It has been said, “Time heals all wounds.”
I do not agree.
The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
Covers them with scar tissues, and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone.
“Scarlet, wake up!”
“Miss Winters! Get up!”
A strong pain shot up my arm as my eyes flew open and I realized my cousin had poked me with his pencil and was now giving me a smug look. How typical of him, yeah? I snorted, mentally as I felt myself being transported from Dreamland to my class, all thanks to my brother and his ways.
I let out a frustrated sigh, which was audible even to my teacher, who was a good four benches away from me. I guess, today just isn’t my day. For once, I really thought I had slept peacefully and had been transported to another life, for real. But then, my luck won’t be that good now, would it? A screw up is always in the corner of every peaceful moment.
“Good Morning, you worthless little-”
“That’s enough, Adrian.” Mr Jones Clarkson, our Math teacher, instructed my brother with a cold look in his eyes and a serious cough. “Miss Winters, please start paying attention in your classes.” He smiled my way as he continued his lecture. Mr Clarkson and all the other teachers here had always been good to me because-uh-I am so good in studies and needy stuff like that. But their eyes hold an emotion which I despise the most.
I don’t want sympathy from them. Never did. Ever since-
“Scarlet. Does your arm hurt?” My brother, Adrian asked stressing on the hurt, with a smug expression which I wanted to wipe out of his face with my good hand. His eyes were gleaming with humor and the pain in my arm became more and more painful as he smirked his way through the entire class, sparring me pity looking glances once or twice, when the teacher diverted his attention from the class. As I placed my finger on it gently, blood started to run through my tips, turning them red, little drop by drop. I hadn’t realized that he had poked me so bad, but then, why won’t he? He’s Adrian Winters and, me?
I am just Scarlet.
Even before touching my arm, I should have known what waited for me. Of course, my teacher wasn’t looking when Adrian basically stabbed me with that wretched pencil of his. His pencil poking was always better than his other tricks, always the better one and least painful, to be honest. For a second I was glad it was just a little pencil and not a hammer. I won’t be surprised if it was the other one, anyway but he needs to maintain the decorum of this lovely class, right?
Kidding. He just needs to hurt me enough to make me feel pain and not send me to the hospital. If that happens, his mum won’t leave him without a punishment. And this sneaky bastard loves, (not) a punishment.
No punisher liked to be punished.
Words of wisdom, right up there. Take a screenshot, it’ll last longer.
“No, Adrian.” I groaned to myself but unluckily he had heard me, making me gulp as reflex. I froze as his eyes became angrier as every second of the class passed. We both knew what was coming next; good for him, bad for me.
The bell rang after a few minutes and Mr Clarkson began to conclude the lecture while picking his books up and as he proceeded to move out, my eyes began to tear up because dammit, the pain in my arm was too much to bear by now even though I had been through worse with Adrian. It was just a stinging feeling which refused to stop. I could take a hammer and be thankful, because that was just a all-around-the-arm kind of pain, not this little stingy one, which doesn’t let you concentrate on the whole world.
You could say it was one of the those rare moments when no matter how boring the class or the subject is, you don’t want it to end because something terrible awaits you after it. No matter how much you try to push the time ahead, it moves ten times faster in these situations. Mr. Clarkson was soon out of the class, along with almost every other student. I knew better, I didn’t have to leave before Adrian or else the consequences would only worsen. I could run, but then it wasn’t the right time to do anything right now, but sit.
“Scarlet.” I winced in pain as he pressed the fresh wound and twisted my arm, first lightly as if he was hesitating and then strongly. I don’t know why but ever since I had known Adrian, and he had begun this torture on me, he was always a little hesitant, one of the reasons why I haven’t killed him, yet. There is always something in the back of his eyes which I can’t place. A hesitant vibe comes from him as he always starts with being slow and cautious. But that could be because he wants to enjoy it slowly, too. Maybe I think too much. There is nothing Adrian would be hesitant about. The love he once had for me, as a sibling is long lost, even though a part of me sees the old Adrian in those green eyes.
“Perhaps, this will teach you not to back talk like the little spoilt brat you are.” He spit, pulling me to his rock hard chest. I let out a small whimper as he threw me on the floor after staring down at me with pure hatred for a few seconds. His eyes burned into mine for good few minutes until I knew it was my turn to apologize, like always.
