When did the hatred for myself start?
What is the extent of it?
I don’t know the real answer to those questions, but I can tell you the first moment that I realized I didn’t think very highly of myself.
In middle school after those three bitches broke my hearing aids, I started having dark thoughts.
“Everyone hates me.”
“I hate everyone.”
“I just want to lock myself in my room, and never come out again.”
“Things will never get better.”
“Maybe if I wasn’t so stupid and ugly they’d like me better.”
“If I were them I’d hate me too.”
“I can’t do anything right”
“I just want to go to sleep and never wake up”
“Maybe everything would be better off if I was dead”
The thoughts just piled up in my head until they had become too much for me to handle. It’s like I actually started to believe in it to the point that the anxiety, loneliness, and hatred consumed me.
I felt anger and loathing not only towards other people, but mostly towards myself.
The more I thought negatively. the more it become natural.
I didn’t want to be around those people. I didn’t want friends. I didn’t trust anyone. More importantly, I didn’t trust myself.
I didn’t want to be a doormat.
I didn’t want to be taken for granted.
I allowed it to happen too many times before I finally broke down, and removed myself from any possibility of being taken for granted again.
I forced myself to become anti-social.
I had purposely isolated myself before anyone could outcast me.
I was alone because I feared being left alone so much to the point that I pushed away even the few people who were nice to me.
I combated the fear of being left on my own by making sure I really was alone. It was all I knew how to do.
The one thing in common with all of this is, I.
I did this all to myself.
Now I have to figure out how I undo my self made damage.
How do I fix this?
How do I change for the better?
I’m still figuring it out...
It’s been three days since Skyler had said that he’d wait for me.
A smile is plastered on my face as I get ready for school in the morning. I;m quick to pull my hair back into a small messy bun, apply a little bit of make up, and get dressed in a pair of black shorts and a purple t-shirt I had gotten for $3 during a sale. Across the front of the shirt in golden scrawled looking letters it reads, “I solemnly swear, that I am up to no good.” I then put on my gray and white hightops before grabbing my school bag.
When I exit the front door of my apartment, my smile widens automatically as I see Skyler’s truck parked in the space closest to my apartment.
When school had started on Monday, Skyler had started picking me up before school.
“Morning.” He signed with a smile as I slide into the passenger seat.
I take in the sight of him. Good ole’ Skyler with his dirty blonde hair that covers his ears, swooping across his forehead just above his eyebrows, and his beautiful blue eyes that seemed to sparkle every time he looks at me. He;s as handsome as always wearing a blue t-shirt, a pair of tan cargo shorts, and his best smile.
“Good morning, Skyler.” I sign back.
After that he switches into focused driving mode, driving us carefully to school.
The first half of the day goes by as typical. I’m either avoided or harassed. I just make a point of turning away from my harassers, so I can’t see their lips as they speak whatever nonsense they want. If I can’t see it, then I won’t know. If I don’t know, then it can’t bother me. It’s as simple as that.
By the time lunch has come I’m already so over today. I’m ready for it to be done with. A few more hours, I tell myself, just a few more hours.
I meet Skyler behind the science building. He has two sodas from the vending machine in both hands as he sits down on the ground. I join him on the ground.
“How’s your day going?” I ask, wishing that we had classes together. We don’t, but at least we can still see each other in between or after school. That thought comforts me the most.
Skyler shrugs as he handed me a can of cola. “So-so. It’d be better if I had you in at least one class.” He gestures, mimicking my previous thoughts. “What about you?” He then asks.
“Same.” I gesture back with a sigh.
We sit there for a while, just basking in each others company and drinking the sodas he bought for us. It’s comfortable just sitting next to him. We don’t even need to communicate with lips or gestures. Just a few glances or smiles, and the heat that radiates every so often when our shoulders touche, is enough for me. In a world were words mean so little, body language is what matters the most.
The body language between us has enough sparks to start a forest fire.
It is peaceful for several minutes. That is of course until they showed up.
