Carla woke up to a dark room. Her shades were drawn hiding the peaking sun just beginning to rise and announce the new day. She blinked a little to get used to being awake before flipping on her back and resting her arms atop her cool covers. She stared up at her ceiling and was met with the sight of a neon green constellation.
Her father had put up glow in the dark stars for her when she was little since she’d been scared of the dark. She’d kept them after his death as a memory but since he wasn’t dead she clearly didn’t need them anymore.
Her usually bright green eyes that hid the darkness underneath were now fully open and letting everything hidden show. They were dark, sad and broken; exactly how Carla felt. Thinking over the events of the past two months she sighed in frustration. It had only been two months since Ridian had come into her life and so much shit was fucked up now, not all of it his fault but still.
She’d fallen in love then was courted by a completely different person and made more friends than she thought possible before doing some weird ass competition game and finding out the love was mutual. Then she partied on Halloween and had sex with that same person waking up the next day with a positive outlook on life. That was quickly ruined.
She fell in a goddamn frozen lake to wake up to the sight of her brother who she hadn’t seen in five years. Come to find out he left her because he couldn’t emotionally deal with a selfish lying father but she had to deal with an abusive mother. And her boyfriend of two days wanted to lie to her so she fell right back out of love. Carla didn’t think to hard about the truthfulness of that last statement and instead pushed back her covers sitting up.
It was now Thursday and she had to go to school. She almost hoped her mom was home and drunk off her ass so she could pretend to call in sick and stay home. Being a punching bag seemed like a better future then what awaited her at school. Too bad her mother had never come back home last night after giving her those pills. Sighing Carla slid off her queen sized canopy bed and onto her cream carpeted floor padding barefoot into the bathroom inside her room.
As she turned on the light and faced the mirror she was met with a horrid but unsurprising sight. Her cheeks were gaunt and hollowed looking while several bags layered thick and black underneath her eyes. Her lips were colorless, dry and chapped while her hair hung limply and lifeless around her shoulders. Her whole complexion overall was pale and her figure was too skinny to be considered healthy.
I’m gonna need a lot of makeup, she thought tiredly.
Half an hour later she was finished. She’d showered to wash her hair and give some blush to her skin from the heat as well as massage sore muscles. After wards Carla blow dried her hair so it flowed softly and airily around her face hiding some of the shallowness in her cheekbones and taking away from the haggard look.
One bottle of concealer later and her face was even, smooth and a beautiful caramel tone. A little bruiser and gloss helped give volume and color to her lips and she was done. She couldn’t bring herself to change the look of utter defeat that had settled in her eyes. She was too tired.
Exiting the bathroom Carla slowly walked over to her walk-in closet pulling out a pair of gray skinnies and some oversized dark green flannel and a white tee. She slid into a pair of black moccasins that were lined with soft white fur and topped it off with a matching black SnapBack that had the phrase “Yes, I Am That Awesome” scrawled across it in white lettering. Satisfied she grabbed her school bag from her desk chair and went downstairs to the kitchen.
Peering into the pantry and the fridge did nothing to spur Carla’s appetite so she contented herself with a cup of chamomile tea that warmed her up from the inside out. When she finished she threw on her coat and grabbed her car keys before heading out to her truck. Glancing up at her large house that was really one step away from a mansion, she pulled out the driveway and made her way to school.
Carla hated the radio believing all the music to be trash and preferring her own private list of indie and alternative rock bands so she busied herself with the scenery and thoughts of how to appear normal to Sam. She’d seen her the day before but that was before her beat down and she was too tired to put back on the fake smile she’d gotten so used to showing in the years past.
Before she knew it time had flew by and she was pulling into her usual spot in the school parking lot. A bright blue pick up truck was parked next to her and a familiar looking figure with dirty blonde hair was standing in front of the back. Carla parked and sat for a moment hesitant to leave the safety of her truck and face her brother but she knew he knew that she was there.
No matter, I’ll simply ignore him. I have no reason to deal with this shit so early in the day, Carla thought tiredly before swiftly exiting the car and walking in front of it before weaving in between the parked cars to avoid Danny.
“Carla!” Carla ignored the shout of her name and kept walking towards he school, picking up her pace. “Carla please wait, I just want to talk!” She stopped for moment just long enough to call back a reply.
“I have nothing to say to you,“. Before she carried on her way. A hand firmly grasped her sleeve halting her in her tracks. Slowly she turned her head down giving the hand a look of disgust before turning her glare onto her brother who immediately flinched his blue eyes wide in fear.
“Let go,” she spat out between gritted teeth. He immediately complied and shoved his hands into his pockets and hunched his shoulders. It was a gesture he’d always done when he was nervous and it made Carla’s heart twinge slightly with familiarity and sympathy but not enough to make her stay and hear him out. She began briskly walking again and this time Danny kept pace beside her, panting a little to keep up.
“Listen I’ve been thinking and I think it’s good you know. That’s not how I wanted to tell you but what’s done is done. I think we should talk about this I mean don’t you think you’re being to hard on me and Ridian?” At the mention of Ridian’s name Carla whipped her head in Danny’s direction with a look so lethal he quickly shut his mouth with a snap and stopped walking, hands up in defense. Carla continued on towards the school quickly making it to the doors.
Pausing with her door on the handle she cast a glance over her shoulder to see Danny staring sadly at the ground, his usually bright blue eyes were now just as dull and lifeless as Carla’s has been in the bathroom. There was such a forlorn look on his face that Carla faltered in her anger for a moment but then the memories came back and she shook it off marching straight into the school.
