The Terrible Life of Dakota.

Dear Diary, I'm sick of hiding who I am. But I can't face them. That's too hard. Maybe life's easier while you hide your face, so no one can see how different you are. Love, Dakota. 'The Terrible Life of Dakota' is about a girl who looks different than others. Just because of that, nobody accepted her. So she left the place she lived in to find another, but the events of the past have left their scars. Literally. This is how she lives her life now. Always hiding the part of her, that's different. *Runner-up in the Ava Lavender Competition*


3. Troy MacKay.

My black hair is long, it falls over my shoulders. It’s as dark as the night, which makes it the best curtain there is to hide my scar. I wish I could just show it. But that’s too hard. I can’t. It made me suffer enough.

I sit on the porch of my own house. It’s on the front side, so I can watch the street and the centre of the village. It’s so small I can see the road I walked on when I came here yesterday. The view is beautiful and I feel like I’m safe. Like I’m home.

For one moment, I allow myself not to think about the story, about my life, about the past, about my scar. I close my eyes. I feel free. I feel almost happy.

But then, a voice interrupts my happiness: “Don’t you have to go to school?” That’s the last question I expected to hear. I open my eyes. A boy of my age on a bicycle, stopped before my house and smiles at me. Apparently, he asked the question. I wonder where he comes from. I didn’t know there was a house further away from the village then mine. But it was dark yesterday, so I look to my left and yes. I can see a house, at the end of the road. He has to live there. I shake my head to get it clear again. “No, I don’t,” I answer his question. “But you seem as old as I am,” he says. “Depends on how old you are,” I say. “18,” he says. I almost smile. “I’m 17.” His smile gets brighter. “I knew it. Is it possible I didn’t see you before?” he asks. “That’s possible. I just arrived yesterday,” I tell him. “Oh, and you live in that creepy house?” he says. “You’re a brave girl.”

Creepy house. I don’t think it’s creepy. But if it’s true what the woman across the street told me, it’s been empty for years. Maybe that’s what makes it ‘creepy’.

“I’ll repeat my question. Don’t you have to go to school?” he asks, grinning. I sigh. “I’m not registered. Besides, I don’t like school. It’s fine this way,” I reply. He shakes his head. “I can’t let you. Everyone needs to go to school, otherwise you won’t make it through life.” He seems pretty sure about what he’s saying. “I’ll take you to school and take care of your registration. I know the headmaster. And I’ll also take care of you,” he continues. And then his smile is back. That’s what convinces me. So when he says: “What do you think?” I get up, take my bag and follow him towards the village.

We walk in silence, but I don’t mind. Now I get the change to inspect the boy. He is tall and he has a tanned skin. His hair is gold-brown and it waves with every step he takes. His eyes are hypnotising blue. I’ve got only one word to describe him. Beautiful.

“I don’t even know your name,” he suddenly says. It startles me, and I feel busted because I was looking at him. “Dakota,” I say, blushing. “I’m Troy,” he says smiling. I look at him. “MacKay?” I ask. “Yeah, how do you know that?” He seems surprised and I little flattered because I know his name. I think about the story. “Oh, it was just a guess.”

Troy MacKay.

Is he the boy?

Am I the girl?

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