Snow angels

I find myself alone on the streets all at once, it seems. I run from home, from my mother, and a threat which i fear. My only companions are my dog and a scar.

Desmond, of course he's here again- the beautiful stranger. His face like a knife and his words that stick in my mind. I know, he's special. He knows things that nobody should know.

This is my story. A story of love, loss and temporary insanity. Read if you please.


3. Necessary affection

I remember on my first day of freshman year, i was hiding out in the bathroom. I buried my face in my hands over and over, tapping my feet nervously, and staring in the mirror.


So far, everyone had been very nice, but every moment i thought they were going to judge the words that came out of my mouth. So i stood in the bathroom, in front of the disturbingly clouded mirrors. 


A rattle from the stall the furthest to the door made me realize i wasn't alone. I stood in place for a moment. I heard gagging and vomiting, and what might have been a quiet sob, which made me cringe. I was about to leave the bathroom, when a girl walked out of the stall.


She looked a bit dizzy. Her eyes were surrounded with darkened rings.


"Are you alright?" I asked her in a concerned tone.


She looked surprised that she wasn't alone. "I'm fine." she said forcefully.


Generally i didn't have enough candor to do so, but i spoke my mind.


 "Did you throw up on purpose?" I sounded like a little kid, but truthfully, i had never met anybody with bulimia- my middle school was tiny, and I was incredibly sheltered from the world.


The girl seemed a bit taken aback by my comment, so she shook her head and laughed, then frowned, then stared at the tiles.


"Are you a freshman?" She muttered after a few seconds.


"Yup." I smiled, as if smiling would make people like me. Making one real friend that day would be quite the acomplishment for me.


"Sophmore." She looked impatiently at the door. "But i guess i'll see you at lunch?" After acting so prickly, her second of friendliness surprised me.


"Yes." I nodded a bit too enthusiastically."Yeah, yeah okay."


She played with the edges of her t-shirt, which read "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."


"Who wrote that quote?" I asked, even though she looked like she wanted to escape the dingy restroom.


"Dr. Suess." She rolled her eyes. "My hero." 


The girl seemed nice enough, so as she started to leave that unpleasant bathroom, I said something to her.


"Don't do that again. Please. Don't purge your life into a disgusting public toilet. You're beautiful. Seriously." And I wasn't lying. She was lovely. I would hate to see her waste away into a whisp. I would hate for her to have to hide long, strait cuts on her legs. I would hate to see her struggling to cling onto normal.


She shook her head, annoyed. "That was the last time I'm gonna purge, okay?" Her voice was low. She walked out of the bathroom.


"Hey!" I ran after her, feeling a bit bad for how much i poked through her private life. "I'm Rylee!"


She turned around, pulling together a momentary smile. "I'm Zahra." 






I stand at Zahra's doorstep, contemplating whether or not to ring the doorbell. Her house is tall and very victorian looking, not quite fitting in to the little cute square houses that dot all of the Juneau neighborhoods. 


Delicately, I ring the door. I hear it echoing inside their house. All of their ceilings are unessisarily high, adding to the cold feel of their house ( Literally and figuratively. )


Suddenly, the thought springs to my mind- what if it isn't Zahra who opens the door. If it's her parents it'll be disasterous. But thankfully, Zahra's parents are hardly ever home, and i hear her soft voice call out "Coming!" 


She opens the door wearing hot pink pajama pants. Instantly, she pulls me into a giant, worried hug. I'm sure that she and Hailey were some of the first who my mother called. 


"Rylee!" She squeaks, hugging me even tighter. I'm a bit surprised by her affection- she isn't exactly the huggy type. But i have missed her, even if just for a day.


"Where were you?" She asks frantically. She finally stops hugging, and checks me over. She obviously expects some sort of bullet hole in me. "Are you okay?"


"I'm fine." I laugh. "You're acting like such a mom right now."


She regains her compsure into the stoic, slightly emo girl she is. "You need to tell me everything." She demands, ushering me into the house. I pull Angel in behind me, even though his paws are leaving muddy streaks on the floor.


"Is anyone else here?" I ask quietly.


"No." Zahra shakes her head, clearing homework off the the dining room table. "Just me." 


