𝙲𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚛 4 ~ 𝙿𝚘𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝 𝙺𝚗𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗
"Um, Ivy?" A voice came from my door.
I jolted my head upward to gaze into the face of my innocent father. He looked like a terrified puppy. Melting my heart in an instant. I threw my notepad beside me and hopped off my bed, running toward him.
The first thing I noticed was his big green eyes. Wish I had gotten them. Mines were just plain grey. Everything about me was just so plain. Nothing special about me it seemed.
"Yes, dad? Are you okay? How are you feeling?"
He leaned onto the door's frame and felt the bandage that I had wrapped around his head. "What... happened?"
"Oh, you were tipsy and when you came home you tripped on the carpet and bashed your head on the floor. You were knocked out on impact but I cared for your wounds." I rumbled in memory of the few minutes spent putting that story together.
"Oh, okay." He said as he moped away, keeping his hand on his bandage.
I stuck my head out and said, "Dad, I got a job. I'll be starting tomorrow."
He faced me and forced a smile, "good job, baby."
I smiled and watched cheerlessly as he walked back into his bedroom. "I'm sorry, daddy."
I stood before the door of my new job. This was a responsible way to use my leisure time yet I wanted to leave so bad. I hated to try new things. You can never predict what could happen. It's like watching a horror movie without sure of the upcoming events. With a different twist and death around every corner.
Maybe working here was a part of my destiny -- a step intended to take in order to move on. Maybe there are positive things that can happen here, maybe not. I hated the unknown. I wished that I could just skip to the end to see what'll happen but it'll just be confusing and where's the excitement in that. What's the point of watching a movie that you know the ending to?
But this isn't a movie. It's real life. I wished that I could figure out the end before I changed my life. I wish I could just predict the future. I wish I could guarantee that everything would be fine. But a wish is just a wish. They never really come true, because I wished to find love not only for someone else but also toward myself, and since I made that wish everyone, I loved left me. Because I tried something new. Because new things are unpredictable.
I was always so quiet. I kept many secrets so people trusted me. Until those thugs decided to take advantage of that secrecy. Well, they didn't even know me but I was never trusted after that. I was the snitch who got them arrested.
After that day I learned two things, never try to be someone you're not, in my instance I tried to be brave instead of timid, and look where that got me and for the second, I learned to shut up. Tears filled my eyes, threatening to spill over at any moment. I sniffled and struggled to swallow my fear as I indecisively jostled my nails into my mouth. I had no idea why, but it brought me great comfort.
I was just so weak; my heart couldn't even handle the simplest things anymore. Standing there, by the glass door I saw the ugly reflection of my body. God, how I hated myself. I just felt like smashing the glass, taking a shard, and slitting my throat with it but I didn't even have the strength to do that anymore.
Who knows what could happen? Maybe I'll scare the customers away. Or what if I scare kids? Who knows what will happen as I walk through the doors built of cooked sand? I knew I couldn't take any chances; my heart could be destroyed. I'm already dead anyway, what's the point. What's the point of anything?
I turned around to walk away but at that very moment, I was met with Isaac who had a bright smile on his face. How is he always this happy?
He increased his speed as he saw me and wrapped his muscular arms around me in a comforting envelope. I felt safe in his arms like I finally had someone there for me. A friend perhaps? I didn't want to get too ahead of myself but maybe we were. My hands were at my sides because I didn't know what to do. Maybe, if I hugged him back, he might think I thought of him in an intimate way, because I didn't. If we were friends, I didn't want to ever ruin that.
The hug didn't last long because he was just greeting me in his usual Isaacy-way. He pulled away and stared at me. His bright smile turned into a frown as he saw my watery eyes.
"Hey, it's going to be okay." He said as he held onto my shoulders at arm's length, caressing me with his thumbs, "You know, even when you're sad you still look just as beautiful? Has anyone ever told you that?" I furrowed my eyebrows. He thought I was beautiful. "You know how some people have an ugly cry? You don't. Isn't that comforting?" I smiled and nodded. "I would ask you what's wrong but I have a feeling you won't tell me." I nodded again then through my lips escaped a small giggle.
"I don't think I want to work again. I don't like... new things." I mumbled, just his aura made him worthy of being knowledgeable of my problems. The fact that he genuinely cared. He was always like this.
"So, that's what this is about? You are afraid?"
"No, I'm just...yes, I'm afraid. I think? I guess? Maybe, I don't know? That's the thing, I know nothing about me? God, what is wrong with me-"
"Nothing." He reassured, "there is nothing wrong with you. Stop saying and thinking it because the only person that you're fooling is yourself. If there's anything wrong with this place is everyone else. You shouldn't let ignorant people define the plot of your life. People put other's down to build themselves up, it is all a part of the system. But these things. These small things, don't matter. The things people say to you, it has no meaning. The only thing that matters is you. You're the... main character in your own story. You matter. You hear me?"
I paused, because of what he said. Those words that came through the mouth of another, were what I denied for so long. Those words were what I needed to hear and he said it, in the most perfect way imaginable.
