From Within

Chapter Four

Vicky was in her final year at secondary school, with her GCSE exams coming up.  This was a very stressful period for her with all of the revision and coursework that was due in.  She worked hard though, and her mum and sister helped her where they could, but as ever Vicky was usually far more consumed by her gender issues.  She managed to concentrate well enough and her parents were pleased with her predicted grades, she was set to do well.  However the pressure was mounting heavily on her, the people who in previous years that had made her life so difficult had over time learnt that picking on her was not a productive idea, and besides they were all too consumed by their girlfriends.  They would still sometimes pass a comment when they saw Vicky with a few books to revise from as she left the library but much to Vicky's relief they had eased right off.  Unfortunately the scars remained, and her physical appearance was forced to look masculine, and her sister's persistence towards her saying "you must tell mum and dad!".  This was constantly on her mind.

 

Vicky's mum and dad were also getting worried about her lack of concentration as time passed on revision, they had high hopes for her GCSEs and for poor Vicky their pressure although it was well meaning; she began to get very stressed that yet again she wouldn't live up to other people's expectations.  One night two weeks before the start of her exams, she shut her bedroom door and laid on her bed crying her eyes out, nobody else was in, she was at the lowest she ever felt.  She had no friends, her parents were demanding seemingly more from her, her sister wasn't around like she used to be, she looked horrible, she still had problems at school... It was just far to much for the poor girl to handle.  Sitting on her desk was a razor blade, she sat there, staring at it, looked away and around her room.  She took her jumper off, unbuttoned the cuffs on her shirt, and rolled her sleeves midway up her arms and picked up the razor blade, peered once more out of her bedroom window, it was a red sunset outside, she looked down and with the blade slashed her left hand wrist with the razor blade.  She made a shrill noise at the quick action and stinging pain, she looked at her wrist and blood at first seeped slowly from the cut, and before long she had her whole lower half of her right arm drenched in blood, she felt nothing anymore for herself or anyone else for that matter.  As she was deliberating slashing her other wrist to finalise her suicide attempt, she did not hear someone's footsteps up the stairs, they were Emily's footsteps.  She knocked on Vicky's door and entered, Vicky was facing away from her as the window was opposite from her door, and as Emily entered

 

"Hey!".... Emily entered just as Vicky had slashed her right-hand wrist as well she froze when she realised Emily was in her room.

"...we have Chinese tonight..." Emily paused as she saw Vicky was frozen rigid with her left hand clutching her right wrist in a rather peculiar manner.  As Emily walked around her bed to look at her, she at an instant saw Vicky's by now very pale face and screamed, and being a very squeamish girl, passed out, collapsing on the floor as she saw her sister's arms drenched in blood and dripping on to the carpet.  At an instant, Vicky's mum and dad ran upstairs

"Emily, Emily!  Where are you... are you OK, where are you?" her mum yelled running up the steps, as she turned around she saw her daughter lying on Vicky's carpet passed out, she ran into the room and by this time Vicky had also passed out on the bed, she screamed for her life seeing her two daughters (not that she knew she had two at this stage), one of whom was on the carpet and Vicky who was drenched in blood, Vicky's dad then ran in and grasped her mum by the arms from behind and saw the distressing scene, immediately, he told her mum to phone for an ambulance, she was frozen, until her Dad shouted "GO!".

illustration

Dad then ran over to the bed and saw a t-shirt lying on a chair near the bed, he tied it into a very tight knot around Vicky's right hand wrist, and ran to her drawers, opened them up and grabbed another tshirt and did the same for her left wrist, he then placed Vicky on the floor and managed to revive her, her eyes just opened so slowly as if almost to say "Fuck, am I still here?", Vicky's dad quipped

"Are you alright?" a silly question by any stretch of imagination, her mum then ran back in the room and saw Emily stirring on the floor and tears pouring from her eyes as she aroused, she got up and ran to mum and grabbed her so hard pointing to the floor jibbering with sheer fear.

"Don't worry honey he's going to be OK" said Emily's dad "You have phoned the ambulance Ellen?" he furthered asking their mum

"Y-, yes I have,  He will, will b-, be OK?  Oh m-, my, G-, god!  I wish they would bloody hurry up!  Why!  W-, what did w-, we d-, do Chris?!" Ellen exclaimed trying to get her words out, confused as seeing what she saw as her son on the floor, barely conscious and covered in blood, and almost innocently the offending razor blade sitting on Vicky's duvet gleaming in the setting sun.  Barely moments later the sound of sirens could be heard, Chris picked up Vicky in his arms and walked carefully down the steps and Ellen and Emily rushed after him, and opened the front door.  The ambulanced screeched to a halt outside their house and the paramedics jumped out, opened the backdoors and pulled out a stretcher as a matter of urgency, Chris placed Vicky onto it, and quipped what had happened to the best of his knowledge

"He's cut his wrists a-, and he's barely conscious, do something!!!" as even he began to panic.

The paramedics rushed Vicky into the back of the ambulance wrapped her up to stop her getting too cold and fed drips into her to hopefully keep her conscious.... Ellen, Emily and Chris stood at the back of the ambulance clutching each other and the back doors slammed as the ambulance roared off.  Chris ran inside and grabbed the car keys, shut the front door and ran to the car, and they all got in and sped off to the local hospital...

 

After much commotion that evening, Vicky was returned to a stable state and conscious again but worn out, she lay in the hospital bed staring at the ceiling tiles and the stripped fluorescent lighting that lit the ward, to her side her Dad, Chris and Mum, Ellen, sat by her bedside waiting for her to say something to them.

