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Tears stream down my cheeks. I feel so lost, so alone. I sit on the floor, in darkness, with the blade in my hand, my body screaming at me to cut. My mind tells me Iíll feel better. My heart says ďno, youíll feel worse.Ē Torn, I sit and stare into the blackness. I have closed the door, turned off all the lights, covered the windows so no sliver of light can be seen. If I am going to do this, I want to be in darkness. If I am not, well, I still want to be in darkness. The darkness helps. I canĎt see any outside distractions this way. My fight can continue uninterrupted. For this time, I must fight to the finish. I canít put it off for a later date. I have to face it now. The pain demands.

Shaky, I rise to my knees. The hand holding the blade trembles. Do it. NO. DO IT...NO! I CANíT! Please, I canít. I donít want to. I DO want to...the tears come faster. I wrap my arms around my body, rocking, wishing desperately for help, for anyone, though I know no one will come. No one cares. No one knows. The pain in my soul is intense, so strong it overwhelms. I want to end it, end the hurt, end the anguish. I donít want to live this way anymore, but I do want to live...CUT. CUT. YOU KNOW IT WILL HELP. THE PAIN WILL BE LESS. CUT. No, I canít, please God I canít...donít let me cut. This is no life, this...the endless pain, assuaged momentarily by placing it outside instead of inside, and then the guilt...I canít do this anymore. CUT. No. CUT, YOU FOOL! YOU KNOW YOUíLL FEEL BETTER IF YOU CUT! Please... THE PAIN WILL EASE. IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT. EVERYTHING WILL BE BETTER. No...for the love of God, help me... I lift the blade up, holding it to my flesh. THATíS RIGHT, THATíS RIGHT. GENTLY NOW. I set the blade, and tense my muscles...no! No I wonít! I wonít do it again. I canít , canít , canít , canít, canít. I scream, then break down, shaking violently, and curl on my side on the floor. Please God, please help me. Iím scared...

I close my eyes. I am dizzy, nauseated. Then I feel something touch my shoulder. I sense a warm and gentle presence at my back. A voice reaches my ears... ďItís all right. I am here. Do not be afraid. I have you now. Nothing can harm you.Ē Slowly, I open my eyes. There is a soft, radiant, golden light. I turn onto my back, and my eyes open wide in surprise... ďSssh. Donít be afraid,Ē he says soothingly. ďI am here to help and protect you.Ē He is kneeling at my side, the most beautiful being that I have ever seen. His shimmering hair flows around his head, setting perfectly against his glowing, golden skin. His eyes look straight into mine, and a great compassion and love shines from them. Gently, he takes my hand. ďIím here now. Talk to me. I will help you through the pain.Ē He helps me to sit up, then takes hold of the hand that is fisted tightly around the blade. I look down, surprised at how tightly I clench it, not having realized that I still hold it. I open my hand slowly. A shock runs through me to see that it is wet with blood, the edge of the blade buried deep in the flesh of my palm. I stare at it. ďNoooo....Ē I begin to cry. Then I feel the pain. It hurts. This time, it hurts. I didnít want to. I didnít want to cut... He touches the blade, pulls it gently from my hand, takes it away. Then he traces the cut lightly with his finger. As I stare, it begins to heal, the bleeding slowing and then stopping, the flesh pulling back together. Within seconds, it is entirely gone.

I look at him, startled. His smile is sad, but kind. He wraps his arms around me, pulling me to him. Then he unfurls his wings. The glorious white wings come down around me, enfolding me, holding me against his body. Finally, I feel safe. It has been a long time since Iíve felt safe. I bury my head in his chest and cry. He rubs my back gently. All of the emotions that I have suppressed for so long surge to the surface; all the pain, the hurt, the fear. I let them go, cry them out, clutching him tight. He holds me close, not speaking, yet communicating through his embrace everything that could possibly be said. After a long moment, he whispers in my ear, ďI love you. I care. And I will never leave you. You are not alone.Ē I hug him tighter, for the moment unwilling to let go.