I sit on my bed, cross legged with the pill bottle in my hand. Of course, I wanted to take another pill to ease away both this physical and mental pain but what would Harry think? If he saw yet another pill missing from that bottle. What would he say? My mother's slap still stings hot against my face and tears are gliding down my cheeks. I don't dare rub them away, knowing it would only make my bruises hurt even more. I bury my face into my cool pillow and sob instead. Everyone was going against me now.
I lay on my back after feeling sick to my stomach and take deep breaths, clenching the Oxy like a wrench between my fingers. My door opens and I flinch as it hits my back wall, instantly thinking it was my mother or Zayn and his friends but when I lock eyes with Harry in the doorway, the tightness in my chest loosens. "Marcel, what happened to you?" He asks, staring at my bruised and battered face.
"Doesn't matter," I whisper.
I watch as Harry's gaze travels to the hand print on my face which was still an angry red and his eyes go wide. "Mom?"
I nod slowly. "W-Wouldn't be the first t-time," I mumble into my hands.
When Harry sees the Oxycontin pill bottle in my hands, his face drops even more and he says, "Marcel, please tell me you didn't," I shake my head and throw the pill bottle across the room, breaking down again, sobbing into my hands.
"Harry, I-I can't do this. T-Things d-don't come easy t-to m-me like t-they do to y-you. I c-can't w-walk with my h-head held h-high. I-I don't h-have thousands of g-girls swarming m-me every d-day. N-No one l-likes me. I-I can't stand up to m-my bullies. I-I have nothing,"
"You're smart, Marcel," Harry tells me, sitting down on my bed, trying to ignore my sobs. "You're smarter than everyone in our grade. You have me and you have Ariel. You're different than everyone else, Marcel. You're sensitive and that's okay,"
"Ariel is st-still h-here b-because s-she feels b-bad for m-me. I-I'm always g-going to b-be everyone's ch-charity c-case," My brother instantly shakes his head at me but we both know it's true. I'm never going to be treated right in this society unless I changed myself completely and we both knew I couldn't do that. The Oxycontin was the only thing keeping me going and stopping me from blowing up completely.
"We all care about you, Marcel," Harry whispers from the edge of my bed.
I shake my head fiercely, the tears reappearing. "I-I'm a waste of a person. A-A waste of a child, j-just like Mom s-said," I whimper, the memory coursing through my head again. That had to be one of the worst things my mother had ever said to me, saying I wasn't fit enough to be her son.
"I can't believe she said that to you," Harry growls and when I look up at him, I find his fists clenched. "Did Zayn beat you up again?" Harry asks. I nod, wiping away my tears and ignoring the sting it brought.
'Y-You don't h-have to d-do anything, H-Haz. Y-You've done e-enough," I whisper. I press my knees into my chest, taking deep breaths to keep the anxiety and panic at bay.
The room is silent and for a moment, I thought Harry had left but then, I hear him shift on my bed, the springs squealing, I knew he was still there. I look up at him and find his head in his hands and I could almost see the gears in his head turning as he thinks. This was my brother, the smart, popular, collected one and who was I? The nerdy, pathetic, helpless one? What a label to have. "Don't listen to what anyone says, okay Marcel?" Harry tells me after a moment, looking up.
"B-Because that's gotten me so f-far," I murmur into my hands, not willing myself to look up at him. I knew my brother was shamed to call me so and it killed both of us that that couldn't change but what was there to do? "H-Harry, can I just-- Can I just be a-alone for a w-while?"
"You sure?" Harry questions and I force myself to nod. With a hesitant look, my brother leaves, shutting the door behind him and I am left to wallow in my sadness, not sure what to do next.
"Marcel, why don't you eat something?" Ariel asks as we take a seat at our lunch table under the oak tree. I had just been sliding the pieces of chicken in my salad around for the last ten minutes, feeling sick to my stomach.
"I-I'm n-not very hungry," I tell her and when I look up, I see both Leeroy and Ariel looking at me with worry. "W-What?" I ask them nervously, averting my gaze back to my uneaten salad.
"You've just seemed off," Ariel says and I see Leeroy nod from my peripherals. I shake my head at them, not wanting to answer. My head has been all wrapped up in the thought of the Oxycontin and how much I regret not taking it last night. Why hadn't I? It would've made things a thousand times easier. "Marcel, can I talk to you in private for a minute?" She asks and I nod, eyebrows furrowed, getting up from the table and leaving Leeroy to sit alone.
"W-What'd you w-want to t-talk a-about?" I ask slowly, cringing as I feel her blue eyes inspecting my bruised face.
'I wanted to talk about you," She sighs. "Specifically what I saw at your house yesterday," She clears up and I stiffen in my spot in front of her.
