The girl who lived in the shadow

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14. Hana

15.09. 2018.

I stared at myself in the mirror in front of me. I stared at my underfed body, my small breasts, my exposed ribs that now turned blue, my face that looked like it aged for a hundred years.

I wasn’t the same girl I used to be before. That night changed me both mentally and physically. Every piece of happiness, and joy that I had before, was now replaced with depression and sadness.

A tear slid down my cheek, and I watched how another tear slid down my eyes to my cheek. A moment later, another tear slid down too. And so the tears slid on and on until I finally burst into tears. I grip the sink with my right hand while with my left one, I reach for my hair and start pulling it as hard as I can. I pulled and pulled until the sadness I felt was replaced with anger. I closed my eyes for a second, took a deep breath before I finally opened my eyes, and smiled at myself in the mirror. It wasn’t a real smile, but it was good enough for me to survive another day.

‘Don’t forget to smile.’ My mother’s voice popped in my mind. She always told me to show off my beautiful crocked smile.

“Hana?” I heard a gentle female voice coming from behind the locked bathroom door. It took me a moment that this gentle voice came from Romana.

“Are you okay in there?” she asked as she tried to open the door.

I quickly wiped off the remaining tears, grabbed a towel, and wrapped it around my body as I answered, “Yeah, just give me a minute.”

I walked to the door, unlocked it, and slowly opened the door only to see Romana standing in front of me with her black clothes covered in mud.

“What the hell happened to you?” I asked her as I stepped out of the bathroom.

“I was running, and then a car went by and splashed me,” she answered.

I glanced at the door that leads to my room before looking back at her. “How did you get in?”

“Your father let me in.”

Romana walked around the room, touching everything she came across. She started with my desk where she found a half-finished drawing.

“What is this?” she asked.

I walked to her and grabbed the drawing from her hands. “It’s a girl.”

“A girl?” she laughed, “Again?”

I shook my head. She was acting like the old Romana again.

“How many times did you draw a little girl? Ten? Fifty times?” she mocked me, and I wasn’t in the mood to stand her behavior.

“Well, it’s better that I stay at home and draw than leave my best friend at a party so I could go suck an old man’s dick like a whore.” my voice was lower than I thought it would be. I glanced at myself in the mirror, and I saw someone who I never wanted to be. I looked like I was about to commit a murder.

Romana stared at me silently, shocked by my response. “I’ve never...”

“Never what Romana? Indented to leave me there all alone?” I crossed my hands. “You are supposed to be my best friend, and yet, you didn’t even visit me once, or at least, sent a text message.”

“Your mother didn’t allow me to see you. She blames me for everything that happened,” she whispered, looking down at the floor. “And she is right. This is all my fault. I shouldn’t have left you there.”

I took a deep breath, placing my hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry for calling you a whore. No woman deserves to be called like that.”

“I’m sorry too for leaving you that day. Maybe if I stayed nothing of this would have happened.” She wrapped her hands around my shoulder and we hugged.

“I was so scared that something happened to you,” I whispered in her ear.

She hugged me tighter. “Nothing will happen to me, I promise.”

I released her from the hug and we both smiled at each other before Romana’s phone buzzed. She took it out from her hoodie and stared at it for a moment before she said, “I have to go now. The two FBI agents want to talk to me.”

“About what?” I asked.

“Probably about that night,” she sighed, “I will see you soon, okay?”

I nodded. “Of course.”

Romana hugged me one more time before she started walking to the door, only to stop to comment on my collection of stuffed animals. “I still can’t believe that you have this in your room.”

I smirked. “What can I say? I love to collect them.”

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