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Bandaging the wounds
The girl was preparing for her first day back at school since the death of her mother. She was terrified that she would break under the taunting of the other girls. She was scared to cry. Crying made her look weak, and weakness, or the illusion of it made her an easy victim. They would taunt her, call her Queen, or Too Good, or Better. She had a name, which was the best gift her mother ever gave her. Her name was unique, it was beautiful. Her mother claimed that the name was practically made in the image of the girl. She had many problems, none of which would make any sense to someone who had never witnessed the torture she endured, or experienced the pain it brought. She was teased for her looks, for her talent, and her brilliance. She was made to feel worthless under the girl who ruled over them all, Liz. Liz’s family was basically the royalty of the small town of theirs, as the Baker’s were the richest, the most powerful, and the most rude. Sure enough, as soon as she entered the lobby of the school, a hush fell over everyone. The girl ducked her head, hiding behind a curtain of hair. For a moment, a brief moment of pure bliss, she thought that she would be left alone, invisible to her peers. But of course, the perfect moment could happen, the stars were not aligned to allow it. As soon as the girl walked into the office, she got a sympathetic smile and a shrug from the secretary, one that she got everyday. The shrug was one of those that implied that ‘Kids will be kids”, and the girl froze. She squared her shoulders, sucked in a breath, head high.... then ducked and hid her face once more. She rounded the corner of the hallway, slinking to the side, trying to get to her locker. She thought she was safe. She caught sight of her locker, and her heart leapt to her throat. Her locker, she saw the closer she got, was covered in paper. She pulled a note off, and saw that it was stuck to her locker by gum. A tear slipped from her eye….no, get yourself together. You can't cry. Stop it, this can't be happening. She angrily tore the notes from her locker and shoved them in her locker, throwing her bag in after the notes. The girl ambled through the rest of the day much like a zombie, shambling from class to class. She went to the nurse, complaining of a headache, half an hour before dismissal. She wandered home, just happy to be away from the school, happy to be able to avoid the bus ride home, even if it meant walking a couple of miles. The air was crisp and clean, the days of winter melting into spring. Or maybe it just felt that way. She exhaled deeply, watching a cloud of her breath swirl in the air surrounding her. A tear slipped down her face, scalding against her ice cold cheek. She wandered aimlessly till dusk, walking circles around her neighborhood, eventually looking up and scanning her surroundings. She was three blocks west of her house, her haven, her safe place. The girl turned on her heal slowly, almost lazily, and walked back towards where she was safe from them, but not safe from herself.
The girl gazed lazily into the mirror, and evaluated the reflection of a girl that was missed, and now she barely recognized herself. The girl hid her perfect face behind a sheet of perfectly straight, perfectly blonde hair. She shifted, parting her hair to expose a perfect face, with a perfect nose, perfect sharp cheekbones and beautiful hazel, almost gold, eyes. Her perfect looks hid her sharp wit and her even sharper mind. As her days wore on, the pain chipped away at her mind, dulling what once had been the most deadly weapon know to mankind. Eyes that had once been beautiful, now were a window into her soul, exposing her pain, throwing all of her sadness and secrets out into the open for all the world to see. Staring into the eyes of the girl, we could see just how broken, weak and full of hate she truly was. Her f?cade had finally cracked beyond repair, and even the strongest glue in the world wouldn’t be able to piece it back together again. She hid all of her secrets, all of her problems and her biggest insecurities beneath that perfect face, the mask, a mask that had been shattered into millions upon millions upon millions of pieces. She was tired of the snide comments, the rude gestures shown to her that she had done nothing to deserve. She was tired of the fights, tired of the bullying, over something so stupid. The girl’s mother told her that the other girls would envy her beauty, not make her life miserable because of it. The soft whispers, growing louder, a thorn in her side, echoing in the back of her mind, stubbornly refusing to fade away. The notes left in her locker each day, the comments left on her social media whenever she dared to post a picture, the calls and texts sent to her phone, every day of her goddamned life. She wanted to be granted the ability to forgive all of those that had ever caused her pain, but what was there to forgive of them?? They were right. The girl did not deserve to live. The girl deserved to watch her mother die, she deserved the hate, she deserved the taunting, the names, the punching, kicking and hair pulling. Her own friends had turned on her the moment they walked through the doors of the junior high, her mother had died, yet she was the one absorbing all of the hate in her world. She felt trapped, trapped between the walls of tragedy that her peers, nay, tormentors, had built for her. She was sentenced to live out the rest of her days in agony, whilst the vultures circled overhead. She was scared that she was going to be taken from her father, and was told by one of her online friends that the foster care system was hell. Could it possibly be more hellish than the halls of a high school??
