Status: Finished



I looked around my living room. It was the same as always, two lumpy couches, a large TV, various knickknacks, family pictures. But I saw now that everything was different.
I no longer resemble the happy girl in the photos, grinning with her arm slung over Davey’s shoulders. I had given up, let the constant cruelty make me believe I was worthless. I am worthless.
And right there, on the dingy couch, I fucking sobbed into my hands like a child. Blood still trailed down my arms, but I ignored it. By the time Davey came home I was more collected, but he still hovered around me.
I knew it killed him, that he couldn’t protect me, take me away from the town we had both hated. There just wasn’t enough money.
We ate dinner in front of the TV, as usual. My parents were home, but they weren’t talking. As usual. The show was some crime drama, maybe CSI or Bones. The only time it really stuck with me was when they showed the face of the victim, a young girl who had been slashed to death.
She had long brown hair, blue eyes, and black glasses. Just like me. When they showed her body, a mangled mess of cuts, I sucked in a breath.
It shouldn’t have affected me so badly, but I felt like spiders were crawling up my spine. I felt like I was looking at myself in the future, a repulsive, useless corpse. I excused myself quickly and ran to my room, where I settled on my bed to catch my breath.
The image of that body wouldn’t leave my head, although I kept telling myself it was just a TV show, not real life. I needed to bring myself back to reality, so I logged on to Facebook,, hoping Linc would have some words of wisdom. Lucky for me, she was online.
Willa: Hi
Linc: Hey there. How’re you doing?
Willa: Not good. My brother’s back though. His name is Davey.
Linc: That’s good, but why are you doing badly?
I sighed and sprawled across my bed, trying to come up with a response. I’m not used to people asking questions about me, caring what I think. Only Davey has ever been like this. I had no idea why some random kid from New York would want to know how I am, but she did.
Willa: Everyone is still bullying me. I’m still cutting, and every day just seems to be worse than the one before. I don’t mean to whine, but I hate everything about my town, my life. If I could only get out of here, life would be better. I’m sick of being afraid to go to school, of long cuts down my arms, of worrying when people are nice to me in case it’s just another trick. I feel like a worm, something useless and ugly.
She took a fairly long time to reply, so I was slightly anxious when she did.
Linc: Why don’t you fight back? Don’t let them be in control of you.
Willa: The last time I fought back against the bullies was in eighth grade. Some girl pushed me down in the middle of the hallway. I stood up and yelled at her to stop it. She shoved me down again, then sat on my head. I couldn’t breathe enough, and I was freaking out. Then she got some of her friends to come over. They pulled down my pants and laughed at me, calling me a fag and a dyke. After that they all kicked me and walked away. I’ve never defended myself since.
Just the memory of that day made my chest ache. I’ve faced a lot of physical violence, but never anything quite that bad. The lack of air had made me see stars, and their voices sounded distorted and evil. No matter how much I struggled I couldn’t move, and they were hurting me. It was one of the worst days of my life. I still have nightmares about it.
Linc: Tell someone, do something. Let a teacher know.
Willa: The teachers don’t care. Don’t be stupid, I’ll just get hurt worse. Look, I don’t want to talk about it. What about your life? How are you?
Linc: I’m alright, but my parents....they’re not the best.
Willa: What do you mean?
Linc: I was born to replace my sister, who died ten years before. Ever since I was little I’ve known that.
The calm way she wrote it filled me with pity. At least I wasn’t expected to measure up to Davey.
Willa: I’m sorry. Are your parents kind to you?
Linc: I don’t want to talk about it. I’m sorry, but I have to go.
She logged off before I could reply, so I sighed and got ready for another night of restless sleep. And a horrible day of school tomorrow.
I woke up with tears on my face, gasping from a nightmare I had already forgotten. It was thirty minutes before I really had to get up, but I did anyway. As I walked to the bathroom I saw my pale face, eyes dark with lack of sleep. I looked awful, and I buried my face in my hands, wondering what had become of me. School seemed to be a monster, looming over my thoughts all day. I cried as washed my face, cried as I got dressed, cried while I brushed my teeth. Davey was sitting at the kitchen table when I walked in, his back to me, so I wiped my face and pulled together a smile. He was deeply absorbed in the newspaper, mumbling slightly as he read. “Morning, Davey.” He jumped a little but turned to me with a grin. “Hey there Will. Ready for school?” I nodded sadly and grabbed myself an apple for breakfast. Davey’s smile faded and he hugged me tightly. “Be brave, Will. I’ll be here when you get home.” “Can’t wait.” I smirked and danced away from his playful tap, grabbing my backpack as I left the door. “Love you, Will!” “Love you too!” I called as I walked to the bus. The happy feeling faded with each step though. Another day, another miserable time.