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Chapter 1 - My Voice Alone

just a bunch of short storys, if you want to know the story behind any of them just ask

Chapter 1 - My Voice Alone

Chapter 1 - My Voice Alone
I never expected to be in here, never in my wildest dreams, or nightmares you could say. Why would I, I never thought that my best friend, the person I talked to every day, even in here, the one I trusted with my every secret, would turn out to be my worst nightmare.

I shouldn’t jump ahead of myself here, I should start from the beginning, even though it all happened in the course of one day, I should tell you the whole story. My story, It starts the day the new girl Jessica started; it was a week since we had been told about mid-term exams and a week till they started, the pressure was on, and if we didn’t pass, it could affect our whole report card. I thought Mr. Raven would choose someone that wasn’t late for class, but he stopped me before I walked into class and introduced me, and he told me I was going to show her around, sounded good. He went into the class room and gave us a minute to introduce ourselves.

“Hi, I’m Alisha, umm I have no idea what I’m meant to do, but I’ll show you round the school at free period” I said holding my hand out to greet her.

“I’m Jessica and thanks” she replied shaking my hand

Jessica looked like one of those girls that could have any guy she wanted, she had dark brown hair in ringlets that framed her nicely tanned, heart shaped face and to top it off, she had emerald green eyes and full lips. Any boy would gladly go out of their way for her. It was a step up to my blond hair to my shoulders, blue eyes and freckles like you wouldn’t believe. Like any of the boys would look at me twice.

We walked into class before Mr. Raven could come out and get us. As we walked into class Mr. Raven said it was nice for us to join them. We took our seats and got out our books, Mr. Raven was giving a lecture on writing essays, the format, presentation and all round what was expected out of the essay for the mid-term exam. If you had seen me then I looked just like any other teenager fretting over the exams, but, the war going on inside my head was becoming ever more violent, I found myself struggling to breath and it was harder to understand what Mr. Raven was saying, I had never written an essay before and now they just dump one on us and give us a week to learn how to write them.

I looked over at Jess, she was busy taking notes, and I would have to see if I could borrow them soon. I was hoping me and Jess could be friends, I don’t know what it was but I seemed drawn to her, like I had known her our whole lives, maybe because it looked like she was so organized, so ready for the exams, so……, so not me. It was true she was everything I wasn’t, everything I wanted to be.

The rest of class passed in a blur and me trying not to pass out, I caught up to Jess who had already left. All 10th graders had a free period now, so I decided to show her around at that point so I could get to know her better. It turns out Jess had been home schooled up until last year, she had gone to the private school across town after that, she told me she had got involved with a guy who was hooked on alcohol and her mum didn’t like that, so her mum pulled her out. I told her I had my first drink back in the sixth grade , when there was a volleyball tournament on, and a friend had mixed UDL with some flavored sports water. We all had a blast, lost the game, but had fun. I showed her around the school and told her how things worked around here, what people to avoid and what boys were taken. As I was showing her around she was telling me about herself and I was telling her about myself, all the little things that our parents would have a fit over.

We nearly didn’t hear the warning bell for next class because we were laughing so hard, we had different classes at that point so I directed her where to go and then headed off for science, my worst subject ever, made even worse by the fact that for the last month, Ms. Barkeer had been down my back about my failing grades. When I walked into class I took my usual seat at the back and got my books out. We had three books just for science, a normal work book, a text book and a homework book which I should have filled in with last night’s homework, but hadn’t.

I hadn’t realized at that point that I was about to go into panic mode. All I really remember were the words ‘surprise’ and ‘test’ used in the same sentence, at that point my breathing sped up and my head found the desk. I was going to fail, I couldn’t fail, not now, it can’t be happening to me. I don’t know how but I managed to find my way to the toilets without help, or passing out.

