Sick Cycle Carousel – Chapter one: Simon

It was a Sunday evening. I had just spent the whole day at my best friend Brooke's house and was on my way home.

Rain poured down from the air and lighting occasionally flashed across the dark sky, coupled with the burst of loud thunder. I wasn't scared though, as my dad had always been a good driver. I felt safe sitting next to him in this terrible weather.

That's why I didn't panic when he suddenly braked rather forcefully; I thought he was just playing around like he always did.

"Very funny, dad, you can stop playing now," I laughed and looked at him.

But this time, he didn't answer like he normally would. He was too busy getting control over the wheel. Our car started skidding on the slippery road and for the first time I felt scared. This wasn't normal.

"Stop it!" I screamed at my dad, not at all enjoying what he was doing.

Our car drove off the road and I saw that we were heading straight for an electricity pole.

I screamed loudly when our car collided with the pole. The next thing I knew my head smashed into the windshield and the last thing I saw was my dad's figure slumped over the steering wheel, just before I blacked out…

I woke up, breathing heavily, my body completely covered in sweat. I grabbed my head, trying to make the images in front of my eyes disappear, but to no avail. Every little thing came to me like a haunting opera, playing over and over again in my mind in slow motion, little by little driving me crazy…

Slightly trembling, I crawled out of bed and walked to the mirror in the centre of my room. I switched on the light and made the darkness disappear, making place for the bitter truth.

My nightmare hadn't just been a dream… it was real.

The images that I saw, the noises that I heard; I had heard them all before. Carefully I brushed my hair away from my cheek and looked at my scar. God, it was huge. It covered almost my whole left cheek. And that wasn't all…

When I lifted up my shirt I saw the huge scar that went from above my breasts until my waist. I softly traced it with my fingertip and felt like crying. The skin there was ripped, uneven and felt horrible. As fast as I could, I covered it up again, trying to pretend that it didn't exist.

Why couldn't I just be fifteen again? My life had been carefree, easy; before my accident, I had led a great life. Sure, no life could ever be perfect, but I loved every single bit of it. I was a popular girl with lots of friends who enjoyed life. I was someone who laughed 24/7.

Some days I still pretended that nothing had changed. I usually covered up my scar on my cheek with camouflage and wore a shirt that covered the one on my chest. Then I just blocked everything out and pretend that they weren't there. At those moments I could still laugh like before, but that bliss never lasted very long. When I finally realized that they were still there and that they weren't going to go away, I crashed.

I cry, I scream, I throw things. I do anything to let out my emotions, but only when I'm sure that no one is around. I don't want people to know how messed up I really am. It's none of their business.

Determined to think about something else, I went downstairs to get a drink. When I passed the clock in the hall I saw that it was already 3 am.

I opened up the fridge and was about to pull out a bottle of water, when something suddenly scared me.

"Couldn't sleep huh?" a voice asked all of a sudden, making me shriek loudly, while the bottle of water fell to the ground with a thud. The person behind me chuckled softly at my reaction. I quickly brushed my hair in front of my scar, and turned around glaring.

"That isn't funny Andrew!" I said and picked up the bottle I had just dropped. My heart was beating really fast and I took a few breaths to slow it down again.

"Why did you jump like that? Do you have a guilty conscience?" Andrew asked while grinning broadly, clearly enjoying the whole situation.

"I thought everyone was asleep," I said defending my previous actions. "What are you doing here anyway?" I asked him while opening the bottle of water and taking a sip from it..

"Jake and I had a movie night, and your mom didn't want me to drive home this late," he answered and shrugged his shoulders in a careless motion.

I nodded in understanding. It wasn't unusual that Andrew slept at our house. He and my brother Jake have known each other since kindergarten, and are practically inseparable ever since. Before my accident I hung out with them constantly, but then everything changed. I wasn't comfortable around them anymore and had started to push them away.

Andrew and I had a pretty big fight about that actually…

Andrew was staying over at our house, because his parents were on a business trip. Jake had gotten an emergency call from one of his friends and had left in a hurry. Instead of Andrew going with him, he stayed with me.

Both my parents were still at work and I felt extremely uncomfortable. No matter how much I tried to brush my hair in front of my scar, I still felt Andrew staring at it. After a while I couldn't take it anymore and made up some lame excuse. When I was about to step up the stairs Andrew spoke up.

"You can't even stand to be alone in the same room with me anymore?" he asked bluntly and I could hear the bitterness laced in his voice.

To tell you the truth, I was surprised by his words. No one had ever made a comment about my behaviour before. Not to my face anyway.

