All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
I once was called Alice
I wasn’t always the bad guy. Once upon a time, I was beautiful. Not that anyone can remember that now. Because now my hair is white and I can only remember one person who was alive when I was beautiful, and well, lets just say I think he thought I was ugly, even then.
I used to have long blond hair that trailed off my shoulders and flowed in the water around me. It would swish as I swam around the areas I was allowed to go. I was thin, isn’t that how people define beauty? I don’t know, but I was. Tiny really. Then envy of the other girls. I wasn’t ever perfect, but I was pretty near close.
Aside from skipping school every day to hang out with my friends, I never did anything wrong. No one really checks the attendance anyways. I could play an instrument and sing like the heavens, which is really all they taught you there. So I would never go, and my mother never hassled me to go.
My father left when I was younger, about seventeen. I remember him leaving that morning and then never coming home. My mother thought he had been eaten by something, like maybe a shark but King Fredrick said that he saw my father swimming away without looking back.
My mother became depressed. Before that we had lived in the nicest house, but she felt that because my father had left that our family had no dignity and needed to live in the shadows. We moved into a darker, more frightening section of the neighborhood. I remember being scared of all the others as they watched us move in.
Somehow all of our clothing was lost in the move so we needed to buy all new clothes. My mother insisted on shopping to my dismay and she came back with all black for the two of us. I stared at her. I wore pink and yellow. I liked light colors. But we seemed to be living in a perpetual funeral. At least, I know we looked that way.
It didn’t take long before I grew bored of sitting inside listening to my mother moan and groan about how we were never good enough. I had been too scared to go outside of our home, but being locked with her was unbearable. I set out.
The sun was low in the sky and I knew that I didn’t have time to go all the way out to where I used to live and see my old friends there, so instead I settled on going to a nearby cliff. I lay there, looking down into the black abyss below.
I laid there until the blackness surrounded me too. I rose, stiff from laying there for hours on end, thinking about all the things my mother had said. I didn’t really believe them, but they were hard to forget. But, it was upon standing that I saw lights moving towards me, a few faint lights.
I needed to be going home, as it was now night and I was sitting in a sketchy area. I began down the path off the abyss, but the lights were moving up at the same rate. I moved to the side, staying near the cliff only to guide me on where I was going, otherwise I would have hightailed it the other direction. I was scared.
The lights reached me and I closed my eyes and leaned against the cliff holding my breath. I heard chuckling, but I continued to squeeze my eyes shut. If I couldn’t see them then they couldn’t see me. After a moment though, I knew my plan hadn’t worked because the chuckling had grown louder.
I opened my eyes one at a time to find myself surrounded by figures. They were wearing all black and blended into the night, which I suppose was the point. They pointed the beams of light at me and I looked down at myself. I looked like one of them in my new all black attire.
They were the kinds of people who scared me. They were also the people who lived near me. I took a deep breath to introduce myself as I would have back home. I almost plastered on a fake smile and told them my name was Alice like I would have in any other situation, but I didn’t because I realized that I wasn’t Alice anymore.
I thought of the darkest name I could think of, Ursula. It sounded angry and like that would be the kind of name someone who lived here would have.
No one stopped me from lying of course. No one there knew me. I hadn’t gone to school in years and my high society past self would never interact with the scum that surrounded me at the moment. So my lie slipped through and became my identity.
That was the first night I had decided not to go home. I stayed out with my new friends, if you could call them that, until the sun light up around us and we headed home. No one had said a word to me the entire night, but somewhere amongst the silence, I knew I was accepted.
I had never had a problem being accepted. I was the most popular school in my old life. I was dating the Kings son. He was handsome and strong. I caught myself thinking of him as I headed home in the early morning grayness that surrounded me, but utter grogginess deluded my thoughts.
I had been to parties before, dressed in pink and laughing all night. I had sipped a drink and seen some of the boys slip out back and we had known there were drugs, but none of the girls I had known had ever participated, so I wouldn’t have either.
But that night, The Shadows as I came to call them had all participated. My old self told me to go home, to go find Try, but I knew that I couldn’t go there because I no longer belonged.
My mother didn’t seem to see me as I came into the house that morning, which is just as well. I headed straight for my room, grabbing food off the counter as I went. I swallowed the food as if I had been deprived for months and then fell into a deep comatose sleep.
Within days I had a pattern down. I would sleep all day, and head out with the Shadows all night. There were no problems. My mother didn’t notice my strange habits, or even the change of my hair color as it went from blond to black. I knew I was alone on all counts, except for when I was with the Shadows.
