Ady was a troubled kid, but he didn't use to be that way. Now, he almost never smiles and happiness has become an outdated concept to him. For a seventeen year old boy, he was unusual. He sulked in the darkest thoughts of his mind, with his head held down in disdain. He had black hair and dark brown eyes that would always stare at the ground, looking at his every footstep. No solace in his life existed, for he was overwhelmed in his thoughts, lost in a world of nonconformity. He thought of himself as a slave of society, forced to be confined to the strict rules set upon him. His mind, however, adventured to break the chains of bondage, no longer detained to society’s norms.
During school, he was despondent sulking in his own thoughts, while teachers became agitated that he was falling behind. Ady knew what all the answers were, but kept quiet, so his fellow peers wouldn't look at him with repugnance. He felt that he was surrounded by ignorance, only to be comforted by himself. His thoughts teased him, pressuring him to question his every action.
He sat down in the cold seat of his English class and stared blankly at the bare wall in front of him. His headphones were blasting music, but he could still hear the remarks made by his classmates. Instead of paying attention in class, he soon dozed off into his own dark thoughts, once again.
"Why are you here, Ady? What possesses you to keep coming to class? You don't even pay attention!" His thoughts were devouring his mind once again. "Your parents have put so much pressure on you to be just like your brother. Why are you falling behind? Your parents aren't proud of you anymore. Look at you; you are nothing. You're making yourself look like a goddamn disgrace." His thoughts wouldn't stop persecuting him.
Ady whispered to himself quietly, “Please just go away. I don’t want this right now.”
”What do you not want? Me reminding you how much of a failure you are? You should know it by now, how your teachers whisper to each other about how you were such a wonderful student. Now, you are just a disappointment. No one cares about you. Your peers think you’re demented.” Snickered his thoughts, “You are only killing yourself, Ady. Doused with drugs, alcohol, and pills, you have become derelict. Might as well kill yourself now.”
"Will you just stop fucking with me!?" Ady shouted.
Suddenly, his classmates turned around in awe with wide eyes to see Ady sitting in the back. His teacher, Mrs. Beck, stopped reading Huckleberry Finn and stared at him blankly with her jaw dropped in shock. Realizing that he said this out loud, Ady grabbed his textbooks and stormed out the classroom. He sat on the nearest bench in his school’s courtyard, his palms placed upon his forehead, reminiscing on what he had just done. "Now everyone is going to think you're a disgrace and a delirious lunatic." His thoughts boasted. Tears streamed down his face with his face cradled in the palms of his hands. "Oh now Ady, don't be a coward. Why are you crying? Because you can't get rid of your thoughts or that I'm haunting you to the point of timorous suicide?
"Why can't you just leave me alone?" Ady asserted, shaking his head.
"Because I am a part of you, you can never get rid of me. I will haunt you till the day you leave this Earth, which might be soon, since you're thinking of killing yourself." His thoughts teased. Ady didn't know how to respond, so he solemnly walked home in the cold November weather, with his thoughts still taunting him.
The next day, Ady returned to the class he absconded yesterday. He walked in right as the bell rang. "You're late again, Ady." Said his teacher, Mrs. Beck. Ady ignored his teacher's remarks and sat in his seat, while his fellow peers whispered about how Ady had boasted out of class yesterday.
"Do you think he's on drugs?" said one of the students.
"I don't know, but I've heard rumors he was placed in that mental institution, Holly Hills." replied another student.
Even though Ady had headphones in, he could still hear what his fellow peers thought of him.
"They're just jealous, Ady. Don't pay any mind to them; they will all pay their do's soon." His thoughts echoed in the cobwebs of his brain, even louder than they were before. Abruptly, Ady felt a slight pinch on his shoulder and saw that it was one of the girl's sitting behind him.
"Ady, are you okay?” exclaimed the young girl, "You ran out yesterday and I was worried about you, I hope you're okay now." The girl's name was Ester; she had hazel eyes that matched the freckles on her cheeks, with long light brown hair. Her lips smiled from cheek to cheek as she gazed into Ady’s eyes. She had known Ady for quite a long time, and had even gone on a couple dates with him, but it didn't turn into anything serious.