The three of them stood there with their long matching manicured claws, perfectly styled hair, and runway worthy outfits.
The three bitches.
Great. Just what I need to dull my spark setting moment with Skyler.
Paisley’s eyes glare daggers at me. It is apparent that she is still pissed about the whole incident with Demetri.
She likes him. She really did like him. It was apparent to anyone who saw the way she threw herself at him. Demetri entertained her crush, but had never been interested in her. No matter what she did or how hard she tried he just wasn’t into her. That should have been a blessing considering what type of scumbag Demetri turned out to be.
Still, Paisley blames me.
“You played with his feelings.”
“You’re a whore who was cheating on him.”
“You must have provoked him to beat on Skyler and hit you.”
“You’re a liar who blamed him so you wouldn’t get in trouble.”
“You ruined him, because that’s what you do. You ruin everything you touch.”
No matter what she says or why she says it, it is all the same. You. You. You. It was all about me as if I’m the antagonist and Demetri the victim.
Things between Demetri and I are over. We are done with. It is all in the past. He’s gone, and I’m still here. It never ends though, because no matter what the truth is there will always be someone who makes up their own deluded truths to hide from the facts. It is never truly over no matter how much I want it to be.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Her mouth curls into an ugly scowl as her lips move.
I roll my eyes. What am I doing? What does it look like I’m doing? Building a fucking sand castle?
“Drinking soda.” I reply as I give her a sharp look.
Morgan and Nancy both give me deadly looks from either side of Paisley. Paisley’s high heeled feet stomped up towards where we sit.
“It’s been a little over a few weeks and here you are sitting here with a different guy, acting all merry. How do you live with yourself you deaf bitch?” Her lips are like a knife, jabbing me with sharp words full of hatred.
I glare back at all three of them.
Am I on trial or something? Am I supposed to act a certain way? Do they seriously think I’d be upset and sad that Demetri went away to boarding school or that I have a restraining order against him? Are they that daft that they think that I wouln’t continue on without him?
I stand up, getting right in her face. I’m trying to be a better person, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to let this bitch treat me like this any longer. “Listen here, I can do whatever I want with whoever I want. You have no say in it. Who do you think you are to tell me how I should her shouldn’t act? If you want Demetri so bad then why don’t you fuck off and stalk his violent ass to boarding school? You guys are perfect for each other anyhow. He’s a dick and you’re a cu-”
Paisley’s eyes narrow harshly as she reaches out to grab my arm, digging her long claws into my skin. I refuse to flinch as she seethes. “You want to say that again you dumb whore?” Her lips move fast. She says something else after that, but I can’t quite catch it. Not that it matters either way.
I stomp on her open toed heels. She let’s go of my arm quickly, her mouth moving into an “O” shape as she grabs at her foot.
Morgan and Nancy lunge towards me as does Paisley after she quickly recovers from pain in her foot.
I brace myself expecting a three against one fight.
That fight never happens.
Skyler is up quickly, stepping in between them and me.
I see his head move, knowing that he must have been saying something to them. I don’t know what he says or what happens, but only a few minutes pass before he sits back down. Paisley, who’s face is red with anger, glares at both of us before stomping off. Her two lackeys follow behind her, glaring over their shoulders at us.
I am stunned with how easily he has resolved the situation. I sit down next to him glad that I don’t have to suffer through an ass kicking by three dirty fighting bitches. Thank goodness for Skyler.
Still, I’m curious as to what he had said to them. I turn towards him. “What just happened?” I question with a raised eyebrow.
Skyler shakes his head as he moves his hands to answer. “I told them that if they come near you again my lawyers will be in contact with their lawyers about filing harassment and slander charges, and if they didn’t want that to happen then they all better get their high maintenance asses out of my sight. It was a bullshit lie, but I think it worked for now.” He shows off an evil smile.
God, he’s perfect.
Besides the interruption the rest of lunch goes well.
I skip gym like usual, so I could stair clear of the three bitches, just in case they figured out what a bluff Skyler’s warning was.
