NIGHT 1: The Stereotypical World I Live In
No, it’s Scarlett – double “t”.
Tell me about yourself, Scarlett.
You won’t want to know.
Okay… Your risk. *clears throat* young and twenty-one. A drop-out. A smoker. A suicidal wench they say and –
(stranger is disconnected)
That’s it. I closed the lid of my laptop and laid straight to my single, narrow and dusty bed. I can see from my peripheral vision how messy the room and my life is. Clean and dirty clothes everywhere, cigarette butts and empty bottles as empty as my life. I took my sketchbook from the small table beside me and started drawing my death.
A girl, standing by the fifth floor of Heron Tower, listening to the cars beeping underneath her lifeless body and feeling the wind while it touches her skin. An hour, minute and second – it will be the end.
This is the only thing I’m good at, aside from messing with my life and my skin, I somehow learned how to draw and be creative using my imagination about my how will I die someday. I am now on the 30th page of my sketchbook meaning I got 30 ways of killing myself. The first one is too basic, a girl sneaking in the kitchen in the middle of the night to take the bottle of bleach with her. Nasty right? Some are images of girl holding a knife against her fatal part - wrist and chest and others are just sketches of a girl sitting by a skyscraper planning a stunt before landing head first on the ground.
*woman knocking at the door*
“Scarlett, are you there?”
“It’s time for dinner my dear.”
I threw away my sketchbook; I didn’t know where it landed, as Mother Cleo turns the knob of my door because I wasn’t answering to her call. Time check, 05:45PM
“I was sleeping, Mother.” I said and stretch my arms while faking my just-woke-up state.
“Doesn’t look like it. Dinner’s ready, join us before you go out.” She showed me a plain smile and left. I put my plain blue jacket and boots on; ready for the winter weather outside then go downstairs to see other unfortunate children and teenagers offering their prayers before eating. I paused and bowed my head until they finish theirs.
Take me, God.
It has been twenty-one years that I’ve been praying for that but God can also be cruel. He’s not taking me; He lets me suffer more and leaves me miserable with my life.
“Come now, Scarlett.” The other children fell silent as they saw me walk down towards the diing table that can accommodate 18 persons at least. I took my seat, the next to the sisters and took a spoonful of my dinner like it is the last meal of my life.
“Eat like a modest lady, Scarlett.” Mother Emily advised. I munched the food on my mouth and smiled to her.
“I’m going. I’m running late for the diner.”
“Take God’s guidance. Be safe.” Mother Cleo said again. I ran towards the huge door of the orphanage and put up my hoodie before running outside for work.
You heard it right. I am an orphan, I never met my parents and I never know if I have a family. All I know is that the moment I was born; my parents despised me and the family I should be eating with right now wants me dead. The nuns at Saint Mary Angels Orphanage found me beside a garbage bin (exactly why I called myself a garbage). Ever since, I slept, ate and fuck my whole life in the orphanage. This is why I felt useless my whole life - No one really cared for me; even the nuns here are sick of my attitude except Mother Cleo.
The worst is I don’t even know my real birthday. I don’t know when I was born.
Today’s the 15th of November, after a month will be the birthday the nuns gave me. It’s been 21 years since I was a literal garbage but don’t worry, I tried not to be a literal one. I have this job which everyone thought I am a girl who have no future. I work as a janitress at Burp’s Diner – which is meters away from the orphanage. I didn’t succeed in school and basically got expelled because I had no motivation. I skipped classes, curse at my professors and stole books from the library. I know nothing aside from basic math and being nice to quite a few strangers because they really hate me and very much afraid of me.
Ever heard someone call you a leader of a cult? A witch is tolerable but a satanic person is really out of the way. I once punched a woman – around 40s I think, because she called me “Satan”. How bad was that? I was kicked out and fired from most of my jobs because I had this uncontrollable behavior. But let me ask you, have you ever felt like a plastic straw in your life? Like any second of the day, someone decides to not use you and get you extinct?
Because that’s what I feel – thankfully I am not afraid of it. I am so stoked to be at that point of my life.
“Good Evening, Chris!” I greeted the old man who owns the diner. He’s like 50s with his white hair, wrinkled forehead and old voice. Nevertheless, he still got a great strength to run the diner and deliver foods by himself. I ran to get the apron and cleaning cart and started tidying things up before a bunch of customers enters. After applying to maybe 50 jobs, I finally found something who has no stigma of having a person who has a black appearance - that includes black eyes, hair, eyeliner and nail polish - and a black soul. Luckily, Mother Cleo also knew him so I am treated like a normal person.
“Hey, Scarlett!” Chris called from the kitchen. I ran and took a break from mopping. “Take this so you won’t get cold later.” He hands an ash gray scarf which I don’t know if I can accept because aside from a decent salary, he also gives me free meal three times a day even though I only work from 6PM to 9AM.
“Chris, you know I – “
“I never forget that you have a death wish but take this, so that you can die peacefully without getting sick and suffering so much.”
“And spending so much for medical stuff.” I continued. We both laughed and he ordered me to continue my duty. As the night goes by, plenty of customers keep on messing and dirtying the place and I get to clean everything. If you’re asking if I have a friend, well I got two workmates who don’t really talk to me at all. They can’t even dare look at me.
Guess what, I don’t care. I don’t like talking to them also. They all know is talking behind my back like someday I am going to bite them or someday one of them will be missing and I’ll be the primary suspect – which will never be going to happen. They are not worth the abduction; even aliens won’t insist.
“Scarlett, take this to the back. It stinks!” Ben, one of the cook, frustratedly ordered me. I fetched the sack of rotten goods and covered my nose while holding the sack away from me running outside. Finally, someone ordered me out. I took a stick of cig from my pocket and lit it up. As the smoke, fog and snow mixed in the air – I am once again reminded how gloomy my life is. I never wished for this; it just happened. One day, I just woke up that I can’t change my life so I want to disappear. This society don’t deserve someone like me, neither the orphanage.
The sun started to rise and the customers are growing; businessmen, students, and ordinary people living the time of their lives.
The clock hits 9 and I’m off.
“Bye, Chris!” I waved goodbye and ran outside while holding the scarf he gave me. I felt so cold so even if I really want to die of cold, I covered my neck with it and jog on the way to the orphanage. As soon as I reach my room, I covered myself and finally found a good sleep with the cold weather.
If you’re asking why can I sleep with a dirty room, they’re not dirty anymore. Mother Cleo is so used to me leaving everything on the floor so she got someone to clean everything daily. Ironic right? I can clean others’ mess but I can’t do the same to my place.