Chrysanthemum George (otherwise known as Chrys) is drowning in a world of self-harm, suicide and dark thoughts. Recovery has never been her plan but when a new face arrives on the scene will Chrys have any choice in the matter? A story about the darkness eating at a generation and the difficult route out of it.


2. Chapter 1, Part 2

In one way I’m glad that I left just as the bell rang because it means that my teachers won’t whine at me tomorrow for walking out and being rude. On the other hand, walking out before the bell would make much more of a statement and they might finally realise they can’t cure me with click of their fingers.

It’s not that I don’t want to get better and I’d jump at the chance to be sorted out within the time it takes to click your fingers but the truth is that there are no quick fixes in life. You have to struggle through and by the end of it you’ve wasted your life and you’re only going to die soon anyway. So following that train of thought there really isn’t any point in the long and arduous journey to recovery because by the time I’m finished, the only part of my life that could have been enjoyable and interesting will have been over.

A shrill ring from my bag alerts to me a new message on my phone and with my sparse contact list there are only a few people it could probably be. It’s most likely Jen. I fish past a bruised apple, numerous pieces of scrap paper and several stray make up items until I dig it out from the bottom of my bag. Not surprisingly I turn it over to see Jen’s caller I.D. on the screen and one text message from her.

Hey Chrys,

I’m running a little late because Eric and Tomas have football practice and didn’t tell me. I can be there in half an hour. Sorry!

Brilliant, perfect, fantastic! Just what I needed to end such a perfectly droll and hideously painful day of school and on a Monday too! That means I’m stuck at school and no child in their right mind wants to be stuck at school when the only people still there are teachers. There’s just something weird about seeing them after school hours, even if it still in school and so I’m left with two options. I could go back to school and hide somewhere in the warm and risk the chance of being seen, or I can wander away from the school and take a leisurely stroll up to the top of the school’s drive where Jen can still pick me up. It’s hardly a decision at all, and so switching my phone for my iPod I put my headphones in and start the twenty minute walk up the drive.

The drive is my favourite part of school. The road is simply dirt lined with bowing trees that one day will kiss the very ground they grow from if they continue to bend in such a fashion.  Fortunately, I won’t be around to see them stoop so low to the most desolate depths of degradation.

A summer’s haze has settled on the warm afternoon and as I begin to swelter under my jumper I realise that just this once I could take it off without any repercussions. So I do. I pull the sleeves gently over my arms and then yank it off over my head. I roll up the long sleeves of the shirt I wear underneath and without looking at my arms, I smile. It is easy to hide the damage when you can put layers and walls up between you and any other person but they are not so easy to tear down after their construction.

I hold my jumper in my arms as I continue to walk down the drive. I have about five minutes until Jen turns up and I don’t have far to go. As I turn the last bend in the drive I notice that I won’t be alone as I stand there and wait for my ride. Someone is sat on a tree stump nearby where I’d normally stand where I’m being picked up late. The hood of their jumper is up and as it can’t be to keep them warm in weather like this I can only assume it’s to shade their face from the sun. The hood is far enough forward that it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a boy or girl. Not that it matters really, I’m not going to speak to them either way.

I stop a few metres away and pull my sleeves down before putting my jumper back on. I then plant myself down on the floor and reach my hands into my bag. I pull out my tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice from amongst the chaos in my bag and wiggle myself more comfortably into the grass verge edging this part of the driveway.

I don’t notice as the person I’d sat myself away from earlier walks over and sits next to me in the grass.  I only notice when I look up at the sound of a car horn beeping as it heads down the road towards the drive entrance. My heart flips forwards as I see her and I fall backwards in shock. She doesn’t move or apologise, she simply smiles dreamily.

“Reading takes the pain away for you doesn’t it?” She asks.

I’m too surprised to do anything but nod as she takes the book from my hand and looks at it.

“I thought so. You weren’t smiling when you walked up the road, but you are now and that’s good. You should smile more often. You have a lovely smile.” She says, now flicking through the book slowly.

She places the book back in my bag carefully before standing up and patting down her skirt. Then with a small wave of her hand she seats herself in the car as it pulls up next to us, leaving me to stare confused and breathing heavily as she drives away.

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