The sun rose on the opposite end of the lake right beside the big, old willow. The pop of warm color caught my eye quickly. The orange dances across the sky with such elegance. Red is bouncing around with joy, and other shades of pinks and yellows followed along side it. Around the lake it was calm and quite. The only disturbance was a bird who occasionally cooed at the beautiful sight. I was sitting on the dock dipping and swishing my toes in the cool water. The weatherman said it’d be warm all summer with little rain and low humidity. I could tell too, my hair was not as frizzy as it was last summer or the summer before. I loved summertime, it was always warm and sunny. I loved every little thing about it. The morning and night swims, grilling and summer parties, staying up late during a bonfire and catching fireflies, and even sleeping in. The simplest time where it is just me, my family, and my friends. No worries and nothing on my mind,
The sun had fully risen and was centered in the sky. I could feel the heat of the sun on my pasty skin. Beads of sweat were beginning to form on my head. I took the hair tie that had been on my wrist and pulled back my hair into a tight bun. My light brown hair was quite short, it went down to my chest but it was just long enough to pull back. The warmth was beginning to get to me. I could no longer take it. I slipped into the lake, I water was cold at first but I slowly got used to it. The water made me feel weightless, making my situation ironic due to the fact that I am overweight. At first glance you may never have notice, but it is true.
I swam out to the floating platform. The carpeting on the top was damp and moldy. As I glanced out across the clear lake I heard a loud noise behind me. Splash! My big sister Elis was submerged in the water.
“Hey, jump in Raney.” Elis said a little too loudly.
“I already did, Elis.” I irked.
“You’re always in a bad mood.” Elis swam back to the dock and sat down. I began to ponder what she said.
I am not in a bad mood. I feel fine, absolutely fine. I feel better than ever, she probably thinks it’s my depression. My dad had it too. It runs in our family. Depression is a scary thing. I have to prevent myself from thinking at all times because I am scared. I am scared of myself, I am scared of my brain. Sometimes I feel so hopeless, I know I can’t let my mind wander. I can’t tell my mom and I can’t tell my sister.
“I am fine.” I said bluntly.
“No you’re not, I know you Rane.” Elis, who is now sitting right next to me, said sincerely.
I laugh an unasuring laugh, “I am fine Elis. I promise I would tell you if there was a problem.”
The truth is, I don’t think I can tell her anything. It’s not that I don’t trust her, I just don’t want her to worry. I don’t want to tell my foster mother either, I fear she will send me to some lab to see if I am psycho or not. They’ll never understand so what is the point. It’s not like there is a magical cure to save me from myself. I am insane, I am a lunatic, kooky, mad, psychopathic. No one can help me.
“Do you promise?” Elis said curiously.
“Yes, Elis. I promise.”
“Good, I’d hate to see you in pain.” She whispered. Elis jumped in the water, leaving me on the platform.
She has no choice. Even if I was in pain I do a pretty good job in not showing it. It’s like a poker face and no one notices.
Elis resurfaced from the water, “So, Rane?” she smirked.
Her amount of joy and enthusiasm kills me. “Yes?”
“Are you excited to be a big ol’ eighth grader?”
No. “Yeah, I guess.” I tried to not look at her, just in case she feels as to pop another question.
“Are you nervous?” She asked while she climbed aboard.
Yes. “No.” I tried to avoid her once more.
She giggled and looked at me. “You want me to shut up?”
“Please?” I joked. We sat there in silence for a minute. I just stared at my reflection in the cold, still water. My eyes look droopy and my face look boxy and I began to wonder if I’ll ever be ready.
I woke up early that morning. School was something I already dreaded but, the the dark, stormy clouds above told me it’d be a bad day. Raindrops rolled down my window in long, shimmering streams. I knew I wasn’t ready to start public school, I had liked my online schooling much better.
I put on my blue flannel and some jeans . I then put on my black sneakers. After bushing my heavily snarled hair I walked over to the mirror. I loved the way I looked, I didn’t look fat or overweight. I looked like everyone else. I looked normal.
The bus ride to the school was long and cold. Once I reached the school I went straight to the office to find where my locker and homeroom would be. My locker was up stairs in the west wing. And my homeroom is half way across the school and the school was very large. I hurried because I knew it’d be like finding my way through a maze. I would hate to be late on the first day.
