Clara has always had social anxiety, but with every year it gets worse, until one year everything is too much for her. Everything she's been through has shaped her into someone she never would have imagined. Her wrists and thighs are stained, and people have begun to see through her disguise. They've made her into the monster she's become. Can she escape all the bullies and her thoughts, or will she give in to the pain?


10. Familiarity

Clara had been pulled out of her trance by one good thought, one good memory. She dropped the blade in shock and listened as her clattered on the wood frame of her be, then landed in her creme-colored carpet.

It was the smile, and the warm feeling of familiarity. Replaying in Clara's mind was the memory of Brian waving and smiling as he go off the bus. Clara's breathing started to regulate and more memories joined the first.

Standing on the bus and slipping, only to be caught as Brian's arms snaked around her waist. The two of them looked into each others eyes for a moment, then laughed and pulled apart.

Walking down the street after school, holding hands. There was a silence, but it wasn't even close to being awkward, it was more like a relaxing silence as they unwound from school and the rest of the day.

Sitting on the dirty, hallway floors at lunch, laughing and feeding each other gross french fries from the cafeteria.

Throwing a football back and forth on the grass in the fall between classes.

Sitting in art class and laughing as Brian and Jessie failed at drawing a straight line.

Texting during math class, playing I spy. Then sharing secret moments after a funny text, catching each others eye and just smiling and nodding.

Clara pulled her legs against her chest and scooted backwards so that her back was against the wall. She heard the door at the top of the basement stairs open again and footsteps proceeded down the stairs. 

Quickly Clara pulled down her sleeves and ran out of her room, just to come face to face with her mother again.

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