“I-i am sorry, Adrian.” I whispered slowly, keeping my head down in submission. He always won these arguments because there was no opposition from my side. There never would be.
Arguments? More like, his way of taking frustration out.
“You better be, Scary.” I looked up to see Rihanna and Ryder Hunt standing above me. Rihanna is my brother’s girlfriend who always seemed to hate me ever since I came to live with my aunt. Her nickname for me, which is pronounced like, Scar-y is the only name she has always referred to me as ever since she laughed menacingly when Adrian had told her my name for the first time.
Rihanna and Ryder are twins and my brother’s closest friends in their elite group of other friends or as I call, little devils association (L. T. A) Which contain of people as bitchy and pricy as them, but let’s not look at Stacy, Drew and the others for a while? These three are already cringe worthy enough. Rihanna and Adrian have been what you can call; make out buddies ever since Ryder and Adrian became friends in elementary school after a football game in a park near our house.
Ryder has dark brown hair, bright green eyes which compliment to his bad boy image and his cold attitude, perfectly. I envy his eyes sometimes because of the spark they hold. Mine are green as well, but dull, never like the static ones he has. His eyes are the most captivating feature, because of the blueish tinge that they behold. To almost every girl of this school, he is the typical bad boy on a motorbike which looks like a monster to me, when he pairs it with a leather jacket, tight enough to hug his every muscle but to me, Ryder is a mystery. He is a closed book that I won’t dare open because of the dangers which lay inside.
Rihanna, on the other hand, has the perfectly straight blonde hair and bright blue eyes, typical for a slut like her, mind the language but I just speak the words that have been spoken in the corridors of this school, for her. I don’t even know why Adrian is dating her as she has slept with almost every other guy in this school and she isn’t even sixteen yet! No matter what happens, he always stands in the end, eyeing Rihanna as she bullies me. This has been the same ever since so many years. I am never fought for, only fought with. “Come on! Stop swooning over my brother! Haven’t you had enough of checking out my boyfriend?!” She believes I am in love with Adrian. Why in the name of the sweet Devil would I ever love the boy, whose related to me by blood, please note?
But no, she never heard me when I tried to reason with her. She just wanted a reason to humiliate me and Adrian gave her that. He accepted that I, Scarlet Winters, his cousin and his own blood stalk him around our place.
That is the sole reason why no one ever wants to be with me in this school, or otherwise. They are scared of my very existence because I am on the lowest ladder of school food chain. I am eaten, chewed and thrown because that’s the only way to please my brother and his friends, who everyone wants to, do. From the past year, people have got bored of bullying me because I learned a way to ignore them or simply not give an ear to their appalling insults no matter how much they terrified me. I am simply swallowed in the walls of the school corridors, until and unless Rihanna doesn’t pull a stunt in the middle of the crowd which is rare as teachers do care about my safety. I am not one of the nerds, even though my grades are perfect and I dress up like one in baggy sweatshirts and sweatpants, because the last time I wore a skirt, Rihanna tore it in front of all the girls in the locker room, pretty generous of her to do it in front of girls and not in the middle of the school, which I know she’s capable of doing. I am not one of the popular ones, I never was. Adrian made sure of that, Rihanna helping him with it always.
None of the social groups ever wanted to accept me. I remember being the happy-go-easy kid who would talk to anyone, but, no. Ten years with Adrian and Rihanna were enough to make me the shy lonely girl I never wanted to be and break every part of me, piece by piece as they laughed at my crumbles. It scares me to know that someone would ever treat anyone worse than this. It scares me because I know I’m not the only one and that there are people who go through worse than me. I don’t see a worse, but I know there is a more astounding stories of teenagers. I felt myself being pulled up, just to be thrown on the benches again by Adrian. My whole right side winced in pain and I had no idea what I would do after this. It pained so much that I could barely move it. But don’t worry, every single day of my life passes like this.
You’re just experiencing the better one.
“Goodbye, you little brat. Go home now and make sure I have a good snack by the time I come.” He spat before leaving as if I was his maid. I whimpered, trying to pick myself up, only hurting my right side more. Somehow, I managed to pick my black satchel bag up and get on my feet, shaking the pain off.
