*TRIGGER WARNING* Self-harm (nothing graphic)
9 years ago...
“Well, well, well, look what we have here! Little Ava, fat and ugly as normal” I recognised the voice before I even looked at who it was. My tormentor. I was sat in the most out of the way corner of the schools field as was possible.
It was lunchtime and there were a few students milling around, giggling, joking and gossiping amongst themselves. Clearly, my attempt at hiding from them wasn’t successful. How did they always manage to find me?
“On your own again I see! Do you even have any friends?” he snickered. I turned my head to look at him, not saying a word.
My tormentor was gorgeous, to say the least. His eyes were the most delightful shade of hazel ever to exist. It was like looking into a pool of honey and, like every other girl in our school, I was captivated whenever I looked into them. His hair was a perfectly styled tousled mess of medium brown. That was just the start to this boys’ gorgeousness. Even at 14, he was already starting to develop into a handsome, masculine man. But, as my tormentor, it was completely wrong of me to be attracted to him, let alone have a crush on him.
“Well? It’s rude to ignore people when they’re talking to you you know” He had stopped just in front of me, his arms crossed in front of his chest, one eyebrow raised telling me he was waiting for a response. His cronies were scattered around him, preventing me from running away. There were a couple of laughs when he said this, and I just bowed my head down, to continue reading my book.
Suddenly, I felt a hard grip on my chin as he forced me to look up into his eyes. He had crouched down, balancing on the balls of his feet. I found myself looking into what once were an ocean of buttery meltiness, but now were replaced with a much darker shade that I had seen only a handful of times, filled with pure hatred. He was pissed at me. Big time.
“Cat got your tongue? Seriously Ava, you truly are such a sight for sore eyes. You should just leave, the world would look so much better and less ugly with you not in it” I could feel the tears sting in my eyes as I tried to stop them from making an appearance, but it was futile.
This was a daily occurrence and every day I was losing the will to live. Every day I was told how I didn’t belong here, how the world would be better without me in it and truthfully, I was beginning to agree. I was constantly ridiculed and reminded of how ugly I am, that I was a lowlife and scum.
He pushed my head back as he let go of me with a sneer and took a step back, allowing for someone else to step forward. Through tear filled eyes, I looked up to see his second in command, Victoria striding towards me. This girl was a goddess. Beautiful in every way imaginable. All the boys wanted to get with her, and all the girls wanted to be her. She had hit puberty early and was blessed with a big chest and a tall, slim figure. Her hair had been styled into 2 French braids with a few strands of hair framing her angelic face. She was towering over me, hands on her hips, with her shadow casting over me.
“Who knew you could get uglier?! You look even more gross and hideous when you cry. I don’t even know why you bother hiding from us, you know we will always find you” she laughed sharply. She snatched the book out of my hands and started ripping the pages out of it.
“Stop! That’s my favourite book!” I screamed at her, reaching my hand forward in an attempt to grab it back. The book was a gift from my grandmother who had recently passed away. Not only was it my favourite book, but it had been hers too. I began to scramble and pick up the pages that had floated to the ground. All I could hear were the laughter of my tormentor and his cronies, and I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.
Victoria threw whatever was left of the book at me. It bounced off of my head, which only made everyone roar even harder with laughter.
“Oh shit Vic, that was a good shot!”
“I hope the book’s okay!”
“Maybe it knocked some sense into her?”
The snarky comments kept coming. I grabbed the book and my bag, throwing it over my shoulder and sprinted away like my life depended on it. I could still hear them laughing when I reached the other side of the field. At least they hadn’t followed me. I couldn’t be near them anymore. I couldn’t be here anymore.
I made the quick decision that I was going to just bunk the rest of the day and go home. I left the school through the back gate of the school – I was not going to risk being caught going out of the front.
It only took me 20 minutes to get home. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face as I walked home. I got a few strange looks from passer-by’s but no one stopped me to see if I was okay. I mean, a young 14 year old girl, walking the streets alone in tears during a school day should’ve seemed odd to anyone who saw me. The fact that I wasn’t stopped made me feel even more insignificant and that truly no one cared for me.
Thankfully, mum wasn’t home; she was probably out shopping at this time. I dumped my school bag by the door and dashed up the stairs, taking them 3 at a time – a great feat for me and my little legs. I went into the bathroom and began running a bath.
I stripped and made my way over to the sink and just stared at myself in the mirror, my thoughts and mind going a mile a minute. Was I really as ugly as people said I was? Mum and my grandparents had always said I was beautiful. They were forever showering me with compliments, but it seemed meaningless now. I had naturally blonde hair that flowed all the way down to my waist. My eyes were the lightest shade of blue I have ever seen, with a unique brown fleck in the right one. I wore wide rimmed glasses that had a leopard print design. My skin wasn’t the clearest, but then again, what 14-year old’s was?
The longer I looked at myself in the mirror, the more faults I found. No. They were right. I am ugly. My phone beeped in my pocket and I pulled it out and looked.
“Run away like the scaredy-cat bitch you are have you? Oh well, we’ve always got tomorrow to continue where we left off. I look forward to making your face look even uglier than it already is”
“Hey fatty! All that running you did won’t make you lose the weight any faster you know”
“Hey Ava? I looked up “fugly” in the dictionary and your picture was next to it”
This wasn’t the first time I had text messages from my tormentor and his friends. But this time, I had been pushed to the edge. I was at the end of my tether.
I turned the tap on the bath off and took out a brand new razor from the cabinet under the sink. I slid into the bath and submerged my head under the steaming water. The water was hot, burning almost, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t feel. I was numb at this point. I resurfaced and looked at the razor in my hand. I took the blade out and dropped the shell of plastic to the floor, before placing the blade along my wrist. I knew what I was doing. I knew how to do it properly. This wasn’t my first rodeo and I had learned from my previous mistakes. This time, I won’t wake to see another day.
I am ugly... I don’t deserve to be here... The world would be better without me in it... Everyone would be happier without me... No-one would miss me; I don’t even have any friends... I’m all alone...
These thoughts whirred through my mind as I carved vertically down my wrist. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back against the back of the bath, resting my arms palm-up on the edge of the bath. Feeling the blood trickle down my arm before quietly dripping into the bath water, I willed for the darkness to engulf me.
I woke up to distant sounds of beeps and someone crying.