12. Scarification

“Sometimes, it’s the only way I can feel.” Sadie explained.  She tried to pull her hand away from Mark’s, but he was gripping it firmly with his own.

“It’s not right.”

“I know.”

“No, really, Sadie.  It isn’t right.”

“Whatever.  Fine.”

Mark looked closely and the blistered burn on the back of Sadie’s hand, then looked away.  “How did you do it?”

“With a knife.” Sadie stared out across the parking lot.  She knew she couldn’t trust him.  She never should have shown him, but it was too late now.  “I held my lighter under it for a few minutes, until the lighter burned my fingers.  Then I held the knife to my hand until I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

Mark wondered silently how she could hold the knife to her hand for long enough to do . . . this, but probably yelped when the lighter burned her thin fingers.

“It didn’t hurt much.”  She said, “Just enough.  Just enough to feel.”

“Feel what?”

“Anything.”

Mark tried to pull her close, and she slid farther from him.  Love was something she could not choose to feel.

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