Chapter 10

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The day after my release from the hospital I redid my entire room.  One of the days when I had been a patient I told my parents I wanted to repaint my walls so they got silver and fluorescent pink paint, in memory of Jasey Maria’s beautiful hair. Once we dressed the walls in new shades of color, we started to move furniture. With the help of my parents, I moved my bed into the wall where Jasey took her last breath and moved my bureau to the place where my bed had been previously.

                Hanging my Reasons Being posters back on the walls seemed easy compared to taking my boxes out of the attic. I threw away most of the recently bought clothing and replaced them with my original bohemian style. My entire room shined vibrantly with color, the way it had been before.

                It was when I was redecorating my room that I found Jasey’s guitar pick sitting in the corner. On the front of the pick, it said Reasons Being and on the back it had Alex Tasker’s autograph printed. I stared at it for twenty minutes before I noticed a little hole in the top where I could put a chain through it. I wore it as a necklace from that moment on.

                The bathroom came next in redesigning. My shampoo and conditioner bottles replaced themselves with new containers. I cleared the cabinet out of everything, including razors and blades, and filled it with new hygienic products. The last things to go, obviously, were Jasey’s beauty enhancers.  My fingers trembled with each of Jasey’s remaining items, but they had to go. After tons of trash bags, the smell of paint, and the feel of a whole new life, I went to the hair dresser with my mom.

                With already having severely mistreated hair, there wasn’t much Charlene, the hair dresser, could do. I asked her to start off with a new color. My mom urged me to go back to my natural color, which I had already planned to do, but I pretended to agree with her. After a disagreement with my mother, Charlene dyed underneath my brown hair hot pink, just like Jasey’s. Char tried to even out my layers so they would grow out nicely, and she fixed my pixie bangs so they swooped over my one eye perfectly. My hair was a little shorter than the way I had cut it, but I liked the bob theme to it. For the first time in several weeks, I looked in the mirror and smiled at my reflection.

                I stood in front of the school breathlessly admiring it in the cold. My ankle long, waist high, color printed skirt pressed against my shins and fluttered in the back with the wind. I wore a tight, white, long sleeved V-neck to keep attention to the skirt and away from my arms. My toes shivered, strapped down by the silver laces of my sandals. I straightened out my back, listened to my heart beat racing, and walked into a place I dreaded to be judged in.

                All the faces turned towards me like I had imagined. Unlike the last time though, smiles scattered among the crowd. Kids whispered about how I changed, saying I had grown into my own skin again. Amy came up to me and hugged me so tightly that I had to squeeze back to make her let go. Jenna walked up right behind me and jumped on my back to surprise me. Colin and Tyler grabbed us all in for a group hug and started to catch me up on what I had missed. Smothered in my old sea of friends, I heard Jasey’s voice. Startled but aware, I listened to my thoughts.

                “You look amazing, Kiersten,” Jasey whispered. “You were strong enough to pick up your pieces and put them back together. I love you, and good luck,” I could hear her giggle in my head like she always used to. My teeth showed with my smile as my old friends guided me to my first class of the day.

                It was only half way through math that I remembered the one reason I was so excited to come back to school. I started to write down several different ways to approach him, to start a conversation, to just walk past him but I ended up crossing out every single idea. Since it was my first day back, being the lazy person I am, I didn’t take any notes and spent each class period figuring out how to converse with Ian. It wasn’t till lunch that I came up with a marvelous idea.

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