Day 23

Skye has been falling for a long time, but she's fed up of it. She knows it's going to be hard, but she's determined to pull her life back from the brink.
But when Chris gets involved, well, things start going differently to how she planned.
"Why aren't you fighting back goddammit?"
"Because you, Skye Monroe, know nothing about me, about why."


10. Day Nine

Day nine:

It felt like I was battling with myself once more on the morning in my eternal struggle to get myself out of bed. While I was in a blissful state halfway between consciousness and sleep, I could pretend everything was fine, and I wasn’t totally messed up. I could pretend I didn’t have any pressures on me to get up and behave like normal. But as usual, my mother’s  screeching voice dispelled any relaxing notions I had.

“Skye! Get up! Skye Monroe! You’re going to be late again and your father will not bail you out when the school phone!” she yelled up the stairs.

I groaned. “I’m coming,” I mumbled.

“I can’t hear any signs of movement, Skye! Do I have to come up there?”

“I said I’m coming!” I yelled. “Just shut up will you,” I grumbled to myself. I wasn’t in the mood for a fight.

I hauled myself out of bed and threw myself in the shower, having the quickest shower I could manage, before dressing in my school uniform and grabbing my bag from the end of my bed. I thundered downstairs and grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl before pouring some dry cereal into a freezer bag to eat on the bus. I threw a farewell over my shoulder for anyone who cared to catch it, and raced the bus to the bus stop. I scanned my oyster card and sat at the front of the bus, ignoring the other passengers. I sank into my seat, panting heavily. That was far too much exercise for that early in the morning. Or any time of the day, if I’m honest. I nearly fell back asleep again on the bus, and suddenly jolted fully awake as the bus driver started pulling away from the stop closest to school. I rang that little bell thing on the pole nearest me and scrambled up from my seat.

“Sorry,” I said apologetically, “I was miles away.”

The bus driver just grunted and pressed the button which made the doors hiss open. I stepped off the bus and hesitated in front of the school gates, as always. I didn’t want to go in. I hated being in that building so much. Heaving a huge sigh, I steeled myself for the day, and entered the grounds. Only two more years of hell to make it through then I could transfer to another type of hell. University. But those was supposed to be the best years of your life. Who knows, maybe they would be. Maybe by then I’d have gotten my messed up mind together enough to enjoy something. Or Maybe I’d hide in my room all day and be a recluse. The latter seemed more likely.

The form room was deserted when I got there, and I dumped my bag on my desk and hid in the corner again, reading my latest book. I didn’t notice as the room filled up, absorbed in the world of Jacob in House Rules, by Jodi Picoult. I only snapped out of my reading induced trance when someone kicked my leg. I looked up accusingly at them, but diverted my gaze to the door when they indicated that someone wanted me.

“Skye?” my Head of Year, Mrs Jones’s voice called out. I rose hesitantly, closing my book.

“There you are,” she said. “I need to see you quickly, if I can?”

I nodded, and she looked towards my form tutor for permission. He nodded absently, unconcerned as to whether I was there or not, before turning back to his computer. I grabbed my bag on the way past my desk, and followed her out and down the corridor towards the Head of Year office. She unlocked the door, and then arranged two desk chairs opposite each other. We took our seats, and she looked at me in silence for a while. It was the really awkward type of silence that leaves you too overwhelmed by the awkwardness of the situation to speak and stop the awkwardness.

“So,” Mrs Jones began. “I’ve been a bit concerned about you lately, because you used to be such an outgoing student, and now you seem to have retreated into yourself a lot. I don’t see you laughing with your friends any more, and your grades seem to be taking a turn for the worse.” She paused and looked at me. I stared back, unwilling to say anything. “Are you coping okay with all the exam stress and everything?” Her hazel eyes were concerned.

I took a deep breath and slapped a smile on my face, ready to lie through my teeth. “Yeah, I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I mean, exams are never easy, are they, but it’s fine,” I babbled. I forced myself to shut up. Talking too much would definitely make her realise that everything was not all as it seemed.

Mrs Jones raised her eyebrows, and stared at me so hard it was like she was trying to see the truth inside of me. When I was little, my mum always used to tell me that she could tell when I was lying because I had ‘L’s in my eyes. I wanted to see these ‘L’s for myself, so I once stood in front of a mirror telling lies, trying to see the ‘L’. I gave up eventually, and decided it was actually my parents who were telling lies. It seemed Mrs Jones was searching for the tell-tale ‘L’s in my eyes. I kept my expression blankly happy, hoping she’d let me go soon. I hated one-on-one attention; you couldn’t hide.