I felt betrayed by my old friends. No one seemed to have tried to come and find me. If one of them had left, wouldn’t I have looked for them. It hurt me to think of how they never really cared. I would cry and cry during the day when I would jolt awake thinking of my old life, but at night I would dull the pain with drugs.
I had found my escape from my old perfect life.
It had only been about a week when the unthinkable happened. The Shadows and I were sitting on the cliff silently getting stoned when a ruckus came from down below. Several members of the Shadows disappeared down the side of the cliff to see what was going on. When after several moments passed and no one returned more and more Shadows headed down the cliff, until I was alone.
I was dizzy and quite frankly didn’t care what was happening below. All I knew was that I wanted more of what I was just taking. I looked around but didn’t see any in the darkness. I dragged myself up and looked around, nothing. I groaned.
For all being up I stepped to the edge of the cliff to look down. I saw some lights, bright lights, like the ones my old friends used to carry around were dancing and intermixing with the cold, hard light of the Shadows. I leaned closer to see who was holding the bright lights and felt myself begin to tumble forward.
Suddenly arms were around my waist pulling me back to safety. I was gasping for breath, yet flailing against the arms that had saved me. It took me a moment to realize that there had been one other Shadow left on the cliff with me. He had saved me.
I didn’t know his name, or any Shadows name because no one ever spoke. We were all living in this unspoken realm of drugs. We didn’t need words for that.
I stopped fighting his strength and let my body relax. I held up something that I couldn’t make out through my blurry eyes. It was only then that I realized I was crying. I knew that it must have been some sort of drug and I snatched at it.
He didn’t pull it away from me, he simply released it into my hand keeping one arm secured around my waist. We were still so close to the edge of the cliff. I didn’t know how to use whatever it was in my hand, but he knew that and showed me, without ever saying a word.
We stayed like that, using two feet from a deathly plummet, but nothing seemed out of place to me, it was fine.
Just as it was fine when he pulled me in to kiss me. There seemed to be no problem there. I knew him, we used together, just us two. I couldn’t have dreamt up a closer bond in a million years. So I stayed there, kissing him, stopping only to use a little bit longer.
I didn’t hear anyone climb up the cliff. I didn’t hear the soft grunt as he pulled himself over the ledge. I had no idea that he was there until I heard him gasp.
At this point I was so drugged up I was putting all my weight on the Shadow holding me, trusting him not to drop me off the cliff. Everything in my vision was warped, but I could make out the figure that had come off the trail leading up the cliff and the look of shock and pain on his face. It way Try.
He looked betrayed and pained. He said the first words that I had heard in a week. I loved you. That’s all he said before turning on his heal dropping something in the dirt as he went. I tried to run to him, to tell him it was a mistake, that I thought he didn’t care about me but the Shadow holding me wouldn’t let me go. He stood there restraining me as I fought to go to Try until the sun light the air around me.
When the Shadow let me go, I collapsed. My mind was clouded by drugs and my body was tired from hours of fighting. I slept on the top of that cliff until midday. When I awoke I found a note tucked under my head. It read:
I thought we had something special, and I knew that there was angst with your father leaving, but I didn’t realize that it amounted to this. Your mother left days ago in search of your father, but I am guessing you know that. Every day since you moved I came by your house to see you, but all you did was sleep, sometimes you would wake up crying, but go back to sleep. I wanted to go to you, but your mother wouldn’t let me near you. She said you didn’t need me. I guess that’s true now. But, I always thought that you loved me, like I loved you. Seeing you like that last night, black hair wilding blowing around you as you kissed a Shadow. DO you remember how you used to speak about them, all the terrible things you would say about their life? Now you are one of them, I hope it’s fun.
Your mother locked me out of the house, that’s why I didn’t come in after she left, but I guess you wouldn’t have wanted me there anyways. I wanted to tell you that I understood what it was like to lose a father, because mine died days after yours left. That’s why I wasn’t there on day one. My father was dying.
I attached the ring I brought with me to find you that night. I was going to ask you to marry me, but I am no longer interested. I know things are hard, but this was uncalled for. Suzzie, do you remember her? She was your best friend. Well, I am going to marry her instead. I have no choice. I need a bride to take the thrown and Suzzie and I were always friends. Maybe we will fall in love someday.
Don’t come find me Alice. I don’t care about you. I hate you. I just left you the ring because it’s black. I thought originally you would like the way it reflected anything bright, but now I leave it because it is the color of your soul .
My throat closed up. I hadn’t noticed that my mother had left. I hadn’t heard that the king had died, and now his only son was going to take the thrown. Kind Trident. The name rolled off my tounge as I muttered it.
I slipped the ring onto my finger and sighed as I thought of my red-headed best friend marrying Try. If they ever have a daughter that looks like her, I will kill her, I swear I spoke aloud.