Hello all! If you've never read any of my stuff before, welcome! You can skip ahead to the story! R&R pretty please!
If you're Darkest Desires fans, I'm sorry about stopping. I just didn't feel the story anymore. If you're Alice fans, I'm trying to find the will to work on the next chapter. It'll probably be up soonish. I hope you enjoy my latest! R&R!
I was heinously misinformed. It should be criminal, lying to young people as they have lied to me. My entire life, I've had a constant mantra running inside of my head because, naive as I was, I believed them.
College will be different. College has to be different.
I had been fairly successful fitting in socially. I was never teased because I tried so hard to be a part of the inner ring of high school. I was a jock, a popular kid. The kind that everyone loathed but everyone wanted to be. I was a stereotype.
It ate me up inside. I was an asshole and that's not who I am. I'm not an asshole. But I adapted as I needed to. I made fun of the geeks who stumbled over their own two feet in gym class. I mocked the girls who ate their feelings, making them more self-conscious about their body image. I sexually harassed the cheerleaders as they strutted past my locker every morning.
I killed someone. I killed someone and I made myself believe that it wasn't my fault.
Junior year, a group of my buddies thought it'd be funny to sneak into the girls' locker room during gym class. We thought we were the shit, strutting in there knowing (or hoping) that nobody would catch us.
Of course we were only looking for one thing: panties. If any of the boys were thinking with their heads instead of their dicks, they would have seen things more logically. Why would the girls take their underwear off? Nobody goes commando in gym class, especially not ladies.
I knew this. I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't affected by the plague of teen hormones, but I could keep them in check. It was not my idea to go into the locker room, but I didn't decline the invitation to go, either. I was busy watching the door to make sure no teacher would bust us for being in there.
That's when they found her bra.
Tay Miller wasn't by any means a part of our crowd. In fact, she didn't have a crowd. Tay had always been a loner, ever since her best friend moved away in sixth grade. She was one of those types that believed nobody could possibly understand anything about her, so she didn't even try to socialize. She was constantly covered by thick, baggy black clothing which only came off for gym class. That's how they knew it was her bra, because her dark clothes were piled next to it.
Wes, captain of the football team and king douche bag of Northridge High, thought it up. He had a Sharpie on him that day because of some English project or other he'd had in the morning. In big, bold, black letters, he printed DYKE over the cups of her underwear while the rest of us looked on and laughed.
Two days later, her parents found her dead on her bedroom floor, lying in a puddle of her own blood. She slit her wrists. They told us that she left a note, but nobody knew exactly what it said. Rumors were flying around the school about why she had done it and how she had done it. Perhaps the worst rumor was that, next to her body, they found a white bra with the word DYKE scribbled on it. It may have been the last thing she saw before she died.
This is when my self-loathing truly began. I could have done something to make Tay feel more accepted. I could have stopped the guys from doing that to her bra that day in the locker room. I could have thought about someone other than myself, but I didn't. I didn't, and someone died.
After that, I was different. I had to be. It was yet another way I had to adapt to survive. I could hardly look at myself in the mirror. I couldn't stand the monster that was staring back at me.
I stopped hanging out with the popular group. I stopped laughing every time someone tripped someone in the halls. It seemed like my heart pitched itself around my body every time I saw an injustice. Something inside of me propelled me forward, making me stand up for the weak that I had so mercilessly torn to pieces just a few weeks before.
While the student body had more respect for me than they ever had, I felt hideously lonesome. In her suicide, Tay had somehow transferred her tortured soul into my body. It was an appropriate punishment for my silence that day, I thought. It was fair, but it hurt like hell.
That's when the changes really started happening.
Just before my senior year, I realized that protecting the weak wasn't the only new development in my life. When I was feeling particularly emotional, strange things would happen. On the rare occasion that I was happy, the sun would shine just a bit brighter, or it would shine directly on me. Even if I wasn't in a good mood, the sun would calm me immediately. If the rays were touching me, I felt infinite.
One late summer afternoon, I was basking in the warmth of the sun on a blanket in the local park with my shirt off. I was reading a book for pleasure, something I'd started doing since I dropped the dumb jock charade the previous school year. I was feeling relaxed and I allowed my mind to stray from the words on the page.
Closing my eyes, I imagined the park I was in covered in violets. The little purple flowers were my mother's favorite, or that's what my father had always told me. She died when I was four. They are the only thing I have to remember her by; my dad always kept them in the house since she passed away.
I imagined the smooth texture of each petal. I imagined the sweet scent I was all-too-well acquainted with. I felt the warmth of the sun coursing through my veins, as if the burning star was inside of me. For the first time in my life, I truly felt powerful.
