I could punch a wall today, she thought to herself.
It was true, she was alone. Her roommate was spending the night with their parents. And it wouldn’t be the first time. Of course, most of the time, it was during a panic attack, to calm herself.
But she wanted to punch a wall today. So, after a couple of hours, before going to bed, she did. She stood before the white wall, clean and cold.
She touched it with her hands, breathing in, breathing out. Then she took a swing, but stopped millimeters before her knuckles could make contact.
Her arm was trembling, her lungs breathing harder. Adrenaline was flowing through her blood, making her sharp, keen.
She chuckled under her breath with a huff of air, laughing at her own foolishness. She raised her hand again. This time, her fist touched it, a little bit of pain, but it wasn’t much.
Her body had weakened the blow out of reflex. So she did it again, but it was still too soft. Annoyed, she closed her eyes and took a few steps back from the wall, then a couple more closer.
Now, her body wasn’t aware where the hard surface was, and he couldn’t stop her blow. It connected again, harder, and, still with her eyes closed, she hit it again and again and again.
It hurt a lot more than before, and she cursed silently, holding her trembling hand. Her knuckles were red and blue, the skin split, but not a lot.
It was swollen, more than the times before, and fear settled in her stomach. The face contorted into a grimace, she stumbled into the bathroom and let cold water run over her hand.
For a couple of seconds, she just stood there, breathing. Calming down. Her heartbeat slowed, and her brain was filled with exhausted bliss. She looked at her hand, and it didn’t look good.
It looked like photo shop, surreal, swollen twice the size. Broken. But she could still move it, without it hurting too bad. So all good. The day it broke, she would have a really big problem.
How was she supposed to say why she did it? She could say that she had a panic attack and it helped calm her down, and that would be true. But she also knew that it wasn’t.
She knew other ways to calm down without hurting herself, but she liked it. As perverted as it sounded, she really liked it.
She liked how it felt, the hot pain, the adrenaline, and the way it would look afterwards, all black and blue, a purple hue. Pretty.
But most of all, she wanted others to see it, to ask her about it. To worry. It was stupid and self-centered, but it just was the truth.
Rubbing her eyes, she went to bed, the hurting hand curled before her chest. The next day came, and it wasn’t purple. It was an ugly green, barely visible. She wished it would show more.
With a soft sigh, she went to college. She sat down beside her friend, leaving her knuckles in the open, in the direct light of the morning sun. “What happened to your hand?”
Her friend looked shocked, worried. I punched a wall because I am a self-destructive asshole.
“I fell,” she said, smiling and avoiding eye contact. Her friend looked at her with suspicion. “You fell? On your knuckles? It looks like you punched someone.
Have you been to the doctor?” The doctor? Hell no. It wasn’t the first time she had punched a wall, and it always healed nicely and quick. “Nah, it will go soon.” Her friend still looked worried.
She started to panic. Don’t ask questions, please. Please stop looking. Idiot, that’s why you punched the wall, isn’t it? Stupid, stupid stupid.
She changed the subject, asking about their homework. Her hand stays hidden for nine days, until the bruises are gone.