Natalie glumly tracked down the stairs of her house. The newly risen sun gleamed on her angry, distorted face. Waking up was harsh enough, let alone facing the world in half an hour. She rubbed her swollen eyes and hoped nobody downstairs at the breakfast table would notice her tearful eyes. She pulled her plaid pajama pants up and entered the kitchen, and of course, her mother was the first to notice.

"Honey, are you okay?"
"Um, yeah, just kinda tired I guess."
Natalie opened the fridge, peeked around inside a bit, and then closed it. Her father never took his eyes off of the newspaper, but her mother stared her down.

".You sure now?"

Natalie could feel the agitation rise. "Yes, mother. I'm fine."

Her mother knew it was best to let it go once Natalie called her "Mother" instead of mom. " you want breakfast?"

Natalie sighed and went back up the stairs, knowing her mother's eyes were upon her.

Now hidden behind the loving door of her bedroom, Natalie crawled into her bed. She glanced at the alarm clock and saw she had an extra 5 minutes until she had to get up and start getting changed for school. She pushed the snooze button just in case.

She closed her eyes and began to imagine another realm. One where she was free of all people who caused pain. Images of her smiling and flirting with strangers became welcoming to her spirit. The skies were blue and warm, with a slight breeze running through her silky hair. She didn't know what the meaning of fear was. The surrounding folk had their arms open towards her expressions of life, filling her with an emotion she hadn't felt since she was a child. She raised her arms to the sky, stretching above the clouds and bringing her into a hallucinating trance. She closed her eyes and smiled heavenly. She felt a trickle running down her left arm, but didn't take notice. It was until something began to drip off she finally realized something was wrong. She lowered her arms and opened her eyes, feeling all of her fear pulse through her. Her wrist bled profusely, splattering onto what used to be beautiful grass. The sight tickled her nausea. She glanced into her right hand and saw the gleaming exit of life in her hand; a razor. The skies turned black and the strangers laughed at the sight. Their eyes leaked of humiliation and filled her every sense. She could feel consciousness escape out of her veins and


Natalie's eyes snapped open. She slammed her left hand down on the alarm and stared at her arm. Little scars were permanent reminders of everything she hated. A few were fresh from last night's scene. Natalie sighed and forced herself out of bed.

She stormed into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. She turned on the light and revealed her failing self. Her dark brown hair ran straggly down the sides of her arms. Her eyes that used to be an emerald green had a grayish tint in them. She wrapped her arms around her waist, not wanting to see how large she really was. She wasn't to today's standards, and it brought her down.

She washed her face and brushed her teeth, grimly staring at what she though of as a monster in the mirror. After running a brush quickly through her hair, she went back to her room and began to scrounge for some clean clothes in the mess she called a bedroom. The first article of clothing she put on was a black, long arm warmer on her left arm to hide her pain. While putting on her baggy black pants and IN FLAMES t-shirt, she turned herself to face the wall instead of the mirror. She proceeded to put on eyeliner, mascara, and anything else to hide her red eyes.

Natalie noticed that she had taken too long to look for her clothes and only had about 3 minutes to get outside and wait for the bus. She ran down the stairs, laced her combat boots up quickly, and ran out the door, grabbing her backpack along the way.. Before her mother could turn to say goodbye, she was out the door.