Chapter 3 : how can i
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 5|
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Yeah, I’m in trouble, can’t stop what’s coming
Can’t blame this one on bad luck
How Can I -- Charli XCX
Lily stands at her mirror, combing the knots out of her wet hair. She wears only a towel.
Carmen sits at the edge of the bed, painting her toenails a neon yellow.
“So,” she says after a moment, “Rainne...”
“I know,” Lily agrees. She looks at Carmen in the reflection of the mirror as she speaks, “She is so shy.”
“I felt so awkward after I touched her arm,” Carmen says, “She looked terrified.”
“When I met her yesterday she could hardly speak,” Lily comments.
Carmen looks up at her, confused.
“What are you talking about?” she says, “We’ve shared a dorm with her since first year.”
Lily turns around and gasps, her eyes wide with shock. She clasps her hands over her mouth and the comb drops to the floor with a clatter. She shakes her head in horror.
“No,” she mutters through her fingers. Carmen nods.
Lily is disgusted with herself.
“I can’t believe I didn’t recognize her... She must hate me.”
“In all honesty I don’t think she’s spoken to me in my entire life. She is silent.”
Lily sits beside her. She feels terrible.
“I can’t believe I’ve known her for five years without realizing it. When I heard about the crash I didn’t even recognize her last name,” she looks down at the floor, still horrified
Carmen goes back to painting her nails.
“Make it up to her this year,” she suggests, “Maybe she can join our group of friends.”
Lily slowly nods in agreement, still in shock.
Rainne stares at her ceiling, laying motionless on the floor. She is stiff as a board in the center of her room. Tears glide down her cheeks and into her ears.
They didn’t know her.
Nobody knows her.
With a sudden movement, she grabs the Tiffany box out of her dresser drawer and locks herself in her bathroom.
She takes off each bracelet one by one, shaking. Her fingers run over the scabs and scars that decorate her flesh.
The pink Tiffany box has a blue tulle ribbon tied in a bow around it. Rainne slowly undoes it before opening the box.
She takes out a blade.
Still sobbing, she drags the blade against her skin.
“That one,” she sobs, “is for being so fucking quiet that nobody even knows you.”
She welcomes the pain. The pain only she can control.
She starts a new line before the first.
“This one is for eating that biscuit, you fat cow.”
She knows this is wrong.
She knows this is why she has appointments with the doctor.
She knows this is starting to get out of hand.
But she’s been doing this for so long she doesn’t know how to stop.
She doesn’t remember a time before this.
She hates it, but she needs it.
For now, is all she can tell herself. Soon she'll move on.
Oh, but who is she kidding?
Rainne is livid with herself. She drops the blade on the tile floor and jumps up to look at herself in the mirror. Red blood drips down her arm and onto the floor. She tugs at her cheeks, pulling them back to make her look thinner.
“No dinner for you, fattie.”
She looks down at her stomach, ripping off her shirt to get it out of the way. She stretches it back until it looks like Lily’s.
“You’re so revolting,” she says.
Blood smears along her stomach and she falls to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. Her feet smear with the blood that has formed into a small puddle on the tile.
“Why can’t I be like her?” she wails, “I want to be like her...”
Rainne sits in the backseat of her grandfather’s car, leaning her head against the window. She hopes she doesn’t see Lily. She hates trying to act normal around her. Being around Carmen is worse. Carmen doesn’t care about anything, she lives effortlessly.
Rainne longs to be happy like them.
Lily sits beside Petunia in the back of her father’s car.
Petunia complains about missing her date with Vernon. She doesn’t want to see Lily off.
Their father argues with her. Lily keeps quiet, but deep down wishes Petunia could have gone on that date instead of coming along.
She thinks of Rainne. She is determined to befriend her before the year ends.
Rainne finds an empty compartment after hugging her grandparents goodbye. They could tell her smile was insincere, that she wasn’t happy. They were desperate to help her. They hugged her tightly, trying to communicate everything through that embrace, then waved her off.
Rainne sets her luggage on the rack above the seats. She sits down and pulls a book out of her handbag, setting it on her lap. She pretends to read while she listens, making sure nobody is coming. Without any warning, the door slides open abruptly.
Rainne wants a cigarette.
Rainne wants to die.
