As I returned to the classroom in the September of my grade eleven year I carried with me a reluctance for all to see. Had I had the skill to build a time machine I would have, if only to skip to the happy hour of my graduation ceremony. Eveline told me to keep up with school though. She told me not to give up. Eveline was - is - the best friend I have. She's the only voice in my head with a name, the only one I'm glad to have. She tells me constantly that there is a silver lining to every situation. Well, she is my silver lining.
So, as I entered through the double doors of my falling apart highschool, it was Eveline who motivated me to go, not the watchful glares of my parents as they stared me into the misabused halls of learning.
"Come on, Ren," she whispered to me, "Only two more years left. Just two more."
And I listened to her, found comfort in her words. She was right, after all. If only I could hold on through the next couple of years of hell, I would be free. Free, at least, from the mockings of peers, the exasperation of teachers, the steady beat of a twisted society. Still, I had no doubt that the voices would continue with me into adulthood, trapping me within my own mind. But at least the outside world would not detest me for it. I could go somewhere else. Somewhere far away, where no one new of me or my plight.
"Didn't the voices tell you to wear something decent for once, Rentard?" someone sneered at me as they pushed past, their own clothes colour coordinated to a tee. I glanced down at my own old jeans and baggy beige t-shirt, wondering if I should go home and change, wondering if that would make them like me, wondering if -
"Ignore them Ren, they don't matter. And they only give you that horrid nickname because they're too stupid to think of anything more creative."
I nodded at Eveline's comforting words and was halfway through silently answering her when I caught sight of the girl in front of me. It was her who had spoken, with words that people other than me could hear. I looked around, my eyes wide. That was Eveline's voice. But it wasn't inside me head. It was...
"Hey," the girl said to me, raising a hand in an old fashioned gesture of politeness. "I'm new. I was wondering if you could show me around the school for a bit." She smiled up at me and my dazed eyes took in her mousy curled brown hair, stubborn chin, and easy smile. She looked like everything I had imagined Eveline to be.
We stared into each other's eyes for a long moment, brown meeting blue. It felt to me as if some small parcel of understanding shot between us, like a bird on its way to the skies.
"I can't believe it's you," the girl in front of me said, breaking the silence that had enveloped us even as we stood in the bustling hallway. "You look just like I imagined."