Extactic with the chance of moving back to New Jersey, Eliza remembers her dreadful year in England...
Song: Six Months - Hey Monday.
You're the direction I follow to get home, and when it feels like I can't go on you tell me to go.
It was my first day back at school. When I say school, I don’t mean the posh, public girls school I was sent to by my father during my deplorable year I suffered in my home country of England. No, it was my first day back at American high school, New Jersey High, only I was starting my first of the two years of 'senior' school. If I had still been living in England it would be my first ever day at 'college', but it felt more at home to call it senior school.
I was back, I was finally back where I belonged, after months upon terrible months of living in the dull, dreary little village situated in the middle of nowhere, being around people I simply could not stand and most of all remaining torn away from the one person I could not picture myself living without. Gerard. Yet, I don’t remember the last time I spoke to him; it was definitely longer than weeks, possibly even longer than five months. Before I left New Jersey we promised we would keep in contact, whether it was by mobile phones or by internet instant messenger, we would not let my parent’s separation rip us apart as well… but it did. I don’t know what happened, how it happened, or why it happened. I strained my mind, my memory; searching for that one little thing I could have possibly done wrong for him to just suddenly close off from me.
There was nothing.
I couldn’t quite work out how I felt about this, my emotions were a tangle of anger, hurt, sadness and confusion. In the end, I guessed I would just have to suffer from all of those dreadful feelings at the same time, overwhelming me with depression, letting myself sink into a mess of nothingness. I had nothing, I had lost my best friend to a reason I was not even aware of. I had lost the only one I ever felt as if I could relate too.
And it's like I can't feel a thing without you around. And don't mind me if I get weak in the knees because you have that effect on me. You do.
My father was away at work every day. He left in the early hours of the morning when I was still asleep and returned late at night, by the time I was usually sleeping again. As long as he provided me with a house to stay in, money to pay for the electricity and heating and left me enough cash on the kitchen counter to by myself lunch and dinner, I was fine. I didn’t care for his company. I got home from school and after my homework had been completed I was free to do as I pleased, no boundaries. Of course, I never did anything out of hand, like have an outrageous party that all of my year, the year below and the year above would get invited to. You see, for the beginning part of my year at St. Hillary’s School For Girls, I had no friends; I was an outcast; heavy make-up and snow white skin, just like I used to be, except this time I had no one to laugh at the plastic preps with, in fact, they laughed at me, they taunted and teased me, and I was alone in this, with no one to talk to, no one to be with. No Gerard. I ate my lunch in the far end toilet cubicle and spent my breaks hiding in the un-used bike shed, and what made this even worse was that I knew that I would not be able to talk about my problems with anyone.
I knew my father loved me, but he was never around, and besides, he would have never understood my troubles and my pain. If I ever found the chance to open myself up to him, he would probably tell me something soppy to shut me up, tell me that I was special, and that all of the other girls were too jealous to be my friends. Even if these words were ever spoken to me by my father, I would know that no truth lay within the sentences he would provide me.
So, without thought, a thick, deep, red slice would plant it’s self on my arm every night, my thighs, my stomach and my wrist. I would grip the deadly sharp meat knife which I picked from the kitchen drawer as it sliced my body parts, creating a perfect contrast between the whiteness of my skin and the dark red colour of my fresh blood running down onto the bathroom floor. This was enough to satisfy my need to feel something other than loneliness, but only for a short while. The knife was my friend, the thing I ran to when I needed comfort, until I began to realize that I was longing for human contact. A friendly smile, a casual chat, the feeling of being wanted and needed by someone else. The knife didn’t want me, nor did it need me.
After about four months of living like the freak everyone believed I was, I lost the heavy make-up. It became lighter and I powdered a pale shade of pink blusher to my cheeks everyday in hope to make my deathly looking skin more alive. My messy hair became more tame, usually pulled back into a lose bun. I looked almost identical to every other slut at my school. I did this because I wanted friends. I craved friends so much I was prepared to change myself just to fit the way everyone else wanted to see me as. I knew if Gerard saw me, he would have been ashamed, but what did I care? He had lost all interest in me, therefor I had nothing to believe in, no reason to be the person I wanted to be if I was the only person to give myself respect.
