A/N- First Degrassi story in a longgg time. Let's see how this goes. Reviews are always appreciated.
She could feel herself crumbling, but she would not let herself fall to pieces.
Smile. Put one foot in front of the other. Lie to everyone important to you.
It was a vicious pattern. But there was no other option.
She would not become the girl who people talked about behind hands and textbooks. Look at her. Did you hear? She's a total wreck. Slut.
She asked for it.
She could taste their words in her mouth before they were even thought. It was her fault. She shouldn't have stayed at the office all those late hours. She shouldn't have let herself be alone with him. He was practically a stranger.
But she had let her own uneasiness be overclouded by her unending drive to succeed. There wasn't anything to be afraid of. Asher was just friendly. Her fears were irrational, driven by her own awkwardness and lessons learned from a xenophobic world.
She was careless, stupid, and she had practically begged for something bad to happen to her.
It was her fault.
And it was her fault that it hadn't gone unnoticed. She had never been good at faking.
It had been inevitable that Eli, Jake, and Alli would notice.
But she didn't feel like telling them about it like it was some story.
Gather around the campfire boys and girls. No, this isn't a story about ghosts or goblins.
Don't you know the most terrifying demons are real?
Their questions became an opportunity to perfect her lying skills.
"Nothing I'm just stressed. Let's just watch a movie. No, don't sit so close. It's hot. Why don't you go sit in that chair over there?"
Sometimes her words cut deep.
"Clare, come on, we're family. Just tell me what's the matter. Maybe I can help."
"We're family? Were we family when you wanted to ! #$%^&* me? I didn't think so. I don't need your help."
And sometimes they slipped by unnoticed.
"You just haven't been yourself."
"Sometimes people change Alli. It's not a big deal."
"If you say so."
But they were always a lie. Would that be the rest of her life? Deflecting questions for which she was not prepared to provide answers? Burning bridges that she had worked so hard to build so that she could continue to cry into her pillow at night instead of into somebody's shoulder.
Because her pillow never pulled away. It whispered words to her that clung to her skin and trickled into her conscious like beads of sweat so that she would never forget them.
"Get away from me."
"Shhh... it's not such a big deal. Just pretend I'm that boy you're always laughing with on the phone."
"Poor Clare. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide."
You can remove it all. All the clothes from that night. Burn them. Cut your hair and dye it black so you don't even resemble who you were. Cut off the skin that he touched with the edge of a razor blade.
And for the bruises that run too deep there's always coverup.
But that doesn't change your soul. Won't make it shiny and clean and new again. Maybelline doesn't reach your heart. And you're too afraid to tear it out.
Crouch down. Another trigger you can't pull. Another slice you can't make.
You look so much like Darcy now don't you? All ashen and cold.
But she could do what you can't. One cut is all it takes. Just a little deeper and you'll succeed where she failed.
But your hand won't move.
"Let me hold you. Let me love you. Let me help you."
She couldn't understand why they were still here, why they hadn't ran away from the blackness inside her like it was some kind of disease that they could catch. Didn't they know she was deadly?
But here they were every night. Still trying. Still reaching out.
And here she was, still crying by herself.
Until she wasn't.
"Gather around the campfire boys and girls. Let me tell you about how the most terrifying demons are real."