She listens to seventies pop music but hides the CD's in metal or heavy rock cases. She wears torn black clothes, but her eyeliner is really only a slightly melted biro's ink, and her cuts are actually painted on. Acrylic paint carefully mixed really does work wonders. She hides behind people and smokes cigarettes and vomits afterwards. She has a boyfriend who enjoys sucking on her anklebone because then the skin flakes off, and he can sluice his mouth in the blood.
When it gets too dark and she's scared she pulls her picture down and stares at it. There she is, tiny, held in soft hands, gnarled and purple and old and loving. Her eyes are blue, and curious, her face chubby, sweet. She is so small that she could hold herself, now, cradle this thing to her body. Her blue eyes are the only beautiful things to ever exist on her body. When she looks in the mirror now, her eyes might be green, or brown, the exact colour of fresh horse dung.
She looks at the spots on her chin, the rolls of fat on her stomach, her painted arms and smeared image. In the dark, every night, he takes her. Over and over, he comes out of her head and takes her body hard, again and again and over and over. She waked to hear her own voice begging and begging "oh no please no I'll be good no please oh, oh." She only wishes she could get over it. It only really happened once, a long time ago. She hits her arms against the wall and sobs.
She likes to hang around with them; they make her feel maybe safer. She ties up her hair in more black and outlines her lips, and kisses any one who asks, and smokes joints and pierces her eyebrow, once, twice. They like her for it. They even admire the fake white scars she has so carefully created.
At parties she dances and pogos and pouts and flirts. No one notices how ugly and dirty she is, they take her in their arms and kiss her and tell she is gorgeous, lovely, wonderful. They never notice her flinch. The first time she sees him a ginger haired boy is groping her and a girl she barely know is telling her all her secrets. They feel privileged to tell them to her. He is stoned and licking the microphone and on his arms are long dark suicide scars.
Afterwards he comes and drapes her arms around her because she is near by, and a different band is playing another song. He licks her ear, and she stares into his dark eyes, with their little pupils. Later she notices cuts on his thighs, too, and cigarette burns, and wonders if this is a good idea. He hurts her, but only like all of them hurt her, the way she expects to be hurt.
He lies beside her and tells her, "I've been hurt." She touches his scars and her eyes involuntarily fill with tears that have nothing to do with him.
Afterwards they shout "slag!" and "slut!" and she wonders why, what was different about this time, but perhaps there is nothing different and now is the first time she notices.
'I've been hurt', she thinks as her friends give her more vodka and look almost longingly at her fake intriguing scars. She's getting over it. She's not really hurt at all. She smiles. In his eyes, there was nothing but liquid pain, and a longing for comfort.