"Yeah I'm fine, thanks." said Ady whilst turning back around to face the front of the classroom. Ady knew Ester meant no harm, and that she constantly perturbed about him. But why would anyone care about him, especially her? No one else paid him any attention, except for Ester. Ady didn't know the answers to his questions, but he did find solace that someone cared for him.
3:18 A.M. Tuesday, November 18th
"Ady, wake up. It's me again. Did you hear what your friends said about you? They said you were in a mental institution and that you turn to drugs to help you cope. Are you just going to let them get away with that?" murmured his thoughts.
"They're not my friends, not even acquaintances. Why should I care now what they think of me, they've said rumors about me before." replied Ady.
"You are such an ignorant young boy. They've been doing this ever since you were in Elementary school. They think you're insane, in fact everybody thinks you are. Your parents, friends, teachers, classmates, and even Ester.”
"Shut up you have no idea what you're talking about! “Proclaimed Ady.
"Oh, but I do. You should be locked up in a mental institution, one of those padded rooms, where you can't hurt yourself. Or better yet, hurt other people. You like the idea of pain, don't you? So, why do you only inflict it upon yourself, and not others, you selfish prick!"
"Get out of my head! Get out! Why do you do this to me!? I don't want to hurt anyone!" shouted Ady. He grabbed a syringe full of Heroine from the second drawer of his nightstand and stabbed it into the inside of his elbow; he slowly injected the drug into his blood stream. His dark brown pupils dilated and soon fell from his bed to the carpeted ground, without his thoughts there to torment him.
Ady woke up around noon, and decided to go to school. However, he injected another dose of Heroine to ease his nerves, and hopefully eliminate his intrusive thoughts. He also took another bag, but his one was not full of his usual textbooks. Three G17 Gen4 9mm pistols, two Bear OPS switchblades, and one Desert Eagle semi-automatic pistol. Ady, of course, obtained these weapons illegally, and kept them under his bed in his old guitar case. He wore a dark black coat and a black bandanna over his face, to make sure his identity was not revealed.
When he arrived at Saint Augustine High School, he was immediately noticed by one of the teachers, Mr. Hills. Mr Hills had been Ady’s Advance Placement Chemistry teacher, who he had known for quite a long time.
“Ady,” exclaimed Mr. Hills, “why are you dressed like that? Don’t you need to return to your third period?”
Ady slowly took out one of his 9 millimeters and aimed it at Mr. Hill’s forehead. Once he saw the gun Mr. Hills took off running, but Ady shot him directly in his spinal cord. Mr. Hills fell to the concrete sidewalk, blood escaping his body and painting the ground a crimson color that matched the autumn leaves. The sound of the gunshot was heard throughout the school, causing the emergency bell to start blasting a high pitched ring.
"Wonderful, our presence is known." His thoughts echoed. The school suddenly went into lock down, teachers started locking the doors, turning off the lights, and students frantically hid under their desks. Ady wasn't naive, he knew what was exactly going on. First, the teachers and students had been notified that there was a deranged psycho loose in their school. Second, the police and SWAT team were on their way to stop Ady in his path.
Ady proceeded down the hallways of his school, where all the doors were shut and the classrooms were dark. His footsteps echoed in the hallway, and he could hear the gasping of breath inside the classrooms as he passed them. He slowly strolled to Mrs. Beck's classroom, and jiggled the doorknob just to see if he could get a reaction. He did. With as much force as he attained, he kicked in the door. The students hid under the desks, screaming and terrified they called out "Please, don't hurt us. Please. Please have mercy." Ady smirked at the sight of their terror.
"Why should I be merciful towards you?" Ady claimed. He then took out his semi- automatic pistol from his black book bag and aimed it to the boy closest to him, who was cowering under his desk. His name was Matthew and he was one of the boys that had harassed Ady since he was eight years old. Ady then preceded to the shoot the boy in-between his green eyes. His blood plastered the wall behind him, while his head lay adjacent to the crimson wall. The whole class shrieked, not for the boy, but for who was going to be the next victim.
