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."

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11. Day Ten

Day Ten:

I never thought I'd make it this far; far enough for it to be double figures. I guess I'm stronger than I thought I was. Well, I wouldn't describe myself as strong... maybe I'm just good at distracting myself. It's harder than ever though. Every day is a struggle and every breath hurts. I want to go to sleep and never wake up again. 

But unfortunately, that wasn't possible, at least, not right then, as I was woken by my mum yelling up the stairs once more. 

"Skye! For the last time, wake up! You're going to be late for school!"

She'd obviously been calling for a while, but I didn't feel guilty. She was far too overbearing for her own good. I sighed and rolled out of bed, glancing at the clock to check how long I had for a shower. Mum had been exaggerating. I had ages. Grabbing my uniform, I made my way to the bathroom to shower and dress before going downstairs for breakfast. As I poured myself a bowl of cereal, Rhys leant on the edge of his full bowl and tipped the lot all over the table and his cleanish uniform.

"Rhys!" Mum called in exasperation. "Have you no special awareness? Go upstairs and get cleaned up." She reached for the dishcloth to sop up the tidal wave of milk and scoop all the cereal. 

"Can you help me please?" Mum snapped. I rolled my eyes and grabbed a paper towel to push all the sodden cereal into before dumping the whole lot in the bin. 

"Now, if you don't mind, I have to get ready for school," I said, and left her behind, taking my bowl up with me. I sat on my bed munching the cereal until I was hit by a sudden fear of going to school. My stomach clenched and writhed within me, and I put the bowl on my bedside table, not hungry any more, and made my way into the bathroom where Rhys was dabbing at his jumper with a towel. 

I tutted. "Go change your jumper, Rhys."

He looked worried and bit his bottom lip. 

"What?"

"I... I kind of ripped my other jumper on Monday on a goalpost." He dropped his eyes to the floor. 

I sighed. "Come here," I said, pulling him towards me. I dampened the towel and dabbed it against the jumper, then rubbed soap all over it. The towel was heavy in my hands as I washed off the soap and I dried my hands on a clean towel before grabbing the hair dryer from the cupboard, plugging it in and drying his jumper with it. 

"There, simple. It's not the end of the world," I said. Rhys looked like he was in the verge of tears. 

"Thanks," he said, then ran off to the kitchen to finish his breakfast. 

I brushed my teeth then grabbed my bag from the foot of my bed, grabbed my keys and ran out of the door with plenty of time for a leisurely walk to school, giving me lots of time to back out and cut school for the day, something that was looking more and more appealing every metre closer to the dreaded place. I got to school bang on time and took a deep calming breath which was totally useless before entering the gates of hell and descending to meet the devil herself, Jade. 

Okay, so maybe I was being a bit dramatic, but seriously, I hated her. However, I was in a relatively good mood that day, and I didn't want her to spoil it. 

I dragged myself along the corridors to my form room and sat in the corner again, reading, trying to shut off the hustle and bustle around me, ignoring all the noise. That is, however, until someone calling my name became impossible to ignore. 

"Skye? Skye why are you ignoring me? Skye, don't be mean. Skye? Hello? Do you think she's on drugs?" Jade's annoying voice cut through the barriers I'd put up. 

"No, Jade, I am not on drugs, however much I wish I were to help me shut you out. I am merely enjoying a good book, something you are unable to do due to your limited literacy," I said. It was a stupid thing to do; to fight back, but I was fed up with sitting there and taking all the insults and digs she kept throwing at me. 

The class gasped, horrified that I'd called her illiterate, despite the fact that they had been laughing just moments earlier when she had accused me of being on drugs. 

"How dare you? I read books!" She screeched, indignant. I loved getting her worked up, which sounds mean, but when I occasionally indulged myself it felt great to know I was getting under her skin as much as she got under mine. 

"Oh yeah?" My eyebrows arched as I looked at her disbelievingly. 

"Yeah," she said. "I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books."

I payed nice to confuse her. "Yeah? Which one's your favourite?"

She looked panicked. "Uh... The... The first one. They look so cute in that one."

"Yes. Did you like the potions room on the way to the Philosopher's Stone?"

