John Barker

Dear Diary!

I struggled today. I really did. This whole ‘keeping it together’ thing just doesn’t seem to be working. I know I promised myself, I promised you, that this year things would be different well no, I’m still here, not that anyone notices or even cares. I really don’t know how much longer I can keep it up!
My wrists itch. The temptation is overwhelming! I don’t want to have to cover them all the time, I would wear my scars with pride, only that they’re not a true reflection of the pain I feel inside, they are mere scratches. And if I’m not likely to find comfort in his arms anytime soon, then I may as well take what little comfort pain has to offer. What else can I do?

So yeah, he walked past me again today, didn’t even look at me. It’s like he doesn’t know me, but you and I both know that it was a different story at Becca’s party! That night was so special. Oh, he was so special. I’ve never felt such an intense connection with anyone before. Well that’s the last time I let anyone else in, except for you of course, you know you hold the key to my heart and well I’m not sure you’d have much use of me ‘letting you in’ the way I did with him! Lol! I hate him!

Ugh! Here comes another one of my problems: that stupid bitch! What a head-wreck! It’s like ‘yes, I have done my fucking homework! Yes, I have put my washing in the basket! No, I don’t want rice fucking pudding! Just leave me alone!’ God! I’m actually going to snap!!!

Will let ya know how ‘Round 2’ goes…
Ding! Ding!

Simply Scarlet <3

The blade was cold against her flesh. She didn’t want to. It wasn’t her fault but she saw no other way. Piercing the already raw skin on her left wrist, in one slow, smooth movement she drew the blade across. The blood spilt out, growing from a gentle oozing to a steady gush.

She grimaced again as the coldness of the fine, little blade met the warmth of her right wrist but this was eased once more by the soothing heat of her blood.
It’s over now.
Its better this way! <3
She scribbled, a single drop of blood staining the left corner of the floral page. Then she lay back on her bed, her wrists at either side of her slender torso. Slowly she unclenched her fists, her palms facing upwards in such a manner that to any onlooker it would have appeared that she was offering herself to some greater being. Her gaze was empty. Her chest rose and fell again in a steady rhythm. Her heart was broken.

Thirty seconds later she screamed.


She sat her way through a whole week in the hospital without saying a word. The second week did not prove to be much better. It was a week of helplessly arguing with her mother, a week of being probed and poked both mentally and physically by doctors and psychologists. What frustrated her the most however was how the untrained staff looked at her, how they enquired about her wellbeing and just as quickly turned back to their Hoover or catering trolley. Nobody cared.

When she finally did feel like talking, she soon learned that ‘how are you’ seemed to be the extent of the staff’s ability to converse with a ‘psycho’. The days without company became routine as one ran in to the next and she began to accept this monotonous life as normality. Frustrated and bored, it got to a point when she seriously contemplated starting a conversation with the rubber potted plant which seemed to follow her from psychologist’s office to psychologist’s office. Time was a thing of the past.

Things picked up when she was given her release date. It was to be the following Sunday and she was due to report back ‘just for a chat’ every second day. Her remaining time in the Clinic was spent planning every little detail of her first day of freedom and so when the day finally came, she was like a boiling pot just ready to boil over. The adrenaline was pumping.


She stepped out of the shiny, new Mercedes and smiled up at the sun, peeking shyly from behind threatening clouds. ‘Perfect’, she thought, and proceeded to dash on through the front door. Ignoring shouts from the front lounge, she jolted up the stairs and into her bedroom.

Pausing for a moment she slumped against the back of the door, breathing heavily. Careful not to delay and upset her plans, she ripped off the wine polo neck and grey sweatpants which the Clinic had provided and began sifting through her wardrobe, sending a shower of dark coloured material over her shoulders. Finding what she wanted, she then took another moment of calm for herself. She was taken aback by the lack of light in her room, having never noticed how dark it truly was. With little time to waste she grabbed her diary, a pen and her blade and stuffed them into her little black backpack, picking her phone up off the dressing table before running back out into the brightly lit hallway.

