How to Save Your Life

Natasha is suffering. She is struggling to believe that her life is worth anything more than the bruises upon her face and is trying to juggle herself between her painful school life and her lonely home life.

Whilst the bullies think that they are clever for what they do, they fail to empathise with the hurting Natasha. And, considering they are knowledgable towards her situation, they persist to break down her life and soul.

Can she defeat the two groups that both appear to want her to fail; can she reach her dreams through the power of love and loss; and can she break the strong hold that is constantly held around her?

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1. The Real Starting Point

 The night was cold and restless, but the room in which a young girl locked herself was seemingly peaceful. There wasn’t much, in terms of possession, that could be found in the space that consumed the person situated in the middle. A ceiling blotched with black dampness that travelled from the bathroom opposite, a plain and empty bed pressed up against the wall- farthest away from the door, and only a single photograph hung in a grimy metal frame. No window to allow sunlight into the boxed area and only a single, dimming and faulty light that draped by a thread from the ceiling to ignite the already drab walls. It was difficult to reflect this to be a bedroom. How could anyone manage to sleep within such unhygienic conditions?

As the room continued to fall around the single soul that existed inside, it became apparent that she was, in fact, breaking the heavy silence with delicate, choked up sobs. She was sat on the floor of the room (an area covered with burgundy carpet that was in desperate need of a clean) and she was sobbing into her lap, with her hands covering her pale but bruised face. Her back was curled round so that her body resembled a tight, insecure ball of misery; her mind spinning as every tear felt like a weight pounding against her tender wounds. Every time a bead of woe rolled off her cheek, it danced past the locket that dangled from her neck before gravitating and embedding within the carpeted floor. On the locket was elegantly carved letters that all formed to read the words: Dear Natasha, Lots of Love, Mum. And, every time the young teenager needed someone to be with her, so that she had a shoulder to cry on, she would squeeze the locket until her hands hurt and the heart-shaped jewellery formed a perfectly sculptured mark on her flatteringly smooth skin.

The girl’s sobs were soon to be interrupted as downstairs, the body of a heavy built figure was stomping around the room directly below. Natasha subconsciously knew that it must have been in the kitchen, as it was the only place her neglectful and indolent father would bother to go at this time of night. He would never give up his time for her troubles like her mum would have. He wouldn’t have cared about how much his daughter was hurting every minute of every day. He made it obvious to all that he no longer wanted to know Natasha- it had been the same for two years now. Ever since the car accident along the motorway, in which his beloved wife and her loving mother had suddenly become victim to, he decided that he was only to live for himself. In many ways, Natasha understood the reasoning behind his actions: she reminded him too much of her mum and he wouldn’t be able to handle anyone else that he adored to be taken away from him once more. Although, at the same time, she couldn't comprehend why he pushed her away so much when all he should want to do is make the most and appreciate all that he has. She just guessed that he was never going to think by her perspective and that she had to accept that any chance of them having a normal family relationship had been eradicated after the devastating incident.

But all she asked for was his help. Her whole life felt extremely unsafe and she could no longer deal with all the bullies that went out of their way to make her miserable. She was always told to inform someone when in need of support throughout any situation, especially those similar to the one she was currently in. However, when she did just that, she was told to “grow up and stand up for yourself once in a while”. It was an unequivocal guess that the passing comment was produced by Natasha’s father; he was distinctly oblivious to the fact that the comments he made just increased the problem. It was her devaluating confidence that was giving her persecutors the reason to inflict more grief towards her.

But all Natasha new was that it certainly was getting worse, and she was sure that they weren’t ever going to cease. It started with the names, nothing too hard to handle but still the beginning. They, the bullies, would walk around school like they owned the place- the height of popularity, the trend setters and the ones that were always happy. Anyone that stood up to them or became too confident for their liking, would be immediately hunted down and degraded until they were on top once more- looking down at all those that dared to pass next to them. Her insults, at first, consisted of references to her pale skin tone and her petite figure. Words like “freak” would always be thrown into the mix, so as to receive a reaction. But Natasha would never rise to the name-calling. She knew that they were jealous because she had vague but piercingly good looks and a personality that could rise to match. None of them were impressed when she began her education there; afraid that their thunder would be stolen by the new-be, they automatically treated her like an outcast.

None of this mattered to her, though. She had three friends from her previous school that would meet her at weekends: Flo, Bex and Lou, along with the light-hearted Tash, were always raiding the shops and buying the latest CD that hit the shelves. Natasha never wanted to move away and she was always adamant that her mum would still be alive if they hadn’t; she wouldn’t have had to use the motorway if they had stayed where they were, work wouldn’t have been so far out and the accident would never have happened. But it wasn’t until the accident did occur that the bullying began to affect the young girl. They all knew what had happened- one person found out and, all of a sudden, it was in everyone’s knowledge that she was grieving for her biggest idol. So, when the predators found out this information, they changed “freak” to “why don’t you go to hell with your mother?” They would call her pathetic and make sure that every minute was reminded of the loss she had just suffered. That was the real starting point.

 That was the definite beginning of something that would only spiral into unmanageable actions; a pinch and a poke during lessons, then a push or a punch in the corridors (the comments persistently getting worse)- until she was forced to hide at every corner she turned and every place that she visited. However, she could never predict that it was going to get worse than that. She didn't think it could get any harder. She prayed that it would just go away.

 

 

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