One Story from Two Points of View
The car stopped, I took the earbuds out of my ears and saw Ridgewood High for the first time. It wasn’t too big of a building, brick, and it looked older though as I took in all the vines wrapping around anything they could find. I became more and more nervous as I walked towards the glass double doors. What if what happened before happened here? Well I’m here now, I thought, just hope for the best. It’s the last place I have any hope in.
I walked over to the glass door and noticed all of the people hugging and whispering to each other. It was the first day of school, just friends talking to each other. The stench of cologne hit me like I walked through some sort of forcefield. I realize I’m no longer outside, but I had walked into the high school. There were posters for clubs and sports everywhere in blue and white. I turned my head to look into the gym and see cheerleaders practicing those fun cheers. I hummed the cheer, and I jumped when I heard the bell.
I ran down the hall to find my class. What number, what number was the classroom? It hit me that I had no idea where I was going or what class I had. I only knew where the office is so I headed there.
The school was bigger than it looks from the outside. There was really a lot of room there. It kind of freaked me out. I turned the corner and the office was right there. Some girl was waiting, just sitting, she looked really impatient.
“Are you Kylie Crow?”
“Wh-what? Oh yes that’s me, I’m Kylie.”
“ I’m supposed to be touring you, did you know that?” She sounded extremely irritated. Then again she had been waiting a long time.
“ No I’m sorry, No one told me about this. I didn’t get any information about anything.”
“It’s okay, I know what it’s like to be the new kid. My name is Annabelle Rose. You can call me Bella if you want.
“Ok Bella. When did you become the new girl here?”
“ Well, this is senior year so, two years ago.”
“ Oh, so you’re not really new here. This is kind of personal but do you want to know why I’m here?”
“ Sure, why not?” She was hiding something, I knew that tone of voice anywhere.
“ Everywhere I go I get bullied. There is nowhere that is safe for me. My only friend that will stick with me is my older brother Max Crow. He goes here and finally convinced me that I should go here. I’ve been to so many other schools and none can help me. No one understands.”
“Oh I’m really sorry about that. I hope Ridgewood can give you a different experience. Plus I know Max, he’s a great guy. Really sporty too.”
“ Yeah Max is great, I mean, my parents are helpful but you know what they say about sibling bonds. Max and I have that to the fullest extent.”
“ That’s sweet. Oh, here we are, classroom 3B. Senior Language Arts. I’m in this class too so let’s head in.”
“ Okay, thank you Bella.”
“ No problem we can talk more later if you want.”
“ That would be great, you're so welcoming Bella.”
“ Why thank you Kylie. You are a super sweet girl, but we should probably go inside.”
Belle opened the door, and we walked in. It smelled surprisingly fresh for a classroom. The huge windows on the opposite side were letting in an insane amount of light for the smallish classroom. The green walls were calming and made me feel somewhat at home. I was feeling different about this place every minute I was there. I tried to sit down but of course I got pulled to the front of the class.
“ Everyone listen up.” The teacher tried to get the class’ attention.
“ Listen! Everybody this is your new classmate Kylie. Make her feel welcome.” I looked over to Bella who gave me reassuring smile and a thumbs up. I looked around the classroom and one thing caught my eye. One girl was looking at me strangely, almost as if I had done something to her. I returned my gaze to Bella and she was no longer smiling, she looked almost worried. Later I would understand why.
After class, I walked out with Bella by my side. I was so happy to have a friend. It had been a long time since I had a friend that was a girl. I can’t say since I had a friend because of Max. I felt the weight lift off my shoulders and then quickly set back in. I didn’t know why yet but I sensed something different coming towards me. No more than a second later I figured out it wasn’t for me, it was for Bella. The odd girl who was staring me down before was walking angrily towards Bella, and I was soon to find out why.
“ Bella! Why are you with her? We are friends, not you and her. Y-You betrayed me! After everything I’ve been through, I thought you understood. I guess not.” Oh, so this was unintentionally my fault, great just what I need, I thought.
“Juniper, I- I was just showing her around, I told you about this. Just because I have another friend doesn’t mean I’m not yours as well.” Bella sounded terrified, but she didn’t strike me as a scared person.
“ Hold on. Hello, my name is Kylie. I never meant to get in between you and Bella. She really was just…”
“ I don’t believe you Bella! You are such a liar!”
“ Juniper I’m being completely hon… aaaaaahhhhhhh!” What I had just witnessed was nothing compared to what I was about to get.
Before I could help Bella I was slammed into the lockers. My head and back hurt so much, I felt blood trickling down the back of my head. I then tried to get up and she kicked me down. Juniper continued this until Bella caught her attention.
“ Juniper, leave Kylie alone. You are doing what you despise most, you know that. You wouldn’t want to become your father to Kylie would you?”
“ Oh my God, Bella, help me.”
“ Go Kylie go, go!” that one bit of conversation got me hooked to her story, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more so I hung around.
I peaked around the corner of the hallway and barely heard the crying coming from the principal's office. I heard Bella shushing Juniper and the principal trying to address the situation. As her sobbing became worse it echoed through the halls, and it kind of freaked me out. The last thing I heard was Juniper asking, “When will it stop?” After that I couldn’t take it and ran.