"The way I see it is you can either be the victim or the culprit.” said Ady, "However, you guys drove me to this, and so I think of you as both." Ady thus opened fired on the whole class. Mrs. Beck, the boy who sat next to him, and the girls who used to flirt with him. As the bullets fired, their blood piercing screams were heard throughout the school. Though, through the midst of chaos, Ester was not injured. She stood as a gleaming symbol of hope, while blood and lifeless bodies covered the tile floor. Her palms in her face, she wept hysterically under one of the desks. What had she just witnessed? Why did Ady not shoot her? Traumatized she looked around at twenty-one lifeless bodies lying around her, and then she looked at Ady. Ady gazed into her eyes and walked away. No emotions. No words. Nothing.
The police and SWAT team surrounded the school, but luckily Ady surrendered. He had gotten what he wanted. Revenge. But, revenge is not a substitute for justice. Ady was now locked up in Cherry Grove mental institution. There, he was alone with his thoughts again. He wanted to escape from everyone who had ever done him wrong. But the one person, who caused Ady to go mentally ill, in which he could never escape, was himself.
I remember you
from your beautiful smile
your cinnamon scent hair
your cheerful laughter
your nail-biting addiction
your pointless insecurities
to our silly inside jokes
our dumb little fights
our peculiar bets
our goofy text messages
through tears and smiles
you were the only one who understood
my unspoken words
my concealed pain
my unexpressed happiness
my puzzled feelings
counting your days
we recalled our mischievous memories
when we danced in the rain
when we rang doorbells and ran away
when we prank our classmates
when we stole Ikea pencils
when we fangirl over stunning guys
when we were together
everything magically turn into excitements
moments with you
I remember them all, Grace
it was a week before December twenty-fifth
when the monstrous cells stopped your heart
a glimpse of smile
appeared upon your face
as you're being taken
far away from us
you turned pale
tears flooded my sight
there were wailing across the room
time flies like a bullet train without you
it's a rainy day today
you've always loved rainy days
sinking my knees in the dew-wet grass
raindrops whisper in my ear
as I brush off the gray snow from your stone
I still remember you, Grace
I still do
It's the same dull presentation every year.
Her friends all aware.
She stands out today,
but then again,
She is of the few who remembered,
the occasion that is.
Simple black dress.
Poppy ablaze on her heart.
She is quiet today.
The Marlboro-huffing voice,
crackles over the P.A.,
telling students to report to the cafetorium.
She rises out of her seat,
smoothes her dress,
and straightens her poppy.
She is first to hand in the annual
"I Will Remember..."
slip of paper.
Along with her older brother's name.
Not looking back as she leaves.
Everyone files into their seats,
their bland, identical, mauve-coloured seats;
fidgeting before they even sit.
The "populars" in front of her,
texting and tweeting life away.
She silently studies the band, bitter as can be.
All there for extra cred, or to get out of class.
"Delinquents reading sheet music"
Printed on white, crisp new paper,
only to be forgotten about,
or thrown out tomorrow.
The anthem is played,
she loses control.
Tears tearing a path down her face.
Nothing but a scratchy wool sleeve to help;
all the while,
not without a stiff upper lip.
And as soon as it started,
the entire thing is over,
and everyone files out of their seats.
While she and a friend quietly duck into a bathroom,
seeking refuge from the common calm.
Then quickly collects herself and walks back alone.
She enters class,
late with bloodshot eyes; daring anyone to speak.
Smeared makeup like warpaint.
Catching the eyes of her classmates,
as well as those of her teacher,
who now understands.
Though it's a silent knowing,
because nobody enjoys talking about,
the day of the assembly.
It's a noun.
It's also an adjective, adverb, and verb.
It is the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
A place in which
The essence of childhood, innocence, and versatility
Bloom like a spring annual.
But after the clock of those 18 years
You are free to leave.
In fact, you are encouraged
To move to another
Until you build a home for yourself.
Some never build another home
They find decent company
In one night stands
And the nicotine tinged, cigarette burned sofas.
Some build a home better than the one they came.
Gardenias, chrysanthemums, and marigolds in the garden;
Scrubbing a crayon medium portrait
Off the comic latte walls.
I have a distorted image of home.
All these places I want to go and
All these people I want to meet.
I cannot settle
Until I have shaken hands with the world itself
But the argument still standing is
Do I go alone?
I have never been good with loneliness
And yet I crave the anonymity
Of standing on the street, watching the cars rush by
I am not bound by failure.
I am not tethered down by my haunting past
No definitions chained to my shoulders
Forever slumping my chest.