I went to my locker to empty my heavy bag. “I like your shirt but, I think you might have needed a bigger size,” I turned around and saw Mae Wesley smirking behind me. I had heard many rumors about her from Elis before I came here.
“Maybe a XXL.” She laughed, “That should do.”
“I think I look good. Thanks though.” I said as I turned back to my locker.
“I think that’s where you went wrong sweetie.” She giggled and gave me a cold stare. “But, may I say you are quite the strong one, huh? Way to stand up up for yourself, Newby.”
I just rolled my eyes and turned away. She laughed, “What is it, Newby? Do you not like my presence?” Mae seemed to be sarcastic and witty.
“No Mae, I love it. Thank you for keeping me company.”
“Oh why yes, it was a pleasure.” She sassed. “Anywho, see you around and don’t get lost Newb.”
I quickly made my way to my homeroom class. I needed to meet my teacher before class started and I wanted a good seat too.
As I walked into Mr. Crowdmen’s class the aroma of peanut butter and apple cinnamon filled my nostrils. The classroom was bright, shining, and full of light. The curtains were drawn back from the windows along the wall. Five rows of desks were all aligned perfectly to form straight narrow lines.
“Hello and welcome. You must be Lorane Verawell. I’m Mr. Crowdmen but you can call me Mr. C. I will be your homeroom teacher for the rest of this year.” He said with a big smile on his face.
“Hello.” I whispered with my head down.
“Now, I am deeply sorry about this but I will be having assigned seating due to a problem I had last year. I would like to know who your friends are for the purpose of the seating chart.” He handed me the list of names. I looked through them quickly even though I already knew the answer.
“No.” I whispered.
“No what Ms. Verawell?” He asked confusedly.
“Mr. C.” He corrected.
I looked down at my shoes. I always tried to avoid eye contact. It some anti-social coping mechanism I have. Sometimes I do it without even realizing it.
“Mr. C,” I began as the tears welled up in my eyes, “I don’t have any friends.”
I pushed past him and fell into the seat with my name on it. Lorane Verawell. I crossed out Verawell. I always hated my last name. I hated my last name. It always brought up certain things I never wanted to resurface.
When I was really little, maybe like four, my mother and father died. My dad was into drugs. One night my father came home from the bar drunk and high. This was never unusual, it actually happened quite often. He came home rampaging at my mother because he ran out of money and drugs. While yelling at my mother, my father reached for the nearest weapon. My father repetitively yelled at my mother to get him the money. The money my mother hid. After a long fight and a lot of yelling. My mother gave in and told him where it was at. Later that night my older sister got the call that my mother was shot and killed by a man who later died due to a drug overdose and that man was my father.
I wrote my mother’s maiden name on it instead, Adelyte. Mr. C had began to walk over with the clipboard in his hand. Instead of saying anything right away he just looked at it. There was silence for quite awhile until he began to speak.
“If you would like Lorane, I could change you name tag.”
“Adlyte,” He said, “Is that what you would like it to be?”
I shook my head yes and looked back at the ground. More silence filled the air. He soon took my old name tag and threw it away. A little later he returned with the neat, new name tag.
The bell rang indicating that class was about to start. Teens from all over the school came spilling into the classroom. Laughter and chaos filled the room as everyone came and took their seats. As I looked around the classroom I saw many new faces sit down and gossip.
“Alright class, most teachers would hand out a syllabus right about now, maybe they’d make you read and highlight it. Well I am not gonna do that.” All the teens sighed in relief. Mr. C said as he stood up in front of the class. “As you may have noticed, I placed you in assigned seats in alphabetical order. By last name.” A girl behind me rose her hand.
Mr. C called on her, “Yes?”
“So if the seats are in alphabetical order that why is she sitting in front of me? My name is Wesley and hers is Ad-e-yet.” she complained. That’s when I figured it out. Mae. Mae Wesley. In my homeroom and sits right by me. I knew from this point on it’d be one hard year.
Before Mr. C could answer I corrected her, “Its Adelyte.” She glared at me for what seemed to be forever.
