01 - Alone - Starr
Nissa backed against the wall, and slowly lowered herself to the floor. She leaned her head back, tilting her tear stained face up to the ceiling.
Picking up the knife on the floor next to her, she stared at it with tear filled eyes. The blade gleamed in the light. Without hesitation she drew it swiftly across her right wrist, ignoring the searing pain. In another second she had slit her left wrist.
The bloodstained knife fell to the floor with a clatter, and Nissa stared with fascination at the blood flowing down her arms and dripping to the cold tile floor. Then she realized what she had done.
Sobbing quietly, Nissa knelt in front of the toilet. After several minutes, she felt dizzy and hollow. Attempting to stand, the room spun in a whirl of colors, and she fell back down, knocking her head against the floor. Blackness surrounded her.
*Four years later, 1998*
Fifteen year old Nissa Carter greeted Isaac with a hug. "You're back!" she exclaimed, giving him a small kiss on the lips. He returned it with a smile. "Yeah. And I glad, too. I missed Tulsa. And I missed you."
Nissa sighed and melted into his arms. "Did anything happen while I was gone?" Isaac asked with a concerned tone. Nissa paused slightly before answering. Then her expression darkened. "Sammi told everyone I was a slut, and everyone believed her. Now all the guys run to me, and all the girls hate me." Isaac's grip on her hand tightened, and he looked into her eyes. "You didn't try anything, did you?" he asked. Nissa pulled away and drew the sleeve of her shirt up slightly. Isaac saw the same old scar from before, but three new ones were added.
"Razor. Only my right wrist though," she explained, tears spilling over. Isaac wrapped his arms around her. "Oh Nissa. They didn't know you would do this. I'm sure." Nissa sobbed into his shoulder. "I know. But I felt so alone, Ike! Just like before!" Her voice faded out, and her eyes glazed over, remembering....
Nissa smiled at Kim, who glared back. "We don't like you, Nissa," she said. "No one does. You are such a dork." Nissa's upper lip quivered, and she burst into tears. "Please Kim. What is wrong with me?" Kim sneered. "You are what's wrong. Go do something useful." Nissa turned and ran from the playground, her vision blurred with tears. She ran all the way home, where she locked herself in the bathroom and...
"Nissa, please!" Isaac's soothing voice interrupted her day mare. "I'm here. You aren't alone. Remember that. You have me," he told her, just as he had before. Nissa sniffed and nodded. "Thanks Ike. I know I have you. I love you." Isaac hugged her again, burying his face in her hair. "I love you, too, Nissa."
*Four months later*
Nissa walked through the moonlit park, shivering in the cool breeze. She quickened her pace as she neared the bench up ahead. Drawing closer, Nissa saw Isaac walking towards it from the opposite direction.
"Isaac... why did you ask me to meet you here?" Nissa questioned when they reached each other. Isaac looked at her, then took her hands in his. "You cold?" he asked. Nissa shrugged. Isaac slipped his jacket off and draped it around her shoulders. Then he lead her to the nearby bench. "Let's talk," he suggested. The two sat, but neither said a word.
"So, why did you ask me to meet you here?" Nissa asked again. Isaac stared at Nissa, and a small sigh escaped from his lips. "Nissa...I...I'm not quite sure how to tell you this." Nissa's eyes widened. "I don't like sentences that begin like that Ike. Just tell me straight out."
Isaac looked away, then back into her eyes. "Ok. I want to break up." Nissa stared at him, a loss for words. "It's nothing personal. But I think we need to see other people, you know?" Isaac continued. Nissa shook her head. "No. Isaac, you promised. You promised!" she screamed. Isaac gave her a hug. "Nissa, I'm still here for you. Just in a different way."
Nissa pulled away from his comforting embrace. "No. You're leaving me. Leaving! That means...that means I'll be alone," she finished softly. They both fell quiet, and Nissa stood up. She pulled Isaac's jacket off and handed it to him, her tears rolling down her cheeks. "I'll be alone," she repeated. Then she turned and walked away, not looking back.
*Five months later*
Isaac laid a bouquet of red roses on the grave. Then he stepped back. "Nissa Elizabeth Carter, Loving Daughter and Friend, 1983-1998" he read. The sentence was all to familiar to him now. After all, he had been reading it once a week for five months. "Nissa...I'm so sorry. It was my fault," he whispered. The soft breeze carried his words away. A night like this, five months ago, it had happened.
"I thought you could take it!" he shouted. "You were doing so well... not an incident for weeks." Isaac stopped. "I wasn't gone, Nissa. I was still there. I didn't leave you, you left me! Now I'm alone."
He rocked back on his heels, then pulled the sleeve of his shirt up. His fingers traced the scar, remembering....
"Now I'm alone."