I will meet many people and learn from them.
I will tell people my name is different.
Soon, I will be the wisp of stardust
Hovering in the void
Between here and there
Yet staying absolutely the same.
I deem myself a traveler.
Eventually meeting the civilizations
That created my favorite words.
Maybe in a few years at my high school reunion
My old classmates will have kids to show their progress
And I will have the words and wisdom from a thousand cultures
And that will be enough,
For travel is the soul of me.
I stumbled into the train station, buzzed with integrity.
Apprehension strikes like a clock at midnight.
My math teacher never liked my hair. I never liked her husband.
I can still feel you in my presence, shining on me like the sun, even on my darkest days.
My childhood was a sad one, filled with corn harvests and bails of hay for food. Oh, cruel classmates.
Your smile burns me as if I were swimming in boiling water.
I never met my mother but I knew from experience that she hated pineapple and the scent of my hair.
We sit next to each other in class, but we know we want more. To feel as free as two birds in the sky.
My ex-boyfriend's husband told me I was too short to be a dancer but I persevered and became an employee at Subway.
Engulf me in your arms, like fire consumes a building.
My father's rabbit chewed a hole in my cardigan and I angrily cried daily for a day.
Take my hand tonight, we could run so far.
You stand before me, a boy of fifteen years.
You have a passion for writing I'd understand.
You don't excel in school; you are met with sneers
By your classmates; you care little for the land
In which we've lived for two years now.
You like contemplating alone on some bough,
Holding secret communion with star and bird
That weave magics going beyond the word.
For all your awkwardness, lack of outward success,
For all your retiring ways, and clumsiness,
I'm not worried; I don't point to another boy
And suggest you follow the father's pride and joy
Who celebrates his latest scholastic prize.
I love you, you are my boy.
I have faith that from awkwardness will bloom
Your unique beauty; I have only to give you room;
I respect your being alone; I won't interfere;
I let you cast fishnets of dreams, let you steer
Your vessel, and I'll come when you need me.
You are my beloved son, and my father too.
The world molded me, but not you as yet.
You're an explorer, but I'm not, I'm set.
I won't multiply idiocy and limitations through you.
Yes, I'll tell you my story; you'll listen, I know.
You'll respect me for trusting you and letting you go.
I don't talk to you from a pulpit or preach.
I have the dignity, honesty to confess
That I know little, and have little to teach.
We help each other: You guide me back to heaven's glow,
And I help the unique good that's within you grow.
Someone who is eight years older than me,
Told me I have the soul of an 81 year old woman
And I found her childish for it.
I was estimated 24 by someone in a club,
And I wasn't sure whether to buy myself some anti aging cream or like it.
A friend who is a couple of months older than me said she felt like I'm older than her.
And I don't know whether that's because of her or me.
She is very mature in my opinion.
Truth is I have always felt like I am older than my classmates.
But I now know I'm not.
I'm just different,
And I'm certain there are more people who are.
Age is just a number,
never judge people for it.
she's awkward and shy,
but she's got a thing for that guy,
the one making a fool of himself,
falling at the entrance of the class
they have been classmates since 1st grade,
they have held few eye contacts,
they have collided in a few bumps,
but never have they ever spoke to one another
he shouted the answer for her,
he said her voice is too low,
he tells stupidly foolish jokes,
that secretly cracks her up
Hester was a moody girl to say the least. For a seven year old, she was reserved, quiet, and determined to retain these qualities no matter how hard the children in her class tried to incorporate her in their daily activities. Her jet-black hair draped just above her eyebrows and her even darker eyes stared at her classmates. They were scribbling furiously on their papers trying to discern the seemingly simple math problem on the board. “If Jack could fill a basket of apples with only ten apples, and he filled ten baskets, how many apples does Jack have?” The teacher, Mrs. Hunt, read out after she had written the problem.
“If these idiots were shopping for Jack, Jack would never get his apples.” Hester thought to herself. The dark-haired youth didn’t even write anything on her paper. She knew the answer. Her teacher knew she knew the answer. Her classmates looked disgusted at her genius. They too, knew she knew the answer. Hester smirked in her head. She didn't care. She wasn't at school to make friends. She was at school because she had to be. Hester sighed and raised her hand.
“Yes, Hester?” Mrs. Hunt asked nervously.
