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Chapter 2 : The Last Time I Smiled
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There is no need to worry. I am fine and well.
I eat properly and have a bed to lie in at night.
Everything is fine. I Have no intention of coming home.
All is well.
I am Well.
I tied the two letters to Derrick's, my scruffy looking barn owl, leg.
Lies, I realized. The words I had written were all lies.
All was not fine and well. I didn’t know my weight but I was certainly thinner than I had ever been before. My so called ‘bed’ consisted of a pile of blankets and the floor of one abandoned warehouse or another.
Maybe it wasn’t all lies,
I did have NO intention on coming home.
I was unaware of how many days it had been since I had ran away. Days had become somewhat of a blur.
I was fifteen, but closer to sixteen, when I ran away.
It was officially summer.
The school year had just come to it’s end. I had spent the year with my muggle father in England.
It had been a good year. I had gotten good marks at my muggle school and excelled in my privately-tutored wizard studies. I had made a few friends, carried a job, and had come across my first boyfriend.
Life was good.
There was no one drama.
No one to tell me what a lazy piece of shit I was.
No day long arguments where the police were in constant contact.
No waking up at four in the morning and threatening to hex one of my mother’s psychotic boyfriends, if he didn’t leave the house immediately.
But this would soon end.
I was going back.
Back to the life, that had in the past sent me in to a wave of despair where the idea of ending my existence seemed like the only way out.
I know it seemed stupid to go back,
But the choice was my own,
and that is what I had long ago agreed to.
Anyways, it was too hard of a choice.
I could try to save my mother, or I could save myself.
So I took the easy way out,
Now here I am, sixteen, and living on the streets.
It was hard at first.
The streets really are no place for a young girl, but I had my wand and had managed to escape rape, death and other horrors with it’s aide.
I generally avoided the use of magic, however, in fear of being discovered by the ministry. So whenever a drastic event occurred where the use of a hex or defense spell was required, I immediately afterwards ran.
My sense of direction was never very keen, and so I hardly ever knew where I was going.
I stayed in the large cities, rather than the forests, to avoid any encounters with magical creatures. I also tried to avoid any magical communities, not only out of fear of being discovered but also for safety purposes.
There are bad wizards, just like there are bad muggles, and against a grown wizard I stood no chance of defending myself.
I looked down again and, hesitantly, tied a third letter to Derrick’s leg. Then, scratching him lightly on the head, sent him on his way.
I watched him fly off in to the gray sky before disappearing, then fastened my knapsack tighter to my back and turned around toward nowhere.
It’s hard to believe but I used to be pretty. Not drop dead gorgeous or anything but pretty all the same, though at the time I didn’t know it.
My face was round and full. It had not changed since I was a little girl, but instead had looked quite mature and out of place on a little girl body.
My skin had been pinkish with a slight undertone of gold.
My large brown eyes were framed with long dark lashes.
But the real amazing thing about me was …. My smile.
People were always talking about my smile.
In fourth grade Jonathan Calbumer wrote me a poem about it, and I remember being convinced that he was somehow mistaken or confused. But I was wrong, he was just one of the many people that agreed that when I smiled the world seemed to get a little bit better.
My smile lit up my face and made me beautiful. It was infectious. My happiness was like a light in the darkness. Just as long as their was a little light, things would be ok.
Now as I caught my reflection in a broken window, I saw that I was a mere shadow of the girl I’d once been.
I had cut my once long gold hair about three months after running away. It hadn’t been practical or sanitary to keep. Now it was limp, and dull, and barely reached my chin. I was far too thin. My round cheeks were reduced to bone. My eyes were hollow and sunken, my skin was an unhealthy, translucent pale, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had smiled.
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