by Elizabeth Miceli
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: October 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was the damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When her significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless- and with an eating disorder- she turns to partying to cope. This only makes matters worse because at a party she is raped, which leaves her psyche at an all-time low. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to find herself. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.
Excerpt 1“I gained five pounds over the summer … I just don’t want anyone to notice.”
She stared at me, open-mouthed. She looked shocked, sad, and angry all at the same time. “Who the fuck would notice that?”
I put the makeup bag away, averting my eyes to the floor. For her, five pounds was no big deal. The kid ate like crap, rarely worked out, and was perpetually skinny. If she gained five pounds, she might actually look better. For the “used-to-be-fat” girl, five pounds is a huge deal. Five pounds could lead to ten, and then twenty, and then I could be back at 185 pounds.
She took my arm and yanked me up to the mirrors. I stared at myself. Clear complexion. Brown eyes. Long hair. Fat arms. Fat legs. And a pocket of blubber on my lower stomach.
“Don’t you see how beautiful you are?” she asked.
I just stared at my reflection, counting all the fat parts. I got up to ten.”
“I felt its sharpness against my finger … It could definitely do some damage. I could run this thin, rigid object against my white skin, and it would turn red. I could make myself bleed.Excerpt 2
I knelt down on the floor, trying to find a good spot to try it out on. My arm was too open to the public. My stomach was used all too often. My legs though …
they were rarely seen and I’d never cut them before. They were the perfect spot.
I sat in the tile shower and stared down at my flesh. I brought the blade to my skin and pressed down hard, harder until it pierced. I dragged the razor over my skin, making the cut deeper and thicker. The cut ran from about six inches above my kneecap to the top of my thigh.
As I continued to slice my skin, my mind cleared. My heart stopped beating for just a second … and everything went quiet. My thoughts. My surroundings. I couldn’t even hear the water hitting the tile.
I stopped thinking about Mike, his fingers that were forever on my skin. I stopped thinking about the way I’d treated Frank, one of the only sweet guys who had ever taken me out on a date. I stopped thinking about the fact that I had to stick my fingers down my throat to confront my problems. Everything paused.
For about ten seconds it was just me, the blade, and the blood flowing down the tile to the drain.”
“What about those?” he asked, walking toward me. He had on all his clothes now, and he pointed to the thin, red scars running over the surface of my stomach.Excerpt 3
“I … ” I started, trying to find a good excuse. I was still fucked up. The words wouldn’t come to me. “I don’t know,” was all I could come up with. His face seemed pained at first, truly upset, but then his emotion changed to anger and his frown hardened into a thin line.
“That’s such a fucking lie.”
“I’m not lying,” I whispered. I didn’t like when he got angry with me in general, but now that Mike had happened, guys getting angry made me fear for my safety. Guys could hurt me.
“Yes, you are,” he said, his face red.
“Stop, Devan,” I said, hoping to God he’d drop the subject. For Christ’s sake, if I wanted to talk to him, I would have already.
“Why are you cutting yourself?” he asked, coming closer to me. He was holding me now. His protective arms were around my shoulders. He was the man. I was the little girl.
“Back off, Devan.” I spoke into his chest.
“It’s about that guy, isn’t it?” he asked, looking down at me. “You’re cutting because that guy raped you.”
“Please! Stop,” I started pleading now. I wondered if that would work. He was taking everything from me. After all those years of no one wanting me, the only person who wanted to take my virginity was a rapist?Excerpt 4
I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else, somewhere I was happy. I thought of my family, all piled in the family room on Christmas morning. I thought of singing. I thought of Clare and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me, or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was the damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”AUTHOR BIO:
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