Taylor 26th August
I looked in the mirror, wondering how I ever managed to get myself in the mess I'm in. I was meeting up with Dylan today, so I had to cover up last night’s events well. Dad hit me again last night. Not just once, over and over. I remember listening as he came into the house, and immediately knew he was in a terrible mood by the way he slammed the door and stomped up the stairs. The door of my room swung open with a crash. I knew better than to anger him more, but I did anyway.
"Don't you knock?" I snapped. He let out a roar and threw me against the wall. I winced at the memory, feebly touching the bruises on my shoulder well-disguised by a long sleeved t-shirt.
"I'll teach you to talk back to me!" he snarled, his fist plummeting into my stomach knocking the wind out of me. As I cried in pain, he punched me in the face and my nose began to bleed. He finished by slapping me hard.
"You are an ungrateful little brat. I give you a lovely house, but all you repay me with is snotty comments. And what the hell are you wearing, you slutty tart? Cover yourself up before I really punish you!"
Then he left. Today I looked a sight. I didn't sleep last night so I had dark circles around my eyes, and tears stained my cheeks. My throat was raw from sobbing under my pillow and my nose has crusted over. I did my best to look nice though. My makeup is like a mask, and it's hiding my feelings as well as my injuries.
I sneaked out the house and met Dylan at the park. He's one of my closest friends, not that I'm actually close with anyone at all. Nobody knows the real me. But he's the person I'm closest with other than Jade.
I remember the day I met him. It was a few days into year seven. Me and Jade were sat in the back row of our first maths lesson. Dylan shortly followed, stood at the front of the room, trying not to appear nervous. He is good looking, with dirty blonde hair that sweeps across his face, the body of an athlete and tanned skin. He saw me and I winked at him. He waggled his fingers at me shyly. Then his eyes fell upon Jade. The only girl I know who can stun someone completely with her beauty. She wasn't paying him any attention. She was looking at her textbook with a serious expression on her face. Her uniform was perfect, and her hair was tied in a ponytail, practical and neat. She was wearing the horribly embarrassing reading glasses that soon after I made her swap for a nice pair. But although she certainly wasn't dressed to impress, I saw Dylan stare, and I saw at that moment that he would always prefer her to me. She's kinder, prettier, more mature, but with a good sense of humour, and she is a good friend. Over the years, I have watched Dylan fall in love with her. Every time she smiles at him, I see his face light up. But Jade is totally oblivious to his feelings. She has no idea how he feels about her. It's probably a good thing though, seeing as Jade freaks out whenever she hears "relationship."
Dylan looked disappointed when Jade didn't come with me today, although he tried to hide it. We went to the park for a bit and discussed school and summer. Then we came onto the subject of Jade. He went on and on about her for ages, telling me how much he wishes he could be with her. In the end it irritated me.
"For goodness sake!" I snapped "If you like her so much, why don't you just ask her out? You'll see her tomorrow at Layla's party. Just tell her how you feel, because it's getting on my nerves! There is no harm in trying, and after all, you've fancied her for years!"
He gulped nervously.
"Oh come on! You've asked girls out before, right?"
"Yeah, a few, but this is different! I actually care about Jade. We're such good friends, and I don't want to freak her out and ruin that..."
I looked into his eyes and I could see he really meant it. I had never known someone could care so much about anything. I've certainly never experienced that. I sighed.
"Look, you won't. She'll understand, and you've got to be cool about it if she doesn't feel the same way. It might be awkward at first, but things will be OK. Nothing can ruin your friendship, but you need to tell her how you feel."
In the end he agreed. I feel sorry for him. He's a really good looking guy, and all the girls are after him, yet he only wants Jade, the one person who doesn’t''t fancy the pants off him. I quite fancy him actually, but he's always preferred Jade. Besides, Dylan can be a bit boring at times. I want a guy who doesn't take things to seriously, that will be up for some fun. Dylan is too serious.
I don't know what Jade's feelings are for him. Whenever I ask her anything about boys she just shrugs her shoulders and says she isn't interested. Which is stupid. She must like someone, surely. Jade can be such hard work sometimes. I'm always suggesting boys for her, like Isabella's brother, Sam. She won't have any of it.
So Dylan and I said goodbye, and I walked home by myself, my mood still pretty bad. My back ached and all I wanted to do was go to bed. But instead, I went home to my bedroom and did my art coursework. We're supposed to do a piece with a deep meaning, so I've drawn me sat in a tiny box all squished up, with hundreds of eyes watching the box. My art teacher, Miss Bennett asked me what the meaning of it was when she saw my first draft.
"It's like...claustrophobia. And the feeling that you can't escape," I explained to her. I remember how she looked at the painting very closely from all angles. Then the way she stared at me.
"Taylor...is everything OK at home?"
I nodded sharply. "Yes."
"Are you sure? It's none of my business really-"
"No. It's not," I cut across her, giving her my best glare. She gulped.
"Alright. Remember, though, you can always talk to me or another teacher..."
Yeah. Right. As if.
"Of course, Miss Bennett. I'll remember that."
I looked at the finished picture for a long time. Every detail mattered in the picture. Only my eyes see the true meaning of the painting. The angry flecks of red in half the eyes, a representation of the hatred my Dad has for me. The other half of the eyes watery as though somewhere, the mother I never knew is crying for me. And, if I look closely enough at the girl in the box, I can see the red hand mark on her face which is streaked with tears.