The scars of Dawn

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
June leaves behind a difficult past in a new school but meets a girl, some say damaged beyond repair. Unlike others, June can see the light shining though her scars... - entry for a contest :)

Submitted: November 07, 2013

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Submitted: November 07, 2013

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“Hey, roll down your sleeves!”

“Cut deeper, you freak!”

That was the first time I saw her, that pale faced girl. Her eyes were hollow, as if the light had been drained from them, but it wasn’t her fault. You see, I was the new kid at Westmore School, it was my first day, and back then I didn’t know Dawn. I suppose I should start at the beginning.

I was born in Manchester, my parents, the most normal and picture perfect couple. I remember when I first went to school, a bright eyed little girl, I had long amber brown hair back then, I wore it in two neat plaits down my back, tied with ribbons. My Mom had said I was her angel, and everything was fine. I smiled a lot back then, because what had I to cry about? When you are that little, you can be incredible naïve. I can still remember those kids, that said those things “hey, queerdo!” and “freak!” and I remember how it would be “your moms are whores!” It made me feel so horrible, it was like a cold harsh slash against my heart, and reality broke in. I understood how people looked at my two moms, at least most people. I loved them.

My mom, Michelle, told me how she met my other mom. She told me that when she was about my age (at the time I was ten) she moved house and the couple next door to house they moved to have a daughter. Her name was Hannah, and when she first met her, she knew that she was a real angel, living on earth. Being ten, after that I really believed that my other mom, Hannah, was an angel who came down to earth, she said I was her angel and she was mine. Whenever those kids told me that I was disgusting or my family was going to hell, I’d think of my mom the angel. I knew she’d protect us from the horrible people. Id smile as I thought ‘you might think your better than me, but my mom’s a real live angel, come down from heaven before she met my other mom. You think I’ll go to hell, but it’s the other way round. I’ll be the one laughing when you’re on your knees begging me for forgiveness when you realise the truth’

Reality can be so unfair, especially to children. I always believed everything would be fine, and I was too confident. I would say “I love my mother’s” and “I think lesbians are cool” and saying that kind of stuff around prejudice jerks only gets you into trouble. I was staying late after school one day, I’d started secondary school. The kids there said horrible things to me about my parents like in my primary school, and again, I didn’t care. They didn’t like that, they wanted me to care. They wanted to make me cry.

I was about to go home, because I lived really close to the school, I walked. I was staying late you see because we took it in turns to stay behind to tidy the form room, and it was my turn that day. Anyway, I was walking along the deserted corridor of the science block, when these kids the year above I suddenly appeared behind me and overtook me. There were a couple of girls and three guys, one of the girls I recognised. She was the picture perfect pretty plastic Polly Parkinson, a super popular fifth year. I remember her calling my Mom something horrid once, when she came to pick me up from netball on a Monday, and I knew I was in trouble.

She flicked back her blonde curls, and smiled at me in a creepy way. Before I could run, two of the guys got behind me and blocked my exit. “Hello, June” she said bitterly, crossing her arms “you know right? Your moms are gross, and you’re gross too” I started to cry but she ignored me.

 

“So here’s the deal. Admit how disgusting your FAKE parents are and we’ll leave. If not…” she motioned to one of the other girls who took out a pair of long, razor sharp scissors.

When I came home that evening, I tried to sneak in quietly without being noticed. Mom was in the kitchen making dinner, and she didn’t notice as I quietly slipped in. I began to head upstairs, when suddenly my other mom came from upstairs and ran into me, one look and she gave out a shriek and other mom came running. I felt so horrible inside, how much it was upsetting them. They kept apologising to me, I didn’t know why. I looked a horrible mess, my uniform was all cut up, and it was barely hanging by a thread, though I’d managed to arrange it as I was walking back so it covered me ok. ‘Queer’ was written on my forehead in permanent marker, the writing was shaky as I was squirming so much as they tried to hold me down. Worst of all was my hair. They’d cut it all off, so all that was left was amber warm fuzz. I loved that hair, it was proof I was my mother’s daughter, because her hair was the same. I’d inherited angel’s hair.

That night, mom rang the school to say they were withdrawing me immediately; I would no longer be attending. My angel mother held me in her arms on the sofa, I sat on her lap and we watched my favourite movie, ‘Lilo and Stitch’ and my other mom came and joined us after a while. Before I went to bed, my mom, Michelle, came to talk to me. She told me that she told me before she moved house and that was how she met mom. The reason why she moved house was because she, like me, was attacked at school. “You must have been very scared” she said, and I couldn’t hold back my tears anymore. It was hard, and I was so scared, not knowing what they were going to do to me.

So, that brings me up to where I started more or less. I transferred to a new secondary school, away from Polly and the rest. I knew what I was doing now, and said nothing about my parents or myself; I kept my nose down and pretty soon blended in. People saw my mom’s dropping me off and picking me up and stuff, but didn’t seem to mind. I thought everything was going to be so much better, but then, I met her. I was walking to English when I overheard a couple of kids shout those things at the beginning of this story at her, the girl with the dead eyes. It was late October, a beautiful autumn, and as the wind blew the autumnal leaves in a graceful spiral up around her and the light hit her face I saw how incredibly beautiful, if pale and bleak, she was. Nobody else seemed to notice though. They only saw the scars that ran up her arms.