"W-Well I-I don't w-want to t-talk about t-that," I admit, hands balled into nervous fists.
"Marcel, please, don't close yourself off from me," Ariel begs and I force myself to look down at my shoes, knowing if I looked up at her, I'd spill everything.
"I-I can't do this. I-I'm sorry," I whisper.
Ariel nods and grabs my hand. "Lets just get back to the table." I nod and we walk there slowly. I still had a obvious limp no matter how much I tried to hide it and when Zayn and the other boys saw me this morning, they burst into a fit of laughter. I shake these thoughts away, hesitantly taking my spot next to Leeroy and staring at my salad, unable to look up my my friends. Every part of my body ached and even getting up out of bed this morning was hard. "Do you want me to walk you to your next class?" Ariel asks quietly once lunch comes to a steady end. I shrug and throw away my uneaten food. "I just-- I don't like seeing you breaking like this, Marcel Styles." She sighs as we walk down the hallway.
"I'm g-going to be f-fine," I tell her although I don't know if that's true. "I-I didn't take any O-Oxy l-last night a-anyway,"
Ariel squeezes my hand and smiles brightly. "I'm glad, Marcel. You're going to get through this. I know it," Her brilliant smile lights up my day just a bit but I knew it wouldn't be enough to get me through it all. No matter how much Ariel smiled and squeezed my hand, it wouldn't take away my problems. Only the Oxy could do that. "I've got to go now but I'll see you at your locker after school," She promises once we get to my class.
"A-Alright," I force a smile onto my features and push my classes up to the bridge of my nose before walking inside the room. I take my seat in the front, trying to make myself as small as possible, not wanting to attract unwanted attention and bury my face into my notebook, not willing myself to meet the eyes of my peers.
All throughout the lesson, I am unable to focus. All I can think about is Ariel and her big ocean blue eyes, staring at me in worry, jaw dropped when she watched my mother hit me. The thought made me cringe and as soon as the bell rings, I shoot out of my seat and head to my locker. My body was begging for another Oxy and I knew I couldn't resist this time. I am taking careful steps out of the school when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I yelp, flinching away, instantly thinking to see Zayn's brown eyed gaze but when I find Liam's soft one in replacement, I relax. "Hey, Marcel, how've you been?" He asks.
"G-Good," I lie. My body was screaming for the small pill and I knew if I didn't get out of here soon, I wouldn't beat Harry back to the house. "B-But I r-really h-have to g-go," I tell him, shrugging his hand off my shoulder.
"Sure, see you tomorrow, Marc," Liam smiles and heads down the hallway to where I was guessing his locker had to be.
My walk home was a long and painful one. With aching muscles and a screaming mind, it took me almost an hour to get home and as I walk into the house, I pray Harry wasn't here. If he was, there was no doubt in my mind that he would hide the pill bottle from me. I trek up to my room and as I bust open the door, I search the floor with desperation. I find it on the floor next to my closet where I had thrown it last night and sigh, popping open the top and shaking out one of the pills. I swallow it, chasing it down with a swig of water and lay on my bed, feeling the world swirl around me.
I stare at my clock, watching the numbers on the dial change with each passing minute and a smile grows on my face as the drugs start to take over. Just as I was about to shut my eyes for sleep, my door opens and Harry walks inside. I grown, hiding my face in my hands as he flicks the light on, the sudden brightness hurting my eyes and when he finds the pill bottle sitting on my nightstand, his face grows disappointed. "I already know what you're going to say. Just save your breath," I tell him, feeling triumphant as my stutter had melted away. "I don't get why you care anyway," I continue although Harry had already heard this speech. "I'm a waste. A weakling," A laugh leaves my lips and they don't stop.
Harry stares at me oddly as I continue to howl with laughter, tears filling my eyes and gliding down my cheeks. After moments, the happy, amused tears turn sad and I start to sob. I turn away from my brother, irritated the pill hadn't swept me away yet. What was causing it to fail me? My shoulders shake as I sob into my hands and no matter how quickly I wipe my tears away, they flow faster. "Marcel, please, just let me help you," Harry begs and I shake my head, turning to face him angrily.
"There's no way you can help me, Harry. I'm too broken there no possible way for you to fix me," I tell him and I could feel my face growing redder and redder as I become more and more upset. "I know you didn't sign up for this, Harry and for that I'm sorry b-but..." I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself. "Maybe it'd be best if I weren't here at all. Everyone would be so much happier. Things would be so much easier,"
"Marcel Styles don't you ever say that to me again." Harry growls and when I look over at him, I find him immensely upset. "You can't leave us, do you hear me? More people need you than you'll ever know. I need you. I really do. Even if I don't show it. Even if I push you away," He sighs and walks out. In that moment, I felt even more broken. More than I ever have.