AN: Well, this is it: my first official story posted on FP. But in no way is it my first story period. I've been writing practically before I could walk :) Anyhoodle, I felt like I needed to post this, because I see Lydia as a reflection of myself in some aspects, and a reflection of others that I've known personally and impersonally. So, if you like it, tell me so! I know there needs to be improvements as this is the first draft, and I welcome constructive criticism :) But, I will say that I am hugely nervous right now;I've never posted anything I've written for public viewing before. And I'll shut up now and let you read.


Prologue

Outside my window, it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the blue jays were singing, the oak tree branches were swaying in the slight breeze. Flowing into my bedroom was the sweet smell of spring—tulips and calla lilies in bloom, roasted hotdogs and hamburgers simmering on a neighbor's grill, leftover dew from rainy nights and glorious mornings…

Yes, it was a perfect June afternoon. One that is normally described in vacation pamphlets, or in especially cheesy romance novels where the hero is a fireman; or a police officer; a doctor or cowboy. The picturesque scenery of Outside—dogs barking, kids frolicking through sprinklers or playing tag, neighbors chattering happily—belonged on a postcard; and on the back, the words "Wish you were here" would be scribbled sloppily and excitedly, as if the writer didn't want to miss a single moment of the splendor of nature.

A gorgeous day. A lovely day. One might even say, a perfect day.

I hated it.

From my position laying in my oak wood bed since childhood, situated against the far south wall of my room, Outside was clearly and perfectly visible through the large picture window on the opposite side of my room. The rest of the modest three-story Victorian home I inhabited with my parents, and my sister had much smaller windows than the one I was currently gazing out of; this one was put in at my mother's decree about three months ago, in order to "bring more sunshine" into my bedroom.

Of course, I hadn't had a say in the matter, so, much to my ardent objections, the window was installed—perfectly parallel to my beloved bed, where I spent the most time.

My bedroom was on the second floor of the house, just next to my younger sister's and across from my parents'. This was so that they may keep an eye on me, though they protested otherwise. Even my sister, at the slight age of nine, had been deemed "responsible" for my wellbeing during the infrequent occasions when neither one was home.

So, even though I was on the second floor, I could clearly see Outside, due to the aforementioned picture window. Across the street, Mr. Byden was watering his cherished spring roses in his front yard, wearing his stationary straw hat and more than likely humming. My neighbors to the left—the Mackenzies—were enjoying a visit with Mrs. Mackenzie's parents, while their young children happily played in the inflatable pool set up in the driveway. To the right, the Rodriguezes engaged in a game of family kickball. And across from them, the Montgomerys all piled into their Dodge minivan for a day out to who knew where.

This was one of the few activities I did while residing in my bed. It was either people-watching, channel-surfing, or internet-browsing. And of course, the occasional book-reading. Considering that I spent a good five hours in bed on weekdays, and a good twelve hours on weekends, these activities were pretty much all I did. Ever. Besides go to school.

Today, though, people-watching wasn't bringing me the joy it usually did, so I sighed, threw off my red coverlet, and sluggishly ambled across the room to draw the lace drapes I'd coerced my father into mounting on either side of my window.

Unlike my mother, my father quite understood my reluctance—and sometimes, downright fear—of venturing Outside. Which was why I usually went to him if I needed some sort of amenity to make me feel more comfortable; IE, the drapes.

When Outside was sufficiently blocked from my view, I slowly walked back to bed, only stopping to stare at my reflection in the antique gold floor-length mirror that my grandmother had bought me years ago, before I Broke. It was a habit of mine, and not a very healthy one. Scrutinizing the image of myself staring back at me only heightened my depression. But lifelong habits are hard to break.

Looking at me from the mirror was the image of a girl—now young woman—beaten down by life. She was pale, exceptionally so, as if she hadn't seen the sun in decades. The circles under her eyes were apparent even from several feet away; they were purplish-blue, the color of a fresh bruise. Her limbs were average, although thinner than they'd used to be. Her arms and legs were long, although it was hard to tell while they were encased in a baggy t-shirt and sweatpants respectively. Her fingers were long too, and interesting-looking—or they would be if she ever bothered to paint or grow the nails, and not just pick at them when they got too long. Her chest was also average: a B-cup. Nothing extraordinary, but they'd always suited her just fine. Her hips were rounded, though noticeably less wide than they'd been a few years ago. And her stomach mostly flat. Also, if one cared to notice, there was a small tattoo on her right hip: the Chinese symbol for "dream" in purple ink.

Dream. Not like she did that much anymore.

But the most striking features of The Girl in the Mirror were her eyes—a luminous amber, and her hair—waist-length and dark as night. That hair, if she bothered to take care of it, was astoundingly beautiful. As it was, though, that beautiful hair was at current tangled and matted; she hadn't bothered to blow-dry after her shower the night before. Why bother? It was the weekend, and of course, she wouldn't be going anywhere. Except for her bed.

My amber eyes blinked. Sometimes, like just now for instance, I forgot that it was, in fact, me who embodied The Girl in the Mirror. It was me whose gorgeous midnight hair was in tangles, whose skin was deathly pale, and whose eyes had lost their luster for life. It wasn't too long ago that I'd been in front of that mirror, fussing prissily with my long hair, applying makeup—trying to look as pretty and healthy as possible. But not now. No, not now.

I sighed, and my gaze drifted down, down, down—as it always did. Down past my shoulders, barely noticing the curves and skin hidden underneath shabby clothes. Down, down to my wrists, where two matching slightly fading but still prominent scars marred the creamy skin covering bluish veins and arteries. Yes, there they were: proof of what I'd tried to accomplish and failed. Evidence of just how far I'd fallen.

My name is Lydia Rose Wechsler, and I tried to kill myself six months ago.


AN: And that's it. I know the summary is directly lifted from the prologue, but I was literally sitting at my laptop for an hour trying to come up with a suitable summary. I figured an excerpt from the actual story would suffice :) But if anyone has any suggestions regarding that, let me know!