“May I be excused to the restroom?” Hester asked
“W-Well are you done with the problem Hester?”
“Yes, Mrs. Hunt,” She replied a bit more impatiently.
“Well if you say so…” the teacher said uncertainly. Hester left the room and strolled the hallways. She didn't go to the bathroom. Rather, she’d walk to the central courtyard of her school and sit at the bench. The trees at the courtyard would provide ample shade and the flowers and small garden would provide scenery. With any luck, Hester would be alone with her only friend, Amala, and not be interrupted by overly-curious teachers or students. Amala was older than Hester but Hester wasn’t sure how much older. Hester used to ask Amala how old she was but Amala would always laugh and tell her,
“You can’t count that high, little girl!” Amala was a strange friend, to say the least. Her eyes were a dark purple and she always would wear a black robe with white markings along the sleeves. Amala would always glide place to place, rather than walk. The tattered bottom of her robe would drag itself across the ground ever so gracefully. The hood of the robe would always be covering Amala’s head outside in the sun but when inside, or at night, the lack of her hood would reveal her strange face. To be put simply, Amala had the head of a barn owl. Her beak was stout and the feathers on her face would stop at her neck. Past that, Hester had never seen Amala’s body, but she assumed it was humanoid due to the fact that Amala had white hands. While the prospect of an owl head may seem unsettling to an ordinary person, Hester found Amala’s appearance familiar. Amala’s eyes were always gentle yet had a spark of wit about them. The two had been friends as long as Hester could remember.
“Amala why are people so stupid?” Hester said as she sat down on the bench. Amala laughed.
“Well, we all have to start somewhere don’t we!” Amala’s voice was airy yet had a dark tone to it at the same time. It was hard to imagine a voice like that coming out of the beak of an owl.
“Humph,” Hester grunted in reply. She picked a pebble off the ground and tossed it up and down in her palm. “Mother says I should make some friends,” Hester said quietly. “But the problem is I don’t want friends.”
“Your mother is only looking out for you, Hester,” Amala chided. “But you don’t need any friends. You have me.” Amala’s hand rested on Hester’s shoulders and the owl’s purple eyes stared down at the girl from the towering figure behind her.
“Mother says you aren’t real. She can’t see you. She says that isn’t possible for a woman to have an owl head.” Hester retorted.
“Oh yes, about that...” Amala sighed. “Hester, maybe it’ll be easier for both of us if we keep my presence a secret.”
Hester turned around to look at Amala and asked “Why?”
“Well, no one else can see me. And people can be very un-understanding about what they cannot see,” Amala explained. Hester tugged at the collar of the sleeves of her shirt, but remained quiet. After a while, Amala finally broke the silence. “You should return to class, Hester. Your teacher may reprimand you.”
“What’s that word mean?” Hester asked as she got up off the bench.
“Reprimand means to punish. Scold. Something of that nature.” Amala said as she followed the girl as she walked back into the hallway. Hester nodded to show her understanding and walked down to the classroom. As she opened the door, her class looked at the entrance to see who was coming. Needless to say, they were a bit disappointed to see that it was Hester and not some clown to entertain them or whatever children liked. Hester turned around to see Amala wasn’t there. She usually was never there unless the two were alone. Mrs. Hunt was explaining the math problem about Jack, the apple-shopper, to a girl Hester very much disliked. The girl’s name was Mary, and in Hester’s mind, Mary was a Grade-A idiot. Mary had blonde hair and was a few inches taller than Hester. The youth was a hit with the faculty at the elementary school and where she did lack in intellect she did not lack in charm and friends.
“So you see, Mary, since Jack could only fill the baskets with 10 apples, and he bought 10 baskets, we would multiply rather than add!” Mrs. Hunt explained slowly. Hester stifled a laugh and her teacher scolded her. “Hester! Do not laugh at your peers!” Mary smiled sympathetically.
“Oh no, it’s alright Mrs. Hunt!” She said cheerfully. Hester’s anger grew. She hated how that girl’s jovial spirit could never be dampened. Hester moodily returned to her seat and folded her arms. Not a minute later, the bell rang and the startled teacher looked at the clock.
