People stared openly as I walked down the hallway. The sea of students parted like the Red Sea. Their whispers reach my ears. What did I do to deserve this? I clutched my books tighter to my chest and let my raven black wavy hair fall, hoping that it would block out the whispers of the students that rang in my ears. Misery and melancholy had been blatantly etched across my features and my pallid complexion highlighted the dark rings under my eyes. I kept my eyes downcast, trudging my weary feet forward.
“Left foot forward, right foot forward. Don’t worry, it will all be over soon Cindy.” I thought to myself as I felt the familiar tears well up in my eyes.
Suddenly, I felt my head bang into a hard wall. I looked up, turned out that the ‘hard wall’ was actually the warm chest of a boy. My ex-boyfriend to be exact.
“Hey freak!” he snarled with a mocking grin, “What stupid things have you been up to lately?”
His sarcasm shot like venom and pierced my ears. My lips quivered and my fingernails dug at the flesh of my palms, drawing blood. I drew in a sharp intake of breath as the pain hit me but then relaxed into the numbing pain that I was familiar with. I stood like a statue, not moving a inch as I smiled bleakly and remained silent, waiting for the insults that would abuse my ears.
Three months ago, my boyfriend of two years broke up with me. I was devastated. I still remember that day, the tears that streamed down my face as he uttered those dreadful words, “I’m breaking up with you.” I never believed in love, but this boy, he had made me, rather forced me to see that love was real. He said he loved me, and I believed him. That was my first mistake. Now, for the past three months since our breakup, he and the whole school has been tormenting me, bullying me, spreading rumors about me. The pain I felt at every insult was immeasurable. However, over time, the initial piercing heart-breaking pain has dulled into a raw numbing pain that robs me of my senses as I ponder helplessly why it had to happen to me. Why must they do this? What did I do wrong? Why do I still love him so much?
“I regret wasting two years of my life with you. You are a freak! I hate you!” I snapped back into reality. What did he say? “You heard me freak! I hate you! You’re a loser!” I let my head droop, my mind failing as his words sank in. He hated me. I was a loser .His words repeated over and over in my mind, like a broken recorder.
It hurt like a knife, no, many knives that not only pierced right through me, but wrenched its way into me, twisting and buckling until my very soul, where it would remain to torment me forever. Such was my agony. I plummeted into the depths of despair. My feet moved on their own accord and I found myself running to the roof. My heartbeat was worked into a frenzy as I stood there panting. My books tumbled to the ground, my limbs limp. A lone tear slipped from my eyes. Another, then another joined it. Soon, my whole body was shaking with sobs as salty tears cascaded down my face, stinging my pale cheeks. The erratic thumping of my heart drove me into a deeper panic. His words were like a stake in my heart, pitting me into a dark deep well of wretchedness. I clenched and unclenched my fists, watching them turn red then white, red, white through my blurred vision.
“Why? Why me?” I cried out to the sky, praying that someone would answer me. This pain that I suffered daily, why did it only happen to me? It was the last straw. Over the past months, I had isolated myself. No one would care if I lived or died. I took a step closer to the edge of the roof. My legs were shaking; goose bumps breaking out like an infection across my body. Bile rose at the back of my throat as a wave of nausea hit me as I peered down from the dizzy height. I could hear my pulse as my heart palpitated wildly on my chest. Cold perspiration trickled into my mouth like the ominous trepidation that was invading my mind. I took another step forward.
It was the point of no return. There was no point in living anymore. My daily life was a living hell.
He had said he loved me. I believed him. He said he would always be there for me. I believed him. He said he would never hurt me. I believed him.
I was a fool. I could not stand this any more. The torments, the insults, the spiteful words that tumbled out in torrents. The hate. Finally, it will all end.
I took another step forward. This life, it was not worth living anymore. I took another step forward. What a fool I was! I took one more step to the very edge of the roof. I guess they were right. Love does kill.
I took another step forward and jumped.
