Chapter no 7

Shatter Me

I remember televisions and fireplaces and porcelain sinks. I remember movie tickets and parking lots and SUVs. I remember hair salons and holidays and window shutters and dandelions and the smell of freshly paved driveways. I remember toothpaste commercials and ladies in high heels and old men in business suits. I remember mailmen and libraries and boy bands and balloons and Christmas trees.

I remember being 10 years old when we couldn’t ignore the food shortages anymore and things got so expensive no one could afford to live.

Adam is not speaking to me.

Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe there was no point hoping he and I could be friends, maybe it’s better he thinks I don’t like him than that I like him too much. He’s hiding a lot of something that might be pain, but his secrets scare me. He won’t tell me why he’s here. Though I don’t tell him much, either.

And yet and yet and yet.

Last night the memory of his arms around me was enough to scare away the screams. The warmth of a kind embrace, the strength of firm hands holding all of my pieces together, the relief and release of so many years’ loneliness. This gift he’s given me I can’t repay.

Touching Juliette is nearly impossible.

I’ll never forget the horror in my mother’s eyes, the torture in my father’s face, the fear etched in their expressions. Their child was is a monster. Possessed by the devil. Cursed by darkness. Unholy. An abomination. Drugs, tests, medical solutions failed. Psychological cross-examinations failed.

She is a walking weapon in society, is what the teachers said. We’ve never seen anything like it, is what the doctors said. She should be removed from your home, is what the police officers said.

No problem at all, is what my parents said. I was 14 years old when they finally got rid of me. When they stood back and watched as I was dragged away for a murder I didn’t know I could commit.

Maybe the world is safer with me locked in a cell. Maybe Adam is safer if he hates me. He’s sitting in the corner with his fists in his face.

I never wanted to hurt him.

I never wanted to hurt the only person who never wanted to hurt me.

The door crashes open and 5 people swarm into the room, rifles pointed at our chests.

Adam is on his feet and I’m made of stone. I’ve forgotten to inhale. I haven’t seen so many people in so long I’m momentarily stupefied. I should be screaming.


I’m still frozen in place. I should move, I should lift my arms, I should spread my feet, I should remember to breathe. Someone is cutting off my neck.

The one barking orders slams the butt of his gun into my back and my knees crack as they hit the floor. I finally taste oxygen and a side of blood. I think Adam is yelling but there is an acute agony ripping through my body unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I’m utterly immobilized.

“What don’t you understand about keeping your mouth SHUT?” I squint sideways to see the barrel of the gun 2 inches away from Adam’s face.

“GET UP.” A steel-toed boot kicks me in the ribs, fast, hard, hollow. I’m swallowing nothing but the strangled gasps choking my body. “I said GET UP.” Harder, faster, stronger, another boot in my gut. I can’t even cry out.

Get up, Juliette. Get up. If you don’t, they’ll shoot Adam.

I heave myself up to my knees and fall back on the wall behind me, stumbling forward to catch my balance. Lifting my hands is more torture than I knew I could endure. My organs are dead, my bones are cracked, my skin is a sieve, punctured by pins and needles of pain. They’ve finally come to kill me.

That’s why they put Adam in my cell.

Because I’m leaving. Adam is here because I’m leaving, because they forgot to kill me on time, because my moments are over, because my 17 years were too many for this world. They’re going to kill me.

I always wondered how it would happen. I wonder if this will make my parents happy.

Someone is laughing. “Well aren’t you a little shit?”

I don’t even know if they’re talking to me. I can hardly focus on keeping my arms upright.

“She’s not even crying,” someone adds. “The girls are usually begging for mercy by now.”

The walls are beginning to bleed into the ceiling. I wonder how long I can hold my breath. I can’t distinguish words I can’t understand the sounds I’m hearing the blood is rushing through my head and my lips are 2 blocks of concrete I can’t crack open. There’s a gun in my back and I’m tripping forward. The floors are falling up. My feet are dragging in a direction I can’t decipher.

I hope they kill me soon.

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