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A warm summer's evening of July 1996. The stereo in the background is playing "Some Might Say" by Oasis.
I'm gazing through the mirror, wondering what on earth I should wear. Full of excitement at the prospect of an evening out with my partner. Only just eighteen years old, and a doting mum of a beautiful baby girl. Unaware as I change into a black, baby doll dress, a red mist begins to emerge around the bedroom. I carefully apply my makeup, admiring my flawless, smooth complexion. My eyes catch the girl's reflection through the looking glass. Our eyes instantly lock. She is staring right back at me. Her face is enraged. Her eyes are a combustion of flames. I slowly turn away from the mirror and light up a cigarette. The red mist calmly begins to wrap itself around me.
My partner's voice began echoing up the stairs, "Hurry up, I am about to call us a cab." I quickly apply lipstick in a vivid shade of rouge, douse myself in my favourite scent—Calvin Klein one—smiling at my reflection in the mirror before I leave. I greet my partner who is waiting for me patiently in the kitchen. He then smiles at me gently and hands me a cold Budweiser. Feeling a sense of freedom and feeling lucky to be whisked out for the evening for a candlelit dinner, my partner then continues to compliment me on how lovely I look in my black dress. Everything seems just perfect, and I then hug my partner tightly. Just lately we seem to have done nothing but argue. The fights start and seem to never end. Maybe I am the one to blame. I have always seemed to be argumentative. Even as a child, I would constantly bicker with my parents, my siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and even teachers at school. I just hope this evening we can actually enjoy each other's company for a change. No arguments and no fights, but unfortunately, I am still blind to the fact that the red mist has already attached itself to me. I am just a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any minute, ending in a big explosion.
The taxi finally arrives for our evening out. The blue skies above suddenly become overcast by dark, bloodshot clouds. The birds stop tweeting and are muted, its just an eerie silence all of a sudden. We jump into the cab and then we are driven to our favourite Cantonese restaurant, Jade palace. The red mist has become my aura, I am now glowing. Our table for two awaits accompanied by a expensive bottle of shiraz. My partner fills my glass to the brim and slowly sip the wine, relaxing. My blood is beginning to pump through my veins, the anger is slowly but surely beginning to kick in.
A glorious meal follows consisting of Chicken noodle soup for starter, also barbecued spare ribs. Absolutely delicious, our glasses topped up with more shiraz. Followed by special fried rice for main course, accompanied with prawn crackers. Plenty of good food ,fine wine and a wonderful waiter doing his best to please us. The restaurant is full of good food and laughter."Skip desert I shall have a rum and cola". More alcohol to fuel the fire. The red mist starts to dance and forms into the shape of a serpent. I am in deep trouble, I predict disorder is about to happen.
Another Cab arrives......We follow the night into the lively bars and clubs. Fuelled by alcohol I become more audible and quarrelsome. My partner cannot resist to keep pressing my buttons, provoking me subtly. The red mist follows me into the twilight and it becomes so intense. I feel overwhelmed by the hold the red mist is beginning to take. I clench my teeth, then tighten my fists, feeling the heat rise throughout my body, my heart thudding in my chest. Red mist then evaporates, flowing from my ears, nose, and mouth. "This sensation is going to destroy me".
Entering another dive of a bar, the atmosphere is shocking. Shameless, brazen women are glaring at me from every angle. I now feel really infuriated. I head straight for the ladies room. As I reapply my max factor rouge lipstick, the contorted faces of the women in the bar play havoc in my mind. Twisted images of faces of thunder cut right through me. I storm back into the bar, swearing and pushing and shoving my way through crowds of people. I down another rum and coke and I begin to see red, bright, bloody red. I glance at my partner who appears to be laughing at me. Fuming, I glance back at him again. I shoot him down with the anger blazing in my eyes. I then direct my glance towards every scrubber in the club. Shooting each and every one of them down with my angry enraged eyes.
