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Lyla and Lily… two names that I never thought would be separated, but now they are. I really wish I could go back and change the way things played out, but I could never have known how she was truly feeling.
“You two are gonna be late! How much more time are you guys going to be sleeping?! Don’t be lazy and get ready for school!” these three sentences were heard early in the morning, every day of the week, when we had school. I peeked at Lyla with one eye above my blanket to find her roll the opposite way of where the door was, trying to drift back into sleep.
“Lyla! Don’t do this right now! Both of you get up!” we were so lazy even though we got into our sophomore year in high school recently. Freshman year was already jam-packed, but here we were in tenth grade, with more drama yet to come. It's already been three months since school started but then again, everythings an adjustment.
“If you don’t get up, have fun being tardy,” and on that note, our mom left the room. Looking at the time, I quickly got out of bed and rushed into the bathroom. Lyla was still in bed and I was not going to take a chance in being late. I was the total opposite of Lyla; I wore a pair of shorts and a crop top everyday, topped off with a messy bun or loose hair, and converse to complete the look. To be completely honest, I was a total nerd; I found my interests to be in science, sports, math, and sometimes even english.
Lyla, on the other hand, loved arts, music, and dancing. She made sure to wear a different, new outfit everyday, with fresh makeup, and matching shoes to go with the look. I envied her sometimes because of how popular and outgoing she was. My twin sister could get along with almost everyone if she talked with them. I could get along with people too, but everyone preferred to hang out with the more “artistic” twin… I don’t even get it. Sometimes, I wish that everyone would want to hang out with me too. I’m not all that popular, but she is. I’m not all that pretty, but she is. I’m not all that artistic, but she is. I could go on for hours talking about her and I wish, instead, I had talked to her for hours more before the incident.
“Get in the car girls!” our mom screamed from downstairs.
“Coming, Mom!” I observed Lyla rush down the stairs, as I followed her lead. We both quickly hopped into the car and were able to reach school on time.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Time for class!” Lyla enthusiastically skipped to class with utmost grace and optimism. I just walked to class with my books almost falling down and barely being able to look over the top of the books I was holding on to. Why did I even take so many AP classes? Anyways, I got to class and was able to set my books down.
“Hey, dumbo,” I looked right to see my friend coming over to me.
“What’s up? Guessing you were almost late again,” she smirked.
“Don’t call me out like that… it was definitely Lyla’s fault,” I joked. We both exchanged a few laughs and went back to our seats.
“Alright, class. How’s everyone doing?” my english class was one of my favorite classes at school and Mrs. Trueone was one of my favorite teachers.
“Good,” everyone replied together.
“Good, good. Today’s lesson is going to be about our inner conflict and mental battles. Have you guys ever felt like you need to fake your true self in front of everyone and need to hide what you’re really going through?” a few nods spread across the room.
“I bet you guys did. It’s very important to acknowledge the fact that it’s okay to be down and it’s okay to seek help when you can’t handle it anymore. It’s very important to be true to yourself and know that it’s fine to be down sometimes; you don’t always have to prove that you're amazing and perfect. Showing your insecurities and imperfections is what makes you perfect. I don’t expect all of you to be amazing and right every time. Let your weaknesses shine once in a while and don’t always try to keep up to the high expectations that you have set for yourself. Let your guard down and allow yourself to breathe and have fun once in a while. Don’t let high school and people get the best of you. Take time for yourself and try to love yourself as much as possible. The more confident you are in yourself, the more you can succeed and be happy in life. Regarding this topic, do you guys have any comments or questions?” she gave the class a comforting look and slowly students started to raise their hands.
“I think this is a really important topic you covered, Mrs. Trueone. Thank you so much for that. I’ve been going through a lot at home and this lesson really showed me how I’m not alone. I feel more open to letting myself be down sometimes,” Summer said. Summer was one of the happiest people I’ve ever known and listening to the fact that she’s going through something broke my heart. I’d never have thought she was going through something. I looked at her. Observing a bit more closely, I could see the tiredness and sadness in her eyes.
“That’s really good to hear, Summer. Thanks for sharing. I hope everything gets better in the end. Okay, guys. Your assignment for homework is to write a short story about a character and their inner conflicts or feelings. Write about how they got through it or how they didn’t. Talk about what went wrong or what happened with the character. Be clear and throughout- Ring, Ring, Ring. Ohp! And there goes the bell! Goodbye, my dears. See you next class!” everyone packed up and headed out of the classroom. As the school day went by, all I could think about was the discussion we had in Mrs. Trueone’s class.
After a few more hours, it was finally time to go home. Lyla and I were scrolling through our phones outside at the bench area, waiting for our mom to come pick us up. I looked over to Lyla’s phone to see what she was doing and saw that she was scrolling through instagram. I looked up to her face after and noticed she wasn’t looking too good.
“Hey Lyla, are you okay?” she quickly turned her head to face mine.
“Yeah, obviously. Why would I not? I had a great day today.”
“Okay, then. Whatcha doin?”
“Nothing,” she quickly turns off her phone and gets up as our car comes by. I sensed something weird but didn't think much of it.
We got home and I quickly started doing homework. I looked over to Lyla who was still on her phone; her face was pale.
“Lyla, you should start your homework,” she looked up.
“After dance,” she quickly left the room. I still didn’t pay much attention to her odd behavior but the horror I faced a few hours later was nothing compared to failing all my classes.
Her heartbeat had stopped and she had fallen onto the cold basement floor. The sirens kept ringing in my ears and my eyesight blurs, until it turned pitch black. I woke up to see myself laying on a hospital bed.
The first question I asked after I was conscious was where Lyla was, but my mom’s quiet expression explained everything. Lyla was gone. My mom slowly walked over to me, with her eyes blood red from crying for hours. She handed me a paper; the top of it read, I can’t anymore. I immediately opened the folded paper and started reading after recognizing my dead twin sister’s handwriting. With tears running down my face, I read:
I’m going to be leaving this world. I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry, Lily. I can’t take the hardships of high school and peer pressure anymore. I love dancing so much and after I had started to gain weight, all my dance mates, as well as my instructor, have been shaming me. I started to hate myself and I hate my body so much. I wish I could just rip it apart or become skinnier in a day. I really want to leave this world in hopes of having a better body and relations in my next life. I tried to stop eating but the more I stopped, the more I ate afterwards. I hate myself so much. I can’t live with myself anymore. I know how hurt you two will be by this, but I can’t live properly anymore. I’m losing myself. I love you guys. Bye and take care of yourself. I’ll miss you guys.
I looked at my mom. I quickly got off the hospital bed and gave my mom a big hug.
I still remember the smile she had on her face and how she was. I never expected my best friend and sister to be going through all of this. I wish I could have seen inside her brain and understood her better; after all, I was her sister. I miss her so much and I learned my lesson. I try to understand people more than I already know them and don’t have a perception of them by their outward appearance. I miss you Lyla and I’m writing this short story for you as a lesson I have learned from you. Maybe in my next life I can spend more time with you, my dear sister.