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Second Chance

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She lay on her comforting, twin-sized bed, alone in her home of two years. Her covers sat atop the mattress the same way that they had been laid out in the morning, the only exception being what was on them: one vacant person, two full bottles, a white paper apology, and little pools of regret brought forth by her pain. The parents had left for their jobs, the brother for his school, and the sisters for day-care. It was now or never. As she emptied the bottles, she felt emptier inside, and fell into a flashback as she slipped away.

Where had it all gone wrong? Throughout her life, she was always accompanied by friends, never alone. In middle school, she made many acquaintances, succeeded at many events, became that charismatic figure that everyone enjoyed being with. When she entered high school as a freshman, she came in a warrior. More friends joined her in battle. Things were looking up, as they always had. But what comes up must come down.

School went well; the first quarter brought A’s and B’s, along with the second, and then the third. The fourth quarter was even better, and straight A’s were practically handed to her. She made sports teams, succeeded with her music, and started many friendships that are still strong today. However, you can’t craft a hundred friendships without creating an enemy. Her foe was irrational, using primarily psychological warfare to hurt her. He tore her down through her successes; when she placed fourth in events, the foe bombarded her for not getting the gold. He was relentless, literally killing her from the inside. As time progressed, he even resorted to physical violence. After he broke her mental esteem, he’d cut her when she was down. He was a shadow. She wept because of him, yet her friends never understood why. They couldn’t see him, and thus couldn’t feel her pain. They claimed she was amazing, that she had a great life, that no one could tear her down, but she knew better.
As the days went on, the months went by. Soon, she was a sophomore. Her enemy was sometimes on, sometimes off the battlefield, and struck spontaneously. The battle she was fighting was a losing one. Over the summer, she had her heart shattered. Whether her former partner was happy or not, she did not know, but she was damaged beyond repair. She had become a shell, void of any sense or reason. Even on her best days, she went home defeated. And so on her worst day, there was no hope.
Her mother came home before schedule; she was a teacher, and the schools had been released early. Because of this, she speculated her daughter was home, and as such went to find her. She first thought she was sleeping. Then she saw the bottles, and finally the note. She read it, and stained the eggshell paper with tears. The father picked up the phone, and ran out of his meeting a second later. The family was at the hospital, only two of them alive. The pump extracted the chemicals from her. Close friends were alerted of the emergency, and tears continued to fall in the city. The sky cried fittingly, reflecting the emotions under it. Had school not been let out early, the mother wouldn’t have been a hero, or a villain, depending on who was asked. As the daughter woke from death, emptier than ever, she was in a stupor, like a deer in the headlights. Looking around, she noticed the white cell containing herself and the sobbing parents, who were unaware that she lived. The prison she was in was only another reminder of how she couldn’t ever succeed. Her mother saw her open eyes and rushed to her side, and the curse of a second chance brought the daughter to tears again.




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