I slept peacefully last night which was new and I think my mum noticed. She’d seemed quite shocked this morning when I sauntered into the living room smiling. She’d asked me what had got me all happy. I hadn’t realised I was smiling until she asked, but then again I hadn’t realised I was thinking about Alex. I just shrugged at her and carried on smiling. She was too taken back by my unusual happiness to smile back.
I gathered my things, said goodbye to my mum and kissed her on the cheek. She still seemed aghast by my jolly aura. I walked out the door and saw Alex stood at the bottom of my garden path looking at his phone. He heard me approaching and looked up through his eyelashes at me.
“I just texted you I was here.” He laughed and as he said so my phone made a beep sound indicating I had a message.
“So you did,” I laughed. “Should we get going then?” He nodded as a reply and I sighed, loving how easy he is to talk to and trust. He really makes me happy.
“Oh Alex, I just want to clarify last night I wasn’t joking when I said I’d stab you if you called my Baby again. My names Imogen. Please use it. You call me Baby again I will kill you.” I laughed as his face dropped.
“Jheeze Imogen, how violent are you?” He laughed and nudged me in the side.
“Like I said I’d kill you, so about that violent.” I tried to say it seriously with a straight face but failed and ended up laughing.
“Well I better watch my back hadn’t I!” He shook his head chuckling to himself. I giggled and nudged him the way he did to me.
Suddenly I felt his lips on mine and his hand cradle my cheek. His arm wrapped around my waist and he pulled me closer to him. I rested my hands on his chest and went on my tip toes to get closer to him.
You’re getting too brave Imogen. He probably only likes you because you’re so innocent. It’s probably some sick game he’s playing with his friends; see who can get into the pants of the most innocent girl at school. He doesn’t even like you.
My anxiety was whispering in my ear, reminding me I am trapped within my own mind. I’m never going to be free.
I pulled away from him and looked at the floor, stepping back as well.
“What did I do wrong?” His voice shook but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from my feet. I just shook my head and whispered to him to keep walking.
He followed my instructions and walked a few steps away from me. The tension in the air made it hard to breath and the cold December morning just became freezing.
The rest of the walk to school was in agonising silence and when we walked through the school doors I began to walk faster in the direction of the girls bathrooms. I heard him shout my name but I didn’t stop walking.
I hid in one of the stalls trying to calm my breathing and trying to not cry.
I will not cry in school. I will not cry in school. I will not cry in school.
Even when tears spilled onto my cheeks I repeated the chant willing them to stop.
I began whisper to myself
“I’m never going to be free; I’m going to be trapped in my own mind forever. I’m never going to be able to love someone and let them know that. He doesn’t deserve a mess up like me. I’m in love and my mind isn’t allowing me show it.
No. You’re not allowing yourself to be in love. You’re not allowing yourself because you know you don’t deserve to love or be loved. You’re worthless. You don’t mean anything to anyone. You will never be loved. Even your parents don’t love you. He doesn’t love you, he feels sorry for the disgusting, ugly, waste of space being that you are. I mean, who’s going to love somebody with scars and cuts all over their body. Who’s going to love a freak?
Tears soaked my cheeks as I realised the truth behind these words. But I still don’t understand why he would spend time with me and tell me he loves me, when in reality he just feels sorry for me.
Everybody lies Imogen. You of all people know that! Even your mum and dad lie when they tell you they love you. Their liars just like everyone else. Just like Alex.
“My mum doesn’t love me. My dad doesn’t love me. Alex doesn’t love me. Nobody loves me.”
I told you so, I knew you knew. You really need to stop lying to yourself Imogen. You might start becoming like everyone else.
Tears still fell from my eyes and it felt like a dark shadow had been cast over me. This was it. This was my life. I was never going to escape this. My fate had been written in stone. I was going to have to live like this for the rest of my life. Or at least as long as I let myself live.