She is everyone, and no one. She doesn't even have a name, because every day she is in a new life. She doesn't know who she is...or was. All she knows is the pain of these other girls, these living girls, the suffering girls.

She wants to know who she really is...but what will it take to find out?

WARNING: This Movella contains rape, bullying, suicide, abuse, self-harm, and other sensitive elements.


14. Ella

September 12, 2015


Ella woke with a start, sweat dripping down her neck, and grimaced. Her hair was grimy, sticking to her face in wet clumps of sweat.

Damn nightmares. The details were already faded, and all she could remember was Abi’s face, purple and cold, a necklace of rope pushing her skin up to puff out her cheeks. In another situation, the appearance would have been funny, but here, it was gruesome and terrifying.

Why do I keep seeing this? Abigail is fine, why would she ever kill herself? This doesn’t make any sense.

For a month now, she’d been having these recurring nightmares, all featuring her best friend. She’d watched Abigail hang, slit her wrists, overdose on various types of pills and medicines, sink to the bottom of a pool and stay there, and many other horrifying endings. She didn’t tell Abi about the dreams, though - Ella didn’t want to scare the timid girl. She certainly couldn’t imagine her optimistic friend actually taking her own life - or so she would have thought before the dreams started. Now, she had no choice except to imagine it.


After the dreams started, Ella started pressing Abigail, asking if she was alright mentally. “You know how they like to lecture us about mental health and such. I’m just making sure you know I’m always here for you.”

Abi just rolled her eyes. “Of course I’m okay, Ella! I have a really funny dad, a mom who can make me these awesome sandwiches -” She waved today’s masterpiece of Nutella and banana in the air - “and two amazing best friends! How would I not be okay?”

On the other side of the table, Sasha grinned, violet hair vibrant under the fluorescent lights. “Hell, yeah!”


But, despite Abigail’s usual optimism, the dreams persisted. Ella didn’t tell anyone. Instead, she started recording them in a journal she’d found in the back of her closet. Every morning as soon as she got out of bed, she wrote down every detail she could remember.

The details were horrible.


Ella sighed and swung her legs over the side of the bed, letting her toes dance on the cold hardwood floor until they found her slippers. She grabbed the journal off her nightstand and wrote down today’s dream, then stood and went into her closet, pulling out her duffel bag. A smile settled on her face. It was Saturday, and she and Abigail were having a sleepover at Ella’s house tonight.

The two girls had been having monthly sleepovers for as long as they’d known each other. Nothing ever stopped a sleepover from happening, except sickness or death.

Ella’s smile faded again, and she snatched her phone from it’s charging dock on her desk, sending a text to Abi. Super excited for the sleepover tonight!


A few anxious minutes passed, then her phone let out a cheerful beep.


Me, too! We’re still watching Alien, right?


Duh!!! You need to see Ellen Ripley in action!!! And that awesome xenomorph!!


:D WOOT!! BADASS WOMEN!! AND ALIENS!!  Hey, wanna go to our pond after lunch?


Ooh, yeah, that’d be fun! We def need to take advantage of the heat while it’s still here, that’s for sure.


WOOT! I’ll go find my swimsuit XD


Same XD



    Ella let out of sigh of relief, putting her phone down and turning to her closet. Where even is my suit? She dug through shelves until she finally found the blue and purple one-piece. She grinned and tossed it on her dresser, then started pulling out clothes for the sleepover. Tonight is going to be awesome!




    “Just jump, Abi!” Ella shouted, giggling. She watched the small, brown-haired girl close her eyes and leap into the water, sending up a small splash. “Yeah!! Nice jump, Abi!” Ella said as her friend came up to the surface.

    Abi, grinned, eyes wide and nervous. “Thanks. Hey, Ella?”

    Ella’s heart started to race. Why did Abi suddenly look so scared? “Yeah?”

    “Can I tell you something?” Abigail looked down at the water, biting her lip.

    Oh, no. “Anything, Ab.”

    Abi took a deep breath.

    Ella’s heart hammered against her chest.




    Bum-bum. Bum-bum.


    “I love you.”


    Oh. Well, that’s random. “I love you, too, silly. We’ve been best friends, like, we were born.” Well, technically since Ella came to Abi’s rescue in kindergarten when a bunch of boys were mean to her at recess, but it felt like they’d practically been born together.


    “No, Ella, I mean…”


    Ella’s eyebrows furrowed. She can’t mean...love love...can she? Like, she’s a...lesbian?  Ella realized that that would actually make sense. Abi had never shown interest in guys, often seeming disgusted by them if anything, even the really pretty ones. Don’t be an idiot, Ella, that doesn’t make someone a lesbian! It just...make sense in Abi’s case. But...she...loves me?

