Chapter 5

"Hello?"

"H…hey. Rock, it's me." I hear a soft sigh down the phone,

"What? You gonna blame me from mum and dad dying now? 'Cause if you've called for a dig at me, Lee…" I quickly burst into tears at this statement, much to his obvious surprise, and I could hear Cameron gasping from outside.

"Eve… I'm sorry…I…" I don't let him finish,

"You self-righteous…scum!!! I phone up to apologise to you and all you do is throw it back at me before I even have a chance to say anything!! You're just like the rest of them Rocky!!!" I promptly slam my finger on the end call button, breaking a fingernail, and throw the device onto my bedcovers. Now didn't that go well?

"Eve… you alright, Babes?" I turn round. Cam and Luke are poking their heads round the doorway, looking anxious. They take one look at my face and run over for a comforting group hug. I sob to them as we embrace,

"He never gives me a chance, I was trying to apologise!!" Luke softly whispers,

"We know, Babes, we know. Hush…" Luke whispers, softly rubbing my back.

Hours later, and after several pleading texts from Rocky – which are purposefully ignored – Cameron plucks up the courage to ask the question both he and Luke have obviously been itching to ask,

"What started this fight, Eve? You and Rocky usually get on great!" he asks, trying to sound as natural as he possibly can. I sigh, and don't answer. They get the picture and don't ask anymore.

I know I'm being volatile, unhappy, over-reactive and moody – but isn't that a girl's definition? I'm not usually like this you know…really I'm not. At least, I wasn't until the bullying started. Before that, I was a happy, relatively carefree, passive young girl, whose biggest worry was what to wear to the prom. Now things are so much more complicated, and more and more I am turning into the type of teenager I promised myself I'd never be. Paranoid. Depressed. Snappy.  Immature. Basically…basically stereotypical.

More and more I'm turning into this scared, hopeless little girl who has nightmares every night and has to take sleeping pills to get some rest. More and more I am pushing my friends away from me as I fight against the urge to fight back against Janie. More and more I am turning into a loner.

I cry most nights, so much that they continue during my sleep, soaking my plush pillow as I dream of tall bullies with knives and threatening letters clutched in their hands. More and more I dream of the platinum blonde, hook-nosed young girl who is slowly but surely making my life a living hell, and slowly but surely making me want to join my parents in eternal bliss.

But I've never satisfied this yearning, obviously. No matter how hard I try, now matter how close the blade is to my skin, no matter how close the pills are to my lips, I always see Aaron's kind, loving smile before my eyes, his face glowing with fraternal love for me. I always drop my implement of self-destruction and run to his room for a "chit – chat", crying with shame.

He didn't need me to tell him for him to know how close I was to ending it all. Hell, he even caught me once, complete with a full bottle of vodka and a bottle of sleeping pills. I was sitting in the kitchen he was standing at the door, each one of us too shocked to speak. He was supposed to be out!!! I was supposed to be ill!!! He was supposed to be having fun!!! I was supposed to be resting!!! Eventually, he recovered from his shock, and took charge.

He took one of dad's old, massive beer tankards out of the cupboard, and, after slamming it down on the table, filled it to the brim with vodka. Then he dropped the ultimatum.

"Drink it. Take as long as you need, but I'm not letting you leave this room until that glass has been drained!" Depressed, tired, and scared beyond belief, I obeyed.

By the time I had carried out his task, it felt like hell had swallowed me whole. My throat was burning; I was unable to stop coughing; I had a strong urge to throw up…I was too drunk for words. I vaguely remember him helping me to the upstairs bathroom, holding my hair back for me while I threw up, and then led me through to his bedroom (it was the nearest). He crawled in beside me and stayed with me the entire night, holding my hand.

When I woke up in the morning he was gone. I stumbled downstairs for some headache tablets to find him sitting at the kitchen table, the painkillers and water all ready for me. I swallowed the medicine down gratefully, went and got dressed, and went down to talk to him. Despite my initial aim, we shared an uncomfortable silence. He broke it, speaking in a solemn, low, sad voice,

"Eve. You quite obviously look, and feel like hell this morning, all because of what I made you do last night. Take how you feel, and all the pain you felt, multiply it by 1000, and you'll maybe come a bit close to how terrible I would have felt if you'd downed those pills last night. If you'd washed them over with the vodka I made you drink afterwards. If I'd not come home early, and I'd eventually come back finding the only family I had lying on the floor dead!!!!" Guilt and shame flooded my vision along with my tears as he continued, gently touching my cheek with his large hand,

"Eve, why? Aren't you happy? Is someone hurting you? Am I upsetting you?" he asked, the tone and volume of his voice rising to round about the norm. Too ashamed with my selfishness to answer, I fled the room and didn't talk for three days.

I lie in my bed, remembering these scenes as Liam and Cam make idle chatter with each other, staring over at me with worry. I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep, shameful again that I'm ruining the whole night.