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Chapter 13 : Falling to Pieces
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chapter image made by Crookshanks @ TDA
I held the small heart-shaped locket in my hands. They gave it to me when I was born. My name was written on it in elegant loops. I hadn’t worn it since I was a little girl. I ran my fingers over the cool metal. Did they ever love me? Was there ever a time when they didn’t hate me? There must have been. Why else would they give me a gold locket?
It was quiet. I glanced at the clock; it was a little past three in the morning. It was peaceful. I couldn’t sleep, I hadn’t been able to sleep without dreams of my past haunting me since we got back to school three weeks ago. I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing the memories I’d been repressing for so long.
My friends were worried about me. Sirius watched me like I was made out of glass and was going to fall apart at any moment. The others constantly asked if I was okay and shot worried glances my way. It was annoying. They worried too much. I was fine. They had nothing to worry about. That’s what I told them but it was a lie. I wasn’t fine. I’ve been hiding it from them since the day we met and my mask is slipping.
What if I told them? What if I told them all the secrets I’d been hiding for so long? What would they do? What would they thinks? They would pity me; I don’t want their pity. They already treat me like a porcelain doll; I don’t need them worrying anymore. I can take care of myself.
I ran my finger over my name on the locket and took a shaky breath. What would have happened if I wasn’t a witch, if I was normal? I wonder if they would have loved me like parents are supposed to love their kids.
I watched the dying fire and pulled my legs to my chest. I clutched the locket tightly in my hand. Why did I even keep the locket? It was a reminder of what could have been and what never will be. I’m a freak, a disappointment. I wasn’t what they wanted. They hate me for something I can’t control.
“Cinderella?” I jumped at the sudden interruption but didn’t look up; I would know that voice anywhere.
I felt him sit on the floor next to me. For a long time neither of us said a word. We sat in silence but that was okay. It was comforting to know he was there. I laid my head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close to him. He brushed off my wet cheeks with his thumb and gently stroked my hair. I felt my eyes getting heavy. I struggled to stay awake. I couldn’t fall asleep; I didn’t have the strength to face my past.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him finally.
“I couldn’t sleep.” He answered. Liar.
I snorted weakly. “You were making sure I was alright. You need to stop worrying about me.” I told him. My words were slurred and barely audible.
“You need to sleep.”
I shook my head weakly. My eyes were closed; I couldn’t keep them open.
“I can’t,” I mumbled.
“Why?” Sirius asked.
I said nothing for several long seconds. “Memories,” I yawned loudly. “I don’t want to remember.”
“Sleep.” he commanded gently.
“Don’t leave.” I told him. A cloud settled over my mind. I couldn’t think straight.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he lightly kissed the top of my head.
I slipped my locket into my pocket before giving in to my exhaustion. For the first night in three weeks I slept without a single dream.
“I hate my life,” I groaned dramatically as I sat down at the Hufflepuff table and laid my head down on the table.
“Stop being a drama queen,” Stephanie was rolling her eyes, I know she was.
“Shut up and leave me alone,” I mumbled angrily at her.
“Someone’s in a bad mood,” Sirius chirped happily. He tugged on my hair.
I slapped his hand away. “Don’t touch!” I yelled at him.
He laughed at me and I growled at him which only made him laugh harder. I looked up and glared at him.
“I hate you,”
He smirked at me. Smirked! I was trying to be scary and he smirked at me. I hate him, I really do. A true friend would at least pretend I scared them to make me feel better. I crossed my arms angrily over my chest. He poked my nose. I tried to bite his finger but he pulled it away too quickly. I growled at him and he ruffled my hair which earned him a smack from me and a lecture from Stephanie.
“I just fixed her hair.” Stephanie exclaimed.
I stuck my tongue out at her. “Who cares what my hair looks like, Stephanie?” I asked.
She went into a long rant about the importance of perfect hair. I sighed and glanced at Sirius. He smirked at Stephanie and then at me. I pulled a rubber band off my wrist and pulled my hair into a ponytail.
“What are you doing?” Stephanie screeched at me.
“Pulling my hair up,” I answered. Is she blind? What does it look like I’m doing?
Sirius grabbed my hand as soon as I finished pulling my hair into a messy ponytail. He laced his fingers through mine and smiled at me. It made me feel good. It made me feel connected to the rest of the world.
“So why do you hate your life?” he asked.
I groaned. “Sarah.” I grumbled. “Being forced to be in her wedding is enough torture. And wearing a dress, a dress! I hate dresses. That’s not enough torture for Sarah though. She has to make my life even more miserable. She’s making me wear the shoes of death! She’s trying to kill me. I’ll never survive her stupid wedding.” I muttered curses at my sister and the shoes of death under my breath.
I glanced up at my friends to see them fighting back their laughter. I glared at all of them. “I hate you all,” I muttered dangerously.
