*This opening chapter is a short insight into each of the main character's lives*
I looked into the mirror and the usual reflection looked back at me. The reflection of a teenage girl, to whom nothing awful had ever happened. Compared to what some others had to go through in their life, I would say mine was so ordinary and happy it was unfair- to them- and even though it may seem bad, I still pray that nothing bad would ever happen to change that.
A million thoughts were running through my head as I stared into that mirror, mainly to do with my concern for starting a new school tomorrow. All these concerns had to leave my mind so I could sleep... but the babbling voices were never quiet.
I imagined scenarios; people laughing at the way I act, people laughing at the way I speak, people laughing at the way I dress...
...I was worried, as any normal teenager would be.
I’d even gone to the precaution of straightening my hair now, before I went to bed, so it would have less chance to mess up tomorrow.
I worry too much... I thought to myself.
But then, all teenagers feel the pressure, right? Even the popular ones?
Switch on the stereo, always ready on the same song...
One… Two… Three…
Press-ups, every night, at the same time, to One by Swedish House Mafia. Every night.
Ten… Eleven… Twelve…
Girls always seem to think that it’s not as difficult for men in this world as it is for women. We- apparently- don’t have the same pressure they do when it comes to looks. Man, are they wrong…
It’s alright when you’re someone like Lewis. If you’re someone like Lewis, you don’t even have to try, and girls fall at your feet. If you’re someone like Lewis, you don’t even need to try and look good, you already do (and boy, does he know it). If you’re someone like Lewis, you live in a huge house with lots of money.
But I will always remain the same.
Thirty… Thirty-one… Thirty-two…
Turn on the expensive CD player, hunt for the song I want…
One… Two… Three…
On the outside I come across as confident. On the outside I come across as charismatic.
On the inside I’m a constant nervous wreck. On the inside I’m almost an introvert.
Sometimes I wish everyone would leave me alone. Sure, I have the big house and the money... but the only true friend I have is Tyler. I don’t have someone to love. Girls can throw themselves at my feet if they want, but it won’t change anything. They’re just average girls.
Ten… Eleven… Twelve…
Tyler says he’s jealous. Tyler says he always works out at night. I laugh and tell him I don’t. I lie.
I happened to glance in the mirror as I finished putting my books in my new school bag. I gasped, I looked such a state. I ran my hands roughly through my short, magenta hair, and put on even more make-up. Halfway decent I suppose.
I got changed into my pyjamas, making sure I was undressed for the shortest time possible. Some girls say they envy my figure.
They don’t know I used to starve myself. They don’t know I use to need... help.
I shook the thoughts from my mind and stepped towards the mirror.
To a guy I might look perfect. I smiled.
“Night beautiful.” I whispered to my reflection, and got into bed.
I could hear my father talk with my mother in supposedly hushed tones in the kitchen. Complaining, once again, that I had taken so long in the bathroom. It wasn’t my fault they wouldn’t turn the study into an en-suite for me.
Father dearest doesn’t seem able to cope with a son who cares more about facials than football.
What can I say, the moment my mother introduced me to dance and musicals I fell in love. It’s not my problem.
Whenever I was teased at school, I’d tell her. She’d unplug the phone, get a tub of ice-cream and we’d sit in the lounge watching Grease. She’d tell me that no matter what anyone thought of me I was her son, and nothing changes that.
On days like that my dad would come home, sigh, and go out again to watch whatever sport was on at the pub.
I like being me, and screw anyone who wants me to change.
I kissed my poster of Harry Styles and went to bed. I needed my beauty sleep.
I sat on my bed, the lights turned off, trying to be as silent as possible.
I heard the door slam shut as dad came home, I heard him stumble into the kitchen where mum was waiting. He was drunk, but she would be on her third glass of wine by now. I heard his voice, cold as he greeted her, and she didn’t reply, as usual. I heard him call to her again, this time more taunting. I heard the chair legs scraping against the floor as she stood up to shout her insult. I heard the slap.
Erica squealed in her bedroom and ran into mine. I knew it was a bad choice, but I needed to comfort my little sister.
I heard the wine bottle shatter as I hugged Erica tight. Dad started to make his way up the stairs, tripping as he always did on the fourth step. Erica quivered in fear. We both knew what would happen next...
... and dad shoved open my bedroom door.