Nervously, i tell her the story. Not the long, heart rendering, oh-so dramatic version. Just that my mom and I had a fight. Obviously, i leave out Desmond. 


She gnaws on her dark purple nails. "Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself it's own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it." She has always had the uncanny ability to spew off obscure quotes, but i think about what she said for a moment.


"Nice pajama pants." I giggle to lighten the mood.


"Shut up." She smiles.


"A sense of humor." I say with a mocking grin. "Is a needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person deep down has a pretty good grasp of life." 


It's one of her favorite quotes, one that she repeats constantly.


"No." She says with a completely strait face.


"Quote-off!" I laugh. For a minute, I completely forget everything- which is a welcome change. 


But the one thing that can't forget, the thing that makes my stomach feel sick. In 3 days, my mother will die. And i need to change it. I need to change it. I need to make it stop.





"We need to call Hailey." Zahra says after a while. 


"No no no..." I reply  immediately. "She can't keep secrets."


"What is your plan, though." Zahra asks realistically, though annoyingly. "You can't just run away forever."


"I could just be a homeless dude." I grin.


"Rylee..." She said.


"I could grow a beard and get one of those weird poofy coats..." I continue, sitting on her bed.  


"Rylee. Be serious." Zahra, is an expert at being serious. "You will have to go home sometime."


I hate being serious. It can do nothing but bring me down. It's so much easier to laugh about the situation that I'm in than actually deal with it.


I nod to her. Angel whimpers again and again, snuffling around the white carpet of her bedroom. "Angel is really hungry." I change the subject. "Can we get something to eat?"


Usually, I don't ask for food. I feel comfortable enough at her house to do whatever i please. But i feel like now would be a bad time to take her for granted.


"Of course." She says. While she fetches me a bag of pretzels, and Angel some cat food, she won't stop talking.


"Rylee, you need to be realistic." I'm not sure why she keeps on saying my name. "I don't know why your mother wants you to go to a mental hospital but...." She's quiet. 

"You can talk some sense into her."


I want to say that she has no idea what i am going through, but i know she does. She knows the world of therapy, and soft soothing voices. She has gotten the whole 'Love yourself, you are beautiful" speel, over and over. She knows the strange glances from people who thinks there is something wrong with you.


Whenever i see her, i just want to ask- "Have you relapsed? You're all better, right?" But i don't, in fear bringing down the happy atmosphere.


Zahra officially stopped being bulimic months ago. But i know, just by the way she looks in the mirror, that she hates what she sees. I can tell she craves the feeling of a hollow stomach, and it scares me.


The scariest moment, was when she didn't go to school one day. I had only known her for a week or so, but i was worried sick. She was in the hospital, getting her stomach pumped of pills. I don't know why she wanted to poison herself. She didn't tell me why she was absent from school until very recently.

When I started sophmore year, and she started junior, she promised that things would be better. They are better, definitely. Even if she doesn't love herself, at least I love her, and Hailey loves her, and Felix and all of the emo kids in her grade love her.


"I can't go home, just yet." I say after a long time. I cant be taken to a crazy house until I have saved her. I need to save my mother.


"I understand." She nods. "You can stay in my room. My parents are never around anyway."


"Thank you!" I squeak. I hug her, and she sighs as though I have already hugged her enough for the day. "What about Trevor?" I finally ask, thinking of her older brother.


"He is busy with... things." Zahra says vaguely. I know what she means. I'm not sure how he got involved with drugs, i just know he is. I don't interact with him much, so I don't bother learn more. 


"Can I borrow a shirt?" I ask, picking at my current purple one with two fingers. 


"Sure." Zahra tosses me a white shirt with writing on it. When i read it, i smile. "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." 


"You where wearing that when we met." I giggle.


Zahra smiles knowingly, and I know that the shirt that she handed me wasn't a fluke.


After i change, we chat like we do everyday, about bands and classes. We just pretend that everything is normal, because it is, isn't it? We lie on her bed, and eventually call Hailey. 


"Hello Zahra!" Hailey chirped on the other end of the line.


"Hi!" I shout into the phone.


"Wait, Rylee? I'm coming over now!" She hangs up. Angel sits on my feet, looking satisfied. Meanwhile, Zahra and I talk about love.

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