Several loud gasps woke me from my trance. As I opened my eyes, I saw the scene in my head slowly receding from my reality. People were pointing at the fading violets that covered every square inch of the rolling plain before me.
I got scared. Had I done that? If so, how? There was no logical explanation, no proof that this had any connection to me.
But then it happened again.
A few weeks later, school had started. I was sitting in my art class working on a painting that was due later in the week. I like art and I found that I was actually quite good at it. I'd never thought about pursuing it before because it wasn't cool to be an artist. Artists weren't popular. There was a certain calming mystery about it, though, that I was drawn to, no pun intended.
Another boy, Jack, who'd been making beautiful works of art since we were in middle school, had just hung up his latest creation. It was a watercolor painting of a ship rolling on the sea. I'd never seen anyone use watercolors that way before. Before seeing that, I thought watercolors were for kindergarteners in art class. Not anymore.
The painting looked incredibly life-like. I could imagine myself on the ship, rocking softly, being lulled into a saltwater stupor on the deck. I lost myself in it, paying no attention to my own painting anymore. I wanted to be in Jack's painting more than I wanted anything else at that moment.
There was a warmth inside of me, but I thought it was just the school building, hot and sticky without air conditioning. Jack stepped in front of his painting, blocking it from my view. I was still picturing it, though. I pictured the waves moving and crashing.
In the back of my mind, it should have registered that Jack was wiping it furiously with a paper towel, which shouldn't have made any sense because it was framed. I suppose it didn't register. I was still so caught up in the raw beauty of it. It was only when he began shouting that I snapped out of whatever trance I was in. My peers in the art room began to scramble off their stools, sloshing toward the door. Jack was doing everything he could to save his painting, which looked no different than it had a few seconds ago. The only difference was that it was leaking water all over the art room floor.
The steady stream of water that came from the painting had already made a pool ankle-deep on the floor. As soon as I lifted my feet off of the stool I was sitting on and into the cool water, I felt the warmth leave my body. The painting stopped spewing water immediately and the water in the room began to disappear. I dipped my hand down before it was totally gone, then brought it to my face. It was salt water, just like I'd imagined the water in the painting.
There was no denying it any more. This was entirely my fault.
There were a few incidences after that, too, but I won't bore you with the details. Each was similar in that I was using my imagination. After a while, I shut down my imagination entirely so these phenomenons would end. It helped for a while, but I never felt much like myself. I was depressed.
Then I saw them beating him up. It was hard to believe that a year ago, I had been friends with those losers. They were proud that they were preying on the weak. They only wanted to show their dominance. They didn't care how they got that message across or how many people they hurt in the process.
The boy they were throwing around was a pipsqueak. He couldn't have been any older than fourteen. He hadn't done anything to provoke them, but they were giving him hell, anyways.
I first noticed the ruckus from across the cafeteria. I was sitting alone in my usual spot, on the ledge of the huge statue of a brown bear, our mascot. At first, I thought someone would step in to help the poor kid, but not even the teachers seemed to care.
That's when I stood up. I radiated energy because I was so furious. I was furious with everyone, but especially those ass wipes I used to call my friends. How dare they? The boy was pleading for mercy when someone's sneaker made contact with his crotch. That was it. They were done for.
I didn't know what I was going to do, but I suppose I didn't need to have it figured out. My heart figured it out for me. As soon as I had stormed half way across the cafeteria, a huge wind was thrown out from my chest. It blew past all of the spectators, but hit the bullies full-force. They were swept off their feet and hauled twenty feet in the air, held aloft upside down by the power that was coming from within me. The student body was eerily quiet.
Perhaps it was poetic irony. Wes had his Sharpie in his pocket and it fell as he was overturned in the air. Before it could hit the ground, it was uncapped and was headed toward the pack again. I don't know if I was willing this to happen or if something deep in my mind thought it was a good idea. On each forehead in perfect handwriting, the Sharpie wrote DOUCHE.
After the boys fell back to the ground, the cafeteria erupted in a series of screams and frantic chatter. All around I heard people calling it witchcraft and magic, but not once did anyone point a finger at me.
It had finally registered with me what I was. I was a witch. When I got home that night, I Googled the shit out of witches. I was scared as hell because I thought I had it under control. All I knew was that I couldn't tell anyone. If I did, I might be burned at the stake or something.
That's why I was so excited for college. It was more independence, new people, new everything. I wouldn't be forced to contain myself as much as I had to in high school. I missed my imagination. I certainly wasn't the same without it, and my grade in art class suffered for it.