Skyler actually goes to class so I just hang out near the art building. Once last period come, I’m the first one in the room.
My project is due today, but my inspiration for it is still low.
I have to think of something and execute it quickly, because at the end of the period I need to hand it in or else I’ll be taking a zero.
I sit and think for fifteen minutes, constantly axing any idea I have.
My phone vibrates in my pocket. I reach to take it out, glancing at it quickly. A text message from Skyler.
“I’m skipping this period and going somewhere, but I’ll be back to pick you up. See you then, beautiful.” The message reads. I smile before slipping by phone back into my pocket.
I sit there for a second more before I remember when Skyler and I did arts and crafts at his house, and the portrait he had drawn of me. At that moment thinking about Skyler, all the times he had saved me, and just how much he’s made me see myself in a different light in only a short period of time, has lit a light bulb in my head.
I know what I’m going to do, but I have to be quick about it.
I sketch my idea in light pencil markings onto a black sheet of construction paper, taking up half of what time I have left.
Then after that I use three different shades of blue pastels to go over the thin pencil markings.
I finish right as the class ends. Mr T walks around collecting projects. When he gets to me the look on his face tells me that he’s just as impressed at I am.
“Well done.” His mouth form the words.
He lets me admire my work for a moment longer.
My eyes take in the picture made of dashes and lines that formed shape. One shape is a girl-me- surrounded by things associated with noise like alarm clocks, birds, sound waves, musical notes, bells, chimes, and so on. Then there is a figure of a boy- Skyler- surrounded by light and reaching his hand out to the girl.
At the top of the paper I titled it “Salvation”.
Skyler is waiting for me in the parking lot. I climb into his truck, instantly seeing the shiny silver gift bag on the floor by my feet.
“What’s this?” I ask, as I’m careful not to kick it with my feet.
“It’s for you.” He signs quickly. “Don’t open it yet though. I’ll tell you when.” He adds.
I buckle my seat belt before he takes off out of the parking lot.
We drive until we reach the beach, the same one we had gone to the first day we had met each other. Skyler parks in a space before getting out. He goes around the truck and opens the door for me, grabbing the bag off the floor in front of me.
He holds out his free hand to me.
I take it with out any hesitation..
He then helps me out of the truck, closes the door, and leads me down the sandy path. We sit in the sand like we had the day I almost drowned.
Skyler places the bag before me.
“You didn’t have to get me anything.” I tell him with a shake of my head.
He smiles as he nudges it towards me more. “I did. Open it.” He gestures.
I grab the gift bag, pushing the tissue paper aside. I then reached inside to see a box. I looked up at him with wide eyes. What is in here? Jewelry? Can I even accept whatever this is? It isn’t like we’re together as anything more then friends- though that word still makes me feel unsettled. He said he’s waiting for me to be able to fully respond to his feelings.
“Go on.” He mouths with a nod.
I open the lid to the box. Inside sit too clear cased hearing aids with a little seashell charm that hang down the side each one, making them look almost as is they are earrings rather than hearing aids.
“Before you say something- I know you say you don’t like hearing aids, but I also know about the bullying and the broken hearing aids from what you told me. I figured this is a new start. I used a lot of my money that I had saved up for this. I think this will help you. It might not be perfect, but I think if you could hear sounds just a little clearer it would make you feel better about yourself. Just try them. Please.” He mouths as his hands moved to convey his words.
I feel both overwhelmed and moved by this gesture. Still I wondered if I can really accept this?
Will they work? Will it really help? Those two questions race through my head.
He takes the box from me before fishing the hearing aids out. I push back the loose strands of hair as he fits them perfectly to my ears. He then turns them on.
I hold my breath for what seems like only a moment as my ears adjusted to the change of having a mini speaker and amplifier in them.
First I heard nothing but buzzing and ringing, but after a few minutes the buzzing and ringing ceases. Instead something else fills my ears.
For the first time in a long time I hear the sound of the waves as they crashed against the shore.