Helen cannot escape Taylor and her endless taunts.
Taylor cannot escape herself and the monster she has become.


4. 4:Taylor-It continues

The school day ended and I saw Helen walking back from school, looking utterly dejected. But she must keep a spare key, right? I forced myself to drag my glance away and keep flirting with Jake. I had liked him for ages, but this was the first time he'd actually started a conversation with me, rather than our mainly one-sided conversations.

It worked; by the end of the bus ride home we were going out to McDonalds on Saturday. Though sometimes I got tired of all these boys, queuing up to me, desperate to please. But that's what I wanted, why I had become popular in the first place. What you had wanted, a voice inside me seemed to say.

I had a sleepover with Amy, Imogen and her friend from another school, Lily, tonight. I was hoping we could just relax, do face masks and forget about Helen for one night. When they arrived we just mucked about, gossiped about who was going out with who, who said what and did a few prank calls.

Then it got late, so we went to bed and told horror stories, and by the end I was quite scared. I lay down in my sleeping bag and tried to get the image of the poor girl in the story out of my head, hanging from a rope from her rafters, with blood dripping from her blank face. Once I was sure I wasn't about to throw up, I looked up and saw them playing with my phone, probably texting one of my ex's saying I loved him and wanted to get back together. Great, something for me to have to explain on Monday.

Then Imogen brought out a bit of paper with something scrawled on it and showed to the others, who all giggled and whispered. Curious, I sat groggily up and asked "What's that?". 

"Well, you know Helen used to be friends with Becky? I persuaded her to give me Helen's number, in return for a good word for her with Josh. And here it is!" She waved the crumpled square in the air gleefully, a grin on her face.

In my head, I was brave enough to say "Guys, we've had our fun, let's leave her alone now." Then they would all agree, and we'd move on to the easy friendship that we used to have and forget all about Helen.

But in real life, I snatched the bit of paper and entered the number on my phone, typing in a cruel message. I detested every single beep.

I remembered the first time I started making her life a living hell, 2 years ago.

I had been walking  down the corridor, gibbering about nonsense to Amy- Imogen was still in class. I'd been so happy to be noticed by her, that I would have done practically anything to please her. She'd been saying how I was too nice, I needed to get a tough side. Then I saw Helen, leaning against my locker. I remembered how she was always so happy...too happy. Plus I'd seen her talking to Oliver, my first crush. I just reacted to the peer pressure, that random information and just the heat of the moment. I shoved her to the ground, watching her friend glance over worriedly, before quickly scurrying away. I added a spiteful message to bring the message home. I knew she wasn't a nerd, she just took care with her work, but I couldn't think of anything else bad to say. I walked off, already regretting it, and laughed with Amy.

She told me "See! That wasn't so hard! She deserved it anyway, she walks around like she's so much better than us." That was so untrue I nearly objected there and then.

But I didn't.

I've forever regretted it. And so began my reign of cowardice.

I had meant to find her after school and apologize, she'd always been so nice to me, but I was dragged off to go to town with loads of people, where Oliver had asked me out. Somehow I had related the two events, persuading myself that that shove had gotten me a boyfriend. Since then I had kept going, dragging other people into it, anything to stay popular. I had whispered behind her back, persuaded others to blank her. And it had worked, she was officially a social reject thanks to me.

I still regret picking her, anyone else would have been better. Whenever I see that heartbroken look in her eyes when I shove her, or call her a name, it makes me want to cry.

I was brought back to the present by Amy snatching the phone, sending her something else, then passing it along. I hoped that it was her old number, that she would never receive these words. Of course, knowing my luck, she was probably on her phone right now.

So it continued, I kept up the horrible texts, kept shoving her whenever I saw her, stuck gum in swear words on her locker.

So I continued breaking her.

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