Final Achievement

  • Contemplation.


    As I write this, I am contemplating. Contemplating my sewing needle.


    That’s how it started.


    A needle.


    A minuscule object, often lost and forgotten, with little power other than to deceivingly prick fingers and monotonously weave thread through fabric. Nobody would have surmised the unfathomable power that one needle could have dangled over me.


    I received my first sewing kit when I was eight, relishing its novelty and potential. I used to search for new cross-stitch patterns daily, pleading with my mother to take me to “the DMC shop”, an apparently nameless store in a quirky, cobbled backstreet. I would scan the extraordinarily quaint room in fascination, caressing the variety of soft wools and silky threads. Eventually, I would find an exciting new pattern of some foreign flower and enthusiastically present it to the French shopkeeper who would peer over her glasses at me. I would come out of the shop beaming at my mother in delight, clutching the little paper bag that crackled in the summer breeze. I cherished my completed cross-stitches, poking each needle that I used into the corner of the piece, marking my achievement.


    I feel numb. Empty. Quiet. Silence before the storm.

    My pen ravages the paper. Scratching and squealing.


    Ink swelling in hazy tears. Watercolour dreams and velvet nights. Faded plights of anguish rippling. The needle glaring down at me from my noticeboard. Reflected, luminous needles scrambling up the confines of my room. An innocent body transmogrified into a monster.


    The first time, the surface jutted underneath it as it yanked the trailing burst of crimson. A trail of ceremonial rose petals. A sensation of euphoria. An achievement.


    The needle taped on my noticeboard to signify my accomplishment.


    Sewing consumed me, giving me the nutrients that my body yearned for. I no longer required temporal aliments when it supplemented and enlightened me. It challenged and enhanced me every day, smashing rigid boundaries, shattering preconceptions.

    Encouraging lies and deceit.


    Deceit. I had always treasured my mother like a rare jewel that sparkled in sunlight, radiating bright crystals. She sensed my distortion as I faded to a misty dystopia. An obscurity. A blemish. An achievement. Whilst she shone, I dwindled. By the age of fourteen, my frame had withered like a rose - a rose that once possessed potential but inevitably decayed to some rotting corpse, shrouded in the undergrowth. Counting. Counting the numbers that gyrated and rigidly defined me like the stars that hung from the ebony ceiling, basking in their opulence. My mother observed with cloudy eyes as I shrivelled, helplessly swaying in an ocean of deliriousness. Drowning.


    The infinite pulsation of the clock is a constant reminder of my ephemeral nature. Pen scratching the note, grating like sandpaper.

    I would try to escape

    but the needle always brought me back.


    It captivated me, drawing me in with its bewitching power, sending shots of adrenaline that seared through my veins and ignited my senses.


    And then it escalated.


    Next, it was the blade. The blade of a razor that carved my heart, embellishing it with sentiments of guilt and adorned with self-loathing.


    When I was fifteen, I loved tennis. Smacking a neon ball to and fro, lurching forward, burning numbers that kept my decaying remains satisfied. Floaty white pleats fluttering in the wind, darting eyes, prickling beads of sweat. Giggling. Shame. I was laughed at by other girls for my furry legs that desperately attempted to conserve body heat whist I wilted. My feet felt heavy on the coloured tarmac of the courts, gravity imprisoning me, shackling me in paralysis as I stood, limp-handed and shuddering whilst they squawked in mocking tones. Flight. Oh how I longed to be like them. Their perfect genetics and their dazzling cars. Birds that had flown the nest and found their flock. The walk back to my mother’s car was blurry as I wiped my soggy cheeks, the salt dribbling onto my lips and seeping into my mouth, the bitter taste settling on the tip of my tongue. My mother bought me a lady-shave razor that night, placing the pink packet on my bed suggestively. After furiously scanning the web for Wikihow shaving tutorials, I shuffled into the bathroom, locking the door behind me. On my first attempt, I cut myself, the sting sharpening with every droplet of water that smashed against it, the blood seeping out and running with the water along the white basin to the plughole, swirling down the drain in a pattern that reminded me of a Werthers' Strawberry Campino sweet. An achievement.


    Exhilarating. So exhilarating that I craved to feel the sensation once more.


    Once more.


    A month or so later, hidden in the bathroom with the fortification of a lock, I found solace in crimson fire. A burning sensation that satiated my body and gave birth to unknown senses. An achievement. Beauty. Power. Indulgence. It made my heart pound against my ribcage and my pulse violently throb. For a minute, it surceased my heartache.


    Then like an avalanche, the beautiful veil of silence was sharply pierced with the crashing downpour of emotion, smacking me over and pummelling me with an icy fist. It never stopped. My violet wounds were invisible to the world. So I picked up the blade.


    For two years this has continued. Short bouts of recovery, endless terms of crushing avalanches and blazing infernos. Slithers of red scattered on my thighs like a game of pick up sticks.


    A game.

    It was all a game.

    All for entertainment.


    A needle.


    As I write this, I am contemplating. Contemplating my sewing needle.


    The needle bought in that curious french backstreet in the eyes of delectation now looming over me on my noticeboard, snarling at me and anticipating my downfall. The needle that I first marked myself with. That needle that withered me and blanched me before streaking me with crimson. The needle that drove me to a blade.


    The blade that now drives me to a knife.


    I'm sorry mum. This is my final achievement.