My name is Alexandra but everyone calls me Alex. I’m the most popular girl in school. Everyone adores me and I have a mountain of people who say they’re my friends but none of them even know my last name. I “fit in” everywhere and everyone knows me. The boys hit on me but I’m never interested. Sometimes, I just want to fade away.

“Alex? Are you alright?” my mom asks me, peeking into my room.

I’m fine, mom.” I replied, laying on my bed and pretending to read a book.

Alright.” She leaves just as quick as she came. She didn’t even come in to see my invisible tears.

At school, it was monotonous. Every day, girls would come up to me and

ask me tips on how to look as beautiful as I do.

Just be yourself.”

What?” They always reply with such shock. I can only cast my eyes downward and move on with my day. In school, my most hated class is Biology. My teacher, Mr. Schultz, always sends subtle sexual innuendos my way. I try my best to ignore it or hint that I’m not interested but he just won’t listen. Still, he’s never actually tried anything so I just never saw any reason to report it or tell anyone. After class, I would always go to the roof of the school to get away from everyone. They were so loud – in the halls and the cafeteria. Even if you didn’t want to, you could hear gossip or all sorts of crap by just walking through the halls. This was my only haven; the only safe place where my heart could beat. And, sitting against the wall, was my best and only true friend – Megan. All of my closest friends have either moved away from where I used to live and any new ones I made after that were lost when we moved because of money problems. We did this a lot, you see, because my dad has a gambling problem and is in constant trouble with the sharks. Because of this, he’s always arguing with mom but she secretly enjoys it, I think. She’s left him several times but she always comes back because, in the end, she can’t find anyone else. She’s cold to the touch, my mom is. The only color in my dull, grey world is my friend Megan. She’s the only one who knows me and understands me on some level. I feel something like happiness whenever I see her.

Hey Megan,” I greet her before sitting down across from her and smiling weakly.

Hey, Alex, listen, did you hear about that new Pokémon game coming out this year? It’s crazy! I thought they would make something like Z or anything like that!”

I just smile at her. She’s such a nerd and I love it. After school, I began walking home. My apartment complex was several blocks from my school and my neighborhood wasn’t a bad one but I still felt some eyes watching me. I looked over my shoulder and saw no one. I exhaled softly. I usually don’t get scared easy but something was putting me on edge and I couldn’t place my hand on what it was. I decided to pick up my pace and take a detour through the alleyway that I usually take. Just as I was halfway through, I suddenly stopped. Something was definitely off and someone was definitely watching me. Everything was too quiet and I scanned the area several times for anything off, finding nothing. I sighed in relief and resumed walking.

Hey, baby.”

My eyes widened as, in an instant, a man wearing a ski mask sprang up from behind a dumpster and grabbed me. He covered my mouth and, despite my struggles, was too strong to fight against. He pinned me down and pulled down my pants. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t fight him and the only thing I could feel, besides the pain, were my hot, bitter tears. When he was finally through with me, he dropped me like a rag doll and zipped up his pants, smirking down at me. It was then that I knew it was my perverted Biology teacher. I watched him run off, not a sound emitting from me as I lay on the ground, abused and broken. My mind was forming incoherent thoughts as I laid there, hoping everything was a dream. That’s when it hit me – this wasn’t a dream. This was real life. This is the only thing the world’s good for – loss, pain, hurt, separation, coldness, rape, murder. There’s nothing good here. Even my friends didn’t love me enough to stay. The most popular girl in school was not something I asked for. Being raised by neglectful parents was not something I asked for. Having my innocence taken from me was not something I asked for. This world wasn’t grey; it was pitch black. Without a second thought, I pulled up my pants and turned around. I didn’t think, I didn’t scream nor did I cry. I simply limped until I found what I wanted – a railroad. I stumbled down the steps I was on and jumped off the ground above the tracks. I sat down, dejected, and stared up at the sky.

I saw no angels, I saw no stars, I saw no moon and I saw no clouds. I only saw blackness. I laid down on the tracks and closed my eyes. I couldn’t take it anymore – I couldn’t pretend I was happy, like I loved life and that I didn’t want to die. And I did want to die. No one knew me. No one could help me. No one would help me. I deserved what happened to me. I shouldn’t be alive. I can’t enjoy life, I can’t love life but I can love death because it is the only thing that will see me and take me as I am – broken.

I open my eyes and, for once, I could see the stars. I could see the moon. The world didn’t look black nor did it look grey. My tears were no longer invisible and as the sound of the train whistle increased, my ears became deafer and my smile finally transparent.


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