3 // Nora

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I'm so happy 'cause today

I've found my friends...

They're in my head

My pencil worked across the page of my math homework as I listened to Nirvana's Lithium. I had never really been into them before, but Tate had pulled me into his fascination with Kurt Cobain in the short time I had known him.

After a short while, my stomach was grumbling and I decided that, since my mom was out at some yoga class or something, and my dad was seeing a patient, I would actually eat something. I had stopped eating dinner or any other meals around my parents as some sort of depressed boycott for what they had done to my life. I grabbed a cold container of left-over salad from dinner the other night and brought it back upstairs with me.

As I lay in bed finishing the food, I looked at my pale wrists. The veins showed through like a blue map of my body and if I stared at them long enough they seemed to pulse before my eyes. My heartbeat, I thought. That's my heartbeat, and I want it to stop beating. I silently got up from the bed, the springs squeaking and the floor boards creaking under my light step. The bathroom across the hall from me was open and inviting. Stepping inside on the cold tile and shutting the heavy door behind me, I opened the medicine cabinet, grabbing my father's razors. I plucked one from the box and shut the mirrored cabinet door again, looking at my reflection.

"C'mon, Vi, you crazy little princess!" My dad's eyes shone brightly and the loose skin around his eyes crinkled up as he smiled at me. The reflection of myself I saw in his pupils was that of a happy six year old girl with bright chocolate eyes and a genuinely cheerful smile.

The mini-memory flashed from my mind as I looked at the tired sixteen year old with the dull brown irises, the stress lines around her eyes, the cracked lips flattened into a line from a lack of laughing and smiling alike. "You're shit," I whispered before dragging the shiny metal blade against my ghostly white skin. When I was little, I wanted to be an artist. My favorite part of painting was being able to have four colors and, if you mixed them the right way, have a million more. I paint with gray and it comes out red, I thought, digging the blade in harder. "You're absolute shit, Violet."

~

"Give me the phone, Ben," I heard my mom's shaky voice shriek in the middle of the night. "When have you been seeing her, you fucking liar?" I was so sick of my dad's cheating. Sitting up in bed, I rested my head on my knees and listened in on my parents' argument, biting my lip and hoping they wouldn't get divorced. As much as I hated my parents sometimes, I didn't want to be one of those kids who came from a broken home, but I guess it didn't matter since I was already broken. As if on que, a tapping noise came from my window. I walked over to it quietly and opened it, peering outside to see Tate.

"Meet me in the basement!" he shouted to me, dissapearing behind a row of bushes. Well, shit.

I threw on a pair of sweatpants and a long-sleeved t-shirt and tied my hair up in a ponytail, scurrying past my mom and dad's door to the stairs and continuing on into the basement. The cement floor was cold on my bare feet and I thought of all the fucked up shit that had happened down here. Something scurried in the corner and my heart stopped beating. "Hello?" I whispered, squinting my eyes in the dim light. "Tate, is that you?"

"Over here, Vi," his gentle voice resonated from a back part of the basement, a part that was darker than the rest.

I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to walk through the dark in a creepy old basement with no shoes on. "Uh... where? Can you, um, come out to me?" I asked, trying to sound as non-pathetic as I could. Tate laughed and his shadow swept out of a doorway, greeting me by the stairs.

"Come on," he said, lacing our fingers together. "I have a surprise." The closer he led me to the door, the more I realized that there was light emitting from inside. I pulled away from Tate a little bit, hesitant to enter the room.

"Are you sure this is safe?" I asked, trying to peer into the doorway from my safe viewpoint.

Tate laughed and started guiding me to the door again. "Of course it's safe, Violet." His expression became serious. "I would never put you in any danger. I would never hurt you, Vi." Then he was smiling again. "C'mon, I want you to meet someone."

We entered the doorway, one pathetic lightbulb dangling from the ceiling, slightly flickering. A woman sat on the floor of the room, an old dress skirt spread around her. Her blonde hair was pinned up in an odd way and she was crying. "My baby," she sobbed, clutching a white handkerchief. "Where's my baby?"

Tate turned to me and nodded a little, advancing towards the woman. "Nora?" She shot up, looking at Tate with a curious look. She was absolutely beautiful. "Nora, it's me, Tate. I want you to meet someone." Her gaze then fell on me, her eyes sad and haunting. "This is Violet. She lives here now. She means a lot to me."

The woman slowly started towards me, her handkerchief still grasped between her long, ghostly white features. Her dress dragged behind her on the cracked cement ground, grimy and ripped. When she stopped in front of me, she reached a shaky hand out to caress my face. "Violet," she whispered, prolonging my name in an admirable way. "Such a pretty name for a pretty girl." A tear slipped from her eye again. Was she always crying? "Don't end up like me, Violet." She sniffed and wiped at her eyes, suddenly starting to storm away. "Charles? Charles? Oh, Mother always told me not to marry him, why didn't I listen to you, Mother?" The back of her blonde hair was matted with a large, blood stained hole and I was about to shriek when she suddenly dissapeared into thin air.

I felt Tate's hand in mine again. "Isn't she cool?"

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