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Breonna Campbell never had an easy life. Struggling with depression, anorexia, multiple personality disorder, and anxiety, she has issues fitting in anywhere. One night, she finds herself wondering an unknown place, and many things are put into account.
This is an entry for The Challenger Maker's "A Stigma Contest".


Submitted:Jun 21, 2013    Reads: 77    Comments: 1    Likes: 2   


The water looks so clear tonight.

"Breonna! What did I fucking tell you?"

Shrinking back, she closes her eyes and covers her face. The punches and slaps came, exactly as she expected. They stung her face and hands as her fingers were ripped away, leaving her face bare to the assault as it came.

"Take it like the bitch you are!"

The screaming hurt her ears. It hurt so, so much,

"STOP!" she wanted to yell back. "STOP, STOP, STOP!"

But everything was blocked in her throat. No sounds came out at all, and she tried to fold into herself, like a compact telescope. Clenching her jaw, her teeth, her fists, and her eyes, she tried to picture some other place to be. Somewhere happy, somewhere that was far away from this place.

It's so pretty.

Banging on the doors. They make too much noise, all of the time. It's no wonder the neighbors complain to the landlords about them; there was so much hollering and fighting all the time. When someone wasn't happy in the house, no one was. Someone was always bound to make sure of that.

"Hurry up! Get out o' there!"

She didn't know who was trying to come into the bathroom, but she knew she didn't have much time to get what she needed to do done. Shoving a finger down her throat, she scraped her esophagus. Bile rose up, making her gag.

Puke splashed into the toilet water. A little bit of it spewed out her nose. She coughed and hacked out what seemed and felt like a lung. Wiping her face on a frayed sleeve, she flushed the vomit filled water.

Maybe I'll just put my feet in…

So many funny looks. Everywhere she went, another look was given. They watched her at all times, their eyes flashing like cameras that were recording her every move.

Sometimes there were snickers, hushed rumors, and hisses when she passed by. She made sure to keep her head down at all times. The last time she made eye contact with someone in this place, they slammed her books down and shoved her into a locker. Prior to that, a few girls had cussed her out, right in the middle of the hallway. No insult had been left unsaid.

It was days like those that she didn't understand why she was on this earth. To be someone's punching bag? To fill a quota of miserable people? How would her existence ever benefit the world?

She didn't know, but she wanted it all to end soon. How it would end, well, she didn't care. She knew she would do whatever it took to get rid of the sorrow, even if that meant taking her own life.

A little more wouldn't hurt…

"Fuck," she muttered, putting the knife down.

The handle was warm and worn in her palm. The metal flashed in the dim light of her bedroom. A little smear of blood was on the tip of the blade; she looked down at her own arm, at the ten little slashes she had made.

This wasn't the first time she had cut herself, and she knew it wasn't going to be the last time, either. But it was enough, for the time being, to satisfy the burning anger she had inside her. This was like her blood tribute to all that had gone wrong in her life, everything that was dark and evil that surrounded her. This was how she felt she could pay them off; she hoped by cutting, she could release whatever bad luck was within her.

"This is what I have to do," she whispered to herself, staring at the crimson lines. "If I ever want to be happy, this is what I've got to do."

It's warm.

No one ever realized that her name meant happiness.

It was ironic, that her name would mean happiness, when she was such a depressed person. She felt as though it were a bit like a joke, but it was one of those that was funny to everyone else. Why would she laugh at herself in such a way? It would only hurt more.

She slowly lifted her eyes and looked at herself in the mirror. The figure there was thin, pale, and fragile looking. The eyes were sunken in a little, and they were dull. Her hair hung limply, but it was long. Her bones were peaking out from underneath her skin. There were scars on her arms, her legs, her feet, her stomach. Everywhere.

A shiver went down her spine when she saw how far her ribs stuck out; she knew that starving herself was bad, but what was the point in eating? That would only give her sustenance for a life that she didn't want. Not only that, but any sign of gaining weight would trigger the endless insults of being fat. She didn't want to have to deal with that again. It was seeming to get a little better, finally.

Taking two fingers, she pinched her cheeks. There was still fat there, she could feel it. She moved to her stomach, then her thighs. So much fat. This wouldn't do.

I wouldn't mind going in a little deeper.

When she met him, she felt beautiful. Everything was through rose-tinted glasses, and everything seemed better.

He traced her skin with his fingers. A cool breeze blew over their backs as she took in a deep breath. It had only been a month since they'd met. Yet it felt like a lifetime to her. Closing her eyes, she tried to adjust herself without disturbing him. Her hips ached and she was a little uncomfortable being naked outside, but they had blankets covering them haphazardly. Plus, who would look inside the bed of a pickup truck?

"I think…." she said slowly. "I think I might love you."

He looked up at her. His face was frozen in shock. "What do you mean, love?"

She didn't know what to say; she'd said exactly what she meant. There weren't many other words or ways to put it. "I said, I think I love you."

"You're fucking crazy!" he shot up, tugging on his boxers. "Get out. Now."

Confused, she pulled her dress on over her head. "What/"

"How could I ever love someone like you?" he sneered. "This was all just a bet! Me and the boys, we were tryin' to see if I could get in your pants!"

She didn't know what to say. She tried to hold back tears as she bit her lip and tugged on her underwear. Jumping out of the pickup, she took off running, never looking back.

