This is a short story based on the idea of changing self. I would just like some feedback on it for a school assessment.

thanks and enjoy.


Self Destruction

A change of self can be instigated by outside influences, but sometimes a change has to come from inside. A change that has been waiting inside, waiting to be released…

Coral had been my best friend for as long as I remembered. She had long blonde hair and soft brown eyes. She was the only one who would play with me when I was five because I had a dark brown birthmark that covered half my face and a swollen eye. She was the prettiest girl on the street and everyone wanted to play with her. She didn't usually play with them because they wouldn't let me play, but I could see her wistful glances towards the other girls on the street as they played tips and we sat on the side of the road, playing with my old dolls. And when I went into my house for lunch or when my mother called me in, I would see her join in with them from my kitchen window.

One day in the holidays before we started year two, her mother came over to see mine, holding a distressed Coral by the arm. I smiled brightly as I saw her coming through my gate and she started crying. Being a seven year old, I started crying too, not knowing why. My mother shooed us out onto the front lawn and took her mother inside. I looked awkwardly at her, not knowing what to do or say as tears swam in her eyes and spilled out down her streaky cheeks. She finally looked at me and admitted, chokingly, that she was moving away. I cried harder, because I was losing my best friend. She promised me that one day she would come back and cried, holding me tightly on my front lawn. I thought she was crying because she was leaving.

It was only later that I realised she was crying for me.

Year two was hell, pure hell. Kids can be so cruel. Without Coral by my side, the teasing was incessant. When she was there, it was bearable, she would glare at them until they stopped and comfort me when I cried. But when she wasn't there, I had to be my own saviour and my tears fell unhindered down my cheeks. I don't know how I survived that year. All I had to hold onto was that promise that she had given me, that one day she would come back.

Every day I came home with my books all torn and I learnt from experience, never to take anything nice to school, because it wouldn't be nice when I got home.

In year five the teasing got worse. Girls were having their first crushes and I sat alone at lunch, knowing that no boy would ever crush on me. Girls would never invite me to parties and I was always last to be picked in sport. Teachers didn't know what to do. They always acted awkwardly around me. They couldn't make the kids be nice to me, so they didn't try.

I never told my parents because I was ashamed. Ashamed to be their daughter and I was ashamed to be such a burden on them, so I kept quiet. They used to wonder why I didn't bring any friends home. I avoided the questions and I think they subconsciously knew, they just didn't want to know.

It was year six when she came back. She was older and more beautiful than before. She was wilder too. She used to sneak into my room at night, after my parents had gone to bed, just so we could talk.

She wasn't the same at school. She didn't have the same affect on the other kids. I think they avoided her and ignored her because she was with me. They still teased me just as much, but at least I had someone to talk to, someone to share my pain, and someone to take the empty seat next to me in class. The teacher never called out her name in class because she knew that whenever I was there, so was Coral. I was the one who always got in trouble in class for talking. We always had so much to share. I never dobbed her in when it was her fault we were talking because I was just happy to have a friend, and nothing else mattered.

She hated the way they treated me. She would give them nasty names behind their backs and sneer at them when they walked past. She would give me retorts, ones that they laughed at, but retorts nonetheless.

I was fiercely proud of my Coral and would defend her retorts, just like she used to defend me before she left. They would just give me weird looks and walk away when I spoke of her. They were so rude to ignore her like that and I told them so. They denied her existence, telling me that she had moved away ages ago. Coral just refused to acknowledge them, the way they refused to acknowledge her.

That was when the teasing started to change. It turned into covert whispers and mutterings behind my back. Coral told me not to mind, so I didn't.

When she used to sneak into my room, we would stay awake for hours, just talking. She really didn't like the other kids. She used to get angry at me when I defended them. I saw why they did it. I knew I would have done the same in their position. She stormed around my room and kicked my box of toys all over the floor when I wouldn't take her side. In the morning my mother got angry at me because of the mess, but I refused to dob Coral in, even when my mother grounded me. Grounding meant nothing to me. Coral would always be with me, wherever I was and that's all I needed. It wasn't as if I was going anywhere when I wasn't at school.

I used to ride my bike to school and when my mother bought me a new one, I knew it wouldn't be safe at school, but she took away my old one so I had no choice but to take it. Coral rode on the back and the trip was faster than usual because I could now control my bike. I locked up my bike with my new black padlock that had come with my bike. I touched the new leather seat, savouring the feel of it and looked up to see Coral tapping her foot, waiting impatiently for me. We walked into school hand in hand.

After school we walked out again, knowing that my bike wouldn't have escaped unscathed. We arrived just in time to see three of the kids throw my bike into the ditch. Coral kept her cool and we dragged my precious bike out of the muddy water after the three boys had ran away laughing.

We dragged the dripping, filthy bike home and Coral snuck away when I got a tongue lashing from my mother because I wouldn't tell her why my bike was like that. I found Coral waiting up in my room. She was furious and wanted revenge of course, and threw a fit when I wanted to just let it be. My mother grounded me for another week when I wouldn't explain the state of my room.

The next morning, I woke to a scandal. Three houses had been broken into. Nothing had been stolen but the children of the respective houses had heard things, but had been frozen by fear.

I knew who to go to.

At fist she denied it was her, but since the children had been the ones who had ruined my bike, she finally gave in.

I was angry at her. She couldn't just break into other people's houses. She stormed off in a huff, saying she had done it for me and that she could do whatever she wanted!

I wondered about her parents. I hadn't been to her house since she'd returned and hadn't seen her parents. They obviously couldn't control her.

That's when it all started to spiral down. Coral didn't turn up at school and the next window, the school windows had been smashed in.

There were talks of obtaining fingerprints from the houses and I realised I had to talk to Coral. I skipped school for the first time ever, and ran down the street to where she used to live.

The house was inhabited and I walked up the path and knocked on the door, calling out her name.

An elderly person answered the door and told me that Coral and her parents had moved away years ago. I panicked and ran out the gate and down the road.

Somehow Coral turned up beside me.

You can't do this.

I can do whatever I want.

You have to stop.

I can't.

I'll have to stop you.

You can't stop me.

Why not?

Because if you bring me down, you bring yourself down too.

I do?

Don't you see it? No-one else can see me.

They can see you! They just ignore you!

They can't see me. They can only see you talking to yourself. You'll go to prison.

No! You'll go to prison! It's you that's doing all these things!

No. You are doing these things. I am you, can't you see?

Coral did get her prison. She's locked inside me now and we are locked inside the walls of that hospital, the white one. She comes and sits beside my bed sometimes. I can't get at her because of the straps that hold my arms down. Sometimes she tells me what's happening outside. But how can I tell if it's true? I can't tell if anything's true anymore.


If you like this story, I would reccomend to you, Surrender by Sonya Hartnett. But I might have spoiled that for you... oh well.

please review with criticism because I need some feedback before I hand it in.

thanks heaps,

Tess