A.N. This is my first story, but don't be afraid to critique me. I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you, love <3
P.S. The names of my chapters are song titles by You Me At Six. c:
Everyone has secrets. Some are bigger than others.
Some secrets are silly. Others are more terrifying.
I wish I could be on the silly side of the spectrum.
My name is Emarose Larson. Some people call me Emma. Some people call me Rose; It doesn't matter to me. I'm seventeen years old, 5'2" with an average body (at least, in my opinion. Jenni calls it
"kickass). Long, wavy black hair, grey eyes, and dark lashes. People say I inherited my good looks from my mother. At least, they used to; after her death, my dad put a stop to all talk of her.
I have a picture of her hidden under my mattress. If he found it, I have no doubt he would beat me.
More than he usually does, anyway.
But that's not my secret.
My friend Jennibelle is the only person I associate with regularly. I sometimes wonder if she actually wants to be my friend, or if she's just hanging around out of pity. Being with me earns Jenni
weird looks and questions. I've heard some of them.
"What's up with Emarose? She's so quiet."
"She's like a lifeless doll. Beautiful, but not alive."
"Are you guys lesbians?"
Jenni punched the last guy's lights out, but it was long-coming. He'd been trying to get in her pants for the past two years.
Eleventh grade starts in a week, and as withdrawn as I am, I'm actually ready to return to school. Anything is better than being in the house with my dad all day, cleaning up his mess and reminding
him to sleep on his bed or the sofa rather than the dirty, beer-stained floor.
My room is on the second story of the house, and right outside my window sits a huge tree with plentiful branches. Vine grows along the truck for an extra safety measure. Over the years, I've
perfected the art of silently slipping in and out of the house at night.
I have to wait a few hours before it's time- that sense of peace when the house and everything inside it settles down and drifts to sleep. It's near midnight when I crawl out of the window.
There's this one place I especially like visiting, and as always, it is completely vacant at this hour. It used to be a lovely pier, but time and neglect has taken its toll. The wooden bridge is
able to support my weight, so I stand at the very edge and look at the water. The moon shines brightly on the surface, reflecting itself as if coming from under the lake, a pure source of light.
Everything is still and quiet, and I can feel my heart beat, sending my blood throughout my veins. Alive. Despite it all, I am alive.
The wind picks up the ends of my knee-length white gown, and I lean forward, fixated on the stars and all their freedom, and just as I'm thinking about how easy it would be to float into the
atmosphere and become one of them, a voice speaks from behind me.
"Are you trying to kill yourself?"
Surprised, I spin around, losing my balance, and catch just a glimpse of the stranger's face before falling. Icey water engulfs me and automatically I open my mouth to cry out from the cold, and my
breath is replaced with liquid. My legs kick out, uselessly. But after the first two seconds, I realize that something about the shock of it all feels... good. My body puts up no more
struggle as I sink slowly, my right hand highlighted by the moonlight. Everything is silver and black, suspended in time. My death seems morbidly beautiful.
I close my eyes, welcoming the darkness.
And then strong arms wrap around my waist.
More bubbles erupt from my open lips as I yell noiselessly into the water, the person holding me lifting us both towards the light with steady kicks. We break through the surface, and the instance
the water begins to run down my face, I'm twisting in my savior's grasp.
"Calm down!" I hear. That same smooth voice from before. Male, and fairly young, maybe a year or two older than me.
I shake my head wildly. "I can't swim. I can't-"
"I've got you," he assures me, and he positions us so that we're face to face. Even through wet eyelashes, I can see just how attractive he actually is; a face almost as pale as my own, with a
perfect complexion and high cheekbones. Dark hair that, when wet, reaches his jawline. Nearly full lips, and the brightest, bluest eyes I've ever seen in my life. He has a hook nose, which
makes him not too impossibly beautiful; yet, at the same time, it only adds to his good looks.
All at once, I thrash out of his arms and fall back underwater, body writhing. I would rather die than be saved by another hallucination.
I emerge much quicker this time, and his grip on me is tighter than before. "What's your problem?" he snaps, his kind eyes now narrowed. "Would you just chill out? I'm trying to help you."
He takes us to the pier and I grab onto the edge, pulling myself up before he can offer to help. We sit across from each other, dripping wet and gasping for air; him, recovering from my dead
weight, and me, from my panic attack. My thin nightgown is soaked and clings to my skin, and although I have no bra, I feel no shame. Handsome boys don't just magically appear in a secluded area at
midnight. The doctors diagnosed me with Paranoid Schizophrenia, and false images come and go. He is probably a visual of my inner strength, the part of me that clings to life. At least such a part
But he should be gone by now.
I raise my head, and he's staring at me intently. Not at my bare thighs or my practically-exposed, full breasts, but at me, as a whole. "What were you thinking?" he asks.
Anger warms my chest. "I was just looking at the sky. I only fell in because of you."
He raises an eyebrow and looks me up and down then, and despite myself, my face grows hot with a blush. "And you just normally walk around in the middle of the night in only a nightgown?"
"I wasn't expecting to meet anyone else," I reply coolly, but inside, I'm beginning to freak out. My hallucinations never last this long, or seem this vivid. I'm starting to think that maybe I
really am virtually naked in front of the hottest guy I have and ever will meet in my life. Oh, god.
And then, as if reading my very thoughts, he suddenly asks, "Are you real?"
"I just mean- I realize that sounds stupid. But you look like some kind of fallen angel, and your eyes are so sad. You don't seem to be human."
"Are you flirting with me?" I ask stupidly.
The boy just smiles, his lips curving at the right. "That wasn't my intention, but I can see how you would assume that."
We stare at each other for a beat longer before I stand, wrapping my arms protectively around myself. "I should go."
And with that, I turned and fled. The last thing I heard was, "Don't I at least get a thank-you for my heroic rescue?"
Part of me wanted to go back. Wanted to thank him, and kiss his lips for the terrible things he said, for no one but him had ever looked into me in such a way that I felt all but laid out for
examination. My blood was rushing faster through my body than before, and a shiver ran down my spine. I hope the beautiful boy who can see my sad eyes is just a figment of my imagination and we
never meet again, because I am dangerous.
My secret is, I am crazy.
And I was the reason for my mother's death.
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