The freak, that was gone with the wind
(Won 2nd place in a nation-wide essay tournament in Singapore)
Theme: Gone with the Wind
I felt like a freak. The suspicious looks that darted at me. The cupped whispers and the glaring eyes. It was my first day at a new school, and I was the odd one out. I felt like a freak.
The crowd parted, just like Moses and the Red Sea. The students drifted in the sea of the school hallway avoiding me. The popular kids sniggered. The jerks laughed. The uncomfortable teachers fidgeted and dared not meet my eyes. I felt like a freak.
I could not find my class. No one bothered to stop and help the freaky new student. I asked them for the time but they scurried away, scampering just like the timid, frightened mice they were. Everyone near me had fearful looks in their eyes and terrified shakes to their hands. I felt like a freak.
I stared out the open window, the cool breeze blowing against my tear-stained cheeks. Is it my fault that my father packed up and left? Is it? My late mother used to say that he had gone overseas in search of a better job. But I know better. He could not handle my condition. My disease. My illness. When I realized, I felt like a freak.
I watched the leaves flutter in the breeze, as they twirled and danced in the wind. “ Come and dance with us. Be part of us. Experience this peace and freedom. Like your late mother is now.” They seemed to whisper to me, their voices echoing in the wind.
“ My late mother” I whispered. I clutched the windowsill tighter as the contents of my breakfast threatened to spill out of my mouth. I trembled, my feet unstable, my mind whirling.
Is it my fault that my precious mother died? That she died in the dreadful fire at our house? I just wanted to cook dinner to thank her for loving me and not leaving me. I did not know that my weak and skinny arms were unable to switch off the gas properly. I did not know that the cool breeze from the open window would blow the pile of papers, across the room, straight into the open flame, setting the entire half of the kitchen on fire. After that fire, I became a freak.
Burn scars cress-crossed over my arms, the raised red-blistered skin standing out against my stark pale arms. The sunken cheeks and dark circles under my eyes did nothing to improve my sullen, sickly pale complexion. I was bald, my beautiful long, raven black hair shaved off after the fire to treat the burns properly. The right side of my face held a long jagged scar that stretched from the top of my eye to my ear. It’s broad size and cross ridges only testified what a deep ghastly wound it had been.
These scars were chains that bound me to my torment. A constant reminder that I was the cause of my mother’s death. That I was a murderer. That I was a freak. My heart could not bear the pain and grief anymore. My mother’s last cries tormented me. They were like a thousand razor-sharp knives piercing my heart, twisting and buckling until they reached my very soul where they would remain to haunt me forever. Such was my guilty agony. I could not bear that world anymore. I could not handle the alienation anymore. I could not stand the never-ending, roaring silence. The darkness, the shadows, the siren calls of depression and evil that call out to me. They creeped in, spreading through my body, dragging me back into the dark pit of depression. Making me more of a freak.
I walked up the stairs and pushed open the heavy door that lead to the roof. I walked slowly to the edge of the roof. The stinging wind blew over me and the change of height caused a feeling of nausea to settle in the pit of my stomach. Did I have the guts, the strength, the resolve to do this?
The cool wind blew against my cheek, drying my tear-stained cheeks. My hair fluttered and flew in the wind. “ Do it! Join us! Be free and at peace once again! We can be your new friends! Join us! Join us! Join us!” the wind echoed in my ears. Their words spun in my head? Should I?
There was a moment when time seemed to freeze and the whole world was silent. Watching. Waiting for me to make a decision. It was like a demon and angel were battling out a war for my life in my soul. It was like I was hanging on to a rope that was slipping through my fingers; soon it was down to a single thread. A decision like this was meant to be easy for a freak like me.
Suddenly, there were footsteps behind me. I snapped my head around. A police officer, hands outstretched as if to stop me, awaited me. Too late I thought as in that spilt second I made my decision. I jumped through the air, spinning and turning until there was no more ground beneath my feet.
Finally, I was free. The wind lifted my soul up and I was gone. Gone with the wind.