The stillness of the water was disturbed by the tears that streamed down my face. Through my blurred eyes I could see the knife in my hands. Two quick slices and it would all be over, my pain ended for all time. But I couldn’t do it. I was too cowardly. Even though I had nothing left in my life, I still couldn’t end it all, even though I wanted to so badly.

Nothing ever went right for me. I was an orphan at a young age, destined for orphanages before I knew how to read. It was rough, going from foster home to foster home, but it was even rougher when I discovered that I was gay. Being in a place where the smallest crack in your shield could be devastating, I couldn’t let anyone find out. But, even with all the pretending, I couldn’t hide it forever, and that’s what hurt the most.

His name was Sean. At one time, I thought he was my closest friend. We both were in the same home for five years together, and while I never actually told him I was gay, I thought he accepted me for who I was. But I was wrong. One day, when I was in the tenth grade, he turned on me. I should have saw it coming. He had grown up, unlike me, and was starting to hang out with all the jocks. I was able to play sports, but I didn’t grow yet, and it felt like we were growing apart. I wish I had noticed it before, but I was so blinded by my feelings for him. It wasn’t love, it was more like a feeling of comfort, a feeling like I belonged somewhere. But my illusions were shattered.

Now I stood in a dirty truck stop restroom, looking at myself in the hazy mirror. Cuts and scrapes crossed my face, my eye was swollen and I was pretty sure my nose was broken. And I had no one to turn to. If I went back to the home, the matron would either punish me, or punish Sean which would be even worse. Even if I did hide it from her, I still would have to put up with the daily beatings and humiliation.

But why couldn’t I end it all! I pressed the knife to my skin, willing myself to just cut, but I couldn’t. Tears flowed from my eyes as the knife fell to the floor with a crash. I held onto the sides of the sink, crying tears of pain and anguish when I heard a knock at the door.

“Hey, kid. You alright in there? Other people need to use the bathroom.”

I stifled my crying long enough to reply weakly, “Yes sir, I’ll be out in a moment.”

That seemed to placate him enough, and soon after, I heard footsteps going away from the door. I grabbed a paper towel and wiped my face, grimacing as my wounds stung me. I drained the sink and put the knife into my pocket before I unlocked the door. With a sigh, I walked out and zipped up my coat. I could feel the eyes of the attendant on me, and while he might have actually cared about what I was doing in there, I didn’t want to face anyone right then. I simply walked by him and headed to the door.

As I pulled up my hood, I walked out of the building and into the snow, into the unknown world. Whatever I was about to encounter couldn’t be worse.

Read next part