The feeling sweeps over me again as I stare up at the vivid white fan. The voice in my head begins again, you’re worthless to everyone, and you’re never going to matter. The burning in my eyes returns tonight. Don’t cry you weakling, its degrading tone continues to taunt me growing stronger by the second. A solitary tear drifts down my cheek as I think of my failures. I remember every one with just as much clarity as the last. Painfully retreating to the only sure path; the one I have traveled before. Each turn, each crossroad marked carefully by a little girl who succeeded in becoming everything she never wanted to be. I turn up my music, desperately struggling to keep my composure.
With thought after thought tormenting me I feel my defenses weakening. The fan floats in and out of focus, the tears blurring my vision. Edgily, I search for the words, the only thing that drowns my mind out. Pouring my soul onto paper silently hoping someone other than Him will see it. Losing myself to the power of paper against pen, with only an unfulfilled heart to guide it, I hear only the scratching of pen on paper. My core slowly adjusting to the gentle rhythm of my felt tip pen, each tear smudging my words. A sharp rap returns me to the grueling reality. My breath falters as I try to calm my heaving sobs. My vocal chords tighten as I attempt to reply but receive nothing more than a barely audible squeak.
Soon, I carefully listen to my brother’s clumsy, disappointed foot steps travel down the hall. On the way to the bathroom I think, you have to mellow out; he’s coming back later. Slowly my senses fade, numbing my evident pain. I turn on the faucet, and wash my face. I glance up at the one person I truly hate, the one who causes people so much unspoken, needless pain. My dramatic green eyes, now glittering due to my recent break down, silently plead for a comforting voice. The water helps diminish the red tint to my cheeks but my eyes puff slightly. I turn my back to the mirror, dry my face and wonder if I will ever remember success. Defeated I turn off my music and creep into bed.
My mind, still restless, constantly tortures my weary psyche. One by one my errors in life replay constantly. I take to sorting them into two categories, the preventable and the inevitable. I try to remember when I started to dig my grave. Maybe it began the day he took my most valued possession, my dignity, and deepened when my world spiraled into chaotic darkness. I turn to the wall and struggle to surrender to my exhaustion, but soon it is apparent that my nightmares will not come- tonight at least.
My alarm jars me awake. Lazily blinking my swollen, tired eyes and glancing at the time, 5:15 AM, I wonder if it is worth getting up today. The shrill screaming reaches my ears almost immediately. They're at it this early in the morning? Man, things most have really gone down hill since last night. I duck under the covers and pretend to not care that my parents threaten to kill each other almost every sunrise. I hear a plate smash against the wall, along with my father's favorite string of curse words. With a sudden urgency I get up and pull on the first clean clothes I find. I climb out my bedroom window in an attempt to avoid the pandemonium.
The sun has barely begun to rise and it sets an eerie glow over the houses. I start to shiver; I should have brought a coat. I walk on only vaguely aware of the footsteps approaching me from behind. I feel a pair of warm hands brush at my shoulders as a letterman's jacket slips onto my thin, shaking shoulders; it's Jake's, I should have known. I turn to face my next-door neighbor.
His dark brown hair, still damp from his morning shower, frames his face in classic Beatles-cut style. My eyes travel to his eyes; ah, those deep brown eyes, I sense my heart jolt. Of all the things about Jake, his eyes act like a magnet for girls. There lies a rare sense of endlessness to them and a feeling that he can see through the most simple of lies. His green shirt clings to him and he pants as he attempts to regain his breath. I feel like an idiot for staring at him like a deer in headlights. I avert my eyes and mutter a quick hello. "Hey", his voice breaks the silence in a deep comforting tone, "I saw you climb out the window and figured I would walk you to school."
"Sure, you heard them didn't you?" I say wincing at the accusatory tone.
"Only the plate hitting the wall and maybe a couple curse words"
"Great, that means that everyone else heard too"
As we walk on, with only the echo of our feet to regulate conversation, we make small talk, nothing important, and still there lays meaning in the soft touch of his hand gently but consistently brushing against mine. I attempt to shrink away from his comforting touch; you know what happens when you get involved with guys… you don't want to lose yourself to another one of those filthy monsters. I finally cross my arms against my chest and give him a smile lined with apologies because he doesn't know about my dangerous past.
The twists and turns continue as we rove between the trees and through the small but beautiful stream. The school is an unwelcome sight with all the noise and thought. Jake, as usual, breaks the silence, “I’ll see you in a few minutes, there is something I have to do”, and he meanders off to do whatever attractive men do in the mornings.
I find my seat next to my locker. The school is unusually quite and it feels like you could here a pin drop if you really listened. My stomach growls and I abandon my spot in search for someone who has a quarter I can borrow. I come across Elizabeth or most people call her Izzy but I call her Liz. Her long brown hair glistens in the sunlight and her brown eyes, which she has wrongly labeled “shit–brown”, twinkle like they always do. I search for a friendly glint in her eye but I find none. Currently we aren’t speaking. It’s over something stupid again; she did this, I did that. Now, we wait till the problem digs its grave, armed with the power of silence.
The bell rings just as I spot a pair of deep brown eyes cutting through the crowd. A soft, slow smile sneaks onto Brittney’s face as she sees me wave and wait for her to catch up to me which, at this time in the morning, is a daunting task.
“Hey Honey. How are you?” I smile at the sound of her voice, it always sounds like she has the most exciting adventure to tell you about and she just can’t wait to start the next one.
“Great, you?” My voice squeaks in the effort to get the words out as soon as they pop into my head. Brittney laughs as I turn scarlet.