Her mother gasped as she saw Scarlet at the top of the stairs. ‘Hadn’t the clinic had any effect?’ she questioned as she beheld the sight before her. Stood there was her once angelic little girl, now tall and thin and clad from head-to-toe in black. Her dyed red hair spiked in the way it used to be, with traces of black beginning to creep up on the roots again. She stumbled her way down the stairs, her leather knee-high boots proving to be quite a challenge. She couldn’t meet her eye but she kissed her mother softly on the cheek and whispered ‘just trust me, I love you’, and bolted out of the door. This was it.

She smiled as the sun was now nowhere to be seen, only grey clouds and gulls. ‘Even better’, she thought.


It didn’t take her long to get there, only fifteen minutes at the most. The long swaying grass tickled her thighs through her fishnet tights. The strong wind blew her hair in every direction. As she climbed over the weathered fence, her slight figure battled to stay upright. Tears fell steadily, like diamonds, down her cheeks and lone strands of hair clung to the paths they made. She stood a mere three feet from the brink and offered a pathetic smile through her angry tears. For every memory a new tear fell. She was angry. She was angry that she had let them take away her pride. She was angry at how easily she had forgotten who she was and what she stood for. She was angry with her father for giving up hope. She was angry that God had taken her brother. She was angry at life.

Reaching into her bag she took out her mobile. As she shook violently in the cold, she dialled his number, that ‘special’ number and waited for an answer. When it came, seconds later, she took a deep, quivering breath and screamed ‘fuck you’, tossing the phone into the crashing waves below. Her throat suddenly felt dry and coarse. Her voice became vacant; there were no words, merely yelps and empty convulsions. Her love had been wasted.

Tears flowing freely now she fumbled in her bag for the blade. ‘Shit’ she muttered as it nipped her thumb. Unafraid she took hold of it, held the blade to the wrist of her outstretched arm and pushed gently against the raw flesh. ‘Not this time’, she cried and flung the blade into the whipping winds before they could take it themselves.

As she focused on a lone gull flying over the ocean, at that moment Scarlet realised again the spectacular surroundings which she stood amongst. It was this breath taking beauty which made this her favourite place to be. The following feeling of warmth and the smile was effortless. She remembered the days spent here with her brother fondly. The hours spent hiding in the long grass as he told stories and she contributed her name as the star role and as they had grown older how they would come here to write songs and play the guitar. It wasn’t fair. She questioned how this place of beauty could be the setting of such heartbreak. It just wasn’t fair.

Unable to remain standing any longer, she took up a cross-legged position on the ground and took out the heavy diary and pen. She did not pause to think, she scribbled freely, battling with the elements to write again for the final time.


No one wins in this game.

I’m fighting a loosing fight.

You know this.

You break me.

Well not this time.


Scarlet. <3

Then laying the diary aside, she rose to her feet, confident and sure about what came next. She allowed her leather coat to fall from her shoulders as she kicked off her boots. She trembled uncontrollably now. The coldness consumed her whole body, but she had to go on. Her black lacy top fell on top of the diary as she threw it aside. Her breath quickening, she slowly pulled down her skirt and her tights, flinching as she caught sight of the pink skin on her wrists. She could feel the sharpness of her fingernails as she fumbled with the clasp of her bra and then let it fall to join the blackness of the rest of her clothing. Picking up her diary she took a step closer to the edge. The ferocious wind billowed through her hair, as the air rasped her breasts. Standing naked, she began to tear the pages from her diary, one at a time. They were caught in the whirlwind of air surrounding her and continued to encircle her until all that remained of the diary was its spine, which she offered gladly to the snapping waves.

Her thin stature was a stark contrast to the rough winds, vengeful pages and harsh cries from the seagulls, yet her delicate mind remained calm and empty as she took a slight step forward. On the spot she doubled over and clutched her chest. It felt like her insides had been torn out, like her heart had been ripped from her, like she was nothing more than a shell. Then taking a deep breath in, she threw her arms back and cried:

“On my own!”

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