"Let's get the fuck out of this dump," I yell at my partner who seems to be perfectly happy in his element here. I continue to shout vehemently which seemed to be falling on deaf ears. The lovely ladies grinning and mocking me in the background. "Well fuck you then, you're most welcome to stay here with the local tramps.....I'm going home." Out he came following me, the red mist tangled up between us.
The arguing continued the journey home. The fight had well and truly kicked off. Vile insults exchanged saying things that you will of course regret. Later on actions will be most definitely something that you will regret. Let's just hope we can make it home and be friends and then sleep soundly. Just please hush now, things are going to get worse, much, much worse. Stop this argument now. Things are beginning to get out of hand.
Back home, the last insult was announced. In a angry rage, I couldn't accept the hurtful words thrown at me. How dare he hurt me like this, how bloody dare he, the bastard. I then threw my clenched fist towards the glass door before me. A unique fountain of blood began spraying forcefully from my wrist. Paralyzed by shock, I stood and watched the horror before me. Blood spraying intensely with each gentle beat of my heart. Horrified, I stood numbly watching the spray of blood hit everything in close range. My partner stood beside me like a statue in shock, watching the display in disbelief. The Magnolia walls, the light granite carpet, and my dusky pink sofa all fired at by my oozing wrist. Was this all real? Was I hallucinating? Reality grasped me tightly as I watched this spectacular display of blood leak from me. It was all happening for real, and I was losing blood and lots of it. Images of my beautiful blonde daughter, aged just six months old, replayed in my mind vividly. Sleeping in her cot soundly at her grandmother's, for the first time in my life. I thought I was going to die. Frightened and hearing the concern in my partner's voice, I knew I had to get to hospital, and fast. I was handed towel after tea towel after shirt, after even socks, all to be quickly soaked in my blood. My partner, horrified, called 999, constantly apologizing for every wrong word he had said. Beginning to feel faint, the blue lights flashed through my bay-fronted window. Dazed, but a with sense of relief, I then made my way into the ambulance.
I was left by the paramedics in a busy accident and emergency waiting room, my wrist wrapped in a temporary bandage. With a blink of an eye the neutral, clinical bandage began to change colour, exposing a claret stain, slowly expanding. Panic set in as I paced around the waiting room. I wailed "will someone please help me, I am losing blood." Tearing off my blood soaked bandage, I was now almost desperate to be seen by a doctor. My partner at the same time trying his best to console me, still repeatedly apologising. Out of control, the blood continued carnage, spurting out of my wrist. I began to vomit forcefully, expelling vomit consisting of alcohol and Chinese food. The outcome of what had been a previously enjoyable evening. A doctor then witnessed my distress. He ushered me into a small cubicle. The doctor performed a medical procedure that halted any further loss of blood from my wrist. Continuously then subjected to a persistent quizzing from the curious doctor as to how I had come to injure my wrist. Trying to convince him I had fallen on broken glass and I had cut my wrist. He just simply nodded his head, his face full of doubt, then explained I would be taken to theatre very soon.
Drifting into a relaxing sleep under general anaesthetic, I entered into a dreamscape. A world so different to the one I was in earlier; a night out, an exchange of hurtful words, and a blazing row which ended in complete disaster. I am a child all over again, wearing a pretty pink dress with matching pink ribbons in my hair. I find myself at a fun fair, surrounded by fairground rides, candyfloss stalls, and juggling clowns. Entering the hall of mirrors, I laugh at my bizarre reflection as I pose in each mirror I pass. In fits of laughter, tears roll down my face, and I am in hysterics. Hearing a voice, a very familiar voice, it's my partner calling me. I twist and turn and I then instantly wake up in a brightly-lit ward. All my wrist is bandaged up and I'm in pain.
"I have called your mum, and she isn't at all happy," my partner explained as I roused from deep slumber. "She suggests that maybe we go our separate ways."
Twenty two years later, I occasionally observe my scar on my wrist. I will never forget the evening that ended in a disaster and could have also been a tragedy.