I looked up through my tears to see Ryder still standing there.
He always did this.
He always stood in the corner with an emotionless expression on his face, seeing me get up and fall back again. He never taunted me like his twin sister. He never punched me like my cousin brother. He always stood there, with no emotions and no words. He eyed me as I stumbled beside him while crossing him, not bothering to pick me up. Somehow, I crossed him, keeping my head high even though I kept on stumbling through the corridor. There were a few people in the corridor but they chose not to come near me as I left. Some of them passed comments but never turned around to give me another glance. They knew not to.
My brother, Adrian is the school’s star football player, so having Rihanna as his girlfriend was the most obvious thing he would do. His best friend, Ryder is the school’s bad boy, so Adrian is popular in every social group.
“Scarlet.” I turned back to face Ryder who stood behind me. I was on the edge of the twenty step staircase, debating whether I wanted to risk this or not when his gruff voice called out to me.
“What?” We don’t speak much. Hell, we never do except him asking me where Adrian is or whether he’s at home.
“You’ll need help.” He said. His eyes held no emotions as he pulled me from my waist, trying to pick me up but I placed my hands on his chest and pushed him lightly, blushing a little at our closeness before realization hit me. No other guy had even tried to hug me, let one touch my waist. He looked at me with a mixture of anger and confusion as he stepped back.
“I don’t need y-your help.” I whispered and started climbing down the stairs on my own. To be honest, I could have used his help but no, I didn’t need it. He would probably make me fall on purpose. I was much stronger than what they had expected me to be. I reached the last step with a smug look on my face but when I turned back, Ryder was nowhere to be seen. I sighed, not caring about it and walked to my car. I had gifted it to myself, even though a part of me wanted to save the money my parents had left me. But no, I was allowed to waste a little money on myself and not bug Lucy for it. After all, there were still a million or some more left in my account, always making me wonder how they got all this money.
Aunt Lucy, Adrian’s mother and my late father’s sister owns a few fashion stores around the country. She mainly works for celebrities so she’s always travelling with them. She has been good to me, keeping her distance from my personal matters and putting two hundred dollars in my account every month to show the authorities that I am not being forced to use my own money. No, she’s not a motherly figure to me. She could have been one of she had stuck around but, I realize how much work is important for her.
Oh, you wish she was always here.
Yes, I do. I am selfish that way. I want her to be here with me because when she’s here, all this bullying and abuse stops for those days. Adrian acts like a good brother, not a Meany. He doesn’t even put snide comments towards me and Rihanna acts like my best friend, dressing like a doll not a slut. I am supposed to go along with that act or else nothing would stop Adrian from his punching me within minutes of my aunt’s departure. “Keep it calm, Scar.” I mumbled to myself as my new car roar to life.
New car, yeah. Did I forget to tell you that my birthday is today and that my brother was really generous with me today? I pulled out of the parking lot, knowing Adrian had checked me out of school already. He always did that.
Ring... Ring... Ring...
I glanced at my car’s screen. My aunt was calling on my phone which was connected to the car. I picked it up, before mending my voice to not show Lucy how hurt I was. “Hello, Aunt Lucy.”
“Oh good evening to you, Darling.” I figured out wherever she was it was evening there.
“How are you and-”
“I got a message that you left school early. Are you okay, dear?” She asked, concerned. A small smile spread over my face as I felt her being concerned for me. She did sound concerned over every phone call that she would make to me which was at least thrice a week. I don’t miss her, but it’s good to know that someone would waste their time to call you among all the work they are burdened with.
“Oh, I am, Lucy. I just have.. Girl problem you know. PMSing on a bad time.” I chuckled nervously.
“First day of sophomore year and this happens. Poor Scarlet. Take care of yourself, please.” She whispered as I imagined her shaking her head slowly.
“I will do. Thank you.” Does she even remember that it’s my birthday today?
“You’re welcome, Scarlet. Please send my love to Adrian; I’ll surely give him a call tonight.” She replied, switching to her business tone.
