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Just a Tear Away

My feet are aching from the long walk home, the first thing I did after opening the door to our small apartment was lie face down into the creased comforter on my twin bed. my mascara was smudged heavily in each fold of the bags hanging loosely under my eyes. As I tried to clean myself up in the bathroom the streaks of tears that ran down my face earlier were evident in the parting powder on my cheeks.I splashed my face with icy water from the faucet and mournfully watched the remaining makeup swirl down the drain. Day after day of being slowly torn apart by the people at school, I could never bring myself to tell anyone in my family. They were happy and successful, bringing them into my circle of problems would be selfish.

“Athena! Open up I have to tinkle!” my little sister Mariana banged on the door of my bathroom, At three years old the pounding of her little fists sounded more like a gentle knock.

I opened the door and couldn’t help but laugh as Mariana toddled into the bathroom to relieve herself. My face was no longer lacking of a smile, and the smudged makeup was washed off to reveal my natural look. I sighed and opened up a textbook to the only homework assignment for the first day of school. Being a junior I was surprised that we hadn’t been assigned more. My sweater was tightly wound around me and it suddenly made me uncomfortable, I pulled it off and lay it on my bedroom floor. I stood up and admired my AC/DC shirt in the mirror. I spun around pretending I was in some sort of concert and started laughing. As I landed I caught a glimpse of my sweater on the ground.

“A sweater Athena? Please your such a wanna be,” Tiphony’s mocking voice echoed in the back of my head from earlier that day, “wow and you curled your hair, you wanna be popular? Try something that doesn't make people want to kill you.”

As awful as she was, Tiphony was in fact the least of my problems at least she never hurt me Physically.

Rhiley was vicious, she was the head cheerleader and a senior who was destined to be the manager at a local child terror center, if their was such thing as one. Just a few days ago I was heading to my calculus class, my hair slipping out from behind my ear and falling in front of my eyes. Apparently all she needed to see was a shy girl trying to slip away to know it was me. She grabbed me by the hood of my white sweatshirt and wrapped her arm tightly around my neck. I winced as she spun me around and I felt the blow of her hand across my face. I never fought back, just stood there and took it.It was strange why Rhiley chose my me of all people, I was never the girl in the hall who would murmur some nasty comment under my breath about her or scribble something on her locker. I was always just the bystander of all the fights she created, all the lies she told, and all the friends she abandoned.

It all started last year when I tripped over my shoelace in the hall, Lania, a tall skinny soccer player on the varsity team bent over to help me up with her silky blonde hair dangling to the side. Rhiley and her clique of girls came laughing down the hall, the second I had been pulled to my feet and all I could hear were little snickers and remarks like, “dork” and “loser.” Lania spun around with a glare in her eyes that was almost deadly, she took two swift strides and was only inches away from Rhiley’s face. She lifted up a wavering index finger and pointed daringly at her.

“Hey” she huffed “you have no right to talk to anyone that way, she’s smarter than you and the rest of your little idiots combined.”

Rhiley just stood there petrified, waiting for Lania to utter another word. Lania wasn’t near finished yet, she cocked her head and leaned further into her face, “if you knew what was good for you, you would have already been gone.” Lania hissed

I couldn’t comprehend what was happening,but her next move would change my life forever.

Lania shook her head and muttered one last sentence, “It’s time someone taught you that you don’t own this school or anyone in it.” she said. She stepped back and with all her might, hit Rhiley bloom across the face.



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