“Oh it’s recess time! Grab your snacks and get in a single-filed line at the door!” Hester walked to the front of the door, getting into line behind bustling kids, holding all kinds of snacks. While Hester’s mother insisted daily that she take a snack to school, Hester would always tell her that she would end up not eating it. She smiled affectionately at the thought of her mother’s various complaints against the girl’s lifestyle. The line of children walked with stifled whispers and horseplay to earn their admittance to the playground. As they finally reached, the line exploded into wildly running boys and girls trying be the first to the swings or the slide. Hester however, sat with her back to the wall near the door they had just exited. The youth grabbed a small twig off the ground and carved Amala’s name into the dirt. As she was so focused on her carving, a group of amicable children approached Hester led by none other than Mary.
“Hey Hester!” Mary called out. “Want to play tag with us?” Hester stowed a sigh.
“Thanks for asking Mary, but I’d rather not.” Hester said flatly. Hester had always been skeptical of Mary’s never-ending source of friendship. The detached girl initially thought that Mary’s mother had forced Mary to include Hester since she was always alone. Hester always would be skeptical of Mary’s kindness.
“Aw, well maybe tomorrow!” Mary said hopefully. She ran off with her friends already calling the rules for their next game. Hester rolled her eyes. She had no time for their childish games.
“Hester, you’re seven.” Amala said. The strange figure had appeared assuming a similar position to Hester, leaning against the brick wall, legs stretched out. It was comical to see a seemingly menacing figure sharing the same position as a seven year old girl. Amala could often tell what was going on Hester’s head. Hester had never questioned this ability. It was only fitting.
“Yeah, yeah.” Hester brushed off Amala’s chastising comment still fiddling with the twig and the dirt. She secretly felt bad about brushing off Mary’s continuous attempts at friendship. But pride is a strong emotion, and Hester was very proud of herself.
“They never ask you enough anyway. They don’t bother. They don’t care.” Amala said in disgust. Hester’s sense of guilt instantly vanished as Amala’s words took root in her head. The lonesome youth wholeheartedly agreed.
“Yeah, they don’t. It was probably her mom telling her to be nice.” Hester said angrily. She broke the twig in half.
One cannot know if somewhere in her head, Hester knew that this was an unfair accusation. One cannot know if Hester realized that Amala was in fact not real. One could not know of the constant moral struggles Hester fought in her own head, that she herself was not aware of. These struggles while petty as a child grew more pertinent as Hester developed into a young woman. Still smart, still detached (according to herself), still skeptical, still moody, and now somewhat angry at the world, Hester was a strange sixteen year old girl to say the least. The visits from Amala grew less frequent, yet were more malicious. Amala often suggested violence, or profane thoughts that sometimes Hester agreed or disagreed with. For someone with such uncertainty in her head, she certainly was academically capable. Teachers praised Hester’s effortless success in school while students still looked at her with envy. Mary was still kind to Hester, but had given up on her fruitless attempts to include Hester socially. In Hester’s head she didn’t bother to acquaint herself with her peers or anyone else except for Amala. The young woman sat in her desk at school, doodling aimlessly on her desk while her teacher blabbered about reaction rates in Chemistry. Hester didn’t need to listen. She knew zero order, first order, and second order reactions. She knew that the Differential Rate Law was the constant k multiplied by the molarity of substance A raised to a power, multiplied by the molarity of substance B raised to a power. She knew that in Integrated Rate Law, in zero order reaction rates, time in relation to concentration is linear. She did not need to listen to her teacher.
There was however another discussion in her head.
None of these people care about you.
Right? Do they care about me?
Name one person who cares about you.
Well I’m sure they’d care if you were hurt or something.
Would they? Half of them don’t know your name.
Mary at the very least cares. And what about that one boy you’re-
Right. Keep telling yourself that.
What’s left Hester? Nothing. You don’t have any friends. Your mother doesn’t care. Your best friend is a god damn imaginary-
If in a certain experiment, over a specific time period, 0.0048 mol of PH is consumed in a 2.0-L container each second of reaction, what are the rates of production of -
If Hester keeps talking to herself in her own head, and no one has liked her for sixteen years of her pathetic, miserable life how long do you think it’ll take for her to lose her-
-what are the rates of production of Phosphorus and Hydrogen in this experiment?
-how long do you think it’ll take for her to lose her vile little mind?
