PG-13 for mutilation. Jetta starts to crack.
As we had gone, other cheerleaders from the squad had followed, making the entire group look like a cult meeting. Sara had showed up and talked to the blond bitch that was yanking my hair out. She had nervously asked her if they could take an easy on me. Kind Sara, naive Sara, she just didn't get the hole dominance thing. I had challenged Stacey this morning, and here I was being put in my place.
In all of Belleville High history, I don't think any cheerleader has quit the squad from their own volition, or they didn't have the guts to try. And here I was, Ms. Ballsy herself. Stacey laughed in Sara's face and threatened her to get out of her way or she'd end up like me. Sara sent me a apologetic look and despite the hand holding my hair and head forward, I gave her an 'it's alright' nod.
She got out of Stacey's way and assumed her place at the back of the line, trudging forward like a forced dog at the end of it's leash. Stacey kicked my knees out from under me and I fell onto the grass of the clearing. The girls assembled in a circle around us, as whatever was going to happen began.
Stacey pointed to two girls and jerked her thumb to me. They came over, Margret and Carlie, and held my arms down. Dana came forward and put something into Stacey's outstretched hand. It was a pair of shears, like the kind you would use in a hair salon. Stacey snipped them a few times, trying them out, before coming over to me and standing there with a smirk. "You know, you still have the chance to stay in the group, you just have to do all of the freshman's work and all of the hazing challenges they have.", Stacey offered me, a sneaky smile on her face.
Around us, the underclassmen were whispering about getting out of disgusting and nasty thing that they'd been put up to. I glared at Stacey from my pitiful height on my knees, "I'd rather chew on my old pom-poms than go back to the psychotic group you call a squad.", I spat at her. She shrugged. "Have it your way then." She pushed my head down and her hand was replaced with someone else's palm as I heard the shears being put to use. Puffs of my copper hair fell down, decorating the ground with itself. I held in tears, I was going to look horrendous when they got done. They kept going until I could feel the metal of the scissors on the back of my scalp.
Finally Stacey pulled the dreaded utensil away and I was allowed to look up again. "At least now you won't have to worry about those jocks bowing down to you anymore, none of them will even give you a second glance now.", she sneered, giving my cheek a little smack.
I didn't start breaking down, instead I just stared back at her defiantly.
Dana came back to take the shears away and put something else in Stacey's hand. It was a ball of steel wire and a lighter. My brain froze at the sight. This was against the law, never mind going against stupid cheer-leading traditions. I knew that Stacey was going to go too far with this. "You know Jetta, hair grows back, and if you go to college, then no one will know you and people might go back to thinking you're beautiful." She paused and grinned like a demoness. "But if you're scarred, then it's permanent, it will never go away." She cut off a good length of wire from the ball of it.
Waving the piece in front of my face she whispered to me, "I think you'll love this, after all, aren't you all about cutting these days, now you'll get the pain and never be rid of the scars.", she cackled, her perfect white teeth flashing.
Then she went back to business. To my surprise, all of the girls seemed okay with burning metal into someone's flesh, a few exchanged uneasy glances, but they were soon swept up in the carnal feeling of they're alpha putting someone in their place.
Though, to my surprise, Sara was holding her hands over her face and I was happy she was, she didn't need to see this. Even as my friend she was still a cheerleader, I'd been the one who screwed up, it wasn't her fault, and she didn't need to feel bad for me. It was the bleached-haired person in front of me who deserved to be put in a straight jacket. She was heating up the wire, making it red hot against the flame of the lighter. My skin was crawling at the thought of having that thing against it.
She must have gotten it just right because she came up to me, the once gray piece of metal was now white-hot.
"Make sure she doesn't squirm, I don't want to get burned because this bitch couldn't take some pain." She kicked me into my healing stomach, and I had the feel of new-found pain explode in my abdomen.
As I was kneeling, the holds on my arms tightened and the neck of my shirt was pulled down, leaving the back of my neck exposed. I suddenly had the feel of metal burning my sensitive skin. I groaned, not giving them the satisfaction of getting to me, but still being unable not to make some kind of noise. The perfectly manicured hands of Stacey dragged the burning wire down, making a line. Tears were streaming down my face as she continued to pull the jagged, searing metal against my skin. I lost track of what lines she made, the pain was too much to be able to even think. But I didn't scream. I groaned, gasped, and even squealed a little. But I didn't full-out scream or shriek.
That was the only fact that made me hold onto my pride as Stacey pulled the tiny tip of the steel away from my neck. The smell of burnt hair and skin hung in the air as the hands on my arms suddenly let go. I fell forward onto the ground, dirt going up into my nose as I took a deep breath. Stacey was laughing manically at my action.
"Now let's see if you'll humiliate me like that tomorrow.", she said superiorly. And that was it. They left. Stacey led them back to the school to their sports cars and boyfriend's trucks. Leaving me alone in the woods with a dripping wound on my neck, disarrayed cut hair, and a aching stomach and scalp. I crawled to my knees after some time and tentatively put a hand back to my neck. It was oozing with blood and a clear liquid that looked like pus. I took off my shirt, leaving me in my camisole, and put it to the stinging wound, winching as the texture of the cloth rubbed against it.
I felt my anger boil over. This was bull-shit. Once again I'd gotten hurt because I didn't live up to the expectations of someone else. Plus now I had to go into school and into the vision of my mother with new bruises, chopped hair, and a burnt mark in my neck. Which brought me to the fact that Stacey had actually burned words into my skin. It made me wonder what she'd written.
I shook it off, I could worry about it later, right now I had to get to my car and back to my house so I could rinse off my neck. It would get infected if I left it like this.
