Neglect

Getting my key into my front door was difficult enough. Blinded by salty tears, I couldn't see where the lock was, and my hands were numb from the cold rain. Finally sliding the brass key into the lock, I turned it sharply, gaining entrance to my refuge from the harshness of the outside world.

Mum was cooking dinner in the kitchen as I walked past. Not even looking in my direction, she talked at me:

'Good day, honey?'

I didn't expect her to look around to me whether I gave an answer or not, so I lied.

'I got caught in the rain, but apart from that, it was fine.'

She remained silent, probably only asking the question to follow a typical parental ritual.

Heading slowly upstairs, I dragged my feet, hoping to attract some attention, but my efforts were useless. Mum was concentrating hard on making me more of a target for the bullies.

I cleaned my face up - granted there was little to do, because of the rain - and applied antiseptic cream to most of my face. My lip, just around my left eye, my forehead. The sting was unbearable, and although I didn't want to get an infection, I felt that it was fair to be a little annoyed at having to apply pain to prevent pain.

For a few hours, I lost myself in video games, but I wasn't really concentrating, because my thoughts still lingered with the memories of today's events.

I ignored my mum's shouts for dinner, and when she came upstairs, I pretended to be asleep. She didn't seem too bothered, and neither was I.

As I heard her descend downstairs, I got out of bed and went over to my laptop. I typed in the address for YouTube, and browsed videos. Not funny comedy sketches, not dangerous home videos involving stunts or accidental pain. I searched the two words I hated most. 'Fat Franklyn'. Sure enough, several search results popped up. One was a comedian, but the rest... I didn't quite know how to react as I recognised the tormented face that drawed the audience's attention. Me.

I clicked on the most recent one, displaying my public humiliation earlier today - everybody at school was chanting my nickname, and trying to knock me over.

Once again, felt my eyes well up, and unleash a torrent of salty sadness. Searching again, I saw that another video had just been uploaded. I almost didn't want to look at it, knowing what it was. But I had to.

Sure enough, there I was, being beaten around the head and torso with feet and fists. Occasionally crying out, I was however surprised that I remained fairly silent throughout. The video went on for three minutes, and I felt like shedding a tear for every single second.

Hearing footsteps once again, I closed my laptop and darted across the room into my bed.

The door creaked open, letting some light shine onto me. I heard my mum mutter something to my dad, then they closed the door again.

I stayed there all night, hardly sleeping, only wetting my pillow with a thousand angry tears.

The End

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