“I’ll let him know.” And with that, I cut the call and pulled into our garage. My aunt is loaded, to be honest. Her house is beautifully made in white color with three floors and as many glass windows a house can have. It faces the ocean, showing the ships as they pass by with only a small road separating us from the beach. Behind the house, there are a few trees after which lay a little park and other houses. The house isn’t in the middle of the town, but we aren’t very distant from the main town and school as well. Plus, my aunt wanted a beach house a little distant from the town to avoid the chaotic city life. I am so glad she did. The house is so open and the surroundings are quiet.
Quiet enough to drown my screams and wails every night.
Summerville is a beautiful place in between the commercial route from New York to Miami, so most of the residents are traders whose business is doing well because of the route. I have lived here ever since I was six, in this very house ever since I shifted from New York to this place. It’s full of pines, a smell I won’t ever forget as I have walked through its forests whenever I have found time for myself on weekends when Adrian is usually out partying and doesn’t bother to come home after that. There is a park behind our house where Adrian and I played during the first year of me here. We were two little kids who knew nothing of bullying until one day Adrian came home angry and started pushing me and picking on my ponytail. I don’t know what happened that day, but my life took a sharp turn, within a few hours, changing everything I had known. All through my early childhood he had been abusing me and slapping me here and there. It was nothing major ever and he won’t hit me enough for me to be taken to the hospital but his temper was enough to make me scared after a few regular beatings. When I would try to tell Aunt Lucy, it would increase more and more.
I never tried after that.
I stopped trying to be the complaint box.
I stopped trying to stand up for myself.
They have slowly and slowly killed me, Rihanna and Adrian. Through my early teens they would make fun of my body, my freckles, and my eyes. Everything. Puberty came as a curse to me with Rihanna spreading rumors that I had been on my periods since I was five.
If this wasn’t enough, my brother once kicked my stomach during those times of the month. But thankfully, he would stop beating me during those times at all. Lately, it’s more of his temper than beatings and I’m glad for that because no one wants to be hit by a six feet long, muscle bag.
Why am I still here?
Because I have no way else to thank my aunt. Ever since my parents died, she was always there even though all my other known relatives didn’t want to keep me for some unknown reason. My aunt took me in without a second thought. She was always there to support me with the finances, my parent’s funeral, everything. She would take me out and talk to me about everything, not the bullying of course but it hurts me to know that if I leave, she will be hurt.
She will be hurt if she comes to know what her son does to me.
I don’t want her to know.
Because I don’t need sympathy.
I woke up with a jolt as a car pulled in. It must have been Adrian and his friends so I decided to wash my face before heading down to tell Adrian about his mother’s call and telling him that I had made him apple pie as a snack. I walked up to my bathroom, checking my wounds after I had applied a bandage on them before sleeping. My aunt won’t be back for a few weeks which gave it the perfect time to heal. Before heading down, I combed my mild brown hair which fell to my waist and were complimented by my green eyes which I get from my father. Adrian and Lucy have the same color as well. I am pale, with no sign of tanning. Almost, sick pale. My body is sickly and dark circles dawn my eyes, which are one of the reasons why my eyes don’t twinkle like Ryder’s. They are just beaten and tired and, surviving is their first priority, not twinkling.
I sometimes faint because of being this thin, my ribs always popping out on my chest. While examining my little stomach, my eyes fell on my collarbone, as I gently touched the little scar I had on my collarbone which reminded me of the day my parents had-
“SCARLET WINTERS! GET DOWN, RIGHT NOW!”
B u l l y i n g
- use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.
90% of the people reading this book are high school students.
Ever seen someone getting bullied? Did you watch them getting bullied and just stood there or did you fight back?
I don’t want to know the answer, you already know it, yourself.
You are your
own person, which also means that you don’t know what the person in front of you is thinking. What if the victim of this bully is on the verge of suicide, his mind clustered with suicidal thoughts and you, ignored to help.
You’re afraid that if you step into the arena, you’ll be bullied too.
Just a question. Do you have friends?
If yes, why don’t you trust them to back you up?
Why does a bully strike? Because no one goes against him/her.
It could be anyone, readers. You could be the victim, you could be the bully but if no one helps you, then they are equally responsible.
You don’t necessarily have to hit a person to be a bully. If you have ever hurt anyone with your words, you’re a bully and you need to realize your boundaries.
If you think victims are weak, think again. As a bully or a bystander (same thing), you’re the weaker one because you refuse to protect.