Spray Paint and Suicide
Author's Note: I edited this story to make the message more clear, but I can't seem to find the revised version. The message in this draft is a bit skewed, but it's still there. Enjoy!
It was odd, watching black spray paint drip from the pristine white pillars of her front porch. The words were big and bold, displayed brightly in the late afternoon sunlight for all to see: Whore. Slut. Go back to your own country. Funny thing was, she'd been born in America. And she was anything but a slut.
She couldn't bare to face the crowd that had gathered and now stood murmuring behind her. She could only stand there, trembling, tears in her eyes, as she gazed at what had been done to her home.
"Who would do this?" an old woman at the front of the crowd whispered.
The younger man beside her responded, "Kids. Cruel, disrespectful kids."
Anna and Clara Mistral, she thought, she knew. They were the ones who had bullied her in the girls' bathroom a week ago, had given her a black eye in the lunchroom yesterday. They were the ones torturing her through text messages and slandering her on Facebook. They were the ones who had the gull to graffiti her property.
With a soft whimper meant only for herself, she bolted helplessly into her vandalized home.
The slamming of her bedroom door sent several picture frames tumbling from the clean white walls. Their glass fronts shattered loudly upon the hardwood floor, but the noise could barely be heard over the shriek that suddenly tore from her throat. It was one long, wordless cry, a sound of pure rage, pure sorrow, pure desperation. It was weeks upon weeks of inescapable torture at the hands of two sixteen-year-old girls, girls who shouldn't have had any power over her. Yet they did.
She felt her cell phone vibrate in the front pocket of her jeans, and her scream stopped instantly. For some silly reason, she removed her phone from her pocket and flipped it open, as if she wouldn't find just what she was expecting displayed upon the screen – a text message from an unrecognizable phone number.
To read it or not to read it? She felt like Hamlet, but her life wasn't in question – or was it?
Foolishly, she opened the text.
Immediately, her eyes landed on a picture of her house. It couldn't have been taken long ago, as she saw herself standing in front of it, her back to the camera and pink shirt blindingly bright in the light of the setting sun. They'd been there. They'd been watching her.
How do you like it? read the words beneath the image. More fitting now, isn't it?
Without thinking, she threw the phone with all her might. It hit the window, the sound of cracking glass lost beneath another wordless scream. The pitch was higher this time, taking on the more grating sound of nails on a chalkboard, and she didn't want to let it end.
Still holding the jagged note, she spun to the full-length mirror nestled in the corner of the room. She looked like a madwoman, her mouth open wide to bare her teeth and her dark brown eyes wild with emotion. She stepped closer to the glass, clutching the edges of the mirror as she finally forced her mouth shut. Her chest heaved, rising and falling with each slow, gasping breath.
Her skin was too dark. She noticed it now, now that she was so close. Her hair and eyes were, too. She wasn't American. She had to be Mexican, just like those girls had said. Because who in America was this dark skinned?
A bitter, sarcastic laugh escaped her, husky and ragged now that her throat was sore from her screams. She couldn't even feel it as her fist hit the glass once, then twice, then three times. The glass cut into her knuckles as it was broken into smaller and smaller pieces; blood spattered across the shards as they fell to the floor with the impossibly gentle sounds of a wind chime. She picked up what was left of the mirror and tossed it at the window, knocking more sharp, reflective shards to the floor.
Finally, she froze, panting and glancing around her room with the look of an animal waiting to attack. She eyed the books neatly organized on her bookshelf, the binders and piles of papers spread across her desk, the television and stereo in their places atop her dresser. But it wasn't until her gaze had landed upon the small table beside her bed that she stopped. Her breath caught, her ire left her. It was her Holy Grail, waiting to give her power over her own life once more: a bottle of sleeping pills, prescribed to her when her insomnia had started, when all of this bullying, this torture, had begun. She slowly approached the table, taking the bottle into one bloody, trembling hand.
Her life would be her own again.
A week later, her face was plastered all over newspapers and television screens. The Mistral twins saw this, smiled at it, giggled at their secret victory as they made their way down the hallway of their high school one morning. Every classroom they passed was turned to one news channel or another, displaying the face of the girl they had so despised.
As they entered the girls' bathroom, they exchanged a wicked smile that no one else would've understood. It was a secret, after all, the role they played in that wretched girl's fate. She hadn't told, nor had they.
But as they turned their attention to the path ahead, they found themselves faced with a rather broad chest for someone in the girls' bathroom. They followed the wide chest to equally broad shoulders and, finally, an oddly masculine face. A pair of bushy brows were angled in a glare over a pair of dark, dark brown eyes.
"You're the bullies, aren't you?" The voice was the first sign of femininity this person had shown, but that escaped the twins' notice. Her words had shaken them. "The ones who killed Elizabeth Morgan?"
"We didn't kill her," Anna argued in a meek, unsteady voice. Her bright blue eyes had widened in a mixture of terror and shock.
"She killed herself," Clara finished for her sister, her expression a perfect mirror of Anna's.
"After what you did to her," the stranger started, her voice already trembling with barely suppressed anger, "how can you say you're not murderers? How can you say you didn't kill her?"
"So what if we did?" Anna snapped, her eyes narrowing in a glare that her sister simply couldn't mimic. She crossed her arms, smirking arrogantly. "It's not like you can prove it. You can't do anything about it."
At that, the stranger smiled, and it wasn't a pretty expression by any means. "Do either of you know what real bullying is like?"