I applied to Berkley. It has one of the best psychology schools in the nation and it's nice and far away from my home town. I was wait-listed at first because of my GPA. It wasn't all that great because of the times when I thought being smart wasn't cool but my SAT scores sort of made up for it. Luckily, a few people denied their spots and I ended up on a plane to California in August.
There's nothing special to report about my roommate. He's nice enough, but very quiet, which suited me just fine. We were comfortable in each others' presence, making our "chill" dorm the ideal hang-out for the artsy types. There was always coffee in the pot that my roommate brought from home and there were always people plopped in my beanbag chairs. I didn't mind. It was nice.
Then I went to my first class, College Writing 101. That's where I met her. Her name is Evie and she was perhaps the most outgoing, energetic person I've ever met. As soon as the professor started asking questions, her hand was up to answer them. She was so enthusiastic and seemed genuinely excited by the English language. Everyone was drawn to her.
I'll admit, even I thought she was pretty fantastic. Her personality wasn't the only thing I was drawn to, either. She was absolutely beautiful. Her dark hair was layered just to her shoulder, her bangs sweeping across the right side of her face. When she'd look up from her notes, you could just see her icy blue eyes peek out from her hair. Her lips were full and were naturally red and every time she'd lick them, I'd melt like a popsicle. I'm ashamed to admit it, but she had things south of my belt stirring.
I took particular interest in her, but I wasn't the only one.
She never knew anything was wrong with him. In her defense, I didn't either at first. He was just a normal-looking guy who sat next to her every class after the first.
His name is Tyler. His perfect coiffed hair was always dazzling next to his button-up shirts and brand-name jeans. He always missed some hair when he was shaving, but he made it look intentional. Tyler had two smiles. The first was a toothy grin that he showed when he mocked other classmates or felt superior to them. The second was the one he constantly threw at Evie; it was a half-smile with his lips parted a little, sort of like a crescent moon, that showed his obvious approval.
I daresay she was a bit smitten with him. She'd always look at him with a weak smile but once she saw his approving glance, she'd perk up a little.
That weak look was what first tipped me off about Tyler. Just two weeks after the school year began, the spark I'd first admired so much in Evie seemed to have disappeared. Sure, she still tried to be upbeat and energetic, but by the end of class, she looked as exhausted as if she'd just run a marathon. Dark circles started to develop under her eyes.
Something inside of me stirred every time I looked at her. It wasn't THAT kind of stirring, though. It was something deeper, something that was an integral part of my being and it was something that I couldn't shake.
I'd had these sorts of feelings in high school, but never this strong. That's when I figured out that I could no longer hide the witch that was inside of me. I couldn't just stop. It was a part of me.
As I was sitting in my math class, I began dozing. Let's just say math isn't one of the more interesting courses I'm taking this semester. But while I was half-conscious, I heard a voice. I know what you're thinking. "Heard a voice? Okay, someone take the witch to the loony bin." Just hold on a little longer. Don't have me committed yet.
I perked up immediately, thinking that someone in class was trying to rouse me. When I looked around, nobody was paying any attention to me at all. I assumed it was my imagination, so I slumped back in my chair and closed my eyes again.
"Ben! Ben!" the name called softly but urgently. I didn't recognize the voice. It was a woman, probably over twenty. But she kept calling until I answered.
What? I thought harshly.
"Ben, you have to help her," it replied.
Who? I asked.
In my head, a few of my memories of Evie appeared. This had me interested. I knew something was wrong, I could feel it.
How? I asked.
"Evil surrounds her," the voice told me. My thoughts were swarmed with images of her and Tyler together, him giving her his famous half-smile.
Tyler? Evil? I thought. There was no way. Annoying as fuck, but not evil. That prick probably couldn't throw a decent punch, let alone be evil.
"Look closer, Ben," the voice nearly whispered.
The images played back and at first I didn't notice anything different about them. The closer I looked, though, I saw something that was truly disturbing. While Tyler's mouth was open in his half-smile, he was sucking something in from the air. He was sucking in something that was coming from Evie.
What is that? I asked, appalled at whatever was happening.
"It's her spirit," the voice said, fainter than the last time it spoke.
My mind was going a mile a minute. Her spirit? How could anyone steal someone else's spirit without some kind of magic?
Magic. Tyler was a witch. Either a witch or some other kind of evil, magic being. Preying on the soul of someone like Evie? What was he doing with it? Why was he doing it? I had so many questions that I figured wouldn't be as easily answered by Google. But I had nobody to help me. Even the voice slipped away.
"Protect her, Ben."