Chapter 1 - I’m Miserable Because: They're Always Arguing
Even with my headphones I can still hear them. Their shouting penetrates my door and walls. If I wasn't used to this I might notice the raging headache I have, but I am. I shift into a more comfortable position hoping to fall into a deep sleep. At first I was never able to sleep at all, with the yelling, but now it's my escape from this place.
My eyelids flutter, and my mind drifts off, already my body is tired. Soon, I was at peace, asleep in my room.
When I wake in the morning it's to the usual sound of arguing. It might be the only thing I hear in this house, still, it's better than silence. At least they're trying to work out their problems which is better than nothing, I guess. A cabinet door bangs closed. But maybe not.
My headaches are always stronger in the morning, and even though this should make my brain foggy, it just makes me painstakingly aware of the place I'm in, and how much I wish I wasn’t. But the place I have to go isn't much better. School is more like a prison than a government learning facility. Sometimes I debate whether school is really better than being here. I've never gotten a real answer from myself, which is probably for the best. If I did get an answer I might just stop going to school, or coming home.
The ringing of my alarm brings me out of my head and into reality. I slide from my bed and head towards my dresser, picking out whatever is there and quickly pulling it on. I put on socks and stuff my feet in my shoes, grabbing my backpack as I walk out the door. I quickly pass my parents, not bothering to say anything. They don't notice me or they don't care, instead continuing to argue. I almost make it out the door safely until my mom turns around and points to me. "Don't you see what's happening? To our family, to us, to her. She's sneaking off, not eating! I can't even remember the last time we all talked! With the way this is going she'll end up just like Mayline!" The name strikes a cord for all of us, especially dad. I race off before, hoping to catch the local bus - and not to hear anything else - I’ve taken ever since my dad’s stopped driving me. I walk outside just in time to see the doors close as it pulls off. I set off, walking down the concrete sidewalk, avoiding the cracks, telling myself I really don't want to be late to school. I almost believe it.
Chapter 2 - I’m Miserable Because: It’s Always The Same Thing
I was late anyway. By the time I reached the parking lot I could hear the bell going off inside. I debated on whether I should just skip but decided against it. I pulled my backpack back up on my shoulder and trudged my way around the cars. When I entered class everyone turned to look at me. My teacher, Ms. Herring, stopped her lesson to give me a lecture about being late.
For the first minute I stood there, but then I got tired and wanted to sit down. As I walked over to my seat she started yelling at me. Ignoring her, I sat down, put in my headphones, and continued ignoring her. Eventually she gave up trying to get me to listen and continued on with her lesson. I took out my notebook and copied what she wrote on the board, this way I’d still learn something even if I didn’t listen to her, I barely paid attention anyway. The rest of the day went the same. Get to class, pay minimum attention, take minimum notes, and leave.
After my last period I hurry through the hallways trying to make it to the exit without running into someone. Once again I wasn't so lucky.
There are 3 girls in this school I try to avoid, and right now, they're looking straight at me. My arms cross over my middle, and I speed up. It was no use, I can hear their giggles even from across the hall, and I don’t have to look up to know their pointing at me. I can practically feel the hatred rolling off of them. She says something, and thankfully, I'm now too far away to hear it. Behind her, an entourage of girls who constantly follow her around and copy her every movement giggle. I consider rolling my eyes. It's something my sister would have done.
It might have only been one simple thought about her, but still, the room starts closing in and I can hardly breathe. I barely register when she steps in front of me, ready to pick a fight, like usual. I don’t let her, I can’t right now, I just have to get out. I walk forward to go around her, slightly bumping into her on accident. I can tell her mouth is moving and she's saying something but I can’t hear it. Noticing my complete lack of reaction, she lets me go but continues yelling rude insults at my back. Despite my lack of senses, I want to turn around and tell her to bite me, but I know better. I've been through this routine countless times, and anytime I say anything back it just gets worse. It's always the same thing.
Chapter 3 - I’m Miserable Because: Of All The Secrets
I retract my earlier statement. It's not always the same thing. I wish it was now, because things have changed. And it's for the worse.
I sit on my bathroom floor, puking, and crying. I can't breathe, I can't think. It's that day. “Our life wasn’t supposed to be like this! We were supposed to be happy” I yell choking on my words. "Things…were…supposed… to get… better!" My words fall flat, unheard, and unimportant to the world. But they got worse. I grab onto my locket, the last piece of happiness I seem to have. My fist slam into the cold floor, and I scream. No one comes up to comfort me, no one's here anymore. They're both gone right now. I close my eyes but this time it barely brings any relief. Instead the events of the past few hours fly through my mind.
I had walked through the door and immediately knew something was wrong. Both of my parents were quiet. I could see the tears running down my mothers face. My mind flickered to thoughts of my sister. What could it be now? Seeing the lady, I knew it wasn’t about Mayline. I recognized her though, I just didn't know where. "Hello, are you Ceirra?" I nod my head.
"Who are you?" I ask.
"You don't recognize me. That's alright. I work at your school and I make sure families are doing okay." I nod my head again, like I understand. I don't.
"Why are you here then?" I try to keep my voice from shaking but it's hard.
“I'm here to talk to you all. I had a discussion with your parents while you were gone, and would like to talk to you now." She smiles, but it doesn't help the bad feeling forming in my stomach. "Ok." My voice cracks and I hate it.
"Why don't we come in here?" She gestures to the kitchen. "For privacy." I look at my parents, and while my father avoids my gaze my mother looks straight at me. She's still crying, and she doesn't say anything. I can tell she's begging me, pleading with me, but to do what I don't know. My fathers eyes glimmer, not with tears, but with guilt. I look away. Last time he looked like that, things didn’t end well. My mother avoids his eyes, but he keeps sneaking glances at her. What happened? If I didn't know my parents as well as I do I might think they'll tell me when this is over. But I know they won't, it'll just be another secret they keep from me. I followed the lady, who's name I still don't know, into the kitchen, taking a seat at the table.
"I'm going to ask you a few questions, okay? I need you to answer honestly, it doesn't affect anything." She smiles at me again in a reassuring way. "You can trust me."