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On the outside looking in
Chapter one; Kaeleigh
Kaeleigh glared at her alarm clock. Today was the day she was leaving…for god only knows how long. Her mom had said it would be good for her. A “reformation” to be exact. “I don’t need a dang reformation…I’m fine the way I am,” Which even as Kaeleigh said it, she knew it was a lie. She was far from any facet of fine. And everyone knew it.
Taking a deep breathe, she threw back her covers and stepped onto the cold hardwood floors of her bedroom. ‘Just think you’re going to school…just think school…’ She thought to herself. Stumbling her way to her bathroom, she fought a throbbing headache. No doubt the remains of her last nights binge. Looking back at her in the mirror was someone she barley knew anymore. The persons eyes held vacancy, pain, and her face was so emotionless it might as well been carved from stone. What happened to the light? The smiles? She can barley remember when it all fell away, when she nearly lost all her sanity. Tearing her eyes from the mirror, she focused on finding her make-up, and applying the face everyone thought was her own, but she knew wasn’t. Coming off as a prefect-bad girl was a challenge sometimes. Perfect silver blonde hair, Ice-blue eyes, Ivory complexion, perfectly deadly. Yet all for show. The only thing she dealt with that was deadly, was the constant battle against herself.
As she applied her eye liner, her phone buzzed annoyingly. Pulling it out of her pocket, she read the text.
Party at 2. B4 u leave? We hve everything 4 it. Get back 2 me ASAP. –Jay
She smiled at the text. Ways to forget the pain before she left? She’d take it. She typed back a quick ‘sure, but I need a ride,’ before focusing on finishing her make-up. Once her phone vibrated again, she sighed. She felt bad, leading the poor boy on. But he was a way to forget, and lately, all she wanted was to forget the demons… Wrenching herself from the thoughts, she grabbed her purse and went down stairs to confront her mother. “Mom, I am leaving until two, and then we can leave!” She shouted as she strutted to the door.
“Kaeleigh, I told you, you aren’t going anywhere.”
Kaeleigh rolled her eyes. “And I care why? Bye, mom!” Before her mom could stop her, Kaeleigh hopped into awaiting Jay’s black ford truck hoping he wouldn’t try anything, because the lying was hard enough as it was, and she didn’t want her façade to wear thin, it was the only thing saving her from anyone completely seeing inside. “Hello, my dark princess,” Snickered Jay.
“Enough with the wise cracks… lets just get this started,” Jay leveled his gaze to her, an annoyed gleam in his eyes from her usual snide-ness.
“Anything for you,” He murmured. Kaeleigh sighed, because she knew he meant it…he cared too much, and she resented it. ‘Nobody should have to care for a frigid screw-up, I don’t deserve it,’ She thought quite bitterly. “So where are we going?” She asked in her usual hard-tone.
“Audrey’s guest house…I heard they have this one quite stalked, and early at that.” laughed Jay. Kaeleigh just nodded, then replied simply, “Just what I need,” as she dug her fingernails into the fabric of her new jeans. Jay turned his head slightly to look her in the eyes “Why are you like this all the time? What makes the future so hard for you to deal with?” He asked, a tad angrily, as he ran the old town’s only red light. Kaeleigh snorted.
“Like you’d understand? No. Nobody would,”
Jay paused, thinking, “Well maybe they would, if you actually gave somebody a chance for once.” Kaeleigh smiled slightly at that one.
“Trusting opens up the opportunity for hurt…if you don’t trust anyone they can’t hurt you,” To that, Jay had nothing to say. For the next four minutes, they drove in silence. Once the black ford rolled into Audrey’s, sun gleaming and all, the perfect picture, Jay sighed and said, “Let the party begin my little dark princess,” And this time, Kaeleigh didn’t reply. She was already out of the truck, on her way to her remedy for forgetting.
Chapter two; Jin-ae
“Tadaima!” (I’m home) Jin-ae called to her parents over the roaring of the ocean outside their bay-window, as she dropped her old book bag to the floor with a very audible THUMP.