“Hey, you okay?” a familiar voice asked as a hand rested lightly on my shoulder “I saw you go past my class and I thought you might need a friend” she continued when I didn’t reply

I was sitting in the corner of the ladies room, if anyone else had walked in they would have laughed at me, but not Jess, I had learnt she wasn’t that type of person from the very beginning, if anyone had been in any type of trouble she would have been there, it was in her nature.

“Yer, I’m fine…now” I said softly getting to my feet and walking to the sink, I splashed my face with some water and turned to Jess, “thanks, by the way,… I just…..well…umm, you see it was science and…..well… a test” I stuttered over the words so fast it came out sounding like a choking noise.

“It happens to the best of us” she giggled lightly.

We spent the rest of the class in the ladies room talking about the darker side of our lives, like how her very first day of school last year brought nothing but tears, mostly because everyone else had friends from the year before and she had no-one, but also because the work load was so different from what she was used to from homeschooling. She also had people tease her because of her homeschooling. I asked if she wanted to come round to my place after school and hang out, she agreed. Before we left to get our things, which we had both left in our classes she asked if we could be friends, even though we hadn’t known each other for very long. I happily agreed and as she walked off back to her class she said she’d never had a best friend before.

Once we got to my place after school I led Jess into mom’s study, “hey mom, this is Jess she’s new at school, we’ll be in my room if you need us” I said and walked back out grabbing Jess before mom could pull out the baby photos and scare her off. If I had stayed a moment longer I would have seen my mom’s face of shock as she looked up at me, but I didn’t, I also didn’t see her pick up the phone and dial the schools number. In my room me and Jess danced and sang our lungs out, she had the most amazing voice, we were lucky enough to like the same music. When we were tired from dancing and when we couldn’t sing from huffing so much I went and got a snack from the kitchen, mom was still in her study and I saw that line two on the phone was busy, I thought it was just a business call or something. When I went back into my room Jess wasn’t there, I just assumed she was using the ladies room so I just sat the snacks down on my bedside table. “Where’s your friend?” my mom’s voice asked at my door, I jumped from the shock and spun around to face her, she had an expression on her face which usually meant she was disappointed or worried about me, or both, “she’s in the toilet I think” I replied taking a step towards her, before I got to her she walked over to my bathroom door and pushed softly against it, it swung open, there was no-one in there.

Mom crossed her arms and kept her back to me, “so where is she?” mom asked so quietly I found it hard to hear, I could hear pain in her voice though, that was clear enough. “Mom, I don’t know, I went out to get a snack for us, came back and she’s gone” I said panicking that something might have happened in the short three minutes it had taken me to get us a snack. Where was Jess and why wasn’t she here, and what was wrong with mom? It was all getting so confusing, if Jess had left I would have seen her go through the kitchen and the only other toilet was right next to mum’s study, I ran out the room and headed for the other toilet, I flung the door open to an empty room. Jess was gone, where though and without saying anything to me. I felt my breathing accelerate and I could feel my pulse beating in my head, I dropped to my knees and curled up into a tight little ball, trying to hide from the world.

Mom came in a second later and gave a small scream when she saw me on the ground, she got down next to me and pulled me close, “honey, there was no new girl at school and I didn’t see anyone this afternoon when you came home, I called your school and they said that all free period you were walking around campus talking and laughing to yourself, you walked out of science in a panic attack and people heard you talking to yourself in the bathroom” I could hear her talking to me but I couldn’t make sense of the words, I could hear myself mumbling ‘Jess is real, Jess is real’ over and over but I couldn’t bring myself to stop, “no honey, she’s not” is the last thing I heard my mom say as I blacked out.

After that mom took me to the hospital to have me assessed and admitted, the doctor said it was my anxiety that was causing hallucinations, I still won’t accept the fact that Jess was just a part of my imagination and I don’t think I will for awhile because I talked to her, danced with her and laughed with her. There’s still things I need to come to terms with and I still need to take my mid-terms, but I’m learning how to deal with my anxiety attacks first and who knows, maybe when Jess finally disappears and her voice disappears with her I’ll be able to stand tall with my voice and my voice alone.


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