Introductions are not my strong point. Luckily, I am the only one here so… I am a luctrative spy/explorer who uses a spare mansion as a tool shed. On the weekends I go to my castle in Scotland and entertain Space Lords. Let’s face, they dick me around a lot less than humans do.
Making a mistake is an easy thing
to do, making them repeatedly is dumb.
I am dumb. I am so, so fucking dumb.
Three times. I have nearly been killed three times by losers with cars. Not from a hit and run or from a drive by shooting but because predators and perverts were as mythical to me as vampires and werewolves, (not mermaids though, mermaids are real.)
mistake is forgivable, and my first act of idiocy in this story is entirely
forgivable. I forgive little me. It was a wet day, non-school uniform day— the
day when I could finally wear something nice— even if it did clash with the weather.
I threw on some leggings; a thread bare jumper and a pair of brown, fluffy boots.
I fucking loved these boots (in the box). The day I chose to first wear
my special birthday boots was a non-school uniform day. Of course, not one of
the Neanderthals at school understood my fashion but I was happy to show the
boots off … for first period anyway. By second period the demonic fur things
had turned into bear traps.
boots pinched the backs of my heels and toes as though they were determined to
morph my feet into paper boats. I bled, limped, lost two toes, and by the end
of the day I was a whimpering slug. A dismal, fashionable, slug.
I ventured home, utterly defeated by my beautiful, foot hating boots. I was already feeling like shit when it started to rain. I was halfway down the unmade road, which was a half mud, half concrete track outside a strip of houses. It ran adjacent to a social, proper road which was easy to get onto if you jumped the low lying fence but I preferred the shadowy unmade road (edge lord alert). No one came down this road except the unsocial. I was already soaking when a van began to trail behind me. I moved to the side to let it pass and as I did a friendly voice shouted to me.
shoes aren’t too appropriate for the weather!”
looked up and stared at the man. He was shadowed by the interior, but I could
see he wasn’t alone (my friend, Lizzie, later pointed out that because he wasn’t
alone then he probably wasn’t threatening at all… don’t be like Lizzie guys. Just
but they’re cute.” I replied smugly, happy that this older man had even noticed
He leaned out the window a bit and said the words that every parent should warn you about.
can take you home, jump into the van. Where do you live?” He looked at me,
waiting to see how I would react.
feet were killing me and I was so tired. I took a step forward and then I saw
I muttered as casually as possible, “Thank you.”
turned away quickly, and I jumped the fence separating the main road from the
I must have shocked them by jumping the fence because the next thing I heard was a metallic screech and the van was gone.
Of course, I told mum when I got home. She said not to tell my dad because he would be upset, and that I should just try and forget about it— The following week a girl reported the van to the police and school. She had been physically pulled into the van by the driver, but her friends fought him off. She was traumatised.
took me a few years to realise just how close I came to be being pulled into
I should have learnt that day to be safe and to stay in light, busy areas.
I should have remembered it second year of university the moment sheer stupidity took over… I went for a walk in the dark.
been to the area a few times, I decided that walking in Silverdale in the dark
was okay. It wasn’t well lit but the
odds of anything happening were slim.
I was walking
along a narrow path under a thick canopy of trees when a car suddenly shot past
me. The windows were dense with smoke and the music was blaring. Pillars of
smoke rocketed from the windows as they were scrolled down, and I heard the men
inside. They were shouting at me. All the usual, ‘darling’, ‘hot’, ‘arse’.
Shit. Fuck. Shit.
I don’t know why I
had come out at night. I don’t know why I hadn’t listened to my boyfriend.
Stoke was a rough place and after living there for a few years anyone would
forget drugs and abuse were even illegal.
Up ahead, the car
was slowly down and dim, red break lights shone.
This was my running route, I knew exactly where to go, but whether or not I could get there in time was another matter. I don’t know why I was so scared, but my heart raced, and right in the pit of my stomach I knew something was wrong.
For a moment, just
a split moment, I thought I was overreacted. Those men were just high, just listening
to music… just slowing down the car after shouting at me in the darkness.
I sprinted to the
other side of the road and into the public footpath, up the left side of which
was a hill entirely hidden in thick shadow. No one would go up here, and no one
would look behind the hedges halfway up.
I shot up the hill and fell hard behind the bush. I waited. I heard nothing for a while and then, suddenly, voices. Lots of them. Men shouting, “She went this way.”
My heart fell. Never in my life had I been so scared. Never had I felt such intense fear. Not when I was strangled or when I was strangled a second time— I could see those people and I knew they couldn’t kill me. These people below me were high and dangerous and they weren’t children.
I waited until the
voices trailed down the path, and then I waited some more.
The sprint back to
the university could have won me a medal.
I didn’t report what
had happened. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had ever been that stupid.
It was the second
time I had been in near darkness and people in a car had nearly killed me, and
the third time wasn’t any different.
The third time,
and hopefully the last, was a year ago.
I left my
boyfriends parents house looking quite pretty. I curled my hair, wore a coat
that flattered my twenty-four-inch waist and strutted with purpose. My
boyfriend had just come home from work and I had decided to go buy some sweets
I was five minutes
out the door when a car belted around the corner. I kept my head focused on the
path, wilfully ignoring the shouts being thrown at me. Then the car stopped
right ahead of me. The breaks screamed and the shouts got louder but still I refused
to look. If I didn’t look then they weren’t real.
As I got nearer to
the car, my heart once again began to race then I heard it… the unmistakable
noise of the car door popping open.
