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Pen Your Pride

A soft breeze wisped by, slightly pushing the hair away from my eyes as I examined a mansion perched up against a hill in the far distance. This was my new home. I sauntered forward, trying to remember the way to the colossal house.

After my release from the institution, my parents decided that it’d be best for me to live in a new area. They claimed that being in a fresh environment would get my mind off of her. But everything reminded me of Elena.

The stone that now replaced my once beating heart thudded hard at the thought of her name. Shockwaves of pain coursed throughout my body. I suddenly came to a halt on the shady sidewalk, and was now bent over, trying to catch my breath. Elena’s beautiful face flashed across my mind. I clasped my chest in agony. Tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t breathe. Was this what I was destined for: death on a beautiful August day in the middle of an afternoon stroll? How pathetic.

Fate must have set its course. Everything went black.

I awoke to the distant sound of grass being cut. When my eyes adjusted, it didn’t take me long to recognize my surroundings. I was inside my room, soundly tucked into bed.

How could this be? I tried to remember where I had been last. My head pounded. Forget it, I thought.

I rolled on to my feet and groggily shuffled out of my room and into my personal bathroom, shutting the door behind me. Inside, I studied myself in the mirror. My face was pale, my lips were chalky, and purple shadows sat under my eyes.

Perhaps my body wasn’t reacting well to the new area. I felt like a tiger taken out of the jungle. Don’t get me wrong, I hated being in the psychiatric ward as I hated reading William Shakespeare plays, hell, and all Montague’s… but for some odd reason, I wanted to go back. I missed the same, boring routine and the long talks with Dr. Hernandez. I missed my stiff, little bed and the shitty cafeteria food. It sounds strange, but one can grow used to the bare minimum.  

There was a soft knock at the door.

What?” I snapped. I was taken aback by my sudden hostility.  

“Are you alright?” It was my mother’s voice. I cracked the door open. Her anxious blue eyes stared back at me from the slit in the doorway. I could tell that she was stressed. It was showing on her skin.

“I’m fine,” I muttered. I was extremely angry for some reason. I wanted to hit something. My hand gripped the doorknob tightly.

“Okay...” She sounded skeptical.

I sighed, finally letting go of the doorknob. All the anger that coursed through me suddenly left. I wondered why my emotions changed so aggressively….

“What did you want, Ma?” I asked in a more tender voice.

“I wanted to know of you were ready for school.”

School?”

“It’s Monday, silly.”

Monday? How long was I out?

“Hurry up. I’ll be driving you there.” She left, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

*  *  *  *

 “What the hell happened here?”

 Outside the car window, police cruisers, fire trucks, and ambulances blocked off an entire one-way street. A crowd gathered outside the police tape, blocking the scene from view.

“Some girl went missing last night,” my mom said, shaking her head. “They found her cell phone and some blood traces on the street this morning. They think she’s dead.”

I swallowed. Dead. I hated the word.

“Are you nervous?” my mom asked, turning her attention away from the road.  I nodded. I haven’t been around people my own age in months.  I wasn’t confident in my social skills. Even making eye-contact proved to be too much for me to handle.

“You’ll be fine, honey,” she comforted in that motherly way. “I’ve heard very good things about this school and its students. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet a pretty girl here!”


   Yeah, maybe.

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