Finding Kim

Everyone knows me as Kim, it's just that everyone has a different perception of who Kim is...

Kim is working towards her master in microbiology. She is intelligent, attractive and looks forward to her very prospective future. But then someone walks back into her life, just as she is getting over her tortured high school past.

She dreamt of seeking revenge but she soon comes to realise that this girl - the girl who made her teenage years a living hell - has, perhaps, already paid the price...





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5. Chalk and Cheese

 

Kim and Ally, Ally and Kim. We were inseparable and everyone knew that. I was the outgoing one and Ally was the shy one. Chalk and cheese. But yet we seemed to compliment one another's personality. Neither of us were really popular, but we had a decent amount of friends and neither of us were picked on. Then, as we started year ten, we no longer complimented each other – we clashed. Kim and Ally, Ally and Kim were no more.

 

The soon-to-be fifteen year old Ally chose that year to reinvent herself. She started with her appearance as she began to curl her limp hair or pull it into sophisticated updos. She would smudge some kohl around her eyes and use a little lip gloss but then progressed to bronzer and fake eye lashes. To me, she looked like an orange doll who was crying out for attention, but to the boys she was another brainless but hot girl that they could use.

I endured many of Ally's 'runny mascara I hate boys' moments where I would nod my head and wait for the seemingly never-ending blubbering to stop.

“I just don't understand why he would do this to me! We were perfect together and I loved him! I still do!”

And that would go on and on and she never caught my sarcastic 'of course you're in love' and 'yes, you were meant for each other'. This unrequited and uncontrollable love shit was really getting on my nerves, but Ally was my best friend and what do best friends do? Put up with each other's shit. It wasn't the fact that my shoulder was sticky with snot and stained black from mascara, though, it was because I had problems of my own and Ally wasn't listening. Everything was Ally, Ally, Ally.

 

All that mattered was that Ally was okay and her insignificant, immature 'dilemmas' were solved. It didn't matter that I was having a hard time at home. Of course that didn't matter. I was the strong one, the one who could deal with anything. But that wasn't true.

 

When I came home from school one day, I found my mother lying on her bed. Her face was pressed into a pillow but this didn't stifle her sobs. Cautiously, I knelt down by her bedside and raked my fingers through her tangled blonde hair. We stayed like that for almost an hour, only breaking away from each other when the sobbing finally ceased. My mother then walked out of the bedroom without a word. I was going to take the next day off, but my mother hadn't spoken to me since that morning when she told me to hurry up and get to school. I wanted to escape that silent house. I wanted just a few hours to pretend to myself that my father was going to come home from the armed forces in a fortnight. I didn't want to come to terms with the fact that my heroic father was going to come home in a wooden box.

 

No one at school knew about my father's death and I intended to keep it that way. I wanted to have a normal day but by break time, I couldn't keep up the pretence. Realisation eventually caught up with me and I broke down in tears before I could stop myself. I hid in a toilet cubicle so that no one could see me cry and ask me questions. I hated being attention seeking. I unlocked the cubicle and leant against the sinks. I brushed my fingers through my hair and wiped my eyes.

“Kim! Oh I'm so glad to see you!” Ally wound her arms around me just as her voice broke and the tears streamed down her cheeks. She pulled away and her eyes widened. “Have you been crying?”

“No,” I mumbled, self-consciously moving my fringe into my blood-shot eyes.

“Liar. Why have you been crying?”

I looked away from her. “It doesn't matter.”

“Oh well it can't be so important then, can it? I've just been bawling my eyes out,” she sighed when she saw that her mascara had ran down her face. “My dad found a packet of cigarettes in my school bag last night and now he says that I can't go to Emily's party on Saturday!”

“My dad - ”

“He says that I'm grounded for a month! I hate him!”

“Ally, my dad - ”

“Ha!” Ally rolled her eyes. “I'm still going to go anyway; it's not like he can stop me. He isn't in charge of my life. Ugh I wish he was dead!”

“Ally - ”

“Come on,” Ally linked her arm in mine. “Break is nearly over and you know how stressy our French teacher is when people roll in late.”

 

Dad was dead. Mum didn't care about me and seemed to not know who the hell I was. I had stopped eating and it had got to the point where I could count my ribs. But none of that mattered. Why should it matter when Ally had been dumped after going out with some guy for nearly a week?Every time I worked up enough strength to confide in her about what I was going through, Ally had a brand fucking new problem. Her parents grounded her. Her dog died. A boy asked her out but she weren't sure whether to go out with him. She broke her toe. Her little sister spat bubble gum into her hair so she had to have it cut. Her dad found a bottle of vodka in her bedroom... and then the killer: two weeks before her fifteenth birthday she was pregnant. Except, after all I had ever done for her, I wasn't the first person she told. Actually, she didn't even tell me; I found out after the whole school knew.

 

During break, whilst trying to find Ally, Rob grabbed my arm in the corridor.

“Hey Kim, um, can I speak to you for a sec?” He let go of my arm and his hands fidgeted by his sides.

“Yes, sure.”

I followed him around the corner, the part where the corridor was absent of nosy students. Rob kept opening and then closing his mouth whilst stroking his chin. Being the impatient person that I am, I didn't wait for him to speak first.

“What did you want?” I said, perhaps a bit too aggressive.

Rob stopped drumming his thighs with his fingers and folded his arms across his chest. “You've heard that Ally is pregnant, right?” Then he rolled his eyes. “Of course you've heard! You're her best friend.”

When he realised that I wasn't going to say anything, he carried on.

“But,” he sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “But did she tell you who the father was?”

I shook my head, biting my tongue to stop myself from saying that she didn't tell me anything.

“I... I think that I'm the father.”

I saw that coming but I certainly did not foresee the next revelation.

“I know that you're probably wondering why I'm telling you this and not, y'know, the school psychologist or someone but,” and just as I was about to tell him to stop stalling and just spit the damn thing out he said, “it was all a mistake – I like you.”

What?

“I like you,” he closed his eyes and shook his head. “I was going to ask you out at that party last Saturday and I told Ally but she said that you didn't like me.”

That stupid, lying bitch.

“And then... we were both kind of drunk and well...” He opened his eyes and punched the wall behind him.

I shook my head and a laugh of disbelief escaped me. “Bit late for that now, huh?”

“Kim, I just - ”

“No,” I held up a hand. “Just, just leave me alone.”

I walked away without looking back.

 

As I came out of last period English, Ally and five other girls surrounded me in the corridor.

“Kim, I need a word.” Ally said, but a girl from the year above put a hand on her shoulder.

“No, Ally, leave this to me,” the girl stepped in front of Ally and narrowed her eyes at me. “Look, bitch, you need to stop trailing after Ally's boyfriend because he's the father of her child. Stop being such a skank; you're supposed to be her best friend.”

“What are you talking about?”

“What am I talking about?” The girl laughed. “You dragged Ally's boyfriend off into a quiet corridor – I saw you.”

Another girl took a step forward. “And because we're Ally's friends, we told her exactly what happened.”

“Look,” I said squaring up to the first girl. “I need to talk to Ally without you shoving you nose in.”

“Ally isn't really in the position to hear all of your sh-”

Per-lease,” I rolled my eyes. “She has a mind of her own so she doesn't need a little minion.”

"No, she needs friends," the girl smirked. "And people not like you."

I ignored her and stepped to the side so that I could talk to Ally. "It's always good to know that you think so highly of me."

 

I didn't pick up the phone to call Ally that night; I was just too angry. Not telling me something so serious was one thing, but then actually thinking that I wasn't trustworthy was quite another. I told myself before I surrendered to sleep that I would speak to her in the morning.

But I never got the chance.

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