"Yes, I hear you." I could feel as his aura changed, a peaceful smile upturned on his precious face.
"Don't be afraid, ebony. I'd be here with you every single day." He retorted and I returned a genuine smile. "You wouldn't want to be late, now would you?"
"No, I won't."
He opened the door and I took a deep breath before entering. Suddenly, I saw Tabitha inside with Heath beside her. They were both glaring coldly at each other even before I entered. Isaac leaned into my ear and breathed, "I hired them both, isn't this exciting?" I could feel his excitement as his hot breath brushed against the skin of my neck.
"Knew it was going to be a horrible idea making you the manager," I mumbled to myself before instantly gathering the confidence to approach Tabitha. It was stupid to be so rude to Isaac, who was so nice to me and I knew that but the sight of her stupid face made my skin crawl, "Tabitha Jones? Is that you? I can only imagine what happened that you wind up working at a convenience store. Did your daddy lose all his money?"
Her father was the string that sewed this town together. The mayor, the only tolerable person at the top because I knew it wasn't his fault. Bad things came from his mouth but he was, like an actor, reciting his scripted lines. All because of his color. See, why I hate this town now? Even though he was legally and fairly elected the mayor he wasn't in charge of shit. Just like me, he had those strings tying him down, the only difference is that he was strong. Mentally prepared to take it all in. He was tough metal and I was a cloud.
She waited for me to finish before shooting a malicious eye at Isaac, "you said no one from our school comes here. First Heath is here and now this emo geek. What is your problem?"
"Tabitha, I'm apologise. I was... oblivious to the thought of you getting this upset." He said in defense, though his hands displayed surrender.
"How could you not know?! Are you fucking brain dead?" She shouted as she held onto her head in disbelief.
"Don't blame him, you decided to take the job, dumbass," I said with a teasing smirk.
To which Heath replied, "dude, you haven't been to school in months. You should be the last one talking about how smart someone is." As he leaned against a shelf in amusement with the forming argument.
"I don't even have to go to school to know more than the both of you nut heads. Oh, and isn't it funny that you kept track of my absence." I mocked to which he chuckled in response.
"Now, you guys are just being immature." Mumbled Isaac.
"It's your fault we're all here in the first place."
"Well, maybe I should have left you to sulk in a corner, you ungrateful bastard. Because you obviously don't know how to behave around civilized individuals."
I scoffed in disbelief before Tabitha shouted, "Yeah, go ahead and blame the women."
"Exactly!" I threw my hands in the air in protest.
She then said, "I'm not siding with you! You started this entire argument, maybe you should have stayed home with your mom. Oh, wait. She's dead." Silence pierced through the atmosphere as no one said a thing.
I felt the walls of the building begin to close in as I narrowed my vision onto her. Something whispered in my ear, kill her. Anger blurred my conscious making it impossible for me to think through such devastating fury.
"You little bitch." I screamed before jumping to attack her.
I heard her shriek as I knocked her off balance. Us both on the floor with me on top. I could feel her body tremble beneath as she tried to get a grasp of what was going on. Somehow the look on her face made me somehow pleased. She tried to get me off but I started to punch her, mimicking the strikes of my father. I was so blinded by my insatiable thirst for vengeance that I hadn't even realize how I copied his moves.
"What the fuck is wrong with.... you! Get off me, you freak!"
"Ivy what the hell?!" I heard Isaac's gruff voice shout but for some reason, that was all I heard of him.
Other than a whispered argument between him and Heath. I had no idea what the argument was about but it had to be important since Isaac didn't even come to Tabitha's aid.
I heard the door open and as the bell rang, I got distracted. It only took a second of distraction for her to get a hold of a bug spray can. I turned back to face her; she directed the spray right into my right eye and sprayed.
I draped my eyes shut and squeezed as my face displayed agony. But my anger was just too much. I heard the voice whisper in my ear, make her regret that. I obeyed my mind as I reached into my pocket and flicked out a pocket knife.
"How did you- The bug spray how did you just-" I drew the knife from it and held it toward her neck. "Woah, uhm girl. What are you- Don't do this, please."
"You don't even know my name."
"That's why you're hurting me? God, I'm sorry." She mumbled as she pleaded for her life. Tears
sliding down the sides of her golden skin.
"No... you deserve this after what you did to me."
"What are you talking about?"
"In middle school. After you took a picture of my exposed body, after gym class and sent it around the school."
"Oh my God, th-that was you? I'm sorry. I really am, if I could go back, I would definitely...not do that."
"Imagine the privacy of your naked body be stripped from you at the age of eleven? Every time I'm in school I can feel their eyes on me, seeping through my clothing. As if I had nothing on. I had no privacy after that! Do you know what that is like?"
"If there's anything that I could do. Don't do this. I beg you. I'd do anything you want. Anything!"
"Quench my itching desire to have vengeance by lying motionless as I slice you open."
She gasped at my words, "d-don't be... a monster. This is not who you are!" "This is who you have made me be, Tabitha. Can't you see? I am who I am because of your actions. You made me the Goddamn monster!"
I then scraped the knife slowly against her throat.
