Chapter Two – The Confession of the Pretty Girl
Quinn put a hand on the shoulder of the occupant. She looked up at him, and he smiled recognizing her face. She was Quinn’s neighbor, who lived opposite him – Abbigale Mitchell. He was too shy to say it out-loud, but – goodness! – Abbi was pretty. She was usually happy and cheerful, skipping her way to the elevator on her way to school – some Catholic girls’ school – but today she was depressed and tired-looking. This is not good, thought Quinn, Not good. Her brown hair was disheveled, her face was pale and drained, her eyes were red and puffy, and tears fell in streaks down her flawless skin. She wore loose denim trousers, and a white shirt. The shirt had peculiar red markings on the ends of its sleeves… like Abbi had decided to finger-paint before she came and sat up on the rooftop.
“Abbi?” said Quinn, “What’s wrong?”
Abbi sniffed, “It’s nothing, Quinn, don’t worry yourself about it.”
“It doesn’t look like nothing, Abbi.”
“Whatever it is, it has NOTHING to do with you; so stay out of it.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“What’s the use in helping now, it’s far too late anyway!”
“What are you…?”
“They never did anything good to me. Never said a nice word to me. Never did anything good!”
“Abbi, calm down! Who never did anything good to you?”
“I thought I told you to STAY OUT OF IT!”
Quinn shuffled off to a side, but continued to listen. It was hard for him not eavesdrop on her wailing – he was always under the impression that Abbi was a very happy-go-merry type of girl. Clearly, he was wrong and something had made her very upset. Was it her parents? Or maybe she had had a fall-out with one of her siblings? Or… was it school? Quinn couldn’t imagine the nuns at the school being bullies... so maybe it was the students? Well, whatever it was; all Quinn could do to find out was listen to Abbi’s sobbing.
“I’ve never done any of those things! But they just kept accusing me again and again; I didn’t know what else to do!” she was saying, “How could they be so cruel!? All of them: so evil, so vain, so envious. It’s not my fault I was made this way, and they were made they way they are! It’s not my fault I’m prettier!”
Quinn furrowed a brow. It’s not her fault that she’s prettier? Abbi was getting bullied because she was prettier than someone else? How ironic. People usually get bullied because they don’t look particularly attractive. Why on earth would someone bully someone else because they’re more attractive? It’s like saying that suddenly the poorer kids began beating up the rich kid… But if the poor kids were more in number… Quinn could see how that could work. But the rich kid could have bodyguards, thought Quinn, And maybe a big dog. But, then… those things wouldn’t protect the kid in school… That’s probably why rich kids are sent to private schools, Quinn decided.
“I’m not a slut!” Abbi declared to no one, “I’ve never done anything to deserve such a title. Every time! Every time I find someone I like, one of those morons in school have to go and slander me. That I did this with one guy and that with another! I’ve never done any of that. I would never. I am a good little Catholic girl!” she buried her face in her hands, “I will not lie. I will not steal. I will not cheat. I will never do the things they accuse me of – not if it meant sacrificing my life for it. Yet they tease me and taunt me, and make my life a misery! Every time I tell the nuns, they do nothing but offer false comfort and feign sympathy. Mom and Dad are always too busy. Who – then – would hear my cry? Nobody cares!”
Quinn wanted to tell her that HE cared… But he decided against it. Abbigale wanted to be left alone; she didn’t want his sympathy or his comforting. The nuns had given her enough of that. Besides, he didn’t fancy getting smacked upside the head by the one girl he liked.
Abbi sniffed, “And now… Now it’s too late to confess anything to anyone! I am gone! I thought this would have brought me peace and rest, but it is cold here.”
What is she on about? thought Quinn.
“And dark and lonely. I want to go home. I want my Mom. I want my Dad. But they are elsewhere, mourning for me and crying because they’ve lost their precious little daughter. Oh, how I wish I hadn’t left them!”
Only then, did Quinn notice the scars on Abbigale’s wrists – still freshly flowing with blood – and realized that the marks on the ends of her sleeve were not paint…