Our celebration of the US publication of Michael Robotham’s BLEED FOR ME continues with an excerpt from the acclaimed novel. Don’t miss the psychological thriller that had Linwood Barclay raving: “Michael Robotham doesn’t just make me scared for his characters; he makes my heart ache for them.”
‘She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four-feet-ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.’
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
‘Everybody lies – every day; every hour; awake; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning; if he keeps his tongue still, his hands, his toes, his eyes, his attitude, will convey deception.’
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
i should start by telling you my name, although it’s not really important. names are just labels that we grow into. we might hate them, we might want to change them, but eventually we suit them.
when i was very young i used to hide in the dirty laundry basket because i liked the smell of my father’s work clothes and it made me feel closer to him. he used to call me his ‘little red riding hood’ and would chase me around my bedroom growling like a wolf until i collapsed into giggles. i loved him then.
when i was eleven or twelve i took a stanley knife from my father’s shed and pinched a roll of flesh on my inner arm before slicing it open. it wasn’t very deep, but enough to bleed for a while. i don’t know where the idea came from, but somehow it gave me something i needed. a pain on the outside to match the inside.
i don’t cut often. sometimes once a week, once a month, once i went for six months. in the winter i cut my wrists and forearms because my school blazer will cover the marks. in the summer i cut my stomach because a one-piece swimsuit will hide the evidence.
once or twice i’ve cut too deeply but each time i managed to fix myself, using a needle and thread. i bet that makes you shudder but it didn’t hurt so much and i boiled the needle first.
when i bleed i feel calm and clear-headed. it’s like the poison inside me is dripping out. even when i’ve stopped bleeding, i finger the cuts lovingly. i kiss them goodnight.
some are new cuts on virgin skin. others are old wounds reopened. razor blades and stanley knives are best. they’re clean and quick. knives are clumsy and needles don’t produce enough blood.
you want to know the reason? you want to know why someone would bleed in secret? it’s because i deserve it. i deserve to be punished. to punish myself. love is pain and pain is love and they will never leave me alone in the world.
every drop of blood that flows from my veins is proof that i’m alive. every drop is proof that i’m dying. every drop removes the poison inside me, running down my arms, dripping off my fingers.
you think i’m a masochist.
you think i’m suicidal.
you think you know me.
you think you remember what it’s like to be fourteen.
you think you understand me.
i bleed for you. Continue reading “Start reading BLEED FOR ME by Michael Robotham”