She was immediately ambushed by a peppy little ball of crazy; Sam. Carla sighed again, she’d been doing a lot of that today. As much as she had grown to genuinely like and love Sam as a friend she just couldn’t handle her energy level today. She needed quiet and darkness.
“Welcome back my little Ice Princess!” Sam yelled happily into her face a big warm grin on her face as she clutched her arms in either hand. “Tell the people how you feel,” She then held up a fake microphone which was just her hand as a fist. Carla gave her a faint smile before pushing Sam’s “microphone” away and peeling the other one off her arm which earned her a frown from Sam.
“What’s wrong? Are you still not feeling well?” Sam asked a concerned look on her face a hand already going to Carla’s forehead to check for a fever.
“Actually yeah,” Carla replied. “So just for today I’d just like to be alone. Don’t take it personal,” she added when Sam’s face fell. “You know I like quiet and such,” she winked playfully at Sam. “I can’t handle a Chatty Cathy and my headache now can I?” Sam didn’t bite and simply crossed her arms still frowning.
“Then why did you come to school? Shouldn’t you have stayed home? What did your mom say? Isn’t she a doctor? Let’s go to the nurse-“.
“Enough!” Carla cried loudly one hand to her head earning her some looks from passing students and teachers.
“Enough,” she repeated again more quietly. Sam looked shocked and hurt was evident in her eyes. Carla sighed at her facial expression before just turning and walking away deciding to deal with that situation later. She was happy when Sam didn’t follow her, unfortunately the bell rang signaling the start to another problem.
Carla was distracted all throughout chemistry by the burning gaze of Ridian who sat to her right. She’d stubbornly refused to look his way the whole period and somehow managed not to make any eye contact at all. When the bell rang again signaling the end of first period she rushed out the room having already packed up her things and almost made it to the library for study hall before a strong hand grasped her upper arm and whipped her around.
“Carla!” Ridian shouted. They were alone in the hallway, no students or teachers around as class had already started. She clutched her bags tighter to her chest and kept her gaze on the ground still not daring to make eye contact.
“Look at me,” Ridian demanded his stormy grey eyes raging and full of unexpressed emotion. “I know I did wrong but we need to talk about this. I care about you and I refuse to let what we have end over something so stupid,“. At that Carla’s lip lifted in a snarl but she still refused to look up.
“Won’t you just hear me out?” Ridian begged. When she refused to look him he gripped her chin firmly in his fingers and raised her head forcing her to look him in the eye. His gray eyes widened in shock at the look of utter despair in her large green eyes and he loosened his grip allowing her to rip free of his hold and step back.
“What happened to you?” He asked quietly. Infuriated at this Carla threw her bag to the ground and finally spoke.
“Bloody hell Ridian is that all you have to say to me? Are you fucking serious? You know what happened to me!” She yelled breathless and blazing with anger her cheeks were tomato red. Ridian shook his head slowly. He circled her inspecting her frame and her face with squinted eyes and feeling self conscious she hugged herself tight. “W-What are you looking at?” she asked, stuttering slightly.
“You’re so thin,” he muttered. “You look so tired,“. At this Carla have him a blank look before she broke down laughing. It was a full body laugh that left her clutching her stomach and snorting in between gasps of air. When she finally finished she gathered up her things off the floor.
“I am tired Ridian,” Carla said finally looking up at him with no hostility in her voice or her face.
“Of what?” He asked. His eyebrows were knit together in worry and concern as he stared at her. She gave him a long look before answering.
“Everything,“. Before she knew what was happening Ridian had wrapped her in his arms and was hugging her close.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered in her ear. “I was such a jackass, I’m so sorry please forgive me. I need you Carla,“. Something cool and wet slid down her cheek. A tear.
Carla pulled away and wiped it from her face in amazement. She hadn’t cried like this without being beaten in five years, the day she’d thought her father had died. Now that the first one had fallen the rest came pouring out the floodgates fully opened.
Her sadness was now something tangible and she relished in that fact to finally be able to wash it away and she sobbed heavily into Ridian’s sweater cursing her mother and screaming out for the injustice of it all, of her family. He was quite through it all rubbing her back soothingly, the arms around her never faltering in their protection. At last she fell silent, all the tears gone and she panted lightly now exhausted from her feat.
“I can’t believe I just did that,” she said quietly, more to herself than him. Ridian chuckled quietly tucking her hair behind her ears and wiping at her damp cheeks.
“I’m happy you did. Do you forgive me now?” He asked this seriously looking into her eyes. She smiles back.
“Of course, I was being a little stupid too. I was taking my fathers actions out on you,“. Ridian hugged her tight lifting her a little which made her squeal.
“God,” Carla said. “We are so sappy like some damn teen romance movie where they just kiss and makeup after every fight, how pathetic,“. She laughed a little but stopped when she saw Ridian’s mischievous look. “What?” She asked suspiciously.
“We made up buuuuut,” he pulled Carla in close so that they were chest to chest. “We’ve done no kissing yet,“. Carla giggled wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Well my yes that is a problem. However shall we fix it?” She questioned tilting her head playfully to one side with a raised eyebrow.
“I’ve got an idea for a solution,“. Ridian muttered huskily as his eyes zeroed in on her lips and he began to bend his head towards hers when someone called out Carla’s name.
“Carla!“. The call was short, shrill and dreadfully familiar. Carla’s blood ran cold and she tensed up as she slowly turned around ignoring Ridian’s look of confusion. Her worst fears were confirmed when she was met with a horrible sight and her eyes widened in fright just as her breath caught in her throat making her heart beat wildly.
“Mom?” She whispered.