“Okaerinasai, Jin-ae,” replied her mother in Japanese for Welcome Home. Jin-ae rolled her eyes, they were in the U.S. for crying out loud…not Japan, so why she couldn’t speak English at home escaped her mind. With a quick, I’m going up stairs to do my homework, Jin-ae raced up the stairs, and pulled open her door. Four hours and she would be leaving…amazing what happens when your parents read a few poems, a few stories. They start to think you’re crazy, when really, they just don’t understand. Jin-ae took a look at the room she was leaving behind, and ran a hand over her soft purple bed spread. She closed her eyes for a minute, letting it sink in. She was leaving, probably for a few endless months, maybe more, just because she doesn’t feel right inside. But it was hard, keeping up the perfect straight-A’s and the completely fake smile on her face. It got tiring, and all she had wanted was an escape…all because nobody understood. A ringing phone downstairs snapped her out of her trance, and she heard her mother talking about a storm…about having to leave early if we wanted to make it on time… “Noooo,” moaned Jin-ae she didn’t want to leave her worn-to-fit façade, it had became easy at times, comfy, because she knew people fell for it. It made her parents smile, so why not? She didn’t want to have to go to a place where she would actually have to show the pain, talk about it. No…not at all. Not an easy thing for her to do. Sighing, Jin-ae walked to the mirror on her flower printed walls. Perfect green and blue almond eyes…long silky dark pin-straight hair…tan olive skin…perfect. Everyone saw it, but it was a mask, at least to Jin-ae it was. She looked deeper into the mirrors not-so-perfect picture. She stared into her own eyes, and once you looked deep enough, you noticed specks of grey, and the desire to be who in all reality, she really wasn’t. She wanted to be what everyone thought she was. And, maybe some day, she could be. But not now. Oh, no, definitely not now…
Absentmindedly, she started pulling random clothes into her suitcase, knowing better then to wait for her mother to ask. Purple blouse. Dark black jeans. White shorts. Blue tank-top. Sandals. Clogs. Puma sneakers. Socks. Underwear. More shirts. More jeans. Same ol’, same ol’. With an exaggerated sigh, Jin-ae plopped down on her bed, and stared at the creamy ceiling. ‘I’m leaving…I can’t be leaving!’ thought Jin-ae angrily. Then it all started seeping into her mind…..
Blackness…hands. Whose hands were those? Screaming, more screaming. The smell of the ocean…but yet the smell of the city…Where was she. Barcelona? Panama? Cold, oh so very cold…More hands. More screams…Pain, too much pain, then it all went black…
Gasping, Jin-ae stopped her thoughts, and anxiously glanced around the room for something, anything, to dull the painful memories that came and went as they pleased. “‘Live and let be…’” She murmured the old quote, and then repeated. “Live and let be…until you can’t bear to live it anymore,”
Chapter three; Kaeleigh
As soon as Kaeleigh opened the sliding glass doors, she smelt the over powering smell of alcohol and drugs. Remedy? Oh yes, definitely… “Hey, over here!” She heard Audrey yelp over the crowd. Now, to be honest, Kaeleigh was never a fan of this crowd…never a fan on anyone, to be exact, but they had ways, and she liked her ways the way they were. “Hey, Audrey!” Kaeleigh exclaimed in a overly fake high-pitched voice, topped with a cherry-sweet smile. Audrey weaved her way through the dancing crowd. She was showing off short shorts and a black tank-top, accessorized with brown leather wedge sandals. ‘Hmm…show off much?’ thought Kaeleigh. Audrey smiled at the girl before her, the infamous Kaeleigh. “Here ya go darlin” Audrey drawled while handing her a full red plastic party cup holding a mysterious substance. Pulling the cup up to her nose, she sniffed and smelled the familiar smell of CM and coke. “Thanks,” Kaeleigh offered, meaning it. “No problem,” Audrey laughed then added, “Well, have fun…I have things to do.” She said with a sly wink.
As Audrey strutted away, Kaeleigh muttered, “Of course you do…wah, girls these days…” Rolling her eyes, Kaeleigh went to go sit on the red leather couch sported in the middle of the living room, now over-filled with drunk and partying kids. Not the scene she wished she had fallen into. But she really couldn’t change that now, could she? ‘Nope,’ Kaeleigh replied to her own thoughts. Absentmindedly, she sipped on her drink and looked around. And once her eyes hit the door, she saw the person who made her whole world, a living nightmare. And he was staring right at her. Choking on her thoughts, and not to mention, her drink, Kaeleigh got up and darted into the crowd, tears threatening to spill. “Jayyyy!” Whined Kaeleigh, “Come here!” He was there in a flash, despite her thinking he wouldn’t hear.