Dawn French was a quiet, secluded sort of girl. She read books at lunchtime, behaved in class, and barely ever spoke. When people threw nasty, judgemental comments at her she didn’t seem to care. She did, though. I could see it within her, she was crying on the inside. After a few days, I finally got up the courage and decided to talk to her.

“Hey” I smiled nervously. I’d chosen a moment when she was alone, as usual reading a book on a bench by the library. She looked up at me coldly

“Hello” she said in a robotic monotone. Not very encouraging.

“Umm…” I stalled, trying to think of something to say “what’s the book?”

“Pride and Prejudice” she replied. “What’s your name?” I told her my name, June, I asked her about the book, and she began to tell about some guy called Mr Darcy and a girl called Elizabeth. It sounded pretty interesting, but I could see her beginning to enjoy herself and it made me happy. I finally felt shed noticed me.

I found out about how Dawn was chronically depressed. She had to see a physiatrist, and the self-harm was because of the depression too.  I felt a little bad for her, I had it bad before but it was hard for her on another level. Unlike me she really had been totally alone, the school kids treated her like dirt and her parents didn’t really care. I felt that if I could look out her at least and be her friend that would be something. Please don’t misunderstand me, I never pitied her, I truly cared for her. She was a sensitive and imaginative person, after a while she trusted me enough to show me her stories shed written; I couldn’t belive how talented she was. If she let herself she could really laugh and smile, I don’t think that’s something a lot of people can do. It was so beautiful and her laugh sounded like the chiming of distant bells, I couldn’t belive that others could not see the light shining though her scars. Before I knew it, I was beginning to love her.

I joined the basketball team, and during the spring term we had a tournament against a neighbouring school. I scored six times throughout, scoring the winning goal on the last match winning our team victory. I became instantly popular; suddenly everybody wanted to be my friend. I stuck by Dawn. People began to leave her alone; if they saw her with me they said nothing. I hoped that it would make things better for her

I felt bad at first. I didn’t really want to fall in love with her, I was sure she could never love me. I knew before I was a little different, I always felt that way. I remember being around girls, especially really pretty ones…it’s very complicated. I felt conflicted. I thought it would be ok and we could be just friends if I suppressed it, it was hard, I came to love her more every day. I thought about it a lot, every single day. What the thought of kissing her did to me, I knew it wasn’t a phase, but I was scared. I found I couldn’t tell my parents. I didn’t want to until I was sure.

I began to notice something was wrong. Dawn was acting strange, we were good friends by this point but she began to talk to me less and less. I thought it was something I’d done, I couldn’t figure out what. It was horrible. All I could do was watch her grow further and further away, and the bullying picked up again, I noticed it got worse but there was so little I could do, I felt so useless. By this time a year had passed, it was autumn again, beautiful, beautiful autumn. It was after the holidays I noticed she became more distant. Then, it happened. I was walking along after school across the field, towards the car park. One of my mom’s would be waiting there for me; everybody else had already gone home. I remembered how a about a year ago an incident happened, and fingered my hair which had grown to a short bob now. I felt a little glad; if they hadn’t done that to me I would never have moved schools and met Dawn.

Then I saw her, across the basketball pitch. She had a pair of scissors in her hand; she was lifting it towards her bare wrist. I dropped my bag and sprinted as hard as I could towards her. I had to stop her. I had to…I reached her, flung my arm around her waist and pulled her hand away from her wrist. She struggled, crying “let go! Let go of me!” but I couldn’t. I was stronger than her, and turned her around towards me with the arm round her waist, my other hand was still gripping the wrist of the hand that held the scissors, as if we were dancing. It was the last thing on my mind though.

“Dawn!” I said though my tears “Dawn, please, you can’t…”

“You don’t understand!” she cried, trying to pull away unsuccessfully, we were eye to eye now. “You don’t know what it’s like…”

“It’ll get better…let me help you!” I stared into her eyes but all I could see was a void of fear and anger, I couldn’t bear to see her this way.

“No…because…” she ducked her head, trying to hide her tears “I can’t…I don’t…I can’t explain it. Nobody cares about me. Nobody loves me…”

“You’re wrong…” I whispered, my heart twisted up “I…I love you”

She looked up at me suddenly, surprised, and shocked, her pale face ghost like against a background of trees with orange ember leaves. I’d expected her to hate me, or at least push me away, but she clung to me instead. I sensed a flicker of possibility or a hope, tried to smother it, and failed. “I…I…oh…June…” she whispered, her breathe shaky. I didn’t know what to what to do, my heart was about to leap out of my chest, all I could do was hold her. “I’m sorry…I’m so sorry…”

When you kiss somebody, and when you don’t see it coming, and if that person, whoever they are is the most important person in the world…the world itself seems to melt around you. It’s like trying to describe the colours of autumn. You can’t. You can’t describe that kind of warmth that takes away the sharpness of reality and glows like a faded ember in the hearth. Yes, she did kiss me, and No, I didn’t see it coming and yes…it was…incredible.


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