Tears rolled down my cheek like a never-ending river, and I could barely breathe. I can’t believe this happened to me, I shout mentally. I ran like a cat trying to find shelter from the rain. When I saw a house with a red door, I turned left into their driveway and I knocked as hard as I could. No one responded. I took a few steps back, checking whether there were any lights on. Then the door opened. “What are you doing here?” The girl with blond hair and beautiful, magical grey eyes stared at me with a curious expression. She then noticed my worn-out make up and cut hair. “Oh my god! What happened to you?” I couldn’t reply. I just stood there. I needed her, but I couldn’t say it, for the shock still controlled my every action. My dreary eyes told her everything instead. She observed my shaking body and looked forlorn. “Come in,” she said while opening the way for me into her home. I stepped over the threshold and walked into the familiar hall. She shut the door behind me.
With a box of tissues in her hands, she sat next to me on her neatly made, pink bed. She offered it to me. “Thank you,” I replied while sniffing my noise. I wiped away the remaining tears and smudged make up from underneath my eye. I grabbed another tissue and then blew my nose. I hate the sound it makes, yet I felt too indifferent towards that right now. I looked up to the girl who was sitting across from me in her desk chair, observing me. “Thank you so much, Bonnie,” I said. She shook her head in disapproval. “They did this to you, didn’t they?” she replied angrily. I didn’t answer, I just looked down to the tear-filled tissue in my hand. “You can’t let them do this to you! You have to stand up for yourself! God damn it, Ruby! This is unacceptable!” She grabbed the pink music box from her desk and threw it against the wall. The box broke and the pieces fell on the floor. I looked at her, shocked. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t know what to do.” She calmed down and sat next to me on the bed again, putting her hand on my leg, consoling me. “I’ll fix this for you,” she said while holding a strand of my hair. “And this.” she gave a reassuring touch on the side of my face. “And this!” she grabbed my dirty blouse and looked at me with disgust. I laughed and then she laughed and said: “You’re going to prom with me.”
❦ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ❦
I entered the gym teeming with dancing teenagers. I could smell the intensity of the fruit punch (with smuggled alcohol) and the grease of the fast food. I was overwhelmed by the aural blast of the band on the stage and all the loud conversations people were having that I couldn’t follow. I felt insecure. My hair was cut short, just like it was when I was 3 years old and my dress looked like it’s been driven over by a car twice. The pink color had faded away, which made it look brownish. The gems had fallen off from the waistline and it was complete with multiple food stains. I didn’t really want to come, but Bonnie persuaded me and I know I’ll have a good time with her. I scanned the gym for Bonnie. Where was she? She just left me standing here all alone. I stood still, shocked, when I saw her dancing with Silvia, Sophie and Emma. Why would she do that? She basically told me that these girls are bitches! What the hell is she doing!? Bonnie, beautiful as always, came running up to me in her light blue dress and, embraced me. “I’m so glad you came,” she said. I flung her arms away and gave her a face of disgust. “What’s up?” she asked, surprised. “Why are you dancing with them? You know what they did to me!” I pointed at my hair. “Because,” she said. “Why not?” I was baffled. “Are you kidding me, right now? They cut my hair off! You’re my best friend, and you’re having the best time of your life with them instead of me!” She looked at the ground. “Yeah, well. I hate them for what they did to you, but they’re still pretty okay. I feel we should be friends outside of school, you know? Meet up at my house and just chill. I kind of want to hang out with them during school time from now on...” I paused in perplexity. I’ve never seen this sycophantic behavior before. Word after word that flowed from her lips angered me more by the second. Rage and misery tackled each other inside my body, and I felt like throwing up. Without considering the consequences of it, I flung my hand forward as hard as I could, whipping it across her face. She held her hand to her fire red cheek and glanced at me. Without hesitation, she slapped me back and pushed me on the hardwood floor. She crouched down on top of me and slapped me again. The pain her hand transferred to my face felt like a thousand tiny needles penetrating my cheek. She grabbed my dress and tore the fabric apart. I screamed, and she let go. She stood up, observed me lying on the floor and then walked away like nothing happened. A lot of people were glancing at me, but no one found the decency to help. My eyes filled up with tears and my heart sunk like a barbell thrown in the water. I had nobody.