“Okay,” she said eventually. “Well, if something crops up, or you feel you need some extra support, there is a school counsellor you can make an appointment with.” She scribbled something down on a spare scrap of paper. “Here,” she said, passing it to me. “This is her email address. You can email her to make an appointment if you want, and it can be in lunchtime, or after school, so it doesn’t have to interfere with your lessons.” She looked bizarrely hopeful, like she wanted students to admit how messed up they were so they could go to this counsellor.

I shook my head. “No, I’m fine thanks,” I said, trying to give the paper back to her.

“Keep it, in case you change your mind,” she said pointedly. How dare she talk to me like she knew all of my secrets? Like I was just some other student she could save from slipping under. Little did she know I was already so deep I couldn’t see my way out anymore. The inky blackness surrounded me and wrapped around me like a comforter, simultaneously wrapping me tenderly up and smothering me. I rolled my eyes and nodded, stuffing the paper into a pocket.

“Well, off you go,” she said. “You’re a bit late, so I’ll write you a note.”

I thanked her, and all but ran from the suffocating closeness of the room. My next lesson, Biology, wasn’t that far away, and I got there in record time, as my anger fuelled my body and I powered down the corridor. I wasn’t really sure who I was more angry at; her, for pushing me, or myself for not letting her in. I quickly banged my fist against my head, trying to silence the thoughts, before I pushed open the door to the classroom. Everybody’s heads turned in my direction, and I was overcome with a sudden desire to giggle. I swallowed a smirk. What was wrong with me? I passed the note to the teacher and made my way to my seat next to Chris.

He raised his eyebrows inquisitorially at me as I got my stuff out, and I shook my head a bit.

“What are you in trouble for now, bully?” someone hissed at me from behind. I dropped my head and ignored the comment.

“Where were you?” Chris asked. He must have missed my headshake, telling him not to ask, or maybe he just ignored it, curiosity having got the better of him.

I sighed before answering. “The Head of Year was just checking I was coping with school and stuff,” I said, working hard to make my voice sound incredulous. It didn’t fool him.

“Well, are you?” he asked bluntly.

I shot him my ‘are you an idiot’ look.

“What? I worry! Is that a crime now?” he teased, his voice rising in pitch like a girl’s.

  “Well don’t. I’m fine,” I insisted. “Anyway, what about you, crying on Sunday? Are you okay?” I whispered, turning the conversation around.

He shook his head, pretending to concentrate on whatever work we were supposed to be doing. “I’ll talk when you talk,” he said under his breath.

I heaved another huge sigh. “God, you’re annoying!” I muttered.

One corner of his mouth lifted. “I could say the same about you, Miss Evasive.”

A giggle escaped me, and the teacher whipped her head around to look at me.

“Something funny, Skye?”


“Then continue working please. First you were late and now you’re disrupting my lesson. One more peep out of you and you can go sit outside for the rest of the lesson.” Her voice was icy.

I nodded sombrely, and turned back to my books, hiding a smile. Chris repositioned his exercise book so I could copy his work. Chris didn’t know how much he was helping me. Not with biology, I couldn’t care less about that. He was helping me laugh, see the funny side of things, and yet I was still allowed to be sad sometimes. I didn’t have to pretend I was happy all the time, which was something I wasn’t used to. He’d come at just the right time as well. I really needed a friend right then, someone to help me through it. He didn’t know what ‘it’ was, or even that there was an ‘it’, but I needed him. I needed someone to lean on in my weaker moments, which were getting a lot more common. I’d never been so thankful for having a friend, and I couldn’t thank him, because then he’d know that something was up. Well, he kind of already knew that, but I hadn’t confirmed it. The only thing I was worried about was that I might drag him down with me. I tended to hurt those closest to me, and I didn’t want to damage him so he was as bad as me. I wouldn’t even want my worst enemy to have to go through this. And I hated myself more than I hated my worst enemy, because I knew that it was really me causing all the problems. I was the problem, and there was only one way to fix that.

I shoved that thought to the back of my mind and tried to focus on the present, and on Chris, my torch, lighting a bit of the dark. 

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