“Hester. Hester!” Hester jumped a little in her seat. She looked up from her doodle to see who was talking to her. “Hester, the bell rang five minutes ago, you’re going to be late to class!” Mr. McIntyre, the chemistry teacher, said. “Are you feeling alright? You look a little lost.” The chemistry teacher said with a slightly concerned voice.
“Yeah Mr. McIntyre, I was just lost in my head” Hester laughed weakly.
What a nice euphemism Hester. Lost in your head. Lost thinking about how you want to exact revenge on these people who don’t give a rat’s ass about you. Lost, thinking about how lonely you are. Lost, feeling sorry for yourself like a little bitc-
“Stop it.” Hester said sternly. Mr. McIntyre sported a confused look on his face.
“Stop what Hester?” He asked the concern in his voice more obvious now.
“Nothing Mr. McIntyre, sorry it’s been a long day.” Hester avoided eye contact with the teacher and rushed out of her desk.
“Do you need a pass Hester, I could write you a note if you like-” The teacher called out, but Hester speed-walked out of the door before he could finish his sentence.
Hester’s eyes threatened to cry. She immediately felt angry at herself. She shouldn’t have done that. She just had to hope that Amala wouldn’t see it. Hester’s face drained when she heard the dark undertones of her childhood friend.
“Crying? Hester, are you crying?” Amala chuckled, keeping up with Hester as she walked to her next class. “Why don’t you take the day off Hester?” Amala sneered.
“Not now Amala I’m not in the mood.” Hester grumbled. It was true. Hester was not in the mood. Amala only snickered at Hester’s failed attempts to silence her. The young woman’s mind despaired. Clouds of melancholy were forged in the burning anvil of her frothing rage. She wanted; no- needed it to stop. A sense of hopelessness and panic gripped the youth sending her already volatile mind to a manic state.
“GET OUT OF MY HEAD!”
Hester’s desperation was tangible in the air. The girl had broken. Tears were streaming down her dark eyes as she slumped against a wall and slid down. Her shouts undoubtedly echoed across the hall. But like her own head said: “They don’t care”. With hands trembling of either fury, or fear, Hester wiped her tears away. It had been a long time since she had cried. This was a sign of weakness for Hester’s vicious mind.
Amala chortled. It was strange hearing and seeing a laugh coming out of a bird’s beak.
“Get out of your head?” He asked. Amala lowered herself to Hester’s height so Hester could look into Amala’s bestial eyes. “Get out of your head?” The owl repeated. “Hester, I am your head,” she whispered. “You’re doing this to yourself. All of this-” Amala knocked on Hester’s head playfully “- is a part of your masochistic, twisted, depressed mind.”
In life, there are times when a person loses not only hope, but a certain light from their eyes. The light which distinguishes someone from a sentient being. The light that shows the capability of feeling emotions. One could say that at this moment, Hester lost this light. The once dark, intelligent eyes were now forlorn.
Hester did not say a single thing to Amala.
“Suicidal thoughts, huh?” Amala asked, knowing what the youth was thinking. The creature mocked Hester, saying “Well kids in Africa are starving, heroin addiction is a growing problem in Russia, girls are being raped in India, but Hester can’t handle her own god damn head.” Hester did not acknowledge Amala. Amala laughed mirthlessly. “Really, Hester? You’re going to try to ignore me? You’re in over your head kiddo! Literally!” Amala chuckled at her own joke “Hester you can’t ignore yourself! There is no solution to this problem. There is no amount of therapy, or drugs, prescription or otherwise, to save you from yourself.” Amala took Hester’s hand, shaped it into a mock gun and pressed the two forefingers against Hester’s head. “You know how they say humans only use 10% of their brain?” Amala whispered maniacally. “I’m the 90%. 90% of your brain is bent on torturing you till you break, and then some. 90% of your brain will never let you find solace in your life ever again, Hester. And the best part is that you can’t ever hide from me.” The girl stared into the purple eyes of the beast in front of her. The demon of her own mind. The purple orbs consumed Hester’s mind. Like two hellions they danced with mirth and evil, fanning the flames of Hester’s anger.
Her eyes closed.
She clenched her fists.
She forgot to breath.
She forgot to think.