    Finally, she responded. “You’re…?!” She couldn’t formulate real words. She was too shocked.

    Abigail nodded, knowing what Ella meant. “Yeah.”

    Silence sat heavy on their shoulders for several seconds before Ella finally found her voice again. “You know what, Abi?”




    “That’s totally fine with me. But...don’t try to kiss me at our sleepover tonight.” Ella grins mischievously.

    “Of course not. But...well, now you know. I mean, we can still be BFF’s, obviously. I just...I needed to come clean.”

    “Thanks, Abi.”

    “Thank you. And don’t tell anyone, please?”

    “Of course not.”  Both girls trade smiles, then Ella smacks her hands on the water, splashing Abi. “Enough chit-chat! The day is a-wastin’!”

     Abigail laughed, splashing back gleefully.


    Everything is fine.



    “Oh, hello, girls! Did you have a good swim?” Ella’s mom called from the kitchen as the girls entered the house.

    “Yeah! The water was the perfect temperature.” Ella replied, crossing through the living room into the kitchen. Her mom was leaning over a pot on the stove, stirring casually. “Mm, something smells delicious!”

    “My homemade broccoli-cheddar soup, your favorite!” Mrs. Freis replied, turning to face her daughter. “It’ll be ready in a few minutes.”

    Ella nodded. “Sounds good!”

She turned and trotted back over to Abi, who was digging through her duffel bag with a panicked expression on her face. “Aw, man! No way!”

    “What’s wrong?”

    Abigail stood with a sigh. “Looks like I forgot Mr. Wink.”

    Mr. Wink was a teddy bear with one missing eye, and Abigail’s most treasured possession. She refused to sleep without it, even at almost 16 years old.

“Oh, no! Do you want to text your mom and have her bring it?”

Abi stared down at her bag thoughtfully. After a long silence, she finally responded with, “No. I think it’s time I try to learn to sleep without him.” She shrugs. “I mean, I can’t have him forever, right? Someday, I’ll be giving him to my own kid, like my mom gave him to me.”    

“Aw, that’s so cute!” Ella replied. The girls met each other’s eyes for a moment. Ella felt a blush creep onto her cheeks and looked away with a small smile.

“Lunch, girls!”

Abi sighed and kicked her bag into the corner, then turned to Ella with a grin. “Let’s go.”


Everything is fine.


“Aaagh!!” Ella covered her face as the xenomorph leapt towards the screen with a shriek.

“Ella, you gotta watch!” Abi said, laughing. Ella peeked through her fingers and watched as the alien made its way towards Ripley in her curly-haired glory. Ella remained like that for the rest of the movie, watching through her fingers until finally the credits started rolling.

“You can stop hiding under your blanket now, El.” Abi laughed.


Everything is fine.


“NO!” Ella sat up, gasping and drowning in sweat. She sat there, panting, with her head in her hands and her heart hammering in her chest.

“El? You okay?”

Ella looked over to see that Abi was sitting up in bed. Even in the dark, Ella could see the concern glimmering in her best friend’s eyes.

“Yeah...just a bad dream...I’ve been having them for a while.”


“Are they about me?” Abi asked, her voice slicing through Ella’s secret like a knife through cake. “Is that why you keep asking me if I’m okay?”

Ella sighed. “Yeah. I...I don’t know why. I keep dreaming about you...hurting yourself...taking...taking your own life. They’re horrible and terrifying and I hate having them.”

“...Jesus, Ella. I’m so sorry.” Abi joined Ella on the floor and wrapped her friend in a tight hug. After a few minutes, she sat back and rested her hands on the girl’s shoulders. “Look at me.”

Ella looked up, into Abigail’s eyes.

“I am never going anywhere. I’m not dying anytime soon. I promise. Everything is fine. Okay?”

Ella nodded, tears streaming down her face. “Okay.”


Everything is fine.


When morning came, Ella woke next to Abi. The two had fallen asleep on the floor, hands knitted together like the patches of a quilt.


*   *   *


    “How was your sleepover, Ella?”

    “Great!” Ella said as she climbed into her mom’s car. “We watched Alien.

    “Oh, nice!” Mrs. Freis said as she pulled out of the driveway. “Did Abi let you know if she got home okay?”

    “Mom, she lives three houses down.”

    “Hey, anything can happen.”

    Ella sighed. “Yes, she made it safely.”

    “Well, good! So, we’re meeting your father at the museum.” Mrs. Freis said, glancing at her phone. “Or not. He’s saying he’s going to be late. As usual.”


    Ella heard the keyboard noises as her mom sent a response to the disappointing text, and glanced down at her own phone.


    Then she heard a screech.


    She looked up and saw a flash of blue, then suddenly glass was flying through the air, and everything was spinning. Ella’s body shot forward, and all she felt was pain before she sank into darkness.


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