Alive? Or Just Breathing?

For a while, Scarlett has been depressed. It started in Year 7 when Claire, her ever-changing boyfriends and her followers started bullying her. Scarlett has know for a while it is bullying, but doesn't know what to do about it. Can Drama and the new teacher, Miss Talbott help?

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8. Chapter Eight

22nd September

     I'm writing in here again. Not sure what about. I could, obviously, moan about my sad life and the bullying, about how obsessed I am of Miss Talbott, or how my brother was on the lock screen of her phone. I found the phone 4 days ago, last Thursday, and have been unable to get it out of my head. My JimJam is on the lock screen of her phone. He hasn't changed much since he was 19, except he's just grown into his frame more, making him look more handsome than ever. As I was growing up he was my inspiration, the person who would never fail me. He looked unmistakably like my brother. I know it is him. I could never forget his face.

     I need to text him. That's my plan. I don't know what I'm going to say, but I need to do something. Anything.

 

Hey Jam! I know this will come as a bit of a surprise, especially since I'm the one who stopped calling you so often, but I was wondering if you would like to catch me up on your life, and I'll be able to tell you about mine? Do you have a girlfriend? How's the music going? I really miss talking to you, and hope you haven't forgotten about me! Lots of love, Lottie (He called me Lottie)

 

I saved the text to my memos. Of course I didn't send it. Why would I have the courage to send a message to the brother I have barely spoken to for 4 years? I'd send it later... hopefully.

 

Mum called me down to tea, and I threw my phone onto my bed, before checking my eyes for tears, and ran downstairs. Checking myself in the mirror had become a regular, almost second-nature reaction, in order to prevent my parents from finding out anything about my situation. I was having pasta for tea, and we would all be eating together. I wanted desperately to ask about Jamie. What had they actually argued about? Did I dare ask? What would happen if everything went wrong? A few silent bites into the meal, I took several deep breaths, and began to speak.

"I was wondering..." They both looked at me. "I was wondering if..." I felt very uncomfortable, and my heart was racing. I think they must have noticed. Resignedly, I finished, "I was wondering if we could try making our own pasta at some point? 'Cause, you know, we're eating pasta, and I was just thinking, we've never done it and it sounds, like, cool, and, well-"

"Yeah, that sounds good!" Mum said enthusiastically. She clearly thought I was going to say something else. Which was the plan. Except I wimped out. I'd try again at the end.

 

When we were clearing up the crockery, I tried again, saying,

"Also, I wanted to ask you, what-" The words got stuck in my throat. "What, um-"

"Yes, Scarlett?" Mum called from over by the sink. My dad stuck his head round the door, asking,

"Who're you talking to?" Having their full attention on me seemed to have a massive effect on my confidence, and I had to stop myself from visibly shrinking back. I stumbled over my words for a few moments, before just brushing it off, saying,

"Oh, wait, no, never mind. I meant to ask Cara at school if she had asked her parents about going into the city together. She said she needed to ask first, and I was going to ask what you'd say if I asked you, but then remember that I need to talk with Cara first." I was rushing through words, making no sense, and coming up with  the excuse as I went. I had said the word 'ask' too many times. Cara was a girl who used to go to my Primary School, and I used to be quite good friends with her before she began ignoring me and moved on to a different clique of people. I knew I needed to get out of there. I finished loading my pots into the dishwasher, and excused myself, saying I needed the toilet. In reality, I did go up to the bathroom, but locked the bathroom door and sat on the floor with my back to it, crying over how weak and pathetic I was. I couldn't even ask my parents about my brother. It made no sense. Why couldn't I just do it?! I used to be able to tell them everything!

 

10 minutes later, I realised they were expecting me back downstairs to eat pudding. I rapidly splashed my face with water and flushed the toilet (wasting water when there were so many people without it - why?!) before bolting back downstairs. It would be fine. I'd just eat a bit, then say I had homework to do. They'd understand. Well, they'd understand what I'd want them to anyway.

 

After pudding, I was in my room, once more crying. My room was on the top floor. Jamie's old room was just down the hall, but mum and dad's room was on the middle floor. There was a little bathroom between the rooms on the top floor too. I could almost live up there, only needing to come down for meals and to deceive my parents into thinking I was fine. I was such a terrible daughter.

 

Standing up slowly, I realised I couldn't remember the last time I went into Jamie's room. I used to go in all the time and curl up, pretending he was still there, but that stopped a while ago, like the phone calls. I walked slowly along the hallway, my feet leading me more than my brain. I stopped outside the room with my hand almost on the handle, just hovering above it. Quickly, I grasped it and pushed my way into the room, before closing the door and sliding down behind it. I didn't know if the light bulb worked anymore, but it was light enough anyway. I had scoured the room from top to bottom after he had left, looking from notes, but couldn't find anything other than the one he had left in the middle of the desk for my parents. He had spoken to me in person, but it would have been nice to have something with his writing on it. There was nothing left. He had taken everything, his bed covers, clothes, guitar, laptop, everything right down to the personalised guitar picks with our laughing faces printed onto them. They had different pictures from all different times in our childhood, and I used to ask him to tell the stories of what had happened that day when the picture was taken. I sniffed as I realised how much I had been missing my big brother over the years. I sat down on his old mattress, and brought my knees up to my chest. I didn't know where he lived, I didn't know what his life was like, I didn't know anything. I was his baby sister. Wouldn't he have made more of an effort to contact me if he really loved me? I hit the bed with a weak fist as the emotions raced through my head, and I fell to my side, closing my eyes and let the feelings of sadness, anger, depression and tiredness wash over me. I fell asleep quickly, breathing in the air full of dust mites.

 

When I woke up, it had gone dark. I had been asleep for 3 hours. My shoulder hurt from where I'd been laying on it. I crept along to my room, and changed into my pyjamas, before doing my teeth and climbing into my own bed. I'd sort everything out tomorrow. I'd send that text. I'd do my homework. Since I hadn't done it so far. I closed my eyes, and drifted into dreamland, where hopefully Claire and her cronies wouldn't be appearing that night.

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