It all happened so fast… so, so fast. As soon as the car door popped a lorry zoomed around the corner, and a bunch of school children started to litter the street ahead. It as though God started to pepper witnesses everywhere.
The door slammed shut and the car zoomed away.
The lorry driver slowed down and gave me a look, a look that quite clearly asked, ‘are you okay?’
I nodded and kept walking. Two seconds later a car pulled up next to me and the driver shouted, ‘get in loser.’
I’m not sure who
came closer to death that day, me or my boyfriend.
I didn’t report any of these cars. I have no idea if the drivers tried to hurt someone else, if they killed someone else or if I was the only one. Isn’t that a fun thought.
I did three dumb things. It wasn’t going out
at night, it wasn’t wearing boots or looking pretty… it was not reporting these
fuckers to someone.
Add a pinch of difficult home life to a pan of stewing, rotten school life. Once this comes to crippling anxiety then season with bullying and low self-esteem and ta- dah… You have yourself the base recipe for a bitch. Decorate accordingly.
I can’t pinpoint the moment I became an unlikable wretch but I know it started in primary school.
things I did when I was younger, primarily being awful, was all to make people
swore like a sailor to make the popular girl laugh. It worked.
stomped on boys’ dicks to make my best friend like me. It worked.
I was rude to everyone, just to make a few people like me. Oddly enough, it worked.
was a bitch because it worked… at least for a little while.
The thing is that by the time I had stopped making the popular girl laugh, she had made a new group of friends and I wasn’t part of it. When I stopped abusing boys, none of them wanted to speak to me (shocking) and when no one wanted to be friends with me, neither did my best friend.
By the time I reached secondary school I was so invested in what I had become that I didn’t want to give it up. I was making my dad proud after all. I had a reputation for being violent and having a bad attitude.
No one messed with his little girl. In his words… he had ‘trained’ me well…
was bludgeoned with an ugly stick. I wasn’t a cool, witty character like I
wanted to be. I was just that moody, acne covered thing in the corner of the
room who glared at people from under her monobrow.
wanted to be liked, and I thought being a first-class a-hole was how to do it. Truth
is though, I might never have tried that approach if it had not been for a
certain word that had stalked me for years.
I don’t know how many times a day I was called ugly. I remember being called ugly from as young as five, when I was in reception. All through primary I was haunted by that name and in a class of six girls and twenty-one boys, I struggled to cope. If EVER I hear someone say ‘girls stick together,’ and they are being serious, you can bet your arse that I am laughing on the inside. The girls I went to school with tore me a god-dam new one. Funnily enough, the girl who threw me the most grief is a model now. She is gorgeous to be fair but wouldn’t trust her not to kick me in the face for a laugh. I guess looks really were a genuine concern for her.
My ugliness grew
with me and by the time I reached secondary I started seeing some of the physical
effects it had on people.
I first witnessed the effects of my ugly powers when I was exiting a French class in year 7. I was in a class with a group of platinum blonde, orange faced glamazons— the girls I wanted to desperately imitate. The end of class came and one by one they strutted from the room and into the corridor. Outside, boys in the years above graced them with high praise… then I came out. Well, fuck me, everyone went quiet.
looked up, my big ass nose blocking half the view, and as I did so the boy in
front of me recoiled. He physically withdrew from my presence. Looking back at
old photos of myself… I can see why. I looked about seventy and never smiled. But
still… ouchies on the feelings.
The effect that moment had on me has lasted like a pair of Dr Martins. The look on his face is glued to my head. His mouth was wonky and stretched in shock, his friends were frozen where they stood. I felt like medusa.
walked away then, and the next week someone rubbed salt into my wound.
friend from primary, a similar sort of angry child, approached me in the
playing yard. Her face was stoic as usual as she sat beside me and muttered, “I
just spoke to Brady.”
didn’t care. That albino skeleton was far from my worst problem.
she said it… “He said to tell you that you’re a fat ugly bitch. And that he
knows you lied about Maggy.”
That stuck up prat. She was a girl who had joined us in year five and left two
months later when she realised a class of six girls and twenty-one boys wasn’t
worth the price of sanity. She had made up lies about me and told the school I
had bullied her… I hadn’t even spoken to her at that point. She named herself the most popular girl in
class and named me the hunchback. So… when she left our class I spread a rumour
about her… yeah, I know. I told everyone that she had fattened over Christmas
and looked like Hagrid now. Turns out Brady saw her over the summer and had a
little bit of issue with my boner killing lies.
friend stared at me until I left the playing yard. For the rest of the
year I did everything I could to get out of school. I lied, hid and cried my
way out of a few months until I was forced back. Then it got worse. The stories
of me being a liar had grown, that on top of being an unlikable goblin left me
isolated. When anyone spoke to me they were… awful. Thinking back on it now… I
can’t believe how bad things got. People who didn’t know me called me names. I
was incredibly sheltered at home so some of the names I didn’t even understand,
but I knew their intent.
that moment on, anytime someone spoke to me I was a bitch. And up until the
moment I left secondary and joined university I stayed that way. I didn’t want
anyone to talk to me, to hurt me or touch me. I made so many mistakes… so, so
many mistakes. I missed out on so many friendships. All because I didn’t want
to be hurt.
I created a monster, but they created the bitch. To this day I will always regret that I hurt people who reached out to me. At the time I didn’t trust them to be genuinely nice. I can never apologise to them… they’ve blocked me off most things. I’ll always live with the fact that I hurt people to keep myself safe. I do wonder if the people who hurt me think of me. I doubt it though.