Slowly staggering through the woods, leaning on trees for support, I got back to parking lot. Stacey had really kicked my legs and they were sore from kneeling on the ground, making it hellish to walk on the pavement. I climbed into my car, not looking into my mirrors, and drove back home. On the way, I reached into my pockets and found my phone. Could I tell someone about this?
Not Gerard. He'd already helped me enough, and asking him for anything else would be way too selfish of me. But I really needed someone to know about this. But I couldn't.
I got to my house, thankfully my mother wasn't home yet. It seemed that I was always there when she wasn't, which was in my favor at the moment. Hobbling through the door, I went upstairs to the bathroom, and nearly broke down in there. I had make-up spread all over my face, but that wasn't nearly the worst thing. My beautiful hair was gone, replaced with brownish, dirty, short hair. My roots had been darker from the rest of my locks, due to me dying it copper, a shade lighter than my real hair color. Complete with a lawn-mower cut, I looked like a hobo.
I slowly turned, straining my throbbing neck to see the words on the back of my neck. FREAK. It was still bleeding and looked like something you would find in a horror movie. I felt my eyes burn and my image blurred as tears obscured my vision. I started putting Neosporin on my burns, wiping the gooey liquid off as I did, then I put a hospital approved bandage on. Finally I took one last look in the mirror before I turned off the bathroom's light. I walked out of the bathroom, my back ridged, as I tried to stop crying. I hated crying, it made me feel weak and being weak was something I didn't need to be at this point in time. But after this damn week of everything, I needed to let it out.
I sat on my bed-spread, it was yellow, such a nasty color, something my mother had picked out to match my room's 'decor'. I felt myself lean over and fall onto my side, my soft mattress sinking with me. Then I curled into myself, pulled a pillow down to my face, and let it out. In between shuddering gasps, I found myself wanting Gerard's arms around me. I pushed the feeling away and let myself go numb as my tears started to run out.
I finally calmed down, my gasps turning into hiccups. I laid there, feeling the room and world around me. It was amazing how it felt to let yourself go and just exist. Wiping a hand across my face, I looked out my window and saw that it was dark out. The fall season had set in and the days were getting shorter, it must have been somewhere between six and seven o' clock. My mother would be home soon.
I pushed the thought away and buried my head into my sheets. And drifted away into a more peaceful place.
Sometime during the night, I woke up to thumps. They were coming up the steps. It was my mother, but there was a second set of footsteps. That's when I heard them giggling and heard a guy's voice. My mother had brought a GUY home?
She hadn't even looked at the opposite sex once my dad had left! And now she was drunk and bringing a strange man home, who sounded like he was in the same condition she was in. He must have had boots on because his footsteps were more of a clunking than my mother's high-heels.
I waited silently, and heard them go into my mother's room across from mine. Of course, that's when the moaning started. I drew my pillow over my head to drown out the noises. This was disgusting, my own mother sounded like a whore, and the guy fucking her probably thought that she was.
I was still a virgin. I'm not going to lie, I'd been to third base, but I've kept my cherry unpopped and fresh. Hearing those two at it, made me want to become a nun.
I tip-toed to my door and peeked out. Their door was closed, but there were still noises coming out of it. I probably could've used an air-horn and still they wouldn't have heard me. I walked downstairs and over to our wine racks. I knew it wasn't a good thing to do, and from seeing my own mother, I knew it wouldn't help my problems. But after being harassed by the cheerleaders, getting my hair lopped off and FREAK burned into my skin, and now having to listen to my mom fucking some random guy, I needed to get my buzz on. I pulled out a Manchevitz red wine and went back up to my room. The sounds had stopped and I could hear a loud snoring. I scowled in disgust.
I sat back down on my bed and popped the seal on the bottle. It tasted like grape juice, just stronger and more bitter. The first two swigs went down with a few coughs, but the next couple were like drinking water. I could feel the wine start to have it's effects after half of the bottle was gone.
No one really cared about me in this world. Not my mother, not my father, none of my friends who I'd had for years, except those guys. I smiled a bit as I remembered the party. Gerard, Frankie, Ray, Bob, and Mikey, all of them, kind and easy to become friends with. They seemed like they could accept anybody, discrimination unthought about.
That's when the corner's of my mouth turned down. I didn't deserve their kindness, hell I didn't deserve anybody's. I was a ugly, mean, despicable person, who just landed herself in a bad situation and was leeching off of the nice people around me.
Which lead me to wonder. What would happen if I died? Would anyone come to my funeral? Would my mother even buy me a funeral? I doubted it, she would probably just cremate me and spread my ashes across the front yard. Plus I didn't think anyone would actually care if they heard about my death. They would look at the person or TV screen that had told them the fact, and just shrug. 'None of my business, why should I care?'
Surprisingly, no tears came out of my eyes. I had drained all the tears that I had in me. My thoughts, though depressing, just made me feel more numb to the world. I didn't like feeling numb.
I drank down the rest of the wine like a fish needed water. Setting the empty bottle down on the stand next to me, I walked over to my desk and found my pencil sharper. It was one of the manual ones, one with a thin blade embedded into the plastic. I bashed it with one of my heavy reading books and picked through the pieces until I found the glint of the tiny piece of metal.
Taking one of my old shirts, I sat back down on my bed and took a deep breath. Holding the shirt underneath my arm, I dragged the sharp, tiny, sheet of metal across my wrist. It hurt at first, but then the endorphins released and I felt good. I could see why people did this, it made you feel happy, despite having bad thoughts in your mind. It brought some feeling to my numb world. I made a few more slices and laid back against my pillows, the shirt pressed to the cuts. I let myself ride out my fix as the wine had it's full effect. I fell asleep, pressing a junior high shirt against my arm, wondering what other people were doing at this moment.