Saving Eliza.

Eliza is troubled. Her life is far from perfect, in fact it's so close to imperfect.

Oakley is Mr Perfection. He is everything anybody wanted. He's kind to most people, just not Eliza.

English class brings them together and could Oakley help Eliza with her troubles or will he totally ignore her like before?

Warning! Includes upsetting topics like self-harm, anxiety and anorexia. Please be aware it may upset some people.

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4. Chapter 4: That Fake Smile

Chapter 4:

 

I wake up to a pain that can only be described as the scar pain. The pain that lets you know that your cuts are there and they want attention. Just like everything and everybody else.

 

I pull myself out of bed and see a ghastly blood stain from where I slept. I sigh and take off my bed sheets, on the way into the bathroom; I throw them into the laundry basket. In the bathroom, I assess how bad my cuts are. I pull my sleeves up and take off the bandages. Underneath the bandage is a mess, it's red and splotchy. The four cuts are uneven and wobbly. The lines are deep crevices in my imperfect arm. The cuts are beginning to scab over, so I decide to leave the bandages off.

 

I pull on a long sleeved jumper and black leggings before walking back into my bedroom. I grab my bag and slip gently down the stairs, after undoing the locks from my door.

 

I walk out the door and almost run to school. I make it to school just before the first bell rings. I don’t both going to form; I go straight to Mrs. Hollis.

 

I knock and wait for an answer. The door swings open and I walk in and throw my bag into the corner.

 

“Eliza, what a pleasant surprise!” Mrs. Hollis wraps me up in a hug.

 

“Yeah, don’t keep expecting it.” I reply.

 

“Why exactly are you here, honey?”

 

“I just needed to say thank you about yesterday.” I say, wincing at the thought.

 

 “No problem, Eliza. Since you are here, how are you doing?”

 

“Yeah.” I reply, not giving anything away.

 

But Mrs. Hollis knows me better than anyone else.

 

“You cut again, didn't you?” Her stare is intense and I look to the floor.

 

“Eliza?” She raises her voice.

 

“Yes.” I whisper feebly.

 

“Oh Eliza! Why?” She asks.

 

“You know why.” I spit.

 

“Please Eliza?” She begs.

 

No.” I grab my bag and storm out of the room.

 

Just to call it good timing, the bell rings for first period and I make my way to English.

 

I’m the first one there and Mr. Winsler welcomes me in.

 

“How are you doing Eliza?”

 

“Great thanks sir!” I beam that fake smile that seems permanently etched on my face when other people are around.

 

Do you ever wear that? That fake smile that people believe as a real, genuine smile? I wear that all the time.

 

“Good good!”

 

I weave my way to my desk and sit down and begin reading the piece of paper in front of me.

 

Oakley and Eliza! You two choose to do your project on Romeo and Juliet! You were the only people to choose it, congratulations! This sheet is here to help you with the project! It includes everything you should include in this project.

Why? Why did you choose this author and play? What does it mean to you? Be honest with this! Create a presentation explain characters and their intentions. Please note you DO NOT have to include each and every character!!! You need to have a written explanation of the play and what it is about. I need you to use the PEAS – point, evidence, analyse, and speculate! Be unique! It must be at least five minutes long! And you both have to participate!

Good luck and you have two weeks to complete this project! :) 

 

I shake my head and grab my notebook and pen. I begin to write out the key details. Just as I begin to write the date, I’m joined by Oakley.

 

“Listen here, Eliza!” He snarls. “I don’t care what you want but we are going to work on this project as fast as we can. It means I don’t have to spend as much time with you!”

 

I just nod, hoping the tears stay put.

 

“I want to get this done quickly. Let’s begin?”

 

I nod again, being mute.

 

“Do you not talk or something?” Oakley jeers.

 

I ignore him. The tears threatening to fall.

 

“Are you stupid? Hello! You’re so thick!”

 

And that’s it. My tears begin to fall. Nowadays it doesn't take much for me to break down.

 

I stand up quickly, bringing my hands over my face. I try to move away but Oakley grabs me by the wrist. I wince in pain and I look towards his hands. He lets go as if my skin is searing hot. It isn't.

 

He just grabbed my cut up arm.

 

“Eliza-.” Oakley stutters.

 

“Don’t even bother.” I run out of the class, leaving Oakley looking at the door I just left.

 

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