It would be nice to float for a little while.

The bullying had gotten worse. Everyone looked at her like she had AIDS, or something equally bad. They treated her as if she was less than nothing, and the rumors kept getting worse.

"Breonna," they'd say in their high pitched squeals. "Heard you gave head to the entire football team last night! You dirty whore!"

She'd try to shrink within herself and keep her eyes down. It was hard to keep a poker face on when all she wanted to do was curl into a ball and sob her eyes out. Nevertheless., she tried to keep everything from them. All they wanted was to get a reaction, she knew. That was the one thing she didn't want to give them.

I think I'll close my eyes for a bit.

Things were getting no better at home. There was more screaming and fighting than before, and it just kept getting worse. Her mother was bringing home random men, and sometimes when her mother was asleep, they'd sneak into her room. She was glad that she had at least lost her virginity before it started; while he was no better, she would rather lose it to someone she loved than the awful men that were at her house.

Tonight was no different from the others. She rolled over in bed to find a sweaty mess lying next to her.

"Jus' got done wit your mum. Want to give it a go?" the man grunted. She could smell alcohol on his breath. She tried to scoot herself away from him, but he gripped her arm tightly.

"You ain't getting away so easy, girl,"

Though she tried to fight him, he was too strong. She was pinned underneath him, unable to scrabble away. Clenching her eyes and jaw, she tried to get away from him. The man roughly grabbed her right arm and squeezed. She could feel her bones crunching underneath his grip.

She gasped, right as he pushed into her. At the same moment, her bone snapped in half.

I think I'll go under.

She dropped out of school. There was no point in going any more, the only thing she ever learned was how much she hated herself. And how much everyone else hated her, too, for that matter. By going, she was just setting herself up for more failure and depression.

Most days she walked the streets by herself. Her mother didn't know she dropped out, and it wasn't something she wanted to slip into casual conversation with her. She'd had enough of the angry rants about how she was never going to amount to anything, and she didn't need any more of them.

The streets were relatively empty; it was late in the evening, and she didn't know exactly where she was. She'd been walking since six in the morning, and she didn't have any definite plans to go back home. As she saw it, that place was no more a safe haven than school had been. It was safer, easier, to be somewhere else.

"Don't go back home,"

Looking around, she tried to find the source of the voices. But there was no one near her.

It came again. "Don't go home. Stay on the streets like the piece of shit you are."

A few tears streaked down her face as she turned into an empty alley. It was an impulse reaction. Where else was she going to go? She wasn't happy with herself for crying out in public, even if it was in an alley where no one was going to see her.

"I'm going crazy," she said to herself. "I'm losing it."

Wait.

She hadn't been home in days. The last time she was, her mother had beaten her until her nose was bleeding and both of her eyes were black. Of course, she had to make matters worse on herself by running to the bathroom and puking out her guts after everything was said and done.

It still burned every time she did it. Same thing went for cutting; nothing seemed to work anymore. Nothing could satisfy the depression that haunted her everywhere she went, and it was getting too tiring for her to keep up with.

Before she left, she had run to the bathroom. Not to puke, but for a different reason. She gathered every single pill bottle in there, no matter what it was or what it treated. It wasn't important to her; if it was supposed to do something, make her feel something, then she would take it.

Where am I?

The pills made her dizzy. She couldn't think straight, couldn't breathe right. Her arms and legs felt as if they were made of lead. Everything she saw was blurry and warped; she could feel her heart racing in her chest.

In front of her was a dark lake. She wasn't very sure where she was; she'd been walking for days and days and days. She only ever stopped for a few hours to sleep on a park bench or to beg for enough money to buy a little bit of food. There was no point in trying to puke it up, though, when she was burning everything off from the walking.

The lake looked dark and sparkling and safe. She smiled, something she hadn't done in almost forever. Stumbling towards it, she sat herself on the edge. Slowly, she put her feet in. She sank in gradually, trying to relax her restless body.

Why do I feel so funny?

Eventually the water went over her head. She couldn't help but smile, laugh even. She didn't know how to swim, but the pills made her feel invincible. She wasn't fully aware yet of the oxygen running out. All she knew was that the adrenaline was great, that her stomach was churning, her heart was thundering, and that the water felt amazing.

What's going on?

She opened her eyes, trying to understand what was happening. Black. Everything was black. It felt like she was being pulled down.

Unable to breathe, she thrashed around, trying to break free from an invisible hand.

I can't breathe.

All she could see was the surface, far above her. And her pale hands. Her arms stretched up above her like skinny white pillars, trying to reach the sky. Even in the dark waters, she could see the puckered pink lines on her arms.

Her lungs screamed at her, as well as the voices in her head.

"Go farther down, hold it!" they yelled. "Stay under, you worthless bitch!"

Her body felt tired and heavy, like there was an anchor wrapped around her, pulling her further and further down. The water no longer felt pleasant. Now it was cold and icy.

I'm so tired.

There was no energy left. She didn't want to keep trying to fight her way to the surface. The reasons to let go were stacked so high. But the reasons to stay…. There were none.

I give up.

Breonna let her body relax as it sank. She figured she might as well go peacefully.

Closing my eyes, I let go.

The world never wanted me anyways.





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