First day back at college.
Well shit, this is going to be fun. Me, the most socially awkward teen on the planet, placed in a room with people I hate, people I loathe, and people that act like complete apes. Seems like my idea of hell. Satan was most definitely planning to mess with me today.
I stretch the aches out of my gangly limbs and stand in front of the mirror. I look at the boy in front of me. Dull, faded skin, black rings around my eyes from insomnia. My hands had been rubbing my wrists on auto-pilot, aggravating the fresh cuts, causing them to sting that little bit more, so instead I slowly run my fingers through my jet black hair, and then let it gradually fall back around my ears. I look myself up and down, taking in my pale complexion, green eyes; the multiple piercings that school teachers insisted I took out…..
In a daze, I stumble to my bathroom, and again come face to face with my reflection. This time, I turn the mirror away so I don’t have to look at my ugly face as I clean my teeth and attempt to tame my unruly bed-head.
After plucking a random shirt from my wardrobe, squeezing into my checked jeans and slipping into my Converse, I head down the stairs and practically run out of the door with nothing except a faint mutter of ‘bye’ to my parents. But that doesn’t really matter, they don’t notice that I’m gone half the time anyway. To them, I’m just an annoying lodger that takes their food and uses their money to buy clothes when really I should have a job instead of living off of them.
“Oit Blossom.” Jace sniggers as he pulls his seat round to sit in front of me, leaning forwards whilst his so called ‘friends’ gather around him, like pack animals closing in on prey. “I bet you missed out beautiful faces over the summer.”
I ignore him and turn my iPod up louder. Blossom they called me, after one of the Powerpuff Girls.
After a year, you get used to it.
After a year, you also come to realize there is no getting away from Jace.
So I expect it when he yanks my earphones out of my ears and draws face to face with me.
“Its rude to ignore people Blossom.” He snarls, and I can smell the alcohol on his breath. It’s only nine in the morning and he has already been drinking.
I attempt to get up, but of course he pushes me back down into my chair.
Sighing, I look him straight in the eye.
“What do you want Jace?” I mutter as his friends gather closer, allowing me no room to escape.
“Just some…..casual conversation.” He snickers then gets up, ruffling my hair, knowing how much it gets on my nerves. “We’ll leave the more….physical stuff for later.”
This causes me to shiver. I knew what was going to happen. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to enjoy what was in store, although I’m sure Jace will.
“KOTA! STOP!” I hear her shout as I storm out of the boys’ bathrooms. “DAKOTA MAGUIARE, STOP AND LOOK AT ME!!”
I stop, but I don’t turn around. I don’t want her to see the tears in my eyes.
“What Alice?” I quickly run the back of my hand across my eyes and then slowly turn around to face her, making sure not to make eye contact.
“What’s wrong? I haven’t seen you for a month and I don’t even get a hello?” I feel her warm hand on my arm and look down. “Kota, what’s happened?”
“It’s started already. I’ve been back one damn day AND I DON’T EVEN GET A BREAK!” I kick out at the lockers next to me and pull out of her vice-like grip on my arm.
“Kota….calm down…” She attempts but I just step further away.
“Why me? Am I just an easy target or something?! Of course, what has happened recently wasn’t enough! I can’t fucking deal with this right now! Sky… Sky…” I stop, a lump forming in my throat. I swallow a few times and it gets smaller, but it doesn’t disappear. It never does. “Why the fuck have they chosen me to have their fun with?”
“Just ignore them Kota…”
“IGNORE THEM?! HOW CAN I IGNORE THEM WHEN THEY’RE ALL UP IN MY FACE?!” At this sudden burst of fury, Alice shrinks away, tucking her bright blue hair behind her ears.
“Kota, listen to me.” I feel her hand on my arm again. “You need to calm down.”
“I’m fed up of it all Alice.” I cover her hand with mine. “I always get all of the shit, never anything good. If only Skylar…”
“Well Skylar isn’t here, is he?! He’s gone!” She doesn’t think about the words leaving her mouth. That much is obvious. I don’t need to see the shocked expression on her face to know that.
“Kota, I’m sorry…” She stutters, but I hold my hand up, stopping her from talking.
“You’re right. Skylar isn’t here, and he never will be again. He left, forever, and he isn’t coming back. I understand how he felt now. Whenever he talked about giving up, about life not being worth it any more, I thought it was just a phase. That it would all blow over. But he was serious, and now he’s gone. He didn’t even say goodbye…” I bite my lip. Talking about Skylar in the past tense, it isn’t right. He should still be here. I should have been better, more loving and less…. me.
Skyler was abused. Many, many times. Physically. Mentally. Sexually.
I always wondered why he was so hesitant, so distant with me, but he never told anyone. Mainly because the people you would tell were the ones causing the harm. His father hurt him. In the confines of his own home, he was abused by the only person he could look up to. His father was a drunk, run down widower who took his crap life out on his only remaining family member. Miserable git was meant to be there for his son. They were both meant to support each other in this hard time of mourning, but instead he turned to the bottle and never looked back. Never cared about his battered and bruised son. Never apologised.
Skyler went to a clinic to deal with his mother’s death. To deal with the depression. I knew about the depression. But never how serious it was. And nothing I ever did to try and help worked. Every day I kissed the scars on his wrist, hoping that they would disappear.
They never did.
We were told after his death that his psychiatrist had raped him many times. So on top of all the other crap that kept bombarding Skyler, the one person that you are supposed to be able to go to, to receive help from, just makes it one-fucking-hundred times worse.
But because Skyler wanted everything to seem ok, he kept going to the meetings until it all became too much. And what’s worse? That evil prick wasn’t even convicted. Not enough evidence they said. It won’t ever happen again they said.
Well, it won’t to Skyler.
And the mysterious disappearance of Mr Macy the Physics teacher? Yep, you guessed it. He got dismissed and then arrested for rape.
And yet no one ever knew. Until Skyler explained everything in his suicide note.
But not once did it mention my name.
Not one goodbye, to anyone.
I look up at Alice again, my voice cold. Vacant of feeling. I lost all feeling the day I lost the most important person in my life.
“And I wouldn’t have said goodbye to me either. I couldn’t help him when he needed me most. In all those times when he needed me, I just brushed him aside. And now that I am in the same position, I realise how much everything truly hurts, because now it’s happening to me. I’m the next victim in a line of victims. I’m not worth a goodbye.”
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