She has secrets

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Chapter Ten - Total agony

After me and Adonis’ little make-out session, he announced as he grabbed his dick, that he needed to head home because, and I quote: ‘I am not letting this big fella miss out on all the fun.’

So after saying goodbye, I’m assuming he went home to sort out his little ‘problem’. Thinking’s bout it just makes me laugh.

Suddenly, my back gets shoved into the lockers behind me, making me cry out in discomfort. “You fucking bitch!” Aurora shrieks.

“I fucking told you not to hang out with him and what do you do? You fucking go against me!” She shoves me hard against the metal causing the locks to dig into the skin that wasn’t shielded by my backpack; she punches me in my stomach, winding me, to stop from crying out, my teeth clench in pain.

She steps away from me briefly and lets me step forward, I make the mistake of leaning down on my knees to catch my breath because it allows her to knee me in the face, I flinch back hard afterwards, causing my head to fly back into the lockers, scrapping against the locks.

These fucking lockers!

My eyesight goes blurry for a moment, she notices this when I shake my head trying to get my vision to come back when she notices, she steps back letting me take a step forwards, she smirks at me before kicking my knee, sending me to the ground.

My knees burn and throb from the impact and the muscles surrounding my kneecap cry out. “Stand up you weak, pathetic excuse of a girl.” She sneers.

I stand up, mostly to stop my knees from burning so heavily but regret it when she spins me around and shoved my head into the metal wall. I feel the blood rush down my face before I feel the pain.

As soon as my nose comes into contact with the lockers my body falls into a heap on the ground. “Stay away from what is mine. Or this little escapade will become a regular thing.” She kicks my casted wrist and sashays off, leaving me beaten, bloody and weak.

It’s okay though because my paint-

You ran out. My demon reminds me, cutting me off.

It all rushes back to me, the muscle aches, nausea, the sweating, the shaking, the craving for more of my sweet, sweet powder becomes too much but adding to the beating I just got now?

I’m in total agony.

My muscles and limbs scream in agony and for me to just listen and help them but I’m numb. I just can take this anymore. Not like this.

I have no thoughts, no answers, no soothing words to tell myself that everything is going to be okay. I have no one to accidentally stumble across me and for them to tell me it’s all going to be okay because I’m alone.

I’m so alone in this world that I’m shocked that I don’t care anymore so when my thoughts come back to me and my eyes focus back into the wall in front of me, I wipe off the blood on my face and carry on with my day.

*

Unlocking the door when I got home was bad. I kept dropping my keys on the floor because my hands were shaking so bad, when I finally got the key in, my thoughts congratulated me and told me to hurry up and get inside before my nose bleeds again.

But as soon as I step inside the house, the sight in front of me stops me from moving, it freezes me.

Stood in front of me are my father and stepmother.

She’s here?

Her eyes make contact with mine at the same time I let the door slam behind me. “Riley, what have I told you about slamming that fucking door?” My father roars at me.

“Christian. Don’t shout at her like that!” My stepmother defends me. Is she... okay?

“Fuck off. You don’t care, you never have.” He pushes her out of the way of the fridge and grabs a beer, taking a swig while staring her down. She looks down at her feet to avoid his hard stare.

When one of them mutters for me to go upstairs I listen and run up to my room, without questioning them. Why would I?

I throw my bag into the corner, sit on my bed lightly and sit and listen to them talk. For a while it’s silent. Dead silent.

Before they start shouting.

“Then why did you come back?!” My father shouts.

“Because I owed you that much,” she spits. “Plus I need to apologise to your daughter!” I hear glass smash and I flinch.

“She doesn’t deserve apologies! She caused all the hurt in my life because she was too stupid to understand anything!” I hear a slap and my body temperature rises even more so I throw my jacket and blazer off, pushing up my sleeves.

My fingers trail the scars that line my arms and my eyes begin to water at the same time I hear cries downstairs. “Don’t you dare talk about a little girl like that ever again! She had no idea what was happening all that time ago! Why do you blame her so much?”

“Because she is so much like her that I-“ my father begins to stutter that much his voice cuts off altogether.

“Stop acting like a child. We all lose people. You lost yours a decade ago and your child was hurting and what did you do? You slapped her for crying over her mother’s death.” My step-mother, Alice, sneered at him in disgust.

I stop listening when there’s a struggle downstairs and get up to the bathroom. Once I get there I angle my arms around the sink to the back of the pipes, getting my bag of blades out.

Carefully, I reach my hand in and take the sharpest one out, I spin it in my hands, watching the light catch the blade in certain ways.

When the light catches the steel and tears it’s way into my eyes and burns I smile. Slowly, I angle the blade down onto my skin, I push down harder than I have ever before and pull against my skin.