“What’s wrong?” asked Jay cautiously.
“He’s…uh. Here…” She said, fighting to get the sentence out.
“Mick?” questioned Jay, even though he knew the answer. Kaeleigh nodded. “Do you want to leave?”
“Yes,” She breathed, relieved he had asked.
“Okay, let’s go hun,” he whispered, pulling her to the door and out of it. Kaeleigh pulled away from his touch and threw herself into the truck, the tears finally falling, and just like an opened water gate, couldn’t stop. Jay plopped in next to her. “Kay…” he began, using his nickname for her, “What happened with him and you?” Kaeleigh closed her eyes, letting the memories flood in.
“I tried saying no…”
Chapter four; Jin-ae
Jin-ae opened her eyes at the sound of her mothers voice, calling her downstairs to leave. “I shouldn’t have to leave…this is too soon, way too soon,” murmured Jin-ae. Sighing, she pulled herself up from her bed, and clutched her suitcases handle. She began to clutch it so tight, that pain radiated through her fingertips, up through her arm. But she didn’t mind, no, not one bit. Jin-ae flung open her door and trotted down the stairs to confront her petite little mother, who stood at 4’9”’, making fourteen year-old Jin-ae, who stood at 5’5”, look like the green giant. ‘Except more like olive giant,’ Jin-ae corrected in her own little conversation in her head. “Kokugen tame hanareru, Jin-ae” (time to leave). Jin-ae was too lost to reply, so just nodded, plastering on a fake smile. ‘Take a deep breath, and just smile,’ she thought to herself. ‘Just smile,’ Mistaking Jin-ae’s smile for genuine excitement, her mother smiled back, a slight twinkle in her eye at the thought of her little daughter being happy, truly, happy, for once. When really, she wasn’t.
Chapter four; Kaeleigh
Jay’s eyes got wide at her response. “No, no, no, you have got to be kidding me. Please say you don’t mean what I think you mean!”
Kaeleigh bit her lip, and quietly replied, “Oh, but I do,” Jay’s hand pounded the steering wheel, and a slight growl escaped his mouth.
“That…. Wow, he did that to you? I swear the next time I see him…” threatened Jay.
“No, please, don’t, just let it go,” Whimpered Kaeleigh. “I don’t want to re-live it anymore than possible.” Jay nodded.
“Okay, but I am still not happy with this.”
“Me neither,” replied Kaeleigh, whose tears still wouldn’t stop spilling over. Jay looked at her with sympathy in his eyes, but he was choking on what to say.
“Oh, Kay, I don’t know how to help you anymore.”
“I don’t know either…I truly don’t know what to do anymore.”
Jay bit his lip, pulling over to the curb outside Kaeleigh’s house. “Please come back better.” He whispered. “Please.” Kaeleigh nodded, preparing to stumble out and into her house, where no doubt her mother would be furious, as Jay turned to look at her. “Kay,” he whispered, then leaned in and kissed her. It was small, nothing but a peck, but for that one second, Kaeleigh felt almost whole again. Complete. Not quite, but almost. “Bye, Jay.” She said with a slight, sad lined smile.
“Goodbye, Kaeleigh. Stay beautiful.” He said with a smile. ‘Beautiful…what’s so beautiful about mascara and eye liner running down a small town girls face?’ She wondered as she stepped into her house, closing the door behind her.
Chapter five; Jin-ae
Blurs of trees that looked like tall and at attention soldiers and colors zoomed past Jin-ae as she drove to her destiny; Washington, DC. Reformation camp. Jin-ae sat down and relaxed, letting all the days and months and years replay and run through her mind. Some brought joy, while others brought tears. But if she was going to a place like this, she might as well learn to control, or at least confront, her demons and past memories. That’s what it was all about anyways, right? “Right” muttered Jin-ae to herself. The four hours rushed by quite quickly, and finally, they were there. Jin-ae took in the scene, the building looked much like a school, but with metal detectors and guards. “What have I gotten myself into…?” She whispered, mortified. After sitting and staring for a long few moments, Jin-ae grabbed her paper work, suitcase, and some cash, and told her parents good-bye for what she thought wouldn’t be the last time.
