Drip. Drip. Drip.
I believe there's a leaky faucet in every bathroom.
Drip. Splish. Swoosh!
I turn the handle and the faucet rushes to life, letting forth water to hide my sixth grade sobs, as I did my best to wipe away my tears. For as long as I can remember, the bathroom has always been a place to pull myself together. This time I had been sent there; after a boy who bumped into me in class discovered that every time he flicked my arm my fat would move, I had begun to cry, and my teacher, a kind man who did not know how to deal with a weeping little girl, sent me to "go clean up."
I splashed the cold water on my face, gritting my teeth, wondering why I let people bother me so much.
My teenage self wonders the same thing.
For still, the bathroom is a place to force myself to hold back unwanted tears, a place to blow off steam, and of course to run a very important test. More often than I care to admit, I'll escape into a restroom, lock the door, and gaze at the reflection of a girl who does not want to meet my eyes. I'll look over my shoulder, as if someone is bound to come barging in, asking a million questions that I do not want to answer. Holding my breath, I'll begin to tug on my left sleeve, pushing the baggy fabric up inch by inch. I turn my hand over and look at the reflected forearm.
Nothing down this low. Good.
Carefully I'll pull the fabric of my sleeve up a little higher.
Nothing again. Still good.
In one last bold movement, I'll push up my sleeve as high as I remember doing so when preparing to paint, or when getting ready to shape clay only hours before.
I frown as I see jagged stripes taunting me, reflected in the mirror; faded yet very much distinguishable.
What if they saw? Well no one said anything. Yes well, what if someone saw and shot you a disgusted look that you missed? I never miss a disgusted look. You're a freak.
Sighing frustrated, I'll force my sleeve down and venture back out to rejoin the world.
For as long as I can remember, the bathroom has been a place to go and pull myself together.
-Anonymous teenage girl