I was tapped on the back and I looked up. The bus was in front of me and an elderly woman was sitting next to me I checked my watch. It had been half an hour. The elderly lady tapped me on the shoulder once more before I got up to get onto the bus. I turned to look at her questioningly. She smiled wryly.
“You sing beautifully, dear, continue singing… for my old sake if for nothing else.” Thanks for that fairy godmother. But I didn’t say that to her face.
“Uh…thanks?” I muttered, blushing. I showed the bus driver my card and he did whatever he had to do with it before returning it. I went to sit near the back. There was a group of younger girls from my school sitting at the very back. I returned my earphones to my ears and shuffled to the seat in front of them. They hushed and stared at me. I heard giggling and whispering and after a few minutes I turned around and death stared them. “Is something wrong, twelvies?” I asked meanly. I didn’t actually mean to be rude, I had just had enough and I was tired.
The one with bleached blonde, perfectly straightened hair leaned over and smiled at me with white teeth. I stared into her eyes. She didn’t recoil as all the others did.
“You’re Ariel right?”
When I didn’t react she coughed a laugh and continued. She shook her long hair in a really annoying way.
“Look can you hurry up? I’m busy writing here.” I snapped.
“Sorry, is it true that you’re going out with Ashton Irwin?” She giggled and her friends started laughing their asses off. I rolled my eyes.
“And who told you that?”
“I saw it on Facebook.” Her eyes closed for a second and then became coherent. “‘Ariela and Ashton are going out, so give it all up, and stop chasing after him.’ It’s a message I got from Carrie. She’s like, royalty, at our school!!”
I rolled my eyes again.
“Look, munchkins, I got work to do, beat it. I’m not spending half an hour talking to freaking Twelvies.”
There was quiet for a few moments. I got back to work on my story.
‘The next day-
“So is Ashton like free game or what?”
“SHUT UP.” I yelled. The bus driver gave me a warning look through his rear view mirror. “Stupid little annoying Twelvies,” I murmured to my book.
“I’m fourteen. I’m in year 8 so shove that up your butt you man stealer. I will get Ashton and I will come up to you and show off. Bitch…”
I gave her the finger and she backed off. The bus driver was shaking with laughter for some reason. I sighed and went back to my book.
‘The next day was just as bad as the others. And so was the next. Every day I was bullied to the point of breaking. I was kicked and punched and yelled at. And every single one of these East L.A ghetto students did whatever they thought was funny. I didn’t speak at school at all. I barely spoke at home. And now that I was turning 16, my foster parents were trying to get rid of me. They thought that I was a nuisance and that I was good for nothing. They said that the real reason my parents both killed themselves was because they saw my face. Even my foster siblings laughed whenever my foster parents said it. Each and every one of them was fat and obese and they didn’t stop eating. In East L.A though, being fat meant you were rich, so according to all of them I was meant to be poor and I will always be poor.
The truth was I was battling Anorexia. And it was worse when you knew it. I didn’t see fat when I looked in the mirror. I saw a normal girl’s body, but I always wanted to be skinnier, so I stopped eating. I hadn’t actually eaten for three weeks when I realised that I had a problem.
I know that sometimes when people have anorexia, they want to stop eating. I can’t eat. I try and try, but I just can’t get it down. One doctor said it was to do with my metabolism and another looked at me once and told me that I was anorexic. Life sucks. And theirs is basically nothing that I can do about it.
I used my hand to move my murky, dyed blonde hair out of my face. It was silky and soft but it looked horrible. I didn’t have any money to dye it back to my normal colour so I was stuck with it. I sniffed the air. I could smell the cooking of the main street of East L.A. I could never afford to go there, but I waited in the night, in my faded blue jeans and purple sleeveless top and matching jacket, I could feel the chill of the night.
I peeked around the corner of the building and saw Oria and Aader and some other mean girls and guys from school coming out of Choley’s, the nicest take away food joint in L.A. From what I’ve heard at least, I had actually never been there. My foster family had never had enough money to take me as well as the others and we had never gotten pocket money. I scratched my face as CC Berwer spied me. She giggled to Oria that she would be right back and skipped her way over to me. Oria walked on. It was clear that she was drunk by the way that she was walking and she walked down the alley in her short gold mini-dress. Her long dark brown hair was pulled into a high ponytail with smoky dark eyes it made her look old enough to drink. She had a fake I.D I’d bet. She pulled me by my shoulder and with her long nails she poked my neck.
“Why are you watching us? It’s bad enough that you sit there at school not talking but if you don’t talk to me now, and explain…well then… I’ll have to beat the explanation out of you.” She retracted her fingernails from my neck, leaving a crescent shaped dent, and cracked her knuckles. I looked straight into her eyes and she stumbled back a few steps.
I turned away from her and she came right up to me, her fists blocking her face. She swung at me and I ducked. She brought her knee up to her chest and got me right in the gut. I fell to the ground in pain. She kicked my side with her gold stilettos and then stood on my stomach with them. I bit back a scream and waited for her to finish kicking me before I stood up and limped away from her. CC yawned and leant against the wall.
“Bit of a boring fight, a one-sided fight is. Don’t you reckon, Snow?” She smiled at me before re- applying a layer of foundation. She took a tube of lip gloss out of her clutch and smacked her lips together. She patted me on the arm before landing another punch straight on my jaw. I fell onto my bad leg and bit back yet another scream. She frowned at me before shrugging. “Guess there’s nothing we can do about a lost cause is there?” She waved at me before standing tall and loping out of the shadowed alley in long strides. I watched as men from the pub turned their heads and whistled at her. She smiled wistfully at them and re-joined Oria and Aader. I felt the familiar burning in my eyes as tears threatened to appear.
I put my hand into my pocket and found the correct money that I had stolen. I walked into the main street and turned onto Drunk Road. I walked into the gun shop. I pulled out my real mother’s driver’s licence. We looked so much alike that they let me through after they examined it and then glared at me. They waved me on and I continued to the counter. I fingered the money and put it on the counter.
“What would you like, sweetie,” The tattooed man asked me. I opened my mouth to speak for the first time in two years.
He put a small pistol on the table along with some bullets. I didn’t know what they were really called. I handed him the money and took the gun and the bullets. I asked him to show me how to load them and walked out of the shop with a loaded gun in my pocket. I walked back into my little dark alleyway.
No one would miss me. No one would ask about me. My foster parents wouldn’t report that I was missing. A shiver ran through my body as I took the gun out and made sure it was ready to shoot.
I brought it up to the bottom of my chin and held my head up. My palms were sweaty and I had no time to think. I could feel my heart beating.
I took a deep breath and wiped my teary eyes.
I took another breath and put both hands on the gun.
I closed my eyes.
I was terrified.
But I knew that whatever was on the other side was better than what I had here.
I pulled the trigger.’