When I got home I didn’t stop downstairs, I didn’t want my parents to see the bruises that had quickly appeared on my head and back. I wasn’t looking when I ran into Max. He stopped me in my tracks and hugged me.
“Kylie, what happened to you?”
“ Juniper and her past.”
“ Please, be careful Kylie.”
The Next Day…
“ Kylie, Kylie can I talk to you?”
“ Oh hi Bella! Sure.” I tensed when I saw Juniper, I guess Bella saw this and kept us a ways apart.
“ So what is it, Bella?
“ Juniper wants to apologize. She’s in a tough spot right now.”
Juniper looked me straight in the eye and told me what had been going on for her. I was on the verge of tears, and now I don’t blame her for yesterday at all. Just that stupid father of hers.
“ So Kylie, you forgive me?”
“ Of course I do Juniper, we can be friends if you want.”
“ That would be great.”
After all of that we came in for a friendly hug to seal the forgiveness. I hadn’t felt happier than this in a long time. This is really where I belong. Ridgewood had given me something I hadn’t experienced, real friendship.
Blood ran down my arm, why of all things did he have to use a belt? It hurt so much, I couldn’t just go to Bella’s like usual. Whap! My brain screamed at him to stop, everything stung and I melted to the ground. I didn’t understand why my father would do this to me. I love him and this is what I get back. I scream out for real in pain as he whips me again. I barely heard the steps coming closer to the house as I tried to crawl away from the monster. The click of the key unlocking the door gave me some hope, and I was right. My mother walked right in on my father beating me up, perfect timing. I saw my father's eyes widen in pure fear as he turned around. I had never seen my mother so angry before.
“ Charlie! What the HELL are you doing? You’re drunk again aren’t you!”
“ K-Karen I can explain.”
“ Juniper doesn’t deserve this at all! Plus you better as HELL, explain yourself once I let you come back.” Did I just hear what I think I did? My mother has never done this.
“ W-What? What do you mean once you let me come back?” I had never heard him more terrified ever than in that moment.
“ You know exactly what I mean and it’s exactly what it sounds like, you are leaving!”
“ No I don’t want to see you right now, out!” I watched in awe as my mom pushed my father out the door and slammed it in his face.
The Next Day…
I woke up and I was sore all over. I wasn’t sure why at first but then I remembered the events of last night and felt a rush of adrenaline go through my body. I became upset as I remembered how glad I was about finally being able to wear a short sleeve shirt. Now I had no choice but to wear my sweater again. I always have to wear something that covers everything. I’m tired of it.
“Juniper, honey we have to get you to school. You’re going to be late if we don’t now!”
“ Alright I’m coming mom!” All I cared about was getting to my best friend Annabelle or Bella, she prefered that. She would find a way to patch me up and calm me down.
Twenty minutes later I was running into school, replaying the night before in my head. I focused on one thing, the feeling I got when mom walked in. When she yelled at him, she had usually sided with him. I guess I felt like I had won something, a power rush, and I wanted to feel it again. I have never felt more alive than when I felt that feeling.
The bell rang me out of my thoughts as I sprinted down the almost empty hallways. I saw the sign that said 3B and dashed inside. I took my seat and it felt incredibly warm. The teacher walked in and I realized Bella wasn’t there, of all days she wasn’t there. I couldn’t pay attention, something was up and it was happening now. Snapped out of my thoughts, Bella and a new girl walked into the classroom. The teacher introduced us to the new girl Kylie and anger starts bubbling inside my chest, I was close to the feeling again. I just needed to wait. Kylie looked at me and I gave her the back off glare, or I thought I did.
Bella and Kylie walked out of class together, and they looked so happy and it killed me from the inside out. I walked out after them, I was so hungry for the feeling that I would regret for a long time what I did next.
“ Bella! How could you betray me? I thought you understood, I guess not.”
I could see her trying to respond but nothing was going to stop the anger I had kept inside, the power I needed to feel. I told her I didn’t believe her and threw her against the lockers. I realized what I had done. i wanted to stop but the rest of me told me to keep going and I couldn’t fight it. Kylie got my attention and spoke, saying she hadn’t meant to get in the way. Bella was just touring her around. I only saw red around me as I threw her to the lockers as well, repeatedly kicking her. Bella called my name and my vision cleared, only I was left and I broke down.
“ Bella, help me please.” I was terrified. That power had brought me down. I’m afraid it may take over again so I told Bella to send Kylie off on her way. Bella helped me get up and took me to the office. Not to get me trouble, the people here know what happens to me. Until I left I kept crying over and over, “When will it stop?” Sobs racked my body as I relived what I had just done. I needed rest and needed it right away. Bella led me out of the school and took me to her house, where I fell asleep instantly.
The Next Day…
Bella and I walked through the school afterward, discussing everything that had happened to me in my past. She is the only person who knows everything, and I intended someone else to play that role as well, Kylie. We walked around the corner and there was Kylie, and she looked a bit scared to see me. How could I blame her? She stayed because of Bella though.
“ Kylie, Juniper wants to apologize. She’s in a tough spot right now.”
I told Kylie everything and she seemed touched, not at all scared by me anymore, more like understanding. We hugged, I was happier than I had been in a long time. Everything around me shined brighter, the colors a little more vibrant. Kylie had just made my life a bit better and there was nowhere I would rather be than Ridgewood.