“Like I care.” She snarked.
“Ms. Wesley. There was a problem with the name tag. It’s nothing to be concerned about. I have everything under control.” At that moment she glared at me once more. Her blue eyes were burning holes in mine. She was hot with anger. Under her breath I could just barely hear what was saying.
“It is a concern Mr. Crowdmen because such class should not have to sit by someone equivalent to trash.” she whispered.
“Then I’ll move. But Mae, I haven’t done anything to you and yet here we are. In a situation I shouldn’t be in.” I complained.
I could see the anger in her eyes, “You're right. You haven’t done anything to me but, when you do you will be rewarded.” she gave me a fake smile and turned away.
“Excuse me ladies, are you done because I would like to finish.” Mr. C confronted, “Any way like I was trying to say, if you look in the hand book on page 22 there is a zero tolerance to bullying. Please turn the page…” After a while I quit listening
After a long, hard day of school had finally ended and I was ready to go home more than ever. While I was waiting to for my bus a little girl walked up to me with a paper. She was shy and quiet. Her hair was pulled back in short, blonde braids and she had on what looked to be a gardener’s outfit.
“Umm...some...s..some girl over there….sh...she..she wanted ma..me….to give this to you.” I soon began to be uncomfortable with her words. I was to eager to find out what mysterious letter could be in her small, fragile hands. My mind began to wander and I became nervous.
“From who?” I asked as I pulled the note out of her little hands.
“Ummm….I am not sure.” She said before she turned and ran away.
As I opened the neatly folded piece of paper I could hear people snickering behind me. Three words were written across the top of the paper. Please kill yourself. Below the writing there was a picture of my face that had been cut out of the year book from the year before. They had taped the picture of me over an obese cartoon body. My eyes must have turned as big as golf balls. Tears streamed down my face as I turned around to face the snickering crowd. Mae and her friends stood there and laughed.
“Face it, you’re not wanted.”
“Raney. It’s been two weeks. What is the matter?” Kara, my foster mom said.
“I know Ms. Marshinghamm, it’s just I don’t want to go to a public school. I told you I liked online schooling better. That’s it, that’s all.” I said while I pouted in my chair. I kept getting letters from Mae and her friends, each one got worse than the next. I only started with a note. A couple measly notes. I was getting even more nervous every day. I couldn’t believe I was getting so worked up over one note.
“Lorane Sylvia. Something is wrong and I know it. Sag mir (tell me)!” Whenever Kara got heated, nervous, or joyful she’d speak in her second language, German.
“Ms. Mashinghamm, nothing is wrong I promise. I would tell you if anything was wrong.” Over time I understood German more and more.
“Versprichst du mir?” She asked frightened.
“Yes Ms. Mashinghamm, I promise.”
She turned back to me and smiled, “Alright then. Tomorrow you will be going back to school and you will be prepared to start the day.”
I began to doze off but, I had to stop myself. In fear of what might have happened next,
Over the course of time I began to be more self conscious. The hatred boiled inside me. I couldn’t take it. The words became bottled up inside me. No one cares. I’m useless. I’m a waste of space. My foster mother and my sister were both at their convention. I was all alone in my house.
Bling! My phone buzzed from the counter. It was a message from an unknown number. We haven’t heard from you in a while. Did you do the favor we asked? It took me a while to understand what was going on. I knew for a fact the text was from Mae. The thought finally reached me. Three days ago I got a letter. “Do us all a favor and end it.” The letter never said what to end but it was very well implied. All this time I had told myself to ignore it. That they were just words, their not true. Knowing myself, I was a bridge held up by a stick. Maybe I could hold my own but it will only last so long.
I had finally had enough. Their words had finally became true. I am obese, ugly, disgusting, weird, a waste of space, unwanted, unliked, useless. They were no longer just words, it was my definition. Desperately I wanted to get rid of the pain. To let it all go. I wanted it to all end. Look at yourself you're fat, you’re weird. You're parents didn’t die, they killed themselves because they had to deal with you. You’re unwanted. No one wants you around. Deep down inside I knew none of this was true. Or did I? Did I know if any of this was true? Or was the thoughts of the ones who loved me least consuming me? I stood there. In front of the cupboard. One action away, one step, one movement away from ending it. One move and it’s all over. The thoughts consumed me. Burned me up inside. One half of me said do it, you’re nothing. The other shielded me from the lies. I didn’t know, I couldn’t decide. I didn’t know what was true and what was not. My brain did not allow me to know.
