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Remember, your demons may try to convince you otherwise, but you’re strong. You’ll get through this, you don’t have to be alone.

By Zenobia Wiley, Staff Writer

Brown, barely faint lines. 

They run across my arm like short rivers. 

Some of them rest on hills, rising slightly higher than the others; most had died down. 

Staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I— Or maybe I’m not, I can’t tell if my eyes are open or closed. Long nights of blood, sweat, and tears race through my mind. Early mornings spent ensuring ichor wasn’t left on the floors or counters after waking up to white tiles, slumped uncomfortably against the wall. 

I couldn’t hear, couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. Was it daytime, or night? As if in a trance, I walked to my closet, my heartbeat pumping in my ears. Pushing books aside on the top shelf, I felt around until I found that tiny box, taking out my little handheld piece of familiarity. 

It shone in the light, beckoning me to create more rivers. 

The same rivers began forming on my face, only clear instead of red. I’m supposed to be past this, supposed to be healed. Over it. I wouldn’t dare tell my mother for fear of being sent to therapy. “What was so wrong with therapy?” I’d already asked myself countless times. 

I couldn’t pinpoint one reason for my sadness; my demons haunted me like a crime haunts a novice. No, don’t ask me about it. I never talk. Not when my friends asked me why my eyes didn’t match my smile, nor my mother when she asked the same. Instead of talking and releasing my feelings, I just made more rivers. Why? 

No longer. 

I must realize I’m the only thing holding me back. The only thing keeping me from healing. 

So instead, I throw away my silver sanctuary. 

No more rivers for me.