The Hardest Answerbycawastedyouth©
Julia and Lauren were wrapped in each other's arms, the light in Julia's bedroom was set very dim, but Julia could see something she had never imagined she'd see. She had made love to Lauren so many times these past months in all sorts of conditions, but now here just holding Lauren this way, Julia's eyes could not be torn away from Lauren's forearms. The pink scars were at least a half-inch wide in three different stripes below her elbow. Just following her line of consciousness, Julia reached over and touched each scar on Lauren's left arm following the jagged lines of desperation. Lauren shifted, uncomfortably. Julia moved and sat up and touched Lauren's right arm. Here, the knife had not been as accurate but it had been deeper. There was only one cut here.
It was an odd vision to Julia. Certainly Lauren wore shirts that exposed her scars, and when Lauren had returned to school, the scars were there. But here in the moderate light, with Lauren just a breath away, the words escaped her lips before she could stop herself.
"Do you know why you did it?" Julia asked softly stroking Lauren's right arm just above the cut. Julia didn't regret asking the question, knowing that they would have had to address this question one day. And today was as good as any other day to ask this volatile question.
Lauren took a sharp breath, wishing she were wearing a shirt to cover the scars. "Why did you come and find me?" she asked.
'Why did you ask? We've been going for so long and you never asked.' Lauren's heart accelerated, making it hard for her to swallow.
"It was my job, just like it's your job now." the earnest response drew Lauren to sit up in bed. Julia put an arm around Lauren hoping to coax the truth from her.
Lauren nearly shut down. She had never imagined she would have to confess this deep in her soul to Julia. She couldn't even fathom looking in Julia's eyes and telling her all that she had gone through trying to vanquish a demon that nearly conquered her. In those thoughts, she remembered the emptiness, the irresolvable fear that gripped her every moment. Lauren opened her mouth, found that the air was dry and that she couldn't form the words. And for a second, Lauren disappeared into herself, the fear bubbling up inside her heart tearing at the scars in her heart that she had worked for so long to heal.
The digital numbers changed again and again to Julia. She knew she was loosing Lauren in her arms. She pulled the white sheets around them, trying to comfort Lauren, hoping that having her closer would shake Lauren from this self-protecting stupor.
Fighting her tears and growing fears that Lauren had locked that part of herself so far away, Julia kissed Lauren's forehead. "I know this is hard for you Lauren. I want to know. If not now, soon Love, let me in, let me help you keep this healed." she whispered.
Hearing Julia's soft, patient voice brought Lauren back from the edge of fear. "I hadn't figured my way out. I didn't have it bad at all, but things did not seem to get better. I had you to talk to, but I didn't need to talk to you, I needed to talk to my family and that wasn't an option in my world. It still isn't."
Julia pressed further seeing Lauren's pain. "When was the last time you spoke to anyone in your family?" She pulled Lauren closer holding her tight as possible trying to shut away Lauren's anxieties.
"Maybe three years ago now? It's not like they call or send cards or anything." Lauren laid her head on Julia's as Julia's left hand idly stroked her back.
"Have you felt that depressed any other time?" Julia asked nervously. The answer that hung in the air could bring a whole new perspective, but it was an answer that Julia knew she needed the answer to.
In a few minutes of silence that stretched like taffy, Lauren thought long and hard. "I've felt 'depressed' mostly because I don't understand what's going on or I've felt lonely and I was unwilling to change things around me to make that shift I needed in my life. But nothing like being hopelessly suicidal." Lauren felt Julia relax.
'I'd tell you, I hope you'd help me again if I ever felt that bad again.'