I looked down at my phone once again. 1 Unread Message blinked across the screen. I knew I shouldn’t have opened it but curiosity was killing me more than anything. Who am I kidding, you’ll never have the guts. I dropped my phone on the bathroom floor, leaving it broken and motionless. I quickly swung open the cabinet and grabbed a pill bottle. I couldn’t open the bottle. For a long time I struggled but, eventually I got it open. My brain kept feeding me lies. Give it up, you know the truth. Or maybe I was. I dropped the open bottle of pills. The pills were scattered all over. I collapsed on the floor, tears were streaming down my face. I was having a panic attack. My brain couldn’t take it, it began to fill with what if’s. What if I do it? What if I don’t. What if I live, what if I live to see tomorrow? What if tomorrow is a better day? Or what if it is bad? What if this is how it is going to be every day for the rest of my life? My heart was beating fast and hard. The hair on my arms stood up and I shivered. I was out of breath, I couldn’t breathe. I desperately scrape at the pills on the ground. I tried to gather as much as possible. I shoved the hand full in my mouth but, I didn’t swallow. I was more scared of dying than I was of living.
Living. Is that what it is called? Living? I thought living was enjoying your life and loving it. I thought it was cherishing every little moment. I am not living, I am surviving. The wobbly bridge had fallen. Nothing but debrie and crumbs. I spit all the pills out of my mouth and begin to cry once again. I pick up my phone and place its battery back in. I read Mae’s texts two more times. Mae, I am deeply sorry. I had tried but I failed. I sent the text and put my phone back down. I cried for what seemed to be three hours but, I was exhausted. I could feel myself drift off. I could feel myself fly away.
Drowsy and unaware I could hear a window from inside my house break open. Glass hit the ground was great force and a thud from a rock hitting the kitchen floor.
“RANE!” a voice loud and frantic broke the silence. It was a voice I knew but, was not expecting to hear. It’s all in your head. I kept quiet, seeing if the voice would return. I did not move, in case it was not what I had expected.
“Rane! No! Don’t do it.” I hear it again. The footsteps grew louder and louder as she grew closer. She was right outside the bathroom door. I knew she couldn’t see me but, I still kept silent.
Gasp! “Rane, NO!” Mae began to cry. “No, no, no. It was a joke.” She ran to my motionless body. “It’s all my fault.” Mae covered her face with her hands. I turned to her but, she didn’t notice.
“You’re right Mae, I don’t have the guts.” I said with my eyes closed.
“Oh, thank God! You’re okay!” she said relieved.
“No, I’m not.” I started crying, “I should’ve.”
Her eyes widened. I could tell she was shocked. “No you shouldn’t have.” She was scared now. She looked down at the ground and saw the pills. “You were going to.” I could see her shiver when she said it. I could see anger in her eyes.
“Why would you, you have you're sister. Your foster mother.” I could see more tears well up in her eyes.
“You told me to.” I argued.
“Raney, you’ve been through a lot. I know. But, why would you want to kill yourself?” She looked more concerned than ever. I had never seen this side of her.
“The things you said they are true.” I cried.
“Rane you're strong. You’re so much more and I am so sorry I made you believe different. Trust me when I say this, Rane you’re sister loves you and your mom did to. I never expected you to….I am sorry.” She avoided eye contact.
We both sat there in silence. We didn’t look at each other. “Why?” she asked concerned.
“I wanted to. The pain was getting to me.” I said as I turned to her. “I couldn’t take it.”
She looked at me but, looked back down. “Raney, why would you want to die when you have never lived?”
It was then when I had woken up from my sleep. I looked around the room. Pills were still scattered where I had left them. I scraped them all up and put them back in the pill bottle. I could see cuts and marks on my hand where I had attempted to get good hold of the bottle. I then walked out to my kitchen, everything was normal. No broken glass, no rock. Everything was normal. Just how I wished it would be.