Conflict with the bullies in the fantasy world
I slowly opened the door and peeked in. A huge flash of light blinded me and I could vaguelysee what was inside. I closed the door instantly and the bang of the shut door echoed into the dark realm of nothingness. I looked around me. There was really absolutely nothing. The shadows have truly vanished. The only thing I could see was the illuminated wooden door. My heart was beating like crazy. My brain was continuously banging against the inside of my skull. I used my thumb and index finger to rub my forehead. It didn’t help. It just made me feel lightheaded, like I was about to faint. What the hell is happening? “Where the fuck am I?” I shouted as loud as I could. My own words hit me multiple times, until the echoes slowly faded away. Then nothing. Again. I turned back to the only thing I could see: the door. I hesitated. Then I grabbed the knob and twisted it. There’s no turning back. Literally. I mean, where else am I supposed to go? The door made a satisfying click when it opened. I closed my eyes, avoiding the blinding light. I walked into the unknown and it terrified me. I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my body, setting off my fight-or-flight response. I kept walking forward, still with my eyes closed. I focused on any abnormal sounds, hoping I wouldn’t hear any. All I could hear were my footsteps and my very loud breathing. Then blam! I stood still, petrified. The door. It closed by itself, louder than ever. What do I do? Should I run? Should I scream? Should I give up and just die? So many questions were rushing through my mind. I felt helpless and lonely, all over again. I really didn’t know what to do, but I had to decide quickly. I gradually opened my eyes, fearing a sudden attack or something gruesome. Yet, there was nothing. Just me. Everywhere. I was everywhere. I looked to my right. Me. I turned myself around. Me. I looked up. Me. I looked down. Me. I was everywhere! The entire room, all the walls, were mirrors. My reflection continued endlessly, until I couldn’t see my tiniest reflection anymore. I ran towards the door, but I didn’t know where the door was. It just disappeared. I was stuck. And there was no escape.
I focused on one mirror in the never-ending room. Looking around made me feel nauseated, for I despise seeing myself. I walked towards the mirror inchmeal. I stared into my eyes, remembering learning a quote saying that the eyes are the window to the soul. I understand now. I could see my own depression, idiocy and fear. My whole existence in three words. Absolutely pathetic, I remarked. An inaudible whisper filled the soundless room. What was that? I looked around for any sign of a ghostly presence. Did the shadows come back? “Go away,” I screamed with a feeble, shaky voice. “Leave me alone!” Desperation and fear filled my words. Then another whisper. I looked back at my reflections. My eyes. They’ve turned an eerie green. “Hey, bitch.” I gasped. I recognized that voice. A sudden sharp swish filled the room and I fell to the glass floor. Blood ran down my cheek and then along my neck. I touched the wound and observed the blood my fingertip gathered from it. I looked sideways and I saw myself on the floor, only... I wasn’t looking back at myself. I was so scared. I couldn’t move. The reflections moved independently of me. I created a horror movie in my mind and I made myself the victim. My reflection’s head slowly moved towards me. I had an appalling smirk on my face, but the real me was terrified. “Miss me?” I said with a certain pretension in my voice. I gasped of fear. I know now who it is. It’s Sophie! My smirk then disappeared and got replaced with an ominous expression. “Did you miss me?!” I screamed followed by another swish. I screeched. The excruciating pain originated on the inside of my thigh. The blood ran down my leg and formed a puddle on the mirrored floor. I started crying. “Ah, now now. Don’t cry,” another voice said. I looked at a different reflection and it looked back without reflecting me once again. The voice was distinct. It was Silvia. I looked away, still tearing up. “I said, ‘Don’t cry’!” Another swish occurred followed by another screech. I grabbed my waist where a new cut was located. “You’re useless,” another voice stated. I could’ve guessed she would show up any time soon. It was Emma. Her expression was the most hateful when I stared into her eyes. I hated the fact that I was looking at myself embodied by these beings. “You are fucking useless, and you should just die,” Emma claimed. Another swish. I could barely scream. It was too painful, and too exhausting. The new cut on my back stung, making it feel like little knives were slicing in the just created wound. There was blood smudged all over the floor. “Everyone hates you.” Swish. “Just die!” Swish. “Bitch.” Swish. “Ugly.” Swish. “Hate. Bitch. Slut. Die.” The words kept cutting me like a kempt razor. It was unbearable. The pain and rage kept filling my body more and more each second. “STOOOOP!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I writhed in pain. It was excruciating like all the blades were lined with solid salt crystals. I rolled on the ground, my spine arching. My muscles tensed and loosened repeatedly, tortured by the three reflections. I turned my head to the left, and then to the right, and opened my eyes. I found a gun lying next to my face. Without pausing and wanting a logical explanation why, I grabbed it. I pulled the trigger, making repeated loud explosions, while shooting all the mirrors around me as many times as possible. The mirrors shattered apart, and the broken pieces of glass flew around, cutting my body even more while they traveled. I just kept shooting, not thinking about the pain I caused for myself. Click. Click. Click. The gun made an easily recognizable sound I’ve heard countless times in action movies. Out of ammo. I didn’t hear anything anymore. I timidly gazed around me, hoping I’d be completely alone. And I was. The mirrors disappeared, they disappeared and my bullets disappeared. Everything disappeared except the cuts on my body with blood still sapping out of them. My heart was beating faster than ever before. I could hear the blood flow through my veins and then out through the fresh wounds. And for the first time in a what seemed forever, I had cuts on my body that I didn’t put there myself. I stood up like how a feeble, old woman would stand up, quivering and shaking. I was exhausted.