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Their eyes are the daggers, stabbing me with every passing glance.
Their words are the noose, suffocating me with their lies.
Their assumptions and prejudices will be the death.
Black eyeliner. Maybe if my eyes look smaller they’ll think I’m normal again. A little bit of eye-shadow to add to the size change. I think I’ll keep it skin tones today, nothing shocking.
A pair of boot cut jeans, a little faded. I should tell mom I need a few more pair. Maybe I should try skinny; perhaps they’re not as painful as they look. I add a well fitted regular-nothing-special band t-shirt. It’s not an obscure band, but it might be a little outdated.
~Why do I care?~
Button up my pea coat. Tan. Mom got it for me for Christmas, after Amber, my not-so-friend-friend gave me a baby pink scarf. I put on the scarf and the jacket and almost feel normal, like I could almost feel accepted again. I take off the coat it’s the same thing.
You look in my green eyes, past the eyeliner and eye-shadow, you see it. You see me, the normal girl.
I open my mouth and words come out. Words that make me weird. Words that make them shy away from me. Words that make them remember.
I pick up my viola and walk out the door. I start mom’s car, wipe off the snow, remember that it’s garbage day and drag the big green tote out to the curb.
We drove to school, silent. She blames it on exhaustion, I blame it on nausea. Why don’t I just give up? It would be easier than putting up with their s***.
I maintain solid 90’s in all of my classes, making me a genius. Remembering things about our own country’s history isn’t that hard. I don’t know why they complain about it.
We pull up to the curb, have a nice days are exchanged. She pulls away, exhaust is all that’s left of safety.
I walk into school. I feel their eyes pass over me. I’m practically invisible, they don’t notice me. At least not anymore.
“Katie!” it’s Amber, her black hair pulled up into a tight bun. I think she has something for ballet today and has to leave school early or straight from school.
I smile, she waves me over. I oblige, she’s going to our lockers anyway.
She starts talking about her performance today. She’s nervous. A part of me wishes I could be there, then another part reminds me that she wasn’t there. She didn’t stick by me, why should I support her?
Maggie, the b****, walks towards us. She notices me. She smiles sadistically and sticks her foot out. I try to avoid it, but my palms are sweaty, my legs shaky, I trip anyway.
“Jumpy crack-head?” I hear.
STOP IT! I scream mentally, Amber helps me up.
“B****,” she mutters her hand on my shoulder. She’s protective of me, more so than before. Is she finally noticing that I’m falling apart inside? I know it’s my fault, why everyone left me. I should give her credit she was the last to leave and the first to come back.
I pick up my things.
“She should be shot,” I mumble, “With something more painful than what s*** she already does.”
Amber tenses, she forgets how I started. She forgets we used to be friends with Maggie.
Five minutes of silence later.
“Katie.” We’re at our lockers. Amber is clutching her books. “Did you start again?” she says it quietly. I shake my head, I’m kind of sad about it. It would give me a reason about being this depressed.
Amber lets out a long breath.
“Thank God.” She smiles and sits down. I close my locker and slide down along it, adjusting my viola so It can sit behind me.
Taylor walks over.
He’s nice. He smiles a lot. He’s smart. He plays soccer, like I did before I got kicked off the team.
He smiles and nods at me.
“Hey Katie,” he says. I smile tentatively, smaller than I used to.
Amber grins. Taylor squeezes between us, all six feet of him.
“You okay?” he asks, I nod. Of course, he asks now. He squeezes my cheeks.
“What are you mute now?” he teases. His friends crowd around. I giggle.
“I’m alright.” I look him in the deep brown eyes. I haven’t laughed, really laughed, in over a year.
“Good, because you’re going to the movies with me tomorrow.” The movies. Part of me is screaming, overjoyed.
The other part remembers.
Remembers the bathroom.
The banging on the door as I stick the needle in my arm.
I push it in and find another. I need more.
I smile and shake my head.
“I-I’d rather it not be the movies.” His face drops, misunderstanding.
“You don’t want to go with me?” he forgot. I shake my head.
“I’ll hang out with you.” I smile, for real. His face lights up, but he looks ashamed.
“Okay, how about….” He bites his lip, a loss for words. Katie swoops in and rescues him.
“We’re going skiing this weekend, my parents and I, with Cameron.” Taylor’s best friend is my closest friend’s long time boyfriend.
“We could dive up,” I suggest, trying to remember where my skis are. Mom had mentioned going.
“I’ll look into it.” He tells me, “Hey why not, I don’t know the way though.”
Katie’s cottage is off the resort but close enough to touch the lifts. I kind of miss it.
“Don’t worry,” I put my hand on his arm, “My mom’s been talking about going. We might be able take you.”
He smiles, “Sounds like a weekend.”
My heart sings. I’m floating towards Nirvana.
Taylor takes my hand and squeezes it.
“This time I’ll be there when you fall.”