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Society gets what society wants

Through the dim whir of history there’s always been pretty people and not-so-pretty-people. And, as you might’ve guessed, pretty people always seem to come out on top save the slight exceptions of plagues and zombie apocalypses. You can’t go a day without seeing their pretty faces staring back at you; in magazines, posters, movies, they’re everywhere. And as a result, society gets what society wants.





***

Emilia waded through the constant onslaught of sweaty stinking people, the occasional sound of anxious coughing consuming her mind. It was thirty minutes before graduation; her ears were ringing with a chorus of laughter and nervous shuffling like a stuck record.

She knew she should feel different. Maybe older somehow, more mature. But honestly, she felt like it was any other day at her pathetically miserable little school. Defiantly not like in three hours she’d be boarding a plane to Chicago and bidding ado to the pitiful small town she’d grown to despise. There were no, tears no emotions. Just emptiness. Like whatever was waiting for her wasn’t here anymore. Like she was on a blank page and was about to start a new chapter.

Even in a crowd of blue Emilia stood out like a fly in milk. She was one of those people you see on the street that makes you do a double take, maybe you mention them over a phone call with your mother-in-law nagging at you to get the eggnog; you just can’t forget the eggnog, or quietly think about them throughout your day.

Her hair was pixie short and dyed black to match the ebony rings of gaudy eyeliner that circled her eyes, creating the illusion that she was an indifferent raccoon with an attitude problem. Tight lined black lips wore her signature scornful frown and her uneven bitten nails tapped relentlessly against the table in a single fluid motion that made the boy behind her cringe.

“Oh my God, what is on her face?”

Emilia heard a delighted voice smirk behind her. The voice was a hushed one but loud enough to be overheard and Emilia knew, just like all the other times, the voice was just for her.

“I bet she cuts herself too.” The group of haughty girls snickered.

They all looked the same. Red stained lips as if they just feasted on blood, plucked bare eyebrows, too-dark pungent spray tans, crispy straightened hair, and so much mascara they looked like jackals with a cosmetic addiction. They were, what they high school liked to call, preps.

Emilia stood suddenly; her chair clattering to the floor, people threw ominous glances at her as she strode out the door.

As soon as she crossed the threshold and away from prying eyes something broke in Emilia Ross. There was agreeably something less about her as she lost her cool facade and sprinted into the bathroom.

Why the bathroom you might ask? She couldn’t quite tell you. The place knew her stories and miseries, her triumphs and fails. It was the closest thing she had to a home, and that only made her more depressed. It was where she hid in 9th grade when Angela Bowen pantsed her; it was where she hid when Billy Crow rejected her when she asked him to the prom, and it was where she hid on graduation day, the first day she would see a dead body.

She heard as sound unlike any other that made her feet stop like it was incased in iron weights. The sound was a muffled crying, and the distant nocuous sound of sick hitting the echoing toilet bowl. She wanted to run; run and hide because her safe place was no longer safe. She slowly crept up the rows of pungent tampon strewn stalls and kicked one open.

She reeled back in horror, hysteria leisurely creeping up her throat.

Before her eyes kneeled Jenifer Black, most voted for “girl who has it all together”, student body president, cheerleader captain, valedictorian, one hand still grabbing one of the plastic spoons they had in the cafeteria, handle groping down her throat; the other clasped so tightly around the toilet rim her knuckles turned a skeletal white.

“Jenifer?”

She made no indication that she heard her, but stood on shaky bone-like legs. And slowly, ever so slowly, her eyes rolled up to the back of her head and Jenifer Black fell into her own mess. There her body lay broken like a crumpled leaf, much too small under her graduation gown, stone-cold dead.






***

Society took Jenifer’s life that day. But mark my words, society gets what society wants. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



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RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm
Whoa... Powerful. An excellent portrait of how societal biases can really create huge (even fatal) rifts among people. Great work (and I loved your details about how perfect and ugly the mean girls looked).
 
someonewhoisme replied...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 9:38 am
Thank You! I see biases and prejudice in school all the time and it just feels good to get it out on paper. :)
 
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