just read it.


1. Smiley

I'm going to tell you

a story.

Once upon a time.

there was a little girl

whose name was Smiley.

She was a healthy girl

who had both of her parents

and all of her grandparents

and even great-grandparents.

She had many toys,

but had had a bad habit

of accidentally breaking them.

She also had a bad habit

of getting in the way

and she had a tendency

to do things

that made her mother angry.

Her mother would occasionally




the little girl,

but never more than that.

Except for the times when

the slap was hard enough

to knock the little girl off her feet.

But those were very rare.

As the little girl grew older,

she decided that

she loved cats

she wanted to save the trees

she hated math

and she had a lot of friends.

The last thing is a lie.

She didn't have friends,

not real friends.

There were only the people

who were nice

to this strange, loud, annoying little girl

who had a pet water bottle in third grade

and hung up posters around the school that screamed

"Save the trees!"

The little girl who played soccer with the boys in fourth grade

even though she didn't really know how to play

The little girl who thought she made a friend in fifth grade

but instead learned what manipulation was.

And this little girl was easy to manipulate.

The girl didn't have a real friend

until sixth grade.

Then she met a girl

who was a lot like her in so many ways.

They became


In seventh grade, 

these two friends

welcomed a third to the band

not knowing that their lives were about to change.

The new girl

had a dark secret

A  dark past

And she was the victim of brutal bullies.

The demons in her head

told her to bring a knife to her wrist

and bleed.

She did.

But somehow, she survived.

And the two friends?

They never forgot the girl

with dark secrets

and a dark past.

In eighth grade,

the girl who was once nicknamed Smiley

experienced true grief

for the first time.

Her great-grandfather passed away,

shaking the girl to the core

Striking fear and sadness

into her bright heart.

She never stopped grieving.

How could she?

But life must go on.

In ninth grade, the girl entered the real world

The world of bad words in the halls

and cigarettes at the bus stop

and keg parties at so-and-so's house.

Of course, the girl would never touch a cig

or go to a keg party

even if she could.

And she couldn't

because of her ever-watchful mother.

Nothing slipped past that woman.


Except for one tiny thing.

In the spring of ninth grade,

the girl did something

that she never thought she would do:

she cut herself.

And she swore to her friends,

because she actually had more than one by then,

that she would never do it again.

Ninth grade was also the year

that she first felt the faint stirrings of live.

But that ended near the end of sophomore year,

and the beginning of that year

brought on a terrible habit:

she cut herself.


And again.

And again.

And she never told anyone.

And she never stopped.

Not even in the safety of summertime.

Not even away from her mother's choking grasp.

Not even surrounded by people

in a place that was both comforting and familiar.

And somehow her secret

still stayed safe.

It's still a secret to this day.

But every day,

the girl comes closer to falling apart.

i come closer to falling apart.

Because that little girl,

the girl who once had the nickname

of Smiley?


that's me.

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