Her phone began to sing…
She pushed the button once more, this time silencing a call from her boyfriend? Lover? Friend. He was the only one left standing at her side, and here she was, cutting him off, fighting their connection, closing herself off as to contain an explosion. The girl looked at her reflection in the mirror, dazed, eyes unfocused. One tear fell, then another, and another trailed down her cheek, an avalanche of salty, stinging tears falling from her eyes each time she dragged the knife across her wrist….. Slowly, carefully, being sure to cut everything possible. Tears continued to fall, long after the blade had been dropped, long after the girl fell. The girl brought a hand to her face, wiping away what had once been perfectly neat, perfectly beautiful eyeliner. She thought of how upset her mother would be with her if she got any of her makeup on the soft, fluffy, snow-like bath mat on which the girl lay, face pressed against the cool stone tiles. How silly it was to be thinking about makeup upon the mat, when blood would be a more difficult stain to remove. The girl lay frozen, shocked by the sudden thought of her mother, and how ordinary and regular and innocent the thought was. Memories of the girl’s mother flooded her mind, and the girl dissolved into a puddle, no, a pile of heart wrenching, broken sobs.
Eventually, the girl grew weary and slept.
The girl heard a knock on the door and woke, and she sat up, surprised that she was still alive. The door opened and she saw a young man, but what was his name? She felt weak, physically this one time, and her head spun. The boy stepped towards her, catching her as she fell, and wrapped his arms around her. The girl didn’t fight it, not that she could, even if she wanted to. The boy, Alec, wrapped his arms more tightly around the girl, kissing her gently on the top of her head. Alec slowly and gently picked the girl up, carrying her to her room, laying her down softly, and began to speak…..His words ran together, but one thing was super clear…. “We need you back, come back. I don’t care, help me help you He needs you She wouldn’t want this They’re not worth it You are beautiful They don’t know the real you Let me help you I know what will help Don’t ever do this again Youmeantoomuchtome…...
I Love You. Please Don’t Do This To Me.
The girl suddenly perked up, feeling a mixture of emotions. She was filled with a warm feeling, since she now knew the truth of his feelings. That feeling was soon replaced with confusion, as she thought Alec considered this ordeal to be his fault. He pulled her into a tight embrace once more, kissing her softly on the top of her head, tears streaming down his face. The girl reached up, her arms around his neck, and slowly lay back down, pulling him with her. As she dropped off, the boy continued to talk, luring her into a dreamless slumber. So long as he never left her side she was protected. She was calm. She was beautiful, and she was safe. Laying next to him, in their own world, completely isolated from the dirty, nasty, cruel world that everyone else was forced to be a part of. The pair woke, hours later, as the smell of lasagna drifted up the stairs. They could hear the girls neighbor clanging pots and pans around the huge kitchen, the kitchen untouched except for by the girls mother. Another pang of sadness ripped through her, and she whimpered. The boy held her more tightly, burrowing his face in her neck. She glanced at her palms, noticing the tape wrapping around them, struggling to recall when they were stitched and bandaged, pulling at the gauze. The boy jumped to attention, scared that the girl was trying to reopen her wounds. He reached for her hand, kissed it once, and wrapped the girl’s huge comforter around the two of them. He pulled a marker from the girls desk and began to draw stunning overlapping designs upon the bandage. He sighed, and turned towards her, capping the maker as he spoke. “You need to let me know what's going on inside that mind of yours. I feel like I’ve been stranded, swimming in the waters surrounding an island that only you are allowed to know about.” He paused, breathing deeply, planning his next words. “If it's about losing her, there are people willing to help. No one is going to leave you, we care too much to cast you away, to let you work through this on your own.” A tear streamed down his face, and he looked toward the ceiling beging himself to let the tears subside. “We all loved her.” The boy stood, stretching out, the extended his hand toward the girl. She studied him carefully, as if she was afraid to trust him. The boy frowned. Had he done something wrong? Was it something he had said? He hadn’t meant to insult her, or dishonor the relationship that she and her mother had had. He was scared that he had crossed a line. All of the fears and concerns the boy had disappeared as soon as the girl took his hand, and together they walked slowly down to the kitchen. The girls neighbor, Harper, looked up as they entered, hand in hand, and smiled sadly at the boy. Harper decided not to comment, scared to cause an avalanche of tears. The boy walked the girl to the dining room, helped her set the table, and once he was sure that she busy, snuck back towards the kitchen. The boy’s face went from soft and forgiving, to hard and stern as soon as he was within eyesight of Harper. “Please,” he whispered, “For my sake and hers, could you be a little less obvious? She’s clearly hurt, and if you screw up, or prod too hard, that's a mess I’ll be placed in charge of cleaning up.” The boy froze, remember the moment he walked into the bathroom and found his love lying on the floor, clenching a blade so tight in her fists she sliced through. The boy turned on his heel, wrapping the girl in a hug, glaring at Harper all the while. Harper, knowing her presence would upset someone, went to find the girl's father. It wasn’t hard. The man had barely moved since his wife’s funeral, too full of sorrow to imagine living without her. Harper brought him a plate anyways, piled high with food, knowing that it would be left untouched. As she set the plate down, she noticed paper scattered around the small den, and simply couldn’t help but read. So, with a guilty conscience, she shifted the array of bottles to indulge in a narrative written by a broken man.
Jule, I don’t know if I can do this.
She doesn’t talk to me like she did you.
She’s obviously in pain, she won’t let anyone near her.
It’s funny, I’ve come to love, no, need, what caused your death.
I never drank a drop before you were killed.
Now I can’t carry out my days without reaching for a bottle.