“Hey, Rainne,” say Lily and Carmen. They barge into the small compartment without asking.
Rainne makes a small wave in response then looks down at her book, actually reading this time. Lily and Carmen glance at each other. They sit across from Rainne and start talking about the classes they're taking. Rainne is beginning to feel comfortable when she hears another familiar voice.
“Here they are!”
She looks up and sees James Potter peeking through the glass of the compartment door. A smile forms on his lips just as a frown forms on Lily’s. He slides the door open and the Marauders pour in.
“My beautiful Lily Flower!” James exclaims.
“Potter,” is all he receives in response.
“Aw, are we on last name terms again?” he pouts.
Rainne smiles. She wishes someone loved her with that determination.
Lily turns her back to him and continues her conversation with Carmen. James chuckles.
“Carmen,” he says in greeting. She smiles at him as she listens to Lily. He turns to Rainne, “Hey, Rainne,” he says, “You’re looking lovely today,” he smiles at her.
“Thank you,” she manages to say.
James is pleased with himself. Lily glares at him with envy. He turns to Sirius and they begin to discuss quidditch; James has been named captain.
Remus leaves the compartment to perform his prefect duties, bidding goodbye to the group.
Benjamin, with whom Remus had been speaking, turns to Rainne. She looks up at him, just now realising he is sitting beside her.
“You were at that pool party at the beginning of the summer, right?” he asks.
She nods sharply.
“I’m Ben,” he says, “I think we had charms together last year.”
She nods a second time, this time more slowly. She is surprised he remembers her. He smiles at her, wanting her to feel comfortable.
“So what have you been doing all summer?” he asks.
She gestures to her book.
She wants to say something.
“Y-y-y,” she stutters. She is hating herself again. He waits patiently, “Y-y-y-y-you?” she finally asks.
She vows never to speak again.
“Not much. I practiced quidditch, hung out with friends...” he laughs, “I spent a lot of time outside, as you can see!”
He is very tan. She notices everyone is. She looks down at her pale skin, frowning.
“But to tell you the truth,” he adds, “I like pale skin.”
She decides she likes Benjamin.
She hopes she has classes with him again this year.
The train ride continues this way. Ben talks to her while she nods, occasionally smiling.
She doesn’t speak again.
Remus returns. James flirts with Lily while she scowls. She hates that Benjamin is making Rainne smile. She hates that she didn’t remember Rainne and that Rainne obviously feels uncomfortable around her.
Lily tries to join the conversation, but Ben, upon seeing how awkward Rainne feels, becomes silent.
Ben looks at Rainne while Rainne stays focused on her hands. Lily looks back and forth between them, feeling rejected. She knows that gaining Rainne’s friendship won’t be easy.
Lily finally turns to Carmen in defeat and begins speaking to her again. Ben and Rainne pick up where they left off, and Lily can’t help but feel as if she has been punched in the stomach.
They finally arrive at the castle.
Rainne starts to walk away from the group, but Ben motions that she joins them on the carriage ride. She pretends she can’t see the thestrals as everyone talks excitedly about the upcoming year.
Upon entering the Great Hall, Ben sits beside Rainne. He feels protective over her.
Rainne figits awkwardly around him but she likes having him close to her. She enjoys his company more than she thought she would.
Dumbledore gives his annual speech. He warns the first years about the Forbidden Forest as always, reminding everyone of the endless list of rules posted in the caretaker’s office. Nothing is new.
Everyone but Rainne starts to eat. She has food in front of her but only pushes it around. She feels strange sitting with the group. She is used to being alone.
Remus leads the first years through the Gryffindor Tower while Rainne follows everyone else to the common room. She doesn’t think she can handle much more social contact so she slowly starts up the stairs to the girls’ dorms.
“Goodnight,” Ben calls after her, smiling softly.
She smiles and waves at him. When she turns, her smile fades and when she is out of sight, she runs up the stairs.
She realises she has eaten too much. Luckily, the dorm is empty.
She shuts the bathroom door behind her and casts a silencing charm on the room just in case.
She looks at the mirror and frowns.
“Fat. Disgusting and fat.” she says to herself as she pulls at her stomach. Her eyes fill with tears.
Her knees fall to the floor around the toilet and she purges, tears streaming down her cheeks.
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