I watch as the blood follows the blade and drips off my fingers into the sink. I keep moving the blade slowly so more blood can flow out.

One second for my mother leaving.

Two seconds for my father forcing himself onto me.

Three seconds for all of this being my fault.

Four seconds for having so many people stab me in the back and lastly, five seconds for not being able to talk.

I take a deep breath before blindly slicing at my skin, over and over again until I can’t hear those two fighting downstairs.

Looking down at my arm and the sink, I look at three dots in a triangle and dip my finger into one of the dots and drag it, making a smiley face with the red from my blood.

I take a minute for my mind to think of one good reason for me to stay, to stay alive, to stay here... not one reason comes to mind.

It’s settled. Tonight I do it.

A small smile makes its way to my face as I wash away the blood in the sink. I clean my wrist, making sure I’m clean for later.

Once it’s cleaned I bandage it and go back to my room and change. I lay on my bed and sigh happily.

Happily...

I walk downstairs when it’s silent, wondering why and when Alice left. I make my way into the kitchen and see Alice leaning against the worktop in tears.

‘Are you okay?’

“Oh. Yeah, I’m fine.” She wipes her face and looks at me. “I just wanted to apologise for my actions in the last couple of years. I’m sorry. You know that right?” Hesitantly, I nod my head, avoiding her eyes.

“Riley... I’m so sorry. Please. I hope you can forgive me someday because I know you truly don’t,” she begins to cry again when I meet her eyes.

Honestly, I already forgave her. It doesn’t matter anyway because after tonight I won’t... be here. Even thinking about it makes me feel lighter. Hopefully, this time works.

She shakes her head and gathers her things. “I’m just really, really sorry Riley.” She says sadly. “I wasn’t on my meds and I know that isn’t an excuse but I’m just-“ she sighs. “I’ll just go.”

And then she was gone. Just like that.

I shrug my jacket on and grab some money before going to the one hotspot in town. The market.

Once I get to the market I buy some goodies and go to the field. I roll three joints out of the amount I got and fix myself two lines and get out the one white pill the dealer gave me for free. I don’t know what it is but I’m glad he gave me it.

I take out the other two bags, the small bags containing crystals and the other bag... I’m not sure. I open the bottle of whiskey I have and take a mouthful, swallowing the pill.

Half an hour later I’m on cloud nine.

I’m not even fazed when it starts raining and the sun goes down. Or when the spider crawls over my legs and away from me back into the grass. All those bags are empty, I start to giggle at the thought of having all those chemicals in my body and for thinking I would ever have a happy life, my giggle turns into full belly laughter until I’m crying and I can’t breathe so I take a deep breath and down the rest of my whiskey. I’m so high that it doesn’t phase me when I hear two voices come through the bushes and stumble on me wheezing from laughter, tears coming from my eyes as I lay in my back, my wet clothes and body pointed at the sky.

I reach my hand up and touch the raindrops that fall, meeting me halfway, not aware of the sets of footsteps coming up to me and sitting down.

Taking a deep breath, I turn my head to my left and see Sydney looking at me with a sad smile on her face, I turn to my right and see Adonis’ normal, emotionless face staring back at me.

I look at them both again before laughing again, but this time I end up not being able to breathe and I start to scratch at my throat.

I can’t breathe.

Why can’t I breathe?

My nails sink into my neck and drag their way down to my collarbone as my face turns red. It’s okay, don’t worry, it’ll be over soon. My mothers’ voice says, I smile up at the sky at her voice as my body relaxes but I push away Sydney and Adonis when they try to help me. Please just let me go. Let me be with my mam. Please.

My hand claws at my arm and I smile through my breathless face when I feel the warmth crawl down my skin.

I feel puke coming up my throat so I let it come up, I cough and it sprays out of my mouth, down my cheek and I get rolled onto my side by strong hands.

Pushing them away, I crawl away from them in the rain, I set myself up on my hands and knees and heave up the rest of my puke, I stand up but fall back into my knees causing myself to giggle.

“Riley... you’re scaring me,” Sydney says softly.

Good.

Someone comes up to me and I push them away, I stand up, using my hands to help me as I grab onto the grass to stabilise me and I run to the backpack to grab the water bottle.

When they see it’s just water they relax but I smirk when the warm sensation makes its way down my throat from the vodka.

I down it quickly before they can realise what’s happening but I feel the bottle get slapped out my hands before I can finish it all. “Riley, stop!” Adonis orders.

“Are you fuckings stupid? Drinking a whole bottle of whiskey and some vodka? Loads of drugs... for what?” He starts.

