All parents want *something* for their children, whether it’s success, happiness, or just a better life than they had.
My parents? Well, after two older siblings who only survived a few sickly months after birth, what my parents desperately wanted was for me to be *safe*.
I suppose that reason is as good as any for why I turned out the way I did.
I didn’t grasp something was wrong with me for a while, despite the sudden deaths that often punctuated my childhood. It wasn’t until one day in 3rd grade that I fully understood.
Scott Thomas had pushed me down on the playground, splitting my lip and scraping up my knee.
He went home sick hours later, and the next day, a grim-faced teacher informed us Scott had passed away suddenly in the night.
It was that day I realized I was a danger to everyone around me.
From then on, my parents started homeschooling me. I was kept as isolated as possible without raising suspicion from neighbors.
We moved every couple of years, to ensure no one started piecing together the deaths that I inevitably wreaked on those around me, like some kind of modern day Typhoid Mary.
We couldn’t prepare for it getting worse, however.
One day, my mother caught my earring on her sweater as she leaned over to kiss me. The resulting drop of blood was all it took to send her convulsing to the floor.
All I could do was cradle her head in my hands, sobbing, as the life drained from her eyes.
Dad started drinking after she died, and stopped pretty much everything else. I tried to care for him as best I could, but nothing I said or did could rouse him from his lethargy.
Yesterday, he turned to look at me as I knelt beside his chair. His glassy eyes meet mine with a clarity I hadn’t seen in months. “I’m…sorry, Katie” he whispered, voice raspy from disuse.
He touched my cheek gently, and my heart filled with hope. We could find a way through this, together. We could…
He was so quick; I barely had time to register his hand moving before I felt the sharp sting of the slap across my face. He died in the space of time it took for me to scream.
I buried him in the back yard with Mom.
My decision was not a hard one, in the end. After all, what did I have left to live for now that they were gone? As I took the pills, I cried tears of relief.
I would be with them again, and best of all, I wouldn't be able to hurt anyone anymore.
I vomited the pills up within minutes.
It didn’t really take two other failed attempts- with a razor that dropped from suddenly weakened hands, and a gun I couldn’t aim- to realize the truth. There won’t be an easy way out for me.
I’m safer than ever. Even from myself.