All I could think of at that moment was when I was young. Emerald sat with me and told me that the world wasn't fair, and that it never would be. I suddenly seemed to understand him now, as that beautiful girl glided away from me, as she slipped through my fingers like water trickling off a rose petal. She left me stood with hand stretched out to her, all I wanted was for her to fall into my arms and laugh with me, to see her smile one more time. I didn't only loose a friend that day but the love my life, and she didn't even know it.
The thing is, this isn’t even my story, although my whole life hasn't really been my story to be honest, I’ve always been the other guy, the friend, the sidekick, choose your pick. No this isn’t my story although its one that I would happily live my life telling people about.
Anyway what kind of story would it be if I didn't set the scene huh? My name is Saff. I am a 16-year-old boy and I have lived my whole life underground hidden from the world. Hidden away from all of the people that don’t want me to exist, because of the skin I have, and the person I was born to be. Ash was born different to both them and me, she longed for her own colours to be shown when I was ashamed of mine. Her colour was something different, something unique. The colour that I could see when she smiled, the colour of her breath when you lent in to kiss her. The colour that trailed behind her as she sauntered past elegantly teasing your eyes to never look away. The colour that I couldn’t see the day she left my crumbling heart in my hands.
So there you go, this isn’t my story but it's the best I’ve got. This is the story of ash, the girl that changed everything, so I’ll let her get on with it.
My name is Ash
Ash was a girl lived for years
In a world full of people running from fears.
With white pale skin and short black hair
She saw them run but didn't care.
She had big white eyes with one black dot,
Behind those eyes I saw a lot
I saw a soul that longed for colour
Without her, my world would still be duller
“My world was so dark and dull for so long that it was the only thing I knew, and I accepted it but you don't have to Rose, go find the colours, and make your own choices about your career and your loves” she said, but that wasn't real, she seemed to live in a fantasy world where people could make their own decisions, and decide how to live and what to do, with no opposition, but I knew it wasn't real no matter how much I longed for it. I forced my self to tell her the harsh reality of the world we live in. “Your name is Wendy Red, you are 55, you never married, but your sister, Mary, married Pitch Robinson and had me, my name is Ash Robinson not Rose, and I am fifteen years old, there are no such things as ‘colours’ and no one lives in the sewers, you are at house 113 on church road, you have stayed with us since you were clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia, delusions and depression, but I promise you” I paused and took her hand “everything is okay” Even though I think she knew how trapped in felt here. ‘Just don't think about it’ I thought to myself, as if that made anything better.
A bit dramatic first thing in the mourning I thought, trying to make light of the situation, as I always tried to do, I learnt very early in life that the only way to pretend I’m not falling is to look at it as flying instead. To not think like this when you are born a misfit would be deadly.
I looked into the mirror that was placed precariously on a little wooden shelf next to the front door, it was shattered in the bottom left hand corner, and unfortunately the memory of how it happened came flooding back.
My sister was tall, incredibly skinny, she had very predominant cheekbones, and hard face, but when she uncovered them from a piercing scowl, she had the softest eyes. Such a complacent girl would snap into someone else in a second, and happily stab you in the back before even realizing she did anything wrong, she suffered, a lot in her youth. Some people just need acceptance; she was born as one of them. She strived for it. I would see her often, weeping, trying to change her hair, makeup, not eating for days, or purging her stomach if she was forced to eat. I tried so hard to comfort her, but hugging her was like clutching tight to a pile of thorns, even if a rose was there hidden inside. That day I came trudging home from school, my legs stained with mud from the walks little detour that day. When I opened the door I found my sister sprawled out on the floor, twitching, she tried to speak but all I heard was sharp breathing. My mother stood over her, mortified. My mother had very short hair, which worked well with her petite face, and she was rather short, which fitted her temper. She was also a very proud women, and in fact very strong when she wanted to be. However she had a victim mentality that left her couch ridden a lot of the time. She never saw fault in herself just the others around her. She had an ora around her like a gravity that she pulled people into, she wore a dark silk dress that clung to her figure, my sister wanted to be like this with every fiber of her being, but I never saw why. My mothers eyes darted towards me, I could see a hundred different words go through her head, but she didn’t pick any of them, she stopped herself, looked back and my fitting sister and then back at me. I looked around the room, when my fears were confirmed I saw under the desk a small white rectangle, i pulled it out, and my heart sank when i saw the scales in my hand. My sister was having a panic attack, she must of gained weight. It felt like a punch in the stomach, I crawled up next to her, and placed her head her into my lap. She was trembling and sweating all over. My dad stumbled in next, his tie loosened and scruffy on top of his perfectly ironed shirt. He was very tall and broad. He was a kind man, but a broken heart changes people in more ways than I could possibly understand. His hair was shaven to a buzz cut, and framed a long tense face. He was incredibly strong, built well and stocky. He fell to the floor offering a cup of water. My mother tutted loudly behind me, we ignored her. A little while went past and we started to get Raven back from her panic attack, my mothers anger grew, and she stormed off knocking the mirror on her way, “ seven years bad luck” my Dad whispered to me, chuckling, before picking up raven and taking her to her bed. I couldn’t understand how he put up with her by choice, but then he didn’t in a lot of ways.
