say, "I think visiting hours are up," even though we both knew they weren't.

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