DEAR BULLY, DEAR VICTIM

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ALEX

Dear Chloe,

I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m worried about you.

You seem even thinner.

Why aren’t you eating? I’m not sending anymore suppressants.

So today I decided to confront you after school.

I told the guys to leave before me.

As soon as the bell rang, I followed you to catch up. I was surprised to see that you went to the place where we usually beat you up. I was horrified.

As if you felt my presence you turned around.

“Where are the appetite suppressants?” you asked.

“Chloe, you’re really skinny now. You need to eat.”

“NO!”Your voice was firm and loud, “I weigh 69 pounds.”

And that is so not normal.

Before you could say anything else, you fainted. I panicked and took you to the hospital near the school. My father’s friend works there and he immediately had you admitted without any paperwork. Honestly, Chloe, never in my life had I panicked so much. Never before in my life have I been so nervous for someone. And there was a feeling that stirred in me that had never been there before.

When the doctor came out, he gave me an approving smile. And I assure you, there was nothing that provided me more relief than those words that came out of his mouth.

“She’s gonna be fine. She can go home.”

I walked into the room. And for the first time I saw you in my whole life, properly.

And without the hoodie.

I beheld how beautiful you were.

Like a star that has come down to earth. Your pale face, your smooth brown hair with streaks of hazel in them was all too pretty to behold. Too pretty to be true.

But it was tarnished, bruised.

You never took off your hoodie, so we punched through it.

There were bandages on your head. Your arms were bandaged as well. Your ribs were so much visible. And a pang of guilt washed through me as I saw it.

Sometime later, the guys arrived. You were still unconscious.

And when they saw you, they almost gasped. And it’s almost impossible to surprise them.

“Damn....... she’s so beautiful.” Ryan remarked.

“You’re in no place to say that.” Justin pointed out.

‘Neither are you.’

“Guys” Noah snapped, “Stop talking about her beauty. Look at her. Clearly we have pushed her to the edge. Do you know how many times she’s coughed out blood? You can see her bones through her clothes. And the cuts and bruises? Brutal, I would say. I’m surprised she’s still alive.”

“I wasn’t planning to”

We all turned to see you staring at us. Disgust, fear, anger and various mixed emotions were there in your eyes. And the sentence you had just said, struck a chord in my heart and a pang of pain shot through it.

“Chloe we never knew.” Noah tried to explain.

You let out a bitter laugh.

“Didn’t know what, Noah? Didn’t know what? That it doesn’t hurt when hit by steel rods? That it doesn’t hurt when you hear obscene rumours about yourself that even you guys know that aren’t true? And you know what Alex? I KNOW I’M A MISTAKE! MY MOTHER LEFT US AS SOON AS WE WERE BORN! SHE TOOK AWAY MY TWIN BROTHER AND LEFT US FOREVER! My dad barely sees me all year and my friends are zero. It hurts. It hurts very much down to the bone.”

“We’re sorry”

You chuckled again.

“Sorry. It’s so easy for you to say, isn’t it? You break my bones and then say sorry? Too late. Seven years too late, you guys are. And what’s funnier is that you guys expect me to forgive you. Get out. I’m not gonna forget it. Are you happy, Alex? You have succeeded to break me down in every possible way – physically, mentally and emotionally. And please get out. I need to go.”

And you walked to the bathroom to change, where I had kept your clothes. Before leaving, you stopped short at the door and said

“I wonder why I ever loved you, Alex Storm.”

..And left.

All of the guys left one by one. I was the one to leave last. But as I was going home, your words kept replaying in my head.

Love.

Why did you love me, Chloe?

When I hurt you so much? Why, Chloe, why?

Love,

ALEX.

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