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Kiss My Disease

By atdi_fiction


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"It's not going to stop." Lorna Reicher said

stoically, staring at herself through the steamy

mirror, her voice a tiny speck of a whisper. During

the past few months Lorna had seen countless numbers

of psychiatrists, all of whom had quickly attributed

her problems to the "teenager syndrome" of feeling

unwanted and ignored.


However, for Lorna, it was much more complicated

than that, and much more damaging than any of those

psychiatrists could ever fathom. She had plenty of

friends; plenty of people who cared about her and whom

she cared about in return. The problem was not her

peers, it wasn't even Lorna herself.


She was still looking in the mirror when she

heard her father knock on the bathroom door, the sound

of it making her heart race and her feet jump off of

the ground an inch or two. His knock was heavy with

anger; identical to the expression he constantly wore

on his face.


"Get out of the bathroom, Lorna. You're going to

make me late for work again." He snarled, then

retreated from the door, his footsteps sounding like

lead against the hardwood floor.


Lorna let out a deep sigh before picking up the

small paper cup that she had filled with the

lemon-scented Lysol she had found under the sink only

moments earlier. It was a last minute decision to use

the disinfectant, and under the circumstances, it was

the best she could do without her father noticing.

The lemony stench of it filled her nostrils long

before she ever emptied the contents into her mouth,

but she knew it had to be done. She couldn't stop now,

not after all she'd been through. If she didn't end

it now, it'd never end. Lorna plugged her nose with

one hand, and then downed the clear liquid in the cup.

It burned her throat as it slid down, and lit the

hairs in her nose on fire. It would become more

painful than that later on, but the alternative was

pleasantness; and she'd pay anything for that.

After she collected herself as best she could,

Lorna left the bathroom and walked back to her

bedroom. Wrapping her bathrobe around her tightly,

she slid into bed, pulling the covers all the way up

to her chin. She lay there silently, closing her eyes

in relaxation once she heard her father go into the

bathroom and close the door behind him. It'll be too

late by the time he finds me, she thought to herself.

It hadn't always been like this, she didn't used

to feel this constant fear towards her father. When

she was younger he had been a regular father, he used

to act like he actually cared for her. It was before

her mother left when he changed into someone Lorna

barely recognized. He became angry all the time,

berating her in front of her friends when she did

something wrong, making her feel small and

insignificant with a choice set of words. Lorna knew

he became mean because of her mother leaving; she

figured her mother left because she saw the kind of

man he really was. The thing that really hurt, though,

is that she never thought to take Lorna with her. Her

mother left her with him, and a part of Lorna couldn't

help but blame her mother for the things that had been

happening to her.


With a tear rolling out of the corner of her

eye, Lorna remembered the first time her father ever

made her feel like she was less than nothing. It

happened six years ago, when she was ten. She and her

friend, Morgan, had come to spend some time at her

house after school. Their feet were muddy from taking

their shortcut from school to Lorna's house. The

shortcut involved them jumping over the small creek

that separated Lorna's small neighborhood from the

school grounds, and then walking through a muddy

terrain that led to the main street, 8 N Avenue. It was

a shortcut they took everyday, and everyday they came

home with muddy feet.


Lorna and Morgan carefully walked into the house

that day, their muddy shoes in their hands. Lorna

washed her shoes in the sink first, when she was done

the sink was a mess; splatters of mud covered the sink

and the counter surrounding it. Neither of the girls

worried, figuring they could easily clean up the mess

after they finished washing their shoes. It was

Morgan's turn to do her own shoes, when Lorna's father

walked through the door.


His eyes narrowed on the mess the two girls had

made, then his eyes fell upon Lorna. The look on his

face alone made Lorna want to crawl under a rock and

hide, it was the most frightening she had ever seen

her father look. Before she could get even one word

out to explain, he walked towards her hurriedly and

grabbed her wrist. He yanked her out of the bathroom,

past Morgan, and pulled her in front of him.