Hester screamed and swung wildly at Amala, hoping to make contact. The young girl jumped forward at where Amala was and pounded her fists away at the ground.
The purple hellions dancing.
Red spots burst into Hester’s vision.
Adrenaline coursed through her veins.
After a few minutes the floor was bloodied by Hester’s continuous punches and her knuckles were oozing crimson yet he kept punching. Amala was behind her, watching and whistling a merry tune.
Hester’s mother found her body in the bathroom. She was wondering what was taking the girl so long. She had a date that night after all. The young girl apparently had slit her wrists in the bathtub, following the classic suicide archetype as many before her set. There was no note. Authorities had no reason to suspect anything other than what it truly was. The school held a vigil for Hester. Mary, the ideal role-model student, had coordinated it. The whole neighborhood had donated countless dishes of baked goods to Hester’s mother. Tragedy seems to be a culinary muse for neighbors.
Yet the whole world is starving.
Hester’s mother would often go to Hester’s room and look through her school notebooks, crying. The lined pages littered with writing and pictures were recipients to her tears. The splotches stained the ink on the paper, blurring the works of a younger, less dead Hester. As any loving mother, she thought to herself “Where did I go wrong?” As any loving mother, she missed her daughter. If only one could comfort her. If only one could tell her,
“Your daughter had demons in her head. You can’t blame anyone.” But perhaps she is better off ignorant of the dark thoughts of Hester’s head. Ignorance is bliss, they say.
It may seem that Hester’s social life was barren. It was not. Hester had many friends. She led many clubs. She was Junior Class Vice President and received straight A’s. The reader may be asking,
“Why did she think she didn’t have friends, or that no one cared?” The answer is simple. Skepticism. Doubt. Depression. These things require nothing but barely conspicuous disembodied voices whispering their fallacies in someone’s head. It had been determined that Hester was mentally ill.
One day, while flipping through her elementary school notebooks, Hester’s mother found many sketches of a hooded figure that seemed to have an owl head and dark purple eyes. These drawings were usually captioned with a name: Amala. Initially, Hester’s mother paid no mind. The imagination of a child is very lush, after all. After Hester’s death, her mother coped as many others cope with tragedy: Religion. She would attend mass every Sunday at a very pious Catholic Church down the street from her. It provided her with a sense of direction. A sense of hope. Certain Sundays, Hester’s mother would buy red roses from the flower shop next to Oak Wood Cemetery to place at Hester’s grave. If one stood at the gate of Cemetery, they could see the tombstone of Hester. If they walked through the gate, and to the tombstone they could read the inscription. Inscribed on it was:
Here lies Hester Lilith
May in death, she find peace.
Hester’s mother would visit the grave, and place the red roses at the foot of the tombstone, and pray for Hester’s soul.
Only God knows where that was.
She would hold back tears, and smile wistfully thinking of Hester’s smiling face and all the happy recollections they shared together. Sometimes she would even see flowers from one of Hester’s many friends. When Hester’s mother walked back to her car, her pea coat shielding her from autumn’s wind and her boots crushing the chromatic leaves on the ground, she would hear a whistling. She would stop. Turn around, and realize it was just the gale of air that had brushed through the crevices of the leafless trees. She would keep walking and hear the whistling, but this time she wouldn’t grace the noise with her attention.
After all, she had already found an explanation for it.
Hester’s mother got into her car.
She would pull out of her spot, and look at Hester’s grave before she drove away. This time, standing at Hester’s grave, she would see a shrouded mass. The figure somehow knew that her eyes, which she were unable to tear away were boring into it. The figure turned around.
Two purple hellions.
how come nobody ever told me it was odd
to want to live in the woods alone
surrounded by nothing but nature and myself
how come nobody ever told me it was odd
that i didnt like being with people
and would rather spend hours with a book
how come nobody ever told me it was odd
when i exclaimed over numbers and organization
and obsessively counted things
how come nobody ever told me it was odd
when i would rather talk to my parakeets
than go to the movies with my classmates
how come nobody ever told me it was odd
that i picked at my skin and hair unconsciously
when i was overwhelmed with anxiety
how come nobody ever told me
nobody pointed things out
as a child i was expected
to notice things that came natural to me
but now im older theyre forcing me
to swallow pills and syrups and drugs
that are to quell the
thoughts in my head?