“I never knew you were so fucking stupid.” He says when I don’t reply. I know. I fucking know.

My shoulders start to shake as I cry silently, my mind going crazy when I smile.

I swing the backpack over my shoulders and start to walk when I get swung around to face Sydney and she slaps me in the face.

I see how it is.

As I start to laugh in her face, I pull myself away from her without saying anything. When they try to run for me, I run faster and use the shortcuts I’ve memorised since I was a kid. I run al the way home with an empty backpack colliding against my back.

Pushing my front door open, I get pushed back, my head hits the floor and all I see is black.

Attempt #3 = Ruined.

*

After I started having the seizure I got rushed the hospital and had my stomach pumped. When I woke up, no one I knew was in my shared room, just the girl that was here because she broke her leg skateboarding and got a head injury.

“...so anyway, after I hit my head I just blacked out man... JC was laughing so hard when he tried waking me up...” I tune in and out of her rambling when I start thinking about when I can get out of here. I don’t want to be here, I want to go back to the market and try again.

I think she noticed I wasn’t listening when she trailed off and stared at me staring at the foot of my bed. “Yo, chica... I don’t care what you’re in here for but you’ve gotta speak to me. I have a feeling it’s a bit one-sided.”

When I turn to look at her she flinches back, no expecting my dark green eyes to be surrounded with red, not expecting my skin to be so pale, her eyes follow my arms like a hawk when they reach for my hair to pull it back behind my ears.

Her face falls when the realisation finally dawns on her for ‘why I’m in here’. “...you tried to kill yourself...” she says.

My eyes harden and I turned away from her. I can’t even do that. I can’t even succeed in killing myself.

I scoff and let my fingers trail the bandage that surrounds my torn up arm; when my finger pressed into the bandage I didn’t feel the pain for the medication the doctors have me on is too great.

My fingers begin to pull at the bandage so I can see my arm, I look at the stitches they’ve put in my arm and poke and pull at them in interest.

“Woah, chica! Don’t do that!” She says shocked, I look at her and see her eyes as wide as my gravestone should be. But isn’t.

I wave her away and cover my arm again when the doctor comes into our room. The brunette man picks up the clipboard from the foot of my bed and looks at it briefly. “Miss Jennings... how are you?” He clasps his hands in front of himself while holding the clipboard between his hands and himself.

I shrug.

“May I ask, why you don’t talk?” He says, pulling the clipboard up and looking through it, seeing if my medical record has anything to say. I shake my head no.

“Well, I need to know Miss Jennings, why don’t you talk?” I shrug, stopping him from flicking through the pieces of paper. “You don’t know?” I shrug.

“Have you ever gone through tests?” I nod and scrunch my eyebrows up when he begins to look around the room for something. “Ah,” he says, pulling out some paper from the clipboard and turns them around before handing me them.

He pulls the desk over my bed and places the paper on there and slides his pen beside them. Clasping his hands in front of himself again, he looks at me. “I want you to write everything you know down because there is no medical record for the absence of your voice.” He says patiently before coming to my side to watch me write.

I pick up the pen and began to write. ’I kept getting laryngitis as a kid because I-’ I stop writing when I feel hesitant at what do say. “It’s okay. You can tell me.” The doc says.

I clear my throat and move some hair from my face. ‘- kept getting into fights and injuring my neck.’ I cringe at the words. Fights with my father and fights with people my age are so different. ‘However, a little after that I got Dysarthria, so it caused me to be unable to speak normally.’ Fuck. I can’t believe I’m telling people this.

The doc is silent when I look up at him and before he can start speaking I turn back to the paper. ‘I also had selective mutism before that.’ Because my father made me so uncomfortable I couldn’t make myself speak.

“Can I ask why?”

Uh... ‘anxiety?’ I mentally facepalm when I wrote the question mark but what’s done is done. “Ah. I think it is in your best interest to go to voice therapy as it will help with your voice however, I think it is also in your best interest to go to normal therapy as well as that will also help with your SM.” He takes the pen from me and writes down two numbers.

I can’t afford this.

‘No.’ He furrows his eyebrows at the paper and looks back at me. “And why not?”

I then write down three-pound signs and he nods in understanding. “I get that Miss Jennings but I do think that it is in your best interest to-“ I cut him off as I begin writing again. ‘When can I leave.’

“You will stay overnight for observation and then you can leave tomorrow or possibly the day after but I honestly-“ I tune out as I lean back, cross my arms and my legs at my ankles and close my eyes.

I hear him sigh and I smirk to myself as he leaves after writing down what I told him. “Damn girl...” I hear my roommate say.

For fuck’s sake, what now?