"What do you think you're doing?" He growled, the

anger in his voice rising as he talked through his

clenched teeth.


"We were cleaning off the mud that got on our

shoes," Lorna said quietly, only to be cut off by her



"Look at that damn mess you made." He yelled,

pointing his finger towards the bathroom, then turning

it back in Lorna's direction and jabbing it in her

chest after each word. "Why are you so stupid? Can't

you even think straight?" He continued, ignoring the

painful look on Lorna's face as his finger kept poking

her in her chest. "Clean it up before I get back, and

take your friend home."


He walked away from Lorna and retreated into his

bedroom to get the papers he had come back for, and

then he left the house, slamming the door behind him.

Lorna was crying hysterically, rubbing the sore patch

on her chest that was throbbing horrendously. Morgan

looked on from the bathroom, absolutely terrified from

what she had just witnessed.


"You should probably go home now." Lorna said

through sniffles, unable to look her friend in the

face after the humiliation she had just suffered.

"Are you okay, Lorna?" Morgan squeaked,



"Go home, please." Lorna replied, her body

trembling in shock. "I'll see you at school

tomorrow" Morgan mumbled a reluctant Okay, grabbing

her shoes and walking out the front door. Still

crying, Lorna went back into the bathroom and began

cleaning, her tears falling effortlessly into the dry

mud in the sink.


From that day on, Lorna walked around her father

very carefully. She analyzed everything she did

before he had a chance to, that way she figured he

wouldn't have a reason to yell at her. Despite this,

he always found a way to get deep beneath her skin.

Anything she did warranted a comment from him, whether

it be drawing a picture, writing a story for school,

or doing the dishes. His outbursts happened so often

that she began to think he was enjoying it, like the

image of him hammering away at her self-worth day in

and day out was something that he could take pride in.

As she became older, that fear she had felt at

the age of ten had distorted into a thin line between

crippling fear and blind hatred by the age of fifteen.

The hatred became so intense that Lorna sometimes

chose to ignore the consequences; she lashed out as

often as she could every time he put her down. It

worked for a while, she began to feel better about

herself and he even backed off for a while.

However, it didn't last long, as her father

couldn't stay silent forever. Ironically, it only

took one sentence from him to cripple her newfound

self-esteem, and forever lessen her attempt at gaining

any type of confidence within herself.

It was the Friday exactly three months before

her second, and ultimately last, suicide attempt.

Lorna was in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, as

she always did after school. Her father was in there

too; throwing away countless dishes of leftovers that

had turned fuzzy and discolored. Lorna backed away

from the dishwasher to put away two glasses that she

loosely held in her hands, at the same time, her

father was backing away from the refrigerator to

dispose of an empty ketchup bottle.


Their bodies collided, the force of which made

Lorna fall to her knees, and caused the glasses to

break right before her. She covered her face,

quickly, in case any glass flew upwards to her face,

but shards still became engraved within the skin of

her forearm while she was protecting herself.

Her father looked down at her pathetically, a

snarl of disgust on his face as his eyes focused in on

his fallen target. "I-I-I'm sorry" Lorna stammered,

quickly trying to pick up the pieces of sharp glass by

cupping the palm of her shaking hand.


"Yeah, you are sorry." He replied coldly, his

seriousness sending a shudder of pain down Lorna's

spine. That statement alone was like a knife being

shoved right into her gut. It seemed to prove

everything Lorna thought about herself, but never

admitted to out loud. "If you weren't so stupid,

maybe your level of clumsiness could improve."


"But-," Lorna began to protest, stopping

herself before she could finish contradicting him;

something that always led to trouble. Unfortunately,

her father sensed the sentence that she had cut off,

and, not sparing a moment to be proven that he too was

at fault, acted quickly. He grabbed a handful of her

hair and pulled her head back roughly, "This will

teach you to keep your damn mouth shut when I'm

talking to you."