Chapter six; Kaeleigh
“You could’ve just listened to me this once Kaeleigh. Look where you’ve gotten yourself. You could be so much better then this and you’re throwing it all away, setting a bad image…well, to be honest Kaeleigh, I just want my daughter back. And don’t you dare say anything back to me right now, you’re in the wrong and I don’t want to hear excuses anymore. Now go get your stuff, were leaving. NOW.” argued Kaeleighs mother, as Kaeleigh stood there, open jawed, for what seemed like the hours ticking-toking away on a grandfather clock. Kaeleigh snapped her jaw shut with a nod and then stumbled up the stairs to grab her clothes. She couldn’t wait to leave. Because she was hoping she’d never have to come back. But sometimes, you just have to be careful for what you wish for. But wishes are desire and she desired for a way to be free, in all aspects. Naive and clueless. It gave her, her first hello and it’ll give her a last goodbye, too.
Chapter seven; Jin-ae and Kaeleigh
They just stared at each other for endless minutes. They didn’t get how either of them were there, or how they even got roomed together. Complete opposites and they both knew, or at least thought they knew, there’d be nothing in common between them. Finally gathering the courage, Kaeleigh spoke, her regular straight-up self. “I don’t know you and I don’t really care to get to know you. Just do your thing and I’ll do mine. Okay?” snapped Kaeleigh. Jin-aes eyes went wide.
“Uhh…okay, got it,”
“Good.” growled Kaeleigh. Jin-ae watched as she made her bed, wondering why this girl was so cut-throat, you wouldn’t suspect it from the looks of her. But she guessed that’s why there is a quote saying don’t judge a book by its cover…because a cover is a façade and if she’s here, there most definitely must be a problem along those lines.
Kaeleigh rolled her eyes. ‘A dweeb, how great.’ thought Kaeleigh, not caring one bit about anyone but herself. Well, maybe she was a little too harsh. But Kaeleigh didn’t want to be here more then the next guy, and keeping the little nerd away would make it that much easier. Despite her words before, Kaeleigh looked at Jin-ae. “Why are you here?” she asked simply. Jin-ae saw no point in hiding it, After all, Kaeleigh was being civil at the moment.
“…Rape.” stated Jin-ae. Kaeleighs eyes widened.
“Yeah. Me too,” Jin-ae just nodded. “Messes you up, doesn’t it?” said Kaeleigh. “You think you’ll move away from it but you never do.”
Jin-ae bit her lip. “Very true,” she said wistfully. “You’re like a dove, all sweet and innocent, then it happens and you’re like a troll. All ugly and crazed. Messed up.” Kaeleigh nodded. “I know what you mean,” Jin-ae starred back at her, her eyes showing what was inside that nobody ever saw. And as she was looking at Kaeleigh, she noticed she had those eyes, too. “Maybe we have more in common than we thought.” stated Kaeleigh.
Jin-ae nodded and offered a smile. “I agree.”
Chapter eight; Kaeleigh and Jin-ae
Kaeleigh sat on the floor Indian style, like a praying mantas as Jin-ae paced the floors. “We need to get out of here, we all know this isn’t helping. It’s been almost two months…and we still don’t have a stitch mended in us yet,”
“I know, but how do we plan on leaving? And where would we go, Jin?” Kaeleigh asked.
“We’d find somewhere. I paid a guard off to let us go. All we need to do is run, and find a taxi, we will figure something out. I mean come on, it’s DC”
“Okay, grab your stuff, lets go.” replied Kaeleigh, her voice wavering with slight confusion and fear. Kaeleigh gathered her belongings and Jin-aes into her arms. “Jin,” Said Kaeleigh.
“We are healing. We’re healing each other. So let’s just leave and be who we want to be.”
Jin-ae smiled. “Sounds good to me.”
Chapter nine; It’s the ending, so why are we pretending.
Kaeleigh and Jin-ae sat in the back of the taxi cab, trying to reach the outskirts of the city, and find a cheap motel. They never saw it coming; they thought they were free again, like a soft ivory-white dove, all sweet and innocent. But the world’s an ugly troll, and it always has been. And in a battle, who do you think would win? A tiny little dove or a big old evil troll? My bets are on the troll.
“Almost there,” hollered the old gnarly looking taxicab driver. “Okay, but make su- …” Jin-ae could barley get the words out of her mouth when she saw it coming. Big, black, and deadly.
“Get out of the way!” hollered Jin-ae. But at the last chance to swerve, the rig hit them head on. And as everything was going black, Kaeleigh whispered, “Free at last.”
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