I let my head fall to my right to look at the blonde and raise my eyebrows to act as a ‘what?’

“You’ve got attitude,” she says. I roll my eyes at her and shrug, turning my head back so I can try to get some sleep. The faster I get out of here the faster I can try again.

*

Okay so, after spending twenty-four hours with her, turns out my roommate isn’t that bad. “Yo! Look at his fucking shoulder! It looks like some dogs chew toy!” She launches herself backs at the bed and laughs hard as we laugh at this guy with a broken shoulder on a video she shows me off Instagram.

I snort and cover my face afterwards, making her laugh even more. ‘Nah, looks like Ken fell out of bed after getting it on with barbie...’ I then hump the air from my bed, making her laugh more, no more sound coming out, tears rolling down the side of her face as she motions with her hand to make me stop. I start to laugh when she makes a noise that sounds like a frog in distress which makes us laugh harder at her laugh.

The nurse who keeps checking on her and me walks in and stares at us both before slowly backing out and walking away. “BRO!” She shouts, pointing at the door before laughing again, making me laugh, both of us wiping tears and holding our stomachs from the pain.

Why are we laughing?

The nurse walks back in chuckling with some food for us. “Girls calm down, I cal here you at the end of the corridor!” She laughs, handing us the food.

After not eating for a day, I am so ready for this.

After my roommate, Skye takes a few breaths and calms down she turns to the nurse out of breath. “Cath, you know I don’t want this crap. I come here most of the time anyway, can I not just have the regular I pay you for?” She says, looking at me and winking.

Cath sighs and takes the food back. What?! No! “I’ll be back in ten minutes, you better actually pay me this time,” Cath says pointing at Skye and walks out. “Oh get Riley some chips and a coke!”

Coke?

“That’s my sister, I’m here 50% of the time, this is basically my room and you have been my favourite roommate so far.”

‘Why are you here most of the time?’

“The amount of time I fail doing tricks on my board is horrendous but I love it. I might as well have one of those cards? You know, get a stamp every time I come here and get my tenth stay free?” We both laugh.

I purposely let the fact this is free out of the exactions and hold my stomach that’s empty. I could go for some fries.

About twenty minutes later, Cath comes back with a McDonald’s bag in her arms and gently throws it at Skye. “Money’s in my jeans,” Skye says hastily pointing in the general direction of them before digging in the bag. She takes the paper of the burger and just about throws it in her mouth.

‘Damn girl,’ I quote her causing us both to laugh.

She throws me a cheeseburger, large fries and a large coke Cath placed on the tables while the burger hangs out her mouth and she speaks. “Wud juo ligh shum shaush?”

‘Sorry.. what?’ We both chuckle and she swallows what’s in her mouth, “would you like some sauce?” I nod and she holds up all the sauces she’s got, which is all of them.

I point at the sweet and sour and I nearly fall out of my bed to catch it. ‘Cheers big ears.’ She gasps. “My ears aren’t that big!”

‘Yeah okay, dumbo, whatever helps you sleep at night.’ I turn to her and slide the note, she reads it and I slide it back. ‘Which reminds me, you must not need a blanket huh?’ She looks at the paper and back to me confused, ‘you just wrap your big ears around yourself to keep you warm right?’ She reaches over to me and shoves me hard, making me laugh and some of my fries fall to the floor.

“I’m not happy with you Jennings...” she crosses her arms and tries not to smile. ‘You’re ecstatic right?’

“You’re so fucking annoying!” She says smiling. ‘Uh-huh.’ I leave it at that and continue to eat my food.

A few hours after we’ve finished, Cath comes and does the final checks and takes the rubbish for us, Skye moves her phone back to herself so she can find another film to watch off her firestick. ‘Hey, I’m gonna go to the toilet, put a decent film on this time, not a crap horror yeah?’

She rolls her eyes but nods nonetheless.

As I enter the bathroom; I turn on the tap, creating noise so no one can hear what I’m about to do; I neal down in the floor and push the toilet seat back against the toilet, my eyes stare at the toilet water as my lungs expand as I take a deep breath and I close my eyes. As my hand makes its way to my mouth, My eyes open and I shake my head, no. Not now.

My head moves to look at the ceiling as I take another deep breath as my eyes fill with tears. Why me?

I put the toilet seat back and move to the sink, splashing my face with water in an attempt to make myself wake up from this nightmare. Walking out with a fake smile on my face, I walk by Skye and point at the tv, silently asking what crap she’s put on this time. “Shawshank Redemption.” I show her my impressed facial expression and she smiles smugly back at me.

’Good choice... Dumbo.′ I slide the note over and brace myself for the light-hearted argument that’s about to take place.

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