It took a while for my new look to sink in, and not just for me, but for everyone else at St. Hillary’s. I was a complete transformation, most people barely recognized me, and they thought I was new at school, until I told them my name, until they realized that I was the emo ‘creep’. However, after a few weeks, my plan started to work. I began to feel as if I was finally beginning to fit in, and as my confidence grew, my ability to talk to people grew as well. The girls began to realize in fact, I could be just the same as them; just as boring, just as simple minded just as, self-centered. Of course, it was only an act, a desperate act at that, but my pathetic, disgusting attempt to become social with such despicable people didn’t seem to affect me.
I had friends; I had friends at last after so long of being alone. I called them friends, even though I absolutely loathed them, I was perfectly aware they would often bitch about me, and I knew exactly when they were doing it and I could just about guess what pathetic little fault they had decided to pick out of me. Still, none the less, I had people who would invite me out occasionally, ask me to parties and offer me a seat at lunch break, but no matter how many ‘friends’ I made and no matter how many parties I got invited to, I still felt a sense of emptiness inside of me. Something was missing, making me feel cold and tired. So every day, the kitchen knife found its way to me; it broke my skin, over and over again. It expressed my self-hatred, the blame, the confusion and the emotional pain I constantly endured. The questions, the questions I needed to be answered so badly. The same question I always asked myself.
What did I do?
I missed him, I missed Gerard so much and I knew that if I could just be with him once more I would be better, and I wouldn’t feel empty or cold anymore, but then came the anger, the anger I felt because of how selfish he was. He just abandoned me, left me without a reason. Then I would begin to cut more furiously, until I felt like I had lost the energy to even bleed. I would finally fall asleep on the bathroom floor, and I could be at piece for a short while.
I can't think of anybody else who I hate to miss as much as I hate missing you.
When my father told me about his upcoming business trips, I was relieved to hear the news that meant I would get the house to myself for a few days, but when he told me that each business trip would last at least over 4 months at a time, I was confused as to how I was supposed to pay for everything I would need over such a long period of time, until I realized what he was trying to tell me.
I didn’t need my father to explain to me that I was moving back to New Jersey with my mother, it had already dawned on me. I was going home. I felt exuberant, ecstatic, and jubilant. I was going to go back; back to everything I had grown so close to, everything I knew to be normal. My old house, my old town, my old school, my old friend… Gerard. I was going back to Gerard. I didn’t know whether this was a good thing or a bad thing. The thought of seeing him again filled me with such delight and hope, yet, I wondered if he wanted to see me. After all, he had completely blocked me off; no text messages were ever answer, the emails I sent to him were never replied to and every phone call I made to him was ignored and never returned.
I also wondered if he would actually believe that I was Eliza, I had changed, not just in the ways that could be altered; underneath the blusher applied to my cheekbones the skin was still ghostly pale and dark rims could still be drawn around my pale green eyes if I wanted them there, but I had grown into a woman. I had lost the spare fat which used to linger around my arms and legs, my ash coloured hair had been lightened by a few shades into a golden blonde and had grown past shoulder length and fell in thick layers around my breasts which had also grown a fair amount over the past year. Despite the fact I was still only around five foot three, the small amount of growth my body had received seemed to stretch my limbs, making me appear more slender.
All of these differences about myself I examined in my full length mirror. I wondered what Gerard would think of me, would he like it? Or would he think me pretty? Would he even care is the question I thought I should have been asking myself. I sighed and lazily flung myself onto my bed. It bounced as my body made contact with the plush material of my mattress and I buried my face into one of the deep purple pillows.
I figured that my father’s business trip causing me to move back to America was a sign for me and Gerard. What the sign meant I wasn’t quite sure about, but I was going to find out soon enough. I pushed my face further into my pillow as sleep slowly began to take over my mind.
So please give me your hand, so please give me a lesson on how to steal a heart as fast as you stole mine.
So, there I was, preparing myself for my first day back at high school, well, my first day at senior school. It was a cold day in September, stupidly cold for the time of year. I had moved back in with my mother the previous morning, and I had insisted I started back at school the next day rather than the following Monday as my mother had planned. I just wanted everything to return to normal; I would go back to New Jersey High, find Gerard and he would explain to me that he hadn’t been ignoring me for the past six months; it was all just some, stupid, crazy mistake.
Sadly, my life back in New Jersey was about to be anything but normal.
I can't think of anybody else who I hate to miss as much as I hate missing you
So please give me your hand.
So please just take my hand.