She was damaged.
She was the one girl in school who always just seemed to fall in with the wrong crowd. It was an extremely cliché thing to say, but there was simply no other way to put it. But the one thing that was not cliché was how well she hid it. Ellie was one of the most popular girls in out high school, and now here she was, on my doorstop in the rain.
I suppose I should explain who I am. My name is Kale and my mom is an Alanon/Alateen sponsor, so it was a regular occurrence that some of her clients stayed with us for a few days to weeks at a time; imagine my surprise though when Ellie turned up at our door.
She had a black eye, a few scratches and her make up streamed down her face like war paint, and as weird as this sounds, I don’t think she ever looked more...beautiful. Now when I saw beautiful I mean she looked extremely vulnerable and fragile, which proved that she was just as human as everyone else and not the untouchable girl I knew from school.
After I had opened the door, she stood rooted to the spot as soon as she laid eyes on me and I could tell that she averted her eyes out of sheer embarrassment. After a brief wrinkle in time where it seemed like it was just the two of us, my mom pushed me from the doorway as soon as she saw the desperate. I was trying to wrap my head around it, how someone so beautiful and confident had become so damaged and lost like a wounded animal.
I watched as my mom lead her to our spare room, giving her the normal speech that she gave to newcomers. This time was a little different though; she gave me the old ‘leave her alone’ look that I had gotten once or twice before. I swear it was as if she thought I was a sucker for girls who were ‘messed up’ to put it nicely.
It was then and there that I had determined that if I didn’t already know her name, I’d say that her name was tragedy.