I Don’t Know

They took her to every doctor they could find, but the wound wouldn’t close. At a point, the doctors only shrugged their shoulders. They tested for every blood and skin disease they could think of, and prescribed whatever drugs could think of.  They tried everything, but months came and went, and the wound remained open.

It was located on the back of her scalp, near the neck and offset towards the left. Blood oozed continuously from that patchy, irregularly shaped gap in her skin. It was no fungus or blood disease, or whatever else the doctors were trying to call it. She’d done it herself. Something within her begged her to scratch it and tug the frayed edges of the skin. She opened it again and again, day after day. Some part of her needed to. As she went about her daily routine, going to school and playing with her friends, she dreamed about ripping it open again.

At ten years old, she was already adept at deception. The wound was to blame. She hid in the shower or picked away in her room at night. She never let anyone see. She knew to wash the blood and skin out from beneath her nails, and to pick any bits of scab out of her hair. This way, her parents would never know. They couldn’t. 

Why? 

Well, she knew that if she told them that she’d created the wound themselves, they would ask her why.

She didn’t have an answer.

Why did you do this? they would ask. 

I don’t know, she would say. 

The thought made her sick. She couldn’t bear the thought of looking her parents in the eye. So she hid it, and it continued to grow.

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