"Ivy, you monster! Look at who you have become! You are no different than your father. The two of you hurting each other and yourselves in the process. But you...you're different. Your worse! You're worse! Do you hear me! You are a fucking demon!"
I dropped the knife as I turned my head to stare at her. Do you know what the strangest thing was about my mother? Other than the fact that I knew she wasn't real yet my heart broke every single time at the sight of her? The strangest thing was that she had no face. I pushed out the memory and threw it away like it was garbage. Maybe it was a coping mechanism. Whatever it was, it was terrifying. She was a burnt corpse that followed me around like a lurking shadow.
Her body fried to a blistered and boiled red. Like her skin displayed the sight of violence and great brutality. As she walked, she left a trail of ash and her body still illmanating some through her damaged pores. They did this to her. Those ruthless gangsters, it wasn't a stupid accident. They fried her and tied me to a chair to watch her scream, knowing that it was all my fault. From the moment her body was set aflame I felt my skin burn with guilt.
I begged them to take and torture me instead but they just laughed at the show I was carelessly giving them. Maybe if I had hidden my emotions deep in the dungeon of myself, she could have been saved. Maybe if I said I cared not for her, that they were doing me a favor, and that I hated her. That I adored the sight of her pain. Maybe they would have just gone on ahead to take me instead. It was a gamble but better than giving them exactly what they wanted.
If you're thinking 'at least they were dealt with. Thrown in prison for their heartless act.' No, to this day, they all walk as free men of this corrupt town. Causing hell and mischief every waking hour of the day. Because their so-called 'loyal' boss wiped the shit off of their asses and bought his way through the town. Giving Tabitha's father, Mayor Brown more pressure than he already is under.
Maybe, Mayor Brown cries himself to sleep at night or does it in his bathroom as he showered. Then washed his tears away like dirt off of clothes. He'd try to wash it off but the puffiness of the eyes, the reminiscence of dirt that could never be hidden. I don't know how he dealt with his shit but I knew that he did it well, since everyone was still rooting for him.
My mother screamed at me, "I'm dead because of you!"
"Mommy, please... don't say that," I begged as I climbed off of Tabitha's body.
"But you fucking killed me!" Her body shook with anger causing a piece of her skin to peel off and plop onto the floor, we both stared at it, "Look what you've done to me?"
I peered down at my hands, scraping the flesh because I knew she was right, I rose my head and softly said, "I didn't mean to." My hair tickled the corners of my face so I drew both sides behind my ears.
"You didn't mean to? You didn't mean to! That doesn't matter, I'm still dead!"
"I'm so-" I started but I was silenced by a blood-curdling scream, I could hear her voice beneath the scream, it was Tabitha.
I whipped my head around and stared as the blood slid down her neck. The boss was trying to stop the bleeding but it was a lot of blood. I couldn't believe I did that; it was all my fault. I stood there; my blood as solid as cement. Tabitha was crying her eyes out as blood drops plopped onto her polo white t-shirt. Isaac panicked as he ran over with bandages and antidotes. Frozen solid in fear, my hands planted at my sides as if I were a pin. My heart palpitated in my chest and soon it came over like a blanket, right over the screams. What is wrong with me? Why am I like this? Yes, Tabitha hurt me before. She grabbed my privacy like a thief and fled into the
night but what if she bled out.
She was on her knees with our boss using the antitoxins to treat the wounds. All I heard were the muffled conversation between the two. Isaac was worried, I could see the sweat beading on his forehead as he shouted at the boss, who kept a calm composure. She didn't bother to calm Isaac down; he was too worked up anyway. After he tumbled everything, he had gathered into the boss' arms he started pacing and passing his hand through his hair, in the nerve-racking situation.
Suddenly my eyes grew tinted. A cloud of black smoke swallowed the room from the ventilation, the only thing that moved was the direction of my eyes as they bounced all over the room. Soon enough the entire room was thronged with demons. Shadowy figures stared at me with their glowing eyes. White lighting pierced through my soul and I felt claustrophobic. My heart quaked in my chest as spears of fear were sent shooting through my body. Slicing into the sack that held my nerves. It exploded as nerves shot up and around my body.
My head felt light as I felt it suddenly hard to keep balance. Beads of sweat threaded my face creating a pearled necklace of distraught. I tried to support my body with a pole that shot up into the ceiling. But my hand was so perspiring that it slid down. I caught myself back up and realized I needed to go home. I was of no help anyway. I felt my lungs shrink inside my body, forcing me to take shorter quicker breaths. My legs were nearly too weak to support the weight of my lean figure, I tried to reach the door as the shadows began to chant. I couldn't understand what they were saying, it was as if they were speaking a foreign language. Until it became clear. They were saying 'bloodrose' repeatedly. But the sound of their voices overlapping each other made it sound nauseating.
There was this thick energy to which my body was lathered in. It engulfed me, the heat, I'm definite hell was like this. The feeling of tiny needles prickling my body, I grew numb to it eventually, but I still felt it.
Finally, I reached the door to which I shoved it open. The sun boiled my skin.
𝚆𝚎𝚕𝚕...𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚜𝚎.