I wanted to call it a thriller/horror but also with some romance. Couldn't find that category so other will have to do. I have high hopes for this story but please read and include as much critism as your heart desires. I promise not to be upset by it as long as you promise to be fair. I do not want any homophobic comments, if you don't like the subjects mentioned here, then don't read.


9. Aftermath

I pulled my clean white blouse over myself, wincing at the motion. My arms were sore and red, the skin peeling back in a way that made my stomach clench. I tried to ignore the tears which were making their way down both cheeks, instead concentrating on my school day. I had maths, science, music, art and re. I could live with the maths, science and re, the thought of re took away a small piece of the pain I felt. But music and art. They were my only two lessons without Rebecca and the thought of spending any time on my own today, at the bay of my thoughts, was too much to bear. I wanted to let my thoughts spin off, wanted to let my mind drift off to the girl with the perfect body, perfect face, perfect voice; perfect everything. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t escape the real world, the pain still too fresh. I carefully buttoned up my sleeves, hissing in pain as my fingers grazed the burnt skin. I pulled on my skirt and combed through my hair with my fingers, closing my eyes, imagining stroking hair that was longer and silkier than mine. Imagined long blond hair running down my shoulders, imagined the dirty blond colour shining in the light and imagined everyone’s eyes on me as I flicked it carelessly out of my eyes, just another feature about me that made me beautiful. That made me Wednesday…


“Isabella, it’s time for school.”


I opened my eyes and I was once again in my white thread bare room, a skinny mouse haired girl with plain eyes, a boring face, no figure to speak of and a lack of personality to boot. I picked up my bag too quickly, pulling it onto my back and causing the peeling skin to pull back further from my flesh, making me wince. At least the bleeding had stopped. Mother had left me in the basement until late that evening, before she had dragged me up the stairs, into the bathroom to wash myself. I could still remember her spidery fingers touching my skin, kneading my hair with shampoo like I was a small child. I hadn’t tried to resist as she had scrubbed me as hard as she could, like she was determined to scrub everything that was wrong with me away. Unsuccessfully.


Bobby stood, pale faced, at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me. He smiled at me and gave me a hug, which caused a grimace of pain to show on my face. I tried to hide my expression in Bobby’s curls but Mother saw it, alright, her grin smug on her face as she was reminded of all the pain she constantly caused me. Bobby’s eyes searched my face but by then I was composed and ready for the day. I carefully rubbed under my eyes to remove any signs of tears but if Bobby hadn’t noticed then my crying couldn’t have been that obvious. Or else he was simply being kind to me.


“Goodbye sweetie,” Mother clasped Bobby in a tight hug and he melted into her, his little body pulled tight into her arms.


I watched her face as she seemed to challenge me, daring me to stop her. There was nothing I could do but watch. Watch the motherly love that I would never receive. Bobby moved away and I shut the door firmly behind us, not looking back to see Mother. Not wanting the memory of her cold eyes with me that day. Bobby didn’t chat like usual, his quiet nature worried me. Maybe he still hadn’t quite forgiven me for hitting him yesterday though he didn’t seem to hate me like I thought he would. I could only assume he had heard my screams in the night, Mother had lost control of one thing that night anyway. Bobby knew. What he knew, I couldn’t tell you. He didn’t seem to relate my screams to Mother as he had hugged her happily enough a second ago. But he had heard, he knew something was wrong. In some ways I was glad, maybe he would understand, he would realise the kind of person our Mother really was. But with this knowledge would surely come the pain I received, would come the realisation that the world was mean and cruel. That life really did only get worse. I was going to shield him from this for as long as I was able too. He didn’t need all this in his life, I barely got through my days. How could my little brother cope?


I embraced him in a big hug, willing him to melt into me like he had Mother but he simply shoved me off, sighing a little at me before waving me off as he walked into school. I watched him go, his bag big on his back making him look even smaller. And more fragile. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I almost didn’t notice the popular girls calls after me as I crossed the playground. Almost. I didn’t turn to acknowledge them, just walked faster, thoughts of Rebecca waiting for me in form filling my head. Of her kindness and how I didn’t appreciate it enough. I needed her now, she was the only one who I could talk to about Mother. The shouts got louder as they gained on me and I heard the bell go, meaning that form had already begun. The playground emptied out fast, the kids scrambling past me to reach the doors. I wanted to break out into a run but told myself to calm down. It wasn’t until a perfectly manicured hand caught my hair sharply that I began to panic.


