Welcome to my life
Lets get this straight. My name is Skyleigh. No I don’t go by Sky, or any other weird name your mind just thought of. And no, I have no idea why my parents decided to give me a name that doesn’t look like it’s spelled right. Shit just happens. Lets move on.
This is officially the most important year of a teenage girls life. The year I turn 16. My golden year. The year I’ll receive my first real kiss, the year I stress about a beautiful fancy dress that makes me look desirable. The year I meet my one true love. The year where I am finally free to drive around and explore any time I want. When there is almost nothing separating me from my freedom. Almost.
Most girls my age have already dressed to impress for years. They have long, skinny legs with a body that has formed into the most desirable shapes and sizes. They have the platinum blonde hair that they dye so often no one knows their natural color, they’re sharp facial features with mountains of make up that make them look way too mature for their real ages. The girls that have no trouble showing a fake ID and partying all night with the hot, equally as desired men.
And then there’s me. This short, chubby little 15-year-old with bright red hair and dark freckles all over her cheeks and nose. And you can never overlook the enormous brown birth mark splattered across my left cheek. My awfully dark brown eyes with a hint of green around the edges. During the summer they usually turn a bright green from the sunlight glaring on them. No angular face shape, no long legs or desirable body. And if I ever tried to get into a club with a fake ID, the guards would just laugh and tell me to go on home like I was a 10-year-old playing a prank.
Compared to all the other girls, I am just a social outcast waiting for my body to finally peek at its most desirable form. Walking the hallways to class with nothing but a binder and a sketchbook. The social outcast that didn’t even care to know the other girls that were cast away from the popular’s.
Why waste time with human interaction when I have a good old sketchbook and pencils by my side waiting for me. And that’s the exact reason my aunt thinks I should see a therapist. I’m not sad or anything. I mean, really, I am happy with my pen and paper.
After I finally get to biology, Mrs. Zürich scans me from head to toe and turns away. This was the normal treatment I get. The quiet girl that doesn’t know where she belongs. She drags on her lesson about blood types and ‘whose the daddy’ tests before I am finally free for the day.
I’m always the last out of the classroom, scrambling around my desk trying to quickly organize my pencils in the specific way they belong in. Nobody regards me, as they just walk away like there’s no one in my seat. And I like it that way.
I slowly walk through the half empty halls towards the big red exit sign leading out the back doors to the school. Barely anybody goes this way, so I can go along unnoticed. I sit along the stairway outside with an over sized flannel tied around my waist for a cushion. Waiting for the time to pass by as I work my way to a blank page in my sketchbook, already considering new designs to start on.
The art just comes to me. Throughout this whole sketchbook, there are only a few pages I completely remember drawing. I swear they just happen. My body starts moving itself as I embrace myself into this sweet safe haven, where no one can find me. Unfortunately, people still exist and can still very much so find me, I thought as I stood up. Taking a last glance of the sketch I somehow don’t remember getting this far into, I slip it into my bag and headed for work.
I work at a small diner that barely implies rules and regulations to their staff. As long as you got the job done, it doesn't matter how you spend the rest of your shift. Living in a really small town that survives primarily on pizza, there aren't any busy nights here. I don't mind, I still got paid and don't have to deal with more people. And life still goes on.
As usual, I go throughout my day practically invisible. The chief only nods as I come in while the customers are all too focused on their own conversations to pay me any attention. I sit at a booth as I wait for a customer to need me. Grabbing out my sketchbook, I review the work I’ve done today.
A detailed drawing of an angel crossing his arms staring down at an open landscape. With mountains and a stream running along the side. The next page, a sketch of an empty classroom I couldn’t recognize. In just a week, I’ve managed to nearly fill my sketchbook. And I barely remembered drawing so much. I decide against using another sheet today as I put the book away.
Work drags along as it would on any day. Leaving me to have my thoughts wandering places they don't belong. I thought of new experiences that would soon come into my life. Possible boys that would make me look even worse while they stood next to me. Going on adventures and sneaking rendezvous at midnight.
After work, I head home only to find that nothing has changed. I live in a small broken down house in the outskirts of town with my aunt. There used to be an old wooden park across the street kids my age would sneak to at night. They would call it the hangout spot. After years of teenagers taking advantage of the park, it had burned down and was left in ashes. The police released it was an intentional crime, but they never found who burned the hangout down. Growing up, we all believed it was an angry parent who caught her teenager sneaking out.
My parents were deemed not fit to stay as my parents when I was eleven. Since then, my aunt Cassy took me into her arms. As usual, she has curled herself into a ball on the sofa, watching the last episode of one of her Spanish soap operas. Keep in mind, I am mostly Italian and Polish, and Aunt Cassy has never tried to learn Spanish in her life. After I pull the blanket over her, I turn off the TV and head back to my small room. Where I always lay in bed peacefully, and try to sleep before my thoughts tear me apart.
But this time, I get an unusual surprise from a visitor I was least expecting to find sitting in the dark, in my room.
"Oh good, you're finally home. How does the phrase go? Long time... no see?" For once in my life, I am left speechless. My body physically incapable of producing words, I am left staring blankly at a familiar stranger, with a twisted smile on his face.