I'm incredibly busy right now, so I apologize for the lack of interesting articles!
But I recently collaborated with my friend Adelaide on a short story. I present to you the first few pages, hopefully if you like it I will post the rest as we write on.
Please share it if you like it! Have a wonderful day, my beauties<3
He was looking directly at it. God, could he possibly be less subtle? Although I do enjoy his technique more than that of the people who feel that, out of respect for my scar or some shit like that, they should avoid my face in its entirety. This seemingly logical strategy results in many of my conversational partners staring off into deep space during our chats, as if they were pondering the philosophical meaning of such deep inquiries as our math homework.
But at this very moment, I was only dealing with a level 1 glarer. And just like clockwork, 12 seconds after the beginning of our talk, my friend anxiety conducted his famous magic trick; the rising flame act, which consisted of making an aggressively red color rise from the bottom of my neck to the tip of my ears. Deep breaths, I told myself, focus on your breathing, look away, do not panic, but all efforts in vain, as usual. I gathered my books, mumbled some excuse and bolted out of our locker row.
You would think that after being disfigured for almost 4 years now, a girl would get used to the weird looks, the untimely comments and the snickering echoes. But that only happens in the pamphlets, where the survivor is so proud of her uniqueness that she gives conferences to teenagers everywhere and becomes a hero, a bloody inspiration. Yeah, right.
But back to the now; I was sweeping by undistinguishable faces, blurred by my lack of breathing and its resulting dizziness, tossing all bystanders aside, caring less and less about the casualties as I approached my trusty handicap bathroom stall. I know, being defaced isn’t technically a handicap, but since no one dares question my reasons for using it, I’m not going to let a perfectly practical sanctuary go to waste. I’ll occasionally get some curious expressions, adorned with question-mark shaped eyebrows and frown lines, but what else is new. I’m disgusting.
I entered the dark room to find this slutty 10th grade couple going at it, and sure enough, when I turned on the lights and they spun around in fear to find me standing at the threshold, the girl screamed. Oh, the might it took to stop my fists from gently bashing into her obnoxiously normal face. I shooed them out, and what monster says goes.
So I found myself alone at last in this far-too familiar bathroom. I pivoted my head towards the mirror, and breathed a long sigh of relief. This barely-used-for-its-intents-and-purposes lavatory was seldom cleaned, thus leaving its mirror filthy with fingerprints and hairspray, and I loved it so. You see, my instincts failed me on a daily basis, directing my eyes towards the nearest reflective object, and leaving me breathlessly horrified at the sight of my reflection. But not this mirror, no, for all I could see through the haziness were vague shapes and colors, and for a single blink-and-it’s-gone moment, I looked pretty. The washed-out blond lion mane that is my hair somehow manifested itself as an angelic halo, caressing my delicate features, which is a phrase that seems foreign to my tongue nowadays.
I kneeled down on the grimy floor tiles, took a hiccupping breath, and wept. I didn’t cry, crying was for people whose feelings only stabbed a little. I oozed pain, I leaked despair. Every little piece of my body was aching, my hands were shaking. I couldn’t even hold myself up anymore, so I completed my disintegration by collapsing to the floor, clutching on to my books as if they too would try and flea from my atrocity.
Why does every moment have to be so hard, I thought to myself, as I rose from the ground and dusted myself off. These episodic collapses weren’t exactly rare, and they, unfortunately, weren’t getting less frequent as time went on, like Dr Rashad promised. It was his entire damn fault, too, the least he could do was keep his promises.
I guess maybe you could consider it luck, like that stupid pamphlet girl probably would, that monstrosity hit a girl already lacking a reason to live. Less to lose, I guess. Because when you think about it, there are people in this world that have so much to lose, like friends, family, jobs, happiness. I mean, the cashier at Metro tells me that maybe I should be thankful that God picked me, a crappy person, with bad self-esteem, and depression, who hurts everyone around her, instead of some rainbow-farting angel. Well, she doesn’t exactly say it, but let’s face it: the number of times per week I showed up at her cash toting bags of junk, manically shuffling for change, making it clear to any bystander that I was on my way to a party of one binge fest, proves that life under this skin is the very definition of torment. It was in moments like those that I wished I were dead, and moments like right now, heading back out into the scary, scary world just because there was nowhere else to go.
I hiked up the flights of stairs as quickly as I could, but not fast enough to make me all red and sweaty (I don’t need more ugly on me, thank you very much), and shuffled into my class right before the bell rang. I spent the rest of my World of Today class praying she wouldn’t call on me like she had a habit of doing, without my permission (The nerve!). It was this demonic app some of my teachers had discovered that randomly selected a student’s name to answer a question; an anxiety-afflicted child’s nightmare. It ran over each name, teasing us, like some sadistic game show, and if it landed on my own, the cynical ding of the bell unleashed the wrath of the big, embarrassed dragon, crawling up my face, burning it to a crisp. But today was apparently a lucky Monday, as I walked out of there scorch-free.
I saw my friends down the hall, and called out their names: «Jessie! Jessie! Mel! Chris!», but in vain, no one turned around, except onlookers, their mocking faces smirking and judging me, with their friends right by their side. Dear students of this God-forsaken school, I’m really not going to miss any of you.
Back at my locker, I joined the aforementioned friends, trying as best as I could to casually join their conversation. Like always, however, I felt this thick gap between us, like I was floating in a haze far, far away from their reality. I couldn’t relate to what they were saying, I just felt off, like my body or my mind didn’t belong with those of other teenagers, the non-disfigured ones anyways.