I wrote this for a writing competition a while ago- I got commended :
I’m lying in my bed, and the muffled party sounds downstairs are worrying me.
Mum and Dad are just a phone call away, I remind myself, as I sip some water and wonder what I’m going to do until I fall asleep.
I’m fully clothed under the duvet, I just don’t trust my sister’s friends. Twelve minutes and a whole world apart.
Swinging my legs out from under the duvet, I glance over at the mirror, reflecting my placid expression of boredom.
Silently, I walk over to the mirror, and I remember the days when me and my sister where just the same. Two geeky, pale girls, who stuck together, forever, just like glue.
I remember the day when it all started to change.
“Sophie?” I’d said, as I got up that morning, to find my sister already wide awake and straightening her hair.
“What?” She said, bluntly. “Why are you staring at me like that?”
“It’s nothing.” I said, shaking my head.
“Tell me.” She said, standing up, walking over to me.
“I’ve just…. I thought you didn’t care about your appearance that much.” I said, hesitantly.
“Yeah, well. I want a life, y’know.” She replied, clearly deciding this was not worth bothering with.
“What, and that requires you coat yourself in makeup?” I said, disbelievingly.
“What would you know, it’s not like you’ve got a life.” She said, harshly. Tears came to my eyes, and I wondered who this person was in my room…
“Thanks, Soph. So much for sticking together.” I said, bitterly.
“Look,” She said, putting her hand on my arm. “I’m sorry, but… Amarie taught me that if you really want the things that make life worth living, like dates, good friends, and a proper laugh, then you need to make yourself look the part.”
“You’re into dating now too.” I said, flatly.
“I might’ve met a guy, yeah.” She said, laughing and sticking her tongue out at me.
“What the hell, Sophie?” I yelled. She gasped and covered her mouth.
“Don’t tell mum, please god, don’t tell mum!” She pleaded.
“Give me one good reason why not?” I said, angrily.
“I’ll get Cara and her gang to stop beating you up.” She said, desperately.
“You’d do that?” I stammered “For a… for a tongue piercing?”
“Mum will kill me.” She said.
“You can’t hide that forever.” I told her, turning away. “But I won’t be the one to tell her.”
And that was how it all started. So long ago, it seems. Well, 3 years. The only good thing that’s come of the change in her, is that Cara and her gang have indeed, left me alone. So many things have happened… It started with makeup, then the piercing, and now… she’s smoking now. I’ve seen her hanging around behind the bikesheds, so to speak. It just.. it hurts to see someone who was once my best friend, the person I was closest to in my whole world, become a different person… a completely different person.
Staring in the mirror, I can’t help but compare the differences between me and her. Me, I’d kept the pale skin and the soft blonde hair, the warm smile and the normal school uniform. She uses fake tan, dies her hair deep reddy-brown, always grins, but somehow in a cruel, sneery way, and customizes her school uniform as much as possible.
Finishing my glass of water, I creep downstairs to get another drink. Ali, one of Sophie’s friends, was in the kitchen, standing over the sink looking rather pale. There was vomit in the sink, and I feel my stomach clench.
“You okay?” I mutter to her.
“Get lost, dweeb.” She says, laughing at me. Ignoring her, I walk off to get my glass of water. When I try to leave the kitchen, she trips me up, and the shattering of glass brings the others to the kitchen. “Oh god,” I think. “What are they going to do?”
Lying on the floor as the others surrounded me, I try to get up. I feel a foot pressing down on my back, and I’m trapped to the floor.
“No moving, dweeb.” Says a malicious voice from above. Somebody starts to kick me, and an aching pain stabs at my side. It occurs to me that there’s five of them, and one of me, and I’m not even standing. I look up, searching for my sister, and a hand slaps my face.
“We said, no MOVING.” A voice says, the same one from before. Struggling to my feet, I’m then shoved around the circle. Charlie scratches my face, and finally I’m passed to Amarie, who pushes me backwards and punches me. Struggling blindly out the door, I make it outside. I run down the road, waiting to hear the footsteps behind me. But nobody comes.
I stay out there for a while, I don’t know how long. Finally someone approaches. Though the tears have long dried on my face, I’m still hurting.
“Ella, I’m sorry.” Says a soft voice.
“Get away from me.” I yell. “Look what you’ve done!” I look her in the face, and she sees the marks, the bruises, the scratches. Her eyes wide, she apologizes again.
“Get lost. Go back to your friends. You’re not my sister anymore.” I say. With that, I turn, and walk away. I can’t bear to see her face, ever again.
“Ella.” She calls after me. “ELLA!” She cries, with increasing desperation. “Please?” she says, and I know she’s praying politeness will win me over.
“Please what? What do you want me to say, Sophie, What am I supposed to do here?” I ask her, frustratedly.
“I want you to come home.” She says, looking me in the eye fearfully. “I’ve phoned mum. They’ll be home soon.” She says, and there are tears in her eyes. Does she know what she’s done? Does she have any idea? I don’t think so.
“Leave me alone.” I tell her, and I carry on walking. Away from her, away from home. At least, what was my home. I don’t think I can ever share a home with her again.
I hear her calling my name, over and over. I wonder what she’ll tell our parents. That she has no idea why I left? Likely, I think. If she can’t stand up to her friends, for her sister, she certainly can’t tell our parents the truth.
And there’s an ache in the pit of my stomach, because I never wanted this to happen. I just want my sister back.
And the tears I thought had dried up start to fall again, as I watch the sun rise.