“Where do you think you’re going, freak?” The voice was high pitched and I suddenly thought of Wednesday’s voice, the deep song-like quality, compared to the shrill cry of this girl. I barely knew any of the girls, my heart thumped slightly louder in my chest to see there were seven of them in total, all with fully made up pouts and fake eyelashes that made their stares even more menacing. I tried to pull out of her grasp but found her hand surprisingly strong on my head.


“No, nerd. You’re gonna hang out with us now!” They all fell about laughing at the girl’s remark.


I could feel my breath getting faster and I tried to claw my way out of her grip but two other girls came to help the first, laughing as I struggled. I had dealt with the comments, the occasional shove but never had anything like this happened. Were they actually going to hurt me? I was brought back to the present by a girl slapping me hard across the face, her nails catching my cheek. I gave a squeak which was met by shrieks of laughter. I shut my eyes tight, trying to block them out but this just earned me a few more harsh slaps before my hair was given a painful tug. Suddenly I could smell the over whelming scent of perfume and the horrible harsh chemical smell of hair product. Hot breath touched my cheek and I squirmed to get away, though to no avail.


“We saw you, freak. Walking with that other lesbo freak! All we’re saying is stay away, you hear? She’s not worth anything, even a little shit like you should have got that! I mean you just have to take one look at that cheap tart to know that!”


The laughter sounded like hyena calls in the silence of the playground. I tried to move away but it was no use. The laughing face of the girl was in front of me, her breath still hot on my face, her perfume choking me. The words ‘cheap tart’ echoed in my head. I tried to push away the anger that was boiling up inside of me, knowing no good could come of it. But suddenly, I couldn’t help it, I saw red. I punched the girl as hard as I could in the face, sending her backwards onto the gravel, her legs sticking up in the air in an unattractive way, her skirt up to her waist revealing a bright pink thong. I should have run, I had the chance but the panic I had previously felt had suddenly left me. In that moment I felt invincible. The remaining girls pinned me down onto the floor so quickly that I didn’t have time to pull my head up, instead letting it bang hard onto the ground. The world spun and a blurry image of the girl I had hit swam into view. Her hands flew again and again at my face and neck, her nails embedding themselves into my skin and her face like an angry demon as I saw flecks of my blood stain her usually perfect clothes. The other girls egged her on to start with but as my screams begin to subside into whimpers and as my thrashing became mere wriggles, they stopped, leaving silence to accompany the animal like noises the girl was making.


My arms cried out as the girls nails dug into them, the skin peeling off more so that I could feel the blood once again start to appear. All of a sudden, it stopped, apparently I had suffered enough for now. I don’t remember them leaving, I just remember Rebecca’s tear stained face looking down at me from where I still lay on the playground.


“Isabella, say something, please?!”


I wanted to answer her but needed to use my remaining energy to concentrate on her face, the corners of my eyes showed the black that threatened to swallow me if I dared not look at Rebecca. She pulled me to my feet and then the world swam again. Cold water drowned my face and I fought against it.


“No, honey. This is good, this will help you!”


The voice was familiar and yet not Rebecca’s. I blinked hard and the playground morphed into the girl’s bathroom. The grey brick walls and the faint scent of urine underneath the heavy perfumed smell told me that. I blinked again and realised that I was upside down. My hair hung down over my knees and I tried desperately to fight against whatever was pushing me down.


“No! I’m trying to stop you from fainting and you’re not helping me out much! Just stay still, okay?”


Two red trainers with purple stars on walked into my view and I gasped a little at the sight of them. Wednesday. It was all I could do not to faint anyway. I tried hard to think of something else other than the fact her hand was pressed down onto my back. Her legs were so close to me, the muscles almost pressed into my face as she put more pressure on my back in case I moved again. Though there was no danger of me moving anymore. The room remained still and quiet. I wondered where Rebecca was. The pressure on my back disappeared and I sighed at the absence of her hand. Her hands moved to my arms and she pulled me up slowly. Despite her gentle touch, the burnt skin still stung under her fingertips and I moaned as the pain returned. She let go of my arms, moving them to my shoulders, where the pain was a little easier to cope with. Her soft eyes melted into mine and a small smile traced her lips.


“Are you okay?” She asked, leaving me breathless as her voice filled the air, taking me away from this place, making the bad things in the world seemingly disappear. Her eyes remained as the world around us darkened. I fainted.

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