 

"Son, we're not angry" Chris sighed as he tried to cajole his 'son' into perhaps explaining events to them.  Ellen sat quietly occasionally peering up at Chris, but mostly fixated on Vicky whilst resting her head or her husband's nearby shoulder.  Emily returned from the coffee machine, it was dark and 9pm almost, the TV in the ward was on, showing some drama, but a faint mumbling in the background was all its output in amongst the coughs and the occasional patter of footsteps on the corridors from the doctors and nurses.  Emily passed the coffee to her mum and dad and sat down with her bottle of water and all three frowned staring at the silent creature laid on the bed, Ellen sighed - tired from an evening that should have been like any other except a bit more special.  Emily sipped the water slowly peering up at the wall clock all too often, not before long Vicky's brother James appeared on the ward, he had been playing an away match for his local football team and rushed back as quick as possible to the hospital on hearing the tragic news.

 

"Is he alright?" James asked

"He's stable, but not saying anything to us at all" responded Chris sounding less than hopeful, and unaware Vicky could hear every word and the reason she was in that bed, was because she was still him, he, a son, a brother, when all she wanted was to say "Actually, no I'm not that at all!" but she didn't feel angry at all.  Angry her suicide attempt failed?  Not at all, she already was regretting it, and saw how much her family loved her with their patience waiting and sitting by her bedside.  She was thinking long and hard and realised that more than anything in the world she had to say something, soon, preferably promise to tell her parents the reasons for her suicide attempt on getting back home.  Emily knew full well why her sister had done what she had, but she was both deeply hurt her sister did not even say anything to her to suggest she was very depressed, and on the second count, that she was so low and had sunk to the depths of wanting to end her suffering.  Vicky laid silent, a thousand thoughts every second all spinning around her head in no order and with no sense.  She rolled onto her side away from her family...

 

"I'm Sorry" she managed to creep out from her previously solemn lips, Ellen jumped up and immediately shouted,

"How can you be sorry, trying to" she could not muster the words but continued "We love you, don't you know...."

"Ellen, calm down, he's still in shock, we do not know what is wrong, the last thing he needs now is you screaming at him making him feel worse" Chris said as he jumped up too and stood in front of Ellen, hands on her shoulders.  Ellen looked down, and bit her lip softly with regret

"I'm sorry honey, I didn't mean that, I'm just, just too lost for words" Ellen said, reeling back, there was a pause

"I still love you all, I always will" Vicky muttered further, she rolled over and looked everyone and smiled as best as she could, she wanted to cry, but male hormones in her would not let her, a feeling she knew all to often, her mind told her body to do things it would not respond to...  She reached her hand out to her mum just to touch her, and that drew her in and the two hugged dearly, though for Vicky's mum and dad many questions remained unanswered, James sat equally as flummoxed but Emily could only try and pretend she didn't know the reasons when Vicky was asked "Why?", she could manage the occasional uncomfortable smile whilst looking at Vicky...

 

Two days passed and Vicky was discharged from hospital, and was back at home again, her wounds had started to heal very well, although she was very exhausted from the ordeal, as was everybody in the family, Ellen wrote a note to the school which was a blatant lie, but she wrote that Vicky had tonsillitis and would be off until next week, at least, there was no way that she could tell the school that in her eyes, her son had cut his wrists.  Emily took it into school with her, and that day Vicky stayed upstairs until the end of school working on History coursework, a subject in which she enjoyed a lot, especially the topic of the Cold War which absorbed her.  Ellen occasionally yelled up to Vicky to say there was a cup of tea made, or that it was lunch, usually Vicky would talk to her mum in the day over a morning coffee, but the recent events had made that impossible.  She had one thing on her mind, she had to say something to her parents and her brother James too.  At least she knew from the very unpleasant suicide attempt that she did truly love her family, and they had not in any way deserved her to commit suicide.  With that in mind, she also knew if she didn't do something soon, she could try again, and maybe then succeed, and then it would be too late for regrets.  She did not want that to happen at all.  She waited eagerly until Emily came back home, she went to her room and laid on her bed waiting.

 

At around quarter to four, Vicky heard the door open as she gazed at Emily's ceiling and various posters of handsome men and at least managing a smile for them.  It was Emily, she was downstairs for a while until Vicky heard her ask mum where she was, she came upstairs shortly afterwards, entered her room to get changed and there was Vicky lying on her side towards her, Emily rushed over to her

 

"Are you alright" she asked.

"I'm, fine, ish, well..." Vicky replied hesitantly.

"So what's wrong now?" Emily sighed as she sat down on her dresser stool.

"I, well, I've been thinking, and well..." Vicky uttered slowly

"What?" said Emily leaning forward intrigued by what her sister was going to say

"I, want to tell everyone" Vicky replied.

"Tell them what Vicky?" Emily asked, then realising her door was open!  She closed the door.

"Tell them, about, everything" answered Vicky.

"Ahh..." paused Emily "....ok, well, you know I think you should, do you really mean this, you mean you aren't going to bottle out?" Emily asked, trying not to pressure her sister who had only been out of hospital a matter of days.

"No.  I am not going to bottle out, but can you help me please?" said Vicky looking at her sister deep in the eyes, and by now sitting up.

"Of course I will sweetie" smiled Emily.  The two hugged very dearly and even some tears fell, they drew back and Vicky smiled at Emily again, comfortably with tears running from her eyes, the way they should when she felt emotional, she wiped them, and blew her nose on one of of Emily's tissues, all of a sudden, Emily said to her

"..come on lets work things out, I want to have my sister soon!" she joked but with an essence of truth in it.  The two girls giggled and began to quietly work out what to try and say, and when.

 

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