"I already told you; I need to do something in my room," I said, but even I knew that my voice sounded weak and uncertain.

"What is it? Tell me what's so important that you have to do right away?" he asked and glared at me, letting me know that he didn't believe a word from what I was saying.

I had never seen him look so angry before at me. I guess he was finally fed up with the way I treated him. Instead of replying him, I just stood there like a fool, not saying a thing. I did my best to come up with a reasonable excuse, but my brain refused to help me.

"I thought so," Andrew said sullenly and turned around again. The back of his head was facing me while he continued watching TV.

"What's your problem?" I suddenly snapped at him, feeling angry.

I knew that it wasn't the smartest thing to get mad at him right then, but I just couldn't help it. The words flew out of my mouth before I realized it.

Andrew turned his head to look at me again. "What's my problem? Wow, that's fucking priceless. You're the one acting like you're too good to be around me. Hell, you even think you're too good to hang around your own brother," he angrily said.

His words cut through me like a knife. Andrew wasn't the only one thinking that. Ever since the accident I avoided people like they were the plague. I didn't do this on purpose, I just couldn't handle seeing them. I wanted them to remember the Maria with the pretty face and not the scarred freak. A lot of people immediately concluded that I felt too good to be around them anymore. Why couldn't they see that I only did this to protect myself?

I snapped out of my thoughts and furiously glared at Andrew. "I do not act like I'm too good for any of you!"

He chuckled bitterly in response. "Just keep telling yourself that princess," he said, stressing the word princess.


My words seemed to trigger something inside of him. He stood up from the couch and stormed towards me. For the first time in my life, I was actually scared of him. His clouded green eyes flared with anger and pierced right through me.

Andrew was much taller than me and angrily looked down on me. "You think I don't know shit about you?" he angrily hissed at me. "I've seen you grow up. I've been there in every single important moment of your life. I was there the night you came home from the hospital and still remember how broken you looked," he said and took a deep breath. "I've seen how you decided to throw your life away over a few scars and I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the fact that no one tells you that you are messing up your life!" he finished. Although he still sounded mad, his voice became softer by the end of the sentence.

"DON'T TALK ABOUT MY SCARS!" I screamed at him. Tears were standing in my eyes by now, but I refused to let them fall. I didn't want to give Andrew the satisfaction of breaking down in front of him.

"What's the big deal, Maria?" he softly asked. "They are just scars."

JUST SCARS?! Was he crazy? These things fucking screwed up my life and he acted like it was nothing.

Before I knew what was happening I slapped him, right across his cheek. You could hear flesh hitting flesh throughout the whole room. He looked at me with a shocked expression on his face, but didn't say a thing. My heart was beating rapidly and I looked down at my feet from embarrassment.

What the hell was wrong with me? I had just slapped Andrew.

Knowing that I wouldn't be able to hold my tears back any longer, I ran to my room. I threw myself on my bed and finally let the tears fall. I didn't stop crying that night, I couldn't. His words had hurt me so much. I knew that people thought that I was over reacting, but I never expected Andrew would be one of them.

That night he really broke my heart…

Crazily enough, after that fight, I'd decided to change a few things in my life. The next day, I had gone into the kitchen while smiling brightly, pretending to be happy. My plan worked perfectly; everyone bought my little act. They somehow believed that I had finally gotten over the accident. I still don't believe how easy it was to fool everybody, but they all believed me while I pretended to be happy.

I patched things up with Jake and Andrew. We never mentioned our fight again and I started hanging out with them again, just not as much as before.

I've been pretending ever since. I've been living my life smiling and laughing, but it's all fake. On the inside I feel like I can break down any minute.

"You all right?" Andrew asked, making me snap out of my thoughts.

I smiled at him. "Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?" I asked.

"You zoned out there for a minute," he pointed out with his usual smirk plastered on his face.

"I'm just really tired," I lied and faked a yawn, stretching my arms behind my back. "I'm going back to sleep. Good night, Andrew."

"Night Maria," he answered as I walked out of the kitchen, away from him.

This was my life… every day I pretended to be happy while I wasn't. The only place where I didn't keep up a false façade was my room. It was the only place where I allowed myself to break down and cry.

I'd never felt lonelier…

Locked inside
The only place
where you feel sheltered,
where you feel safe.
You lost yourself
in your search to find
something else to hide behind.

Author's Note: This is my first story and I hope you like it. Constructive Criticism is welcome, but please don't flame me.

Disclaimer: The lyrics to the amazing song 'Simon' belong to 'Lifehouse'.

Thanks to my beta Louisa (angels and effects) for editing this. Check out her own stories too!

Thanks for reading and please review!

Xxx Lien