In the Company of Friends

I sent a mass email with the time and location.

They came one by one, but nobody was late. We are the lonely avatars frequenting late night message boards and chat rooms, the kind of people who extend messages of encouragement and support to souls who are like us, twisted by life. We sat in a circle, friends and friendly strangers, all ten of us from diverse backgrounds come to share an unspeakable bond.

Celia has Parkinson’s disease, she is sixty-three. Small, tiny, fifteen year old Lemuel is relentlessly bullied. Fred is just Fred, stout and red haired, maybe thirty-three, and nobody knows why he is here. Sweet, beautiful rich Jane took up depression and cutting just to piss off her parents. Me? Somehow I always knew this was how I would die.

Glittering on the floor in front of each of us are ten razor blades. A pact is a pact is a pact. When the blood ran hot and free, the last things we all saw were the smiling faces of another who understood.

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