I loved my father, but he didn’t make the right choices at all, as I could tell by the lipstick stain just under his collar, and the obvious fact that my mother didn’t wear lipstick.
I looked back to my reflection, my short unruly hair that I put messily into a pony tail, strands tucked behind my ears, that got dwarfed by my big eyes, broad shoulders, and of coarse the scar, the first thing everyone noticed of me, a mark that would forever remind me of who I was, and that I would never be beautiful to the people that I was meant to be beautiful for, but maybe one day, someone would see past it? I hoped so, even if that was a pointless dream, if I didn’t have hope i wouldn’t of been looking into a mirror at that moment, I knew that for sure.
I looked down wondering, what people really thought when they first saw me, but was distracted by the disgusting grey dress, that I had always hated, even though my aunt Wendy managed to make so much better than when we bought it was still so much worse than what I would of liked. My aunt, was an amazing sewer, she would make clothes out of anything, she had the best style and individuality I ever got to be a part of, but of coarse everyone hated her for it. My whole street wore the same thing everyday, felt dresses, or jumpsuits, or if older silk dresses that fell like robes, and men wore suits. Men had more freedom in all situations, not that any of them had the guts to use it, but then no one given the power of freedom had the guts to use it, maybe that’s why they were given it in the first place? Unlike my aunt, who wore long cotton shirts that didn’t bode well for her, and grew beautiful flowers out in the back garden, which would be trodden on and chopped up every few months. She didn’t care, she never did. She would always just carry on, that’s what I loved most about her, she was petite like my mother, but she was a lot taller and she didn’t have a plain face, she was a lot more beautiful, in the way she spoke, and acted. A warm atmosphere flowed from her smile and she loved me. She may not have been the best aunt, but she tried the hardest. I knew that for sure.
My thoughts were interrupted by the usual mourning row above so I headed out; I walked to school wearing my dull, grey knee length dress that I despised. As the zombies walked past me, pushing me to the side of the street, muttering as they stomped past. I just let it roll off my shoulders. By the time I got to school, my two friends greeted me, Isaac and Lily, Isaac was a pale short boy with incredibly thick glasses, and no back bone, he had brittle bones, and probably held the title for mount of broken bones from the school, he was a lovely guy, he was shipped off to new homes every few months, with new foster families, he was no ones, and it broke him down piece by piece, people at our school saw that he was week, and that was it for Isaac. Lily, was a beautiful girl, she had flowing black hair, and was part Indonesian, which I loved but was others didn’t so much. Just because her father didn’t grow up here, his daughter grew up with the consequences. An outsider was a dangerous thing to be in this school. If this wasn’t bad enough a little while ago, she had a breakdown at school, it was awful, she had a full on panic attack, and was sent home, she didn’t come back for weeks, and when she did she had shaved the left part of her hair off, and wouldn’t look anyone in the eye. Her individuality meant that she had no protection, the school did nothing to stop humiliation or physical abuse of students, and most parents blamed the victim.
I wish i could say people at school had empathy, but they didn’t, people just had rumors to spread, I didn’t hear most of them, but they were nasty. Ever since that she never went through a week of school without a bruise, or skin stained with whatever they chose to throw at her that time. But, when that girl wasn’t crying, she was smiling.
I couldn’t actually feel like that, although I tried my hardest to convince everyone that I was, all I thought about was escaping that place.
