TITLE: COMPLEX SOLUTIONS
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Crisp October air sweeps inside as I pull the front door open. I take a deep breath and bristle with anticipation. Bailey, my yellow lab, waits patiently by my side.
My grandmother steps into the foyer, her flowered robe cinched tight, the one Mom gave her last Christmas. She tucks the morning paper under her arm. “You two heading out?”
“Yeah, it’s perfect running weather.” I tug at my sleeves, pulling them over my thumbs.
I need to lose myself for an hour and clear my head, push away the bad feelings that darken my mind. Running is the only thing that makes me feel good in my skin, when I don’t have the urge to hurt myself.
“Are you okay, Alexandra?” Gram touches my sleeve and I wince, the bandage underneath rubbing against my raw wound.
“I’m always here to talk,” Gram says. Her eyes linger on my face.
“Have a good run.”
I step outside and head to the bottom of the grassy hill, wet with the morning dew. Lying to Gram churns my stomach, but I need her to believe I’m fine. She’d be disappointed if she knew I’m cutting again. But it’s the only way I can cope with the isolation at school and Jess, the girl who’s making my life hell. It’s the only way to deal with my insecurities, the voices in my head telling me I’m not good enough.
When I reach the curb, the mailbox door hangs open. Wait, mail on Sunday?