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It's a Long Road
She walks around school, lying to everyone, including herself. She smiles at all the people who would be heartbroken if she gave them anything less. She is rewarded by the thought of leaving this school soon. She walks like a zombie, just going through the movements in the day and every so often pulling her sleeves down to cover the ugly marks from the night before, because that’s what she is, what she feels like, ugly.
As she walks through the hallways she hears people snicker and point at her. She crosses her arms over her chest and self-consciously goes into the classroom and sits down, wishing she was anywhere else but here. Instead of taking notes like she used to, she opens her binder and fills the empty lines with the dark things her mind conjures up. She waits for some release from the screaming voices in her head, but for once, she cannot get away from them. She puts down her pencil and stares blankly at the board, imagining just how the razor will glide over her virgin wrist once again and make the sweet release of blood. She imagines how the blood will bead up and slowly trickle down her arm.
“Legge numero cinque.” The teacher requests in Italian. She quickly scans the page to where number 5 is.
“Arriva a Massimo,” she rolls off her tongue, looking up to meet the stares of everyone.
“Bennissimo, va bene.” She picks up her pencil once again and begins to draw black holes all over her papers. She silently wishes that she could be absorbed into it and not have to deal with this pain anymore.
Soon enough, the bell rings and she bolts out of her class, ready to go to lunch. She walks the long corridor and her stomach growls from not eating in a week. When she gets to her locker, there are post-it notes stuck to her locker. All of them saying “S***” and “w****”. She rips off the notes, tearing them to shreds, and sinks down to the floor, finally breaking. She realizes that she can’t do this anymore; she is done. Wiping the tears from her face, she sniffles and stands up, grabbing her afternoon books and walking to the cafeteria. She doesn’t bother with her lunch that her mother packed for her while begging her to eat something today. She doesn’t care that she has a presentation to give the class after lunch, nothing matters.
At lunch, it is the same thing, no one to sit with but herself. Sure, she had friends, but they were all too conceited to actually care. They all only thought about themselves and their own damn problems. Even if she was hysterically crying, they wouldn’t notice her, no one notices her.
“Oh! Hey!” her friend yells at her in enthusiasm.
“Hi,” she responds quietly.
“Come on, you know you can’t bullshit me,” her friend teases.
“I said, I’m fine.”
“Jeez, what’s gotten up your butt?” her friend says, bumping her arm.
“I just want to go home,” she whispers. Her friend looks at her and suddenly she understands. She takes her in her arms without saying a word and holds her tight, trying to hold her together until 2:30 p.m.
“Shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay.” She wipes her nose and looks at her friend.
“How can you say that? How can you look me in the eyes and lie right to my face?”
“Because I’m not lying,” her friend says simply.
“I just want it to be over, for good. I don’t want to worry about anything. I just want to say goodbye and let everything just go numb. Haven’t you ever thought that?”
“Of course I have. Every god damned waking moment. But I’m stronger than that- you’re stronger than that- the way I see it is I could either get busy living, or get busy dying. I choose living, I don’t know what you choose, but I will NOT choose to stand here and beat myself up over stuff I cannot change, and it’s time you learned the same thing.”
She contemplates what her friend has said, but it doesn’t make a difference. She is too far deep in the ocean to find her way out.