He shoved her head down towards the broken

glass, her hands immediately planting themselves in

front of her, putting a halt to her face's path to the

punishing shards. As she felt the sharp edges of the

glass, both big and small in size, shove themselves

into her palms she yelped, and closed her eyes in

pain. She fought the vomit rising in her throat as

she raised her palms up and saw blood flowing,

relentlessly, from her wounds, glass still poking out

from most of the cuts.


"Consider that a reminder. You don't speak when

I talk, and you sure as hell don't talk back to me. I

am your father until the day you die, and will respect

me. You'd better remember that in the future." Her

father said, letting go of Lorna's hair and going back

over to the refrigerator to continue his cleaning.

Moments of peace were few and far between after

the first incident with Morgan. The last time Lorna

felt any form of comfort happened nearly seven years

ago, a few months before her mother had left them.

Lorna had tripped on the sidewalk outside of their

house, and skinned her knee mildly. Despite this, she

wailed as her mother helped her inside and tended the

wound with Neosporin and a few bandages. Her mother

kissed her knee lightly, and then looked at her

daughter as only a mother could.


That one moment, no matter how short and

seemingly insignificant, would be engraved within

Lorna's mind forever. The mere mention of her mother,

from that day on, would trigger the memory of a time

when her pain could be wiped away with a single kiss

from the woman who had given birth to her.


Now, however, Lorna's wounds were closed, and

trapped inside of her was a disease. A disease that

had slithered out from her father's spiteful words and

seeped their way into her through her pores. It was a

disease that couldn't be kissed away, because it was

eating away at her heart every minute of every day;

festering and deteriorating every emotion she held

dear until she could no longer bear it anymore.

Lorna's first attempt to kill herself was

ill-conceived, and poorly thought out. From what she

had seen in the movies, a slit on both wrists would do

the trick. But, she didn't realize how slow of a

process it could be, and just how horridly painful it

really was. To make matters worse, her father had

walked in on her. He suppressed his anger long enough

to call 911, making Lorna feel even more disgusted

that he could still find the urge to scream at her

despite the fact that she had just tried to kill

herself before his very eyes.


The price she had to pay for the first attempt

was three weeks in the hospital, two of which were

spent in the Psychiatric Ward with dozens of people

worse off than she was. The main difference that she

found between her and the others in the Ward was that

while they were all confused in the matters of what

direction their lives were heading in; she was

completely sane about the situation. She had no doubt

in her mind that death, although not a last

alternative, was the only one that would do her any



After she was released from the hospital, her

father informed her, rather bluntly, that she wouldn't

be attending school anymore. He blamed her friends

and the pressures of school as the reasons for her

suicide attempt. He told her she would be receiving

home schooling as soon as she fully recovered. This

caused Lorna to withdraw from everything, she didn't

see much point in paying attention if she had to live

her life in isolation from her friends; one of the few

reasons she had even held on for as long as she had.


Now, she had no reasons to hold on at all, and

no reasons to stand up to someone who would surely

just push her down again. Her sight was fading as her

state of consciousness slowly left her body. The

numerous sounds of the early morning coming through

her window were nothing more than echoes, drowning in

the depths of her psyche.


When Henry Reicher came home that evening from

work, he found Lorna in her bed, her eyes wide open,

looking up at the ceiling. Her fingers permanently

gripped the sheets that came up to her neck; her skin

was pale, almost blue. The look of death was etched on

every crevice of his daughter's face, and all Henry

could do was stand over her and stare down blankly at

Lorna's right arm.


During the spasms that Lorna endured after

drinking the Lysol, she had crookedly sketched the

words "YOU DID THIS" on her right forearm with one of

her fingernails, to take away from her concentration

of the pain that was eating away at her insides. The

blood was dry and glossy by the time Henry saw it, but

the sight of it struck him in the heart like an arrow.


He knew exactly what it meant, and the

realization of that brought him to his knees. The

voice of Lorna Reicher whispering, "You did this"

would echo within Henry's mind forever and slowly

drive him insane as the years passed. It would

deteriorate his insanity and he would never, ever,

forget what how he had driven his daughter to take her

own life.

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