"The what room? You're just making that up to confuse me, there is no potions room in it." Se rolled her eyes, expecting the rest of the class to back her up, but most of them glanced awkwardly round at each other. They knew, but they wouldn't correct her. I chuckled. 

"What? Are you upset that I saw right through you? You're pathetic."

I shook my head and turned back to my book, deciding to let it go. I'd had my fun, and it wasn't worth it, just to prove I was right. She wasn't worth it. I didn't get very much time to read though, as before too long my head of year was standing in front of me, having learnt where I hide yesterday.

"Can I have a word?" She asked pleasantly. I sighed. I really didn't want another 'chat' with her abut coping and stuff. It was my life, and my business whether or not I coped with it. I didn't want anyone to know what was going on in my head, call me crazy, get me 'help'. It was the never ending dilemma. I needed help, I knew I did. I wasn't coping and it was really hard. I didn't want to do it on my own any more, but there was no way I wanted to see doctors and counsellors and talk to people about my feelings. I hated talking about how I felt; it sounded like I was attention seeking. Although you'd never know that from where I wrote down my thoughts. I needed to get them out of my head, and the was no way I was going to tell anyone, so I wrote them. My notebooks were where I indulged in self pity. 

Closing my book, I heaved myself up from the pipe. I nodded and followed her along the corridor to the head of year office, exactly the same as yesterday. We sat on the same two desk chairs as yesterday, in almost the same position, and I waited for her to begin.

She took a deep breath. "Skye, do you know why I've called you here?"

That was a stupid question. Obviously I didn't know why I was there, I couldn't read minds, and as far as I was aware, I'd done nothing wrong. I'd made myself expressly clear yesterday about not going to counselling. I shook my head.

"A couple of people in your year have come to me with concerns about bullying."

I was not expecting that. 

"Have you noticed anyone being mean to Jade Willis?" Mrs Jones's face was serious. 

That was even more unexpected. 

"No..." I said, mystified. "Who said she was being bullied?"

Mrs Jones bit her lip, smudging her lipstick. "Actually, Jade herself came to me yesterday, quite upset, saying that you had been ignoring her and being mean to her for weeks. Later in the day, a few of her friends came to me to tell me they were worried about Jade. Is there something going on between you two? She seems to be very upset because she thought you were best friends." Mrs Jones's voice was soft. 

I sighed, arguing with myself in my head. I didn't want to let her into my life, or tell tales on Jade, but I didn't want her thinking I was a bully when all I'd done was try to get on with my life. My fingers writhed in my lap, tapping out patterns on my knees. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, building up the courage to begin.

"We haven't really been friends since January," I said. "She accused me of bullying her then too, and since then has been saying stuff to put me down and humiliate me, in 'self defence'. Yes, I've been ignoring her, because I thought that was better than kicking up a fuss and having a huge fight with her."

Mrs Jones looked shocked. "Why didn't you tell someone this was happening?"

"Because it's none of your business, and besides, nothing's been happening. We just don't like each other, that's all. It's nothing I can't handle." I looked away.

Mrs Jones sighed. "I'll have a word with Jade."

Panic gripped at my stomach. She couldn't do that! If Jade thought I was telling tales about her, telling teachers what she was doing, she'd be so mad at me. Her whole reputation as a good girl would be ruined, and you can guess who she'd take it out on, and rightly so. "No," I said. "Don't. Please."

"There's nothing to be scared of, Skye." Ms Jones was sympathetic.

"It's just... I... I don't want her to know she's getting a reaction. If I ignore her, then she'll get bored eventually, and stop. And it's not upsetting me especially." There wasn't really any way I could get more upset, so I wasn't lying exactly. 

She thought for a minute, and then nodded. "Alright. I won't talk to Jade, as I can see it's upsetting you, but on the condition that you make an appointment with the school counsellor and promise to tell me if anything else happens." 

I sighed in relief and agreed to let her make me an appointment, although I had no intention of going, or of telling her every single time Jade did something annoying. Annoying was just her personality. Besides which, I was trying to convince myself that I didn't need her help. I was doing everything on my own. If only they knew what I was doing, they'd be happier with me, but there was no way I was telling them, because then I'd have to tell them what the problem was in the first place. No. I was doing just fine on my own, and I didn't need anyone else butting there noses into my business. I was fine. 

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