Not making a big scene, or being missed when I went, just to fade away, like I was never there at all. There is a difference between wanting to leave, and wishing to of never have been there at all.
I imagined my self led on the soft grass of a field covered in daisies and surrounded by tall oak trees made for climbing to the top to see over all of them onto the beauty of nature, from a perspective no one had ever seen before.
The only beauty I could ever see in real life, but it could never last for long. The best things in life are always passing. So at the end of every day I walked home again hearing “freak” muttered behind me by the crowds of people who gently hum their conversations to each other in the back streets of town everyday like clockwork, only interrupted by the noticing of an outsider that would sneak past every now again, who would be soon forgotten when they were gone. So their whispers began chiming in with the church bells once again.
I was a known freak to them, because of a scar that ran down my face from just under my eyebrow, around my cheekbone down to my chin then to the opposite side of my neck, a surgery gone wrong supposedly, I never really questioned it, just accepted that I would always be ugly to them. It was first thing they noticed of me, I was labeled as untouchable before I even spoke to them. I was completely out of place where ever I was, even at home, some days it was worse there than anywhere else.
By the time I got home that day, she was already there, stood bolt upright glaring at me in her putrid white dress that she draped over herself, with her long black hair pinned up out of the way. Her cold eyes that met mine, she looked at me disappointedly as If she hoped that someone else would walk through our door, someone without a disfiguring scar, someone with beauty, although often I think she just wished I never returned at all, but I don't know, I never really understood my sister. She never really revealed her true self to me, not if she could help it anyway. I used to still be able to see the soft soul she wore as a child but over time she started to hide it from everyone around her. Every time I looked at her I hope to see it again but instead she just sighed, and rolled her eyes as she glided out of the room. One thing about Raven that no one could deny is that she really was beautiful, elegant, and most of all she just had a way with everyone that made them all fall in love with her. Her slim silhouette and soft facial features next to my broad shoulders and strong masculine jaw line, made me feel so much more inadequate, we looked nothing alike not many people saw us as sisters; I don't think she really did either If I’m honest.
Then the next thing I heard was the familiar sound tapping away at a keyboard that I grew to find comforting over the years. However when I entered the little cove, that branched off from out hallway, that my aunt practically lived in. I was greeted with the unsettling sound of weeping. I looked down to my aunts face crumbling before my very eyes, the face that helped me through so much, her voice cracking and croaking, the same voice that gave me such freedom. I was shocked and confused I fell down the floor to be level with her face, as she was sat on the little red cushion that I had given her a while ago, next to her laptop that sat comfortably on her little wooden desk. She shook her head violently from side to side looking down to the floor hysterically. I quickly closed the door behind me and tried to calm her down by sitting beside her. She wiped a tear from her face and looked up at me “I’m sorry my dear” she whispered repetitively, “ I over heard them in the kitchen” she carried on in a lowered tone, slightly calmer now “ they are going to take me away from you, to a hospital, I don't think there is anything I can do” my heart sank like a rock that's been thrown into the tossing waves of the ocean.
“I-I-I’m sure you must have heard them wrong “ I said trying to reassure her, but failing dismally. “ I’ve got to go,” I said suddenly panicking. I swung open the door and slammed it behind me. I jumped at the loud bang it made, I could feel a tear slip down my cheek as I fell onto the bannister trying to keep up the strength to make it to my hovel of a bedroom, where at least I had a certain level of privacy. I was in such shock it all just seemed blur through my tears brimming my eyelids. How could they do that to me? I needed to talk to them I’m sure it would all be a misunderstanding just like before, but first I needed to calm down and decide what I was going to say to the dragon and the snake that lived above me and called themselves my parents.
Just two people who were pushed together by the weight of the world, they hated each other, and they showed it in many different ways, my dad mainly showed it by the slutty misguided young girl that strutted out of his room at midnight while my mother was asleep downstairs or out. Which left my mother with no where else to turn, for if she was found to be cheating on him she could be arrested and it wouldn't be as easy for other high ranking people to over look it if it was a woman being deceptive instead of a man. They could never divorce for that would leave them poor and there profiles tainted, which was so important to them. So instead she turned to taking it out on us, raven and me, we suffered the brute force of their relationship. I don't remember a time when we were all actually happy together. This was what I fell asleep to that night, once again. Trapped inside my own head.