That pushed them over the edge and they fell into a violent fit of laughter. My friends hate me. They want me to die just like my sister does. They don’t believe me. The shoes of death are evil and they don’t believe me! One day they’ll see. One day the shoes of death are going to kill me and they’ll wish they had listened to me.
A giggling Gaby made her way over to us. She sat down across from me next to Stephanie. Sirius was still laughing at me. I smacked the back of his head. He glared at me and I smiled innocently back at him.
“Guess what?” Gaby said as she pulled out a sugar quill. I’m going to steal that girl’s candy stash one day. She’d probably go into withdrawal and die.
“What?” Marissa answered.
Gaby bounced up and down making her curls bounce with her. Sirius followed her with his eyes.
“Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day,” she squealed. She bounced faster and stuck the sugar quill in her mouth.
I groaned loudly and banged my head on the table. “Don’t remind me,” I grumbled.
Gaby ignored me just like everyone else did. Why did they always ignore me? I pouted. Sirius smirked at me. I hate that smirk.
“I love Valentine’s Day.” Gaby had a goofy grin stretched across her face. She fell into a fit of giggles. She’s crazier than I am.
“I hate Valentine’s Day,” Gaby frowned at me for a second before smiling brightly again.
“How can you hate Valentine’s Day Cinderella?” she asked and giggled again. “It’s so romantic and fun. You can feel the love in the air.”
I snorted in a very unladylike manner. “Love is a myth, it doesn’t exist. It makes girls act even crazier than they usually do. They get all giggly and expect their boyfriends to do something incredibly romantic. Everyone says they love each other which is a lie because love doesn’t exist!”
Stephanie rolled her eyes at me and blew a strand of her dark hair out of her eyes in frustration. She smiled at me in a way that made me feel like she knew something I didn’t. “You still don’t believe in love?” she asked me.
“I will never believe in love because it isn’t real!” I glared at her.
Why doesn’t she understand? Why does she insist on believing in something that obviously isn’t real? She believes in an illusion, a lie, a trick. Why can’t she see that? Why can’t most people see that? I don’t understand how people can so easily let themselves fall into the trap of the illusion of love. Why do they talk themselves into believing they feel something so unrealistic, so fake? How can people be so gullible? People want so badly to believe that love exists that they will do anything to convince themselves. They ignore the truth staring them in the face. They spend years chasing something they’re never going to find. It’s much less painful to just accept reality and stop chasing fairytales, I know from experience. I wasted years waiting for them to love me until I finally figured out that love was a feeling that wasn’t real. I could have saved myself so much pain if I had realized that sooner. I wouldn’t have wasted my time hoping and praying for something that wasn’t going to come.
Stephanie shook her head slightly at me and glanced quickly down at Sirius and mine’s entwined hands. She smiled like a parent would at a child who can’t comprehend something yet.
“Why do you keep denying it?” she asked me. “Why are you so afraid of love?”
“I’m not afraid of love. You can’t be afraid of something that doesn’t exist.” I angrily brushed my bangs out of my face.
I was frustrated and angry. Why couldn’t she just understand? I could feel my magic bubbling up. I sucked in a sharp breath and squeezed my eyes shut. I clung to Sirius’s hand as tightly as I could. I tried to keep my magic from bursting. I heard the sound of shattering glass and bit my lip. Sirius rubbed soothing circles softly on my hand with his thumb.
“It’s okay,” he whispered in my ear. “It’s okay.”
I tasted blood in my mouth and slowly I felt my magic die down. I felt it fade away and I regained control of myself. I opened my eyes to see all my friends staring at me with wide worried eyes. I couldn’t look at them; I didn’t want to see how worried they were. I buried my head in Sirius’s chest. He wrapped his arms protectively around me and I felt safe. Nothing could hurt me as long as he was holding me.
I felt tears leaking from my eyes and I didn’t know why. I had no reason to be crying but I was. For no reason tears fell thick and fast down my cheeks soaking Sirius’s shirt. He gently rubbed my back.
I was falling apart. I was breaking. I couldn’t hide for much longer. I couldn’t run much farther. I knew it would happen one day. I knew I couldn’t run forever. My world was crumbling down around me. My carefully built walls were falling apart and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
Sirius lightly kissed the top of my head. I clung on to him tighter.
“You’re going to be okay,”
No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t okay. I’ll never be okay. I need help; I need someone to save me but I have no one. No one is going to save me. No one saved me the last time I asked for help. I was falling to pieces. I couldn’t hold myself together anymore. There was nothing I could do but watch my life fall apart right in front of my eyes. I couldn’t stop it. I had always been doomed to crash and burn. It was only a matter of time before I broke and that time has finally come.
Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed and favorited this story. It means a lot to me and the reviews make me really happy even though I'm really bad at answering them. I'll try to have the next chapter up as soon as i update my other story.
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