It had never occured to me that I might’ve actually been right about Herr Silverman. Staring at the scars — a mess of pink and white and red in the darkness of Herr Silverman’s shadow — a laugh forced its way up my throat. It’s an unadulterated and horrible sound. I haven’t laughed in a long time; is this really what I sounded like?
There are too many lines to count, horizontal and of varying depth. They’re mostly healed over, save for the one long, vertical scar. It runs from the base of his wrist down the the inside of his elbow. Faded puncture wounds mark where I can only guess stitches went. I stare at it for a while, because it looks almost exactly like mine. I sense Herr Silverman’s unease, his left hand twitching to roll it back down. Before he can, though, I tug the left sleeve of my jacket up. I hold my forearm next to his, face up. Then I laugh some more, because they look so similar, yet I don’t feel a single ounce of sympathy for Herr Silverman.
Herr Silverman is a happily married high school teacher with a direction in life and enough free time on his hands to drive to the Middle of Nowhere to try to prevent the suicide of a teenager he barely knows. I’m that teenager. Who’s winning at life right now?