“Which movie would you like to see today?”
‘I don’t know. Let’s just go and check!’
X is 16 now and it was one of those Saturdays which she spent at home watching stupid blockbuster movies with M. She is a peculiar young girl now, only just tall enough for her age; she has long brown, wavy hair and she gives a deep look with big black eyes. She was particularly slim as she had stopped taking her medication and she never truly smiled. – And oh how intelligent she was! At 16 she was given the opportunity to challenge herself with a series of Maths examinations in the City University, along with first year Bsc students. Honestly, it didn’t go very well because she was the only student selected in her school and too much pressure was put on her by her teacher. Elsewhere in school, she won many competitions in creative writing; one was dedicated to a local artist and she wrote about one of his paintings in particular. The painting depicted an old, black horse in a desolate and parched countryside scene. She didn’t like that painting at all but she fantasied on the subject for hours; writing a very touching essay about sadness and inevitable fate.
Writing short stories was still only her dark secret – her way to escape reality. Her parents would spend weekends and evenings fighting and shouting, her brother was living up North in a different region, pursuing a military career. Still her dad tried really hard to attract her attention. Some days he would give her drawings of super heroes that he had sketched during his breaks at work. He was able to change his job to work as an assistant teacher at primary schools, but he traveled a lot unfortunately.
X thought that he was surely a good teacher for kids due to his inclination to be sarcastic and because of his big, sad smile. Her mum instead was as worried and as sad as she had always has been. Nearby the new house in Music Boulevard she met some “decent” people after all. In particular, she met two girls of her own age: F and P. They were beautiful but neither of them were very good at anything in particular. P was especially peculiar: she was a sweet, shy and incredibly weak girl, from a relatively poor family. Her mum was a very strong and intimidating woman with an evident aura of power and high self esteem. P had blonde curly hair at that time, she was rather slim, with crystal clear blue eyes and an innocent smile. F on the other hand was different: beautiful with dark hair and brown eyes, taller than X with a robust body type and she was definitely not a shy or weak individual. She was actually quite arrogant for her age, born to be a leader; in fact she liked to give orders to her classmates and blackmail those who didn’t follow her rules. P and F were very different but for some reason they seemed to make very good friends. They were like a devil and an angel together, either side of X: a mixture of darkness and numbness. For a while they were a perfect trio. X’s mum didn’t like it though unfortunately. She was scared of F in particular, and she was afraid that X could go back to negative influences again. She was trying her best to control X’s life but still without success.
I just used to sit in silence and watch as a baby become a woman.
M was still the most beloved and true friend of X, whereas F and P were more occasional companions. During that summer though, X spent more time with the two girls. They would meet up after 5pm on those hot summer days in a park which was visited by other boys and girls of mixed ages. Some of them were tourists, or just occasional summer presences, some of them were relatives of methodical guys, they were mostly boys and mostly older than X. It was amusing, challenging, occasionally dangerous: it was the summer of ’95.
At 5 Y was in her first year at a proper school. She didn’t have any real friends.
Y was a very clever little girl for her age, exceptionally peculiar; she would often argue with the teachers because they treated her and her classmates like babies and they would try to belittle what she said.
In particular, there was an occasion where was assigned to bring in pictures to school of things beginning with the letter ‘M’. The teacher went through her pictures and said that she had not understood the assignment. The teacher was an idiot and Y never forgave her for her ignorance. Those were holiday photographs of her and her Mummy, Manatees (which the teacher thought were whales) and Mickey Mouse: all things beginning with M! Jesus!
Her favourite way to spend playtimes that summer was lying in the bean bags, reading on her own.
K was an 18 year old young man: he was the most handsome guy X had seen so far; tall with long, light brown hair, blue eyes, a well built frame and such a wicked look on his face. He could have all the girls he wanted and he was the leader of 4 younger, and very idiotic, boys. (Unnamed1, U2, U3 and U4) followed him everywhere! Whatever K said was always right. During the summer ’95 X and her 2 friends often spent time with this gang of kids; F in particular was completely lost for K, but to be honest, she also had eyes for some of his friends too. They were just the cool kids at that particular time in that particular place: St. Francis Park. And often K, and his 4 companions, invited the 3 girls to K’s house which was apparently free most of the time; as his parents used to spend more time in their other summer estate. K’s house was only 2 roads away from the park in a very lush, posh area with trees and benches surrounding the colourful detached houses in perfectly clean narrow roads.
That house was the backdrop for the teenagers’ first drama, and it was mainly F who had dreams with her open eyes; admiring the young and fascinating K. She was the least shy of the girls, with the highest self-esteem and the only one who felt the peer pressure of sex, being so very interested in juvenile relationships. P and X on the other hand, enjoyed more the feeling of freedom they got when watching cut, banned, censored horror movies with those guys and talking about dark subjects. It was a good time for X, a blissful summer – until something went very wrong. No-one could ever have imagined what K was planning when one day the girls were called to his house, with apparently the usual intentions. But this time it wasn’t just for a movie or two in reality.
The guys were all drunk out of their minds – maybe it wasn’t only alcohol but also some other cheap concoction of drugs. K was still ruling the situation though, and giving orders to the other 4 boys. Until he grabbed F and took her to his parent’s bedroom, leaving the others in the living room with X and P. From this point the memories of X are confusing, fading, maybe distorted. Clearly though she remembers their laughs, piercing and loud. U1 was the one who started the game of the day for those 4 pigs: He grabbed P, who all of a sudden became so small in front of X’s eyes. He took off her blouse and pushed her against U2 whilst laughing, who did the same pushing P to U3 and so on. They kept pushing and pulling P for a long 10 minutes while howling with laughter and screaming.
“X are you having fun? You want to play? Play with us or you are the ball in a minute”.
P was crying and every now and then, just for fun, they slapped her or forcefully touched her intimately. X was paralysed feeling a mix of rage and fear. She couldn’t believe what was happening before her eyes and she tried so hard to become detached from the scene. But still, those pigs used the girls for light entertainment. Used them with all the sanctity and respect you would show a dog on the street. Once pure and peculiar creatures, the girls both became broken victims of forceful and scarring crimes.
The next day the 3 girls all met up. They decided never to talk to anyone about what happened. F pushed X and P into justifying what happened “because the boys were drunk and out of control”. They then made a blood pact to forget what had happened, to bury the story together with their feelings. X didn’t see them again.
Time goes faster now until the end of that summer. In October, as she was too slim without any known reason, the concerns of her mum finally developed into worry; even though she was hardly terrified of consequences of any sort. X had a medical appointment with a kind lady who stated that she had a cyst stuck in her throat as consequence of her year without medications. Therefore, she now had to take 3 times the previous dosage. Not 1 but 3 pills a day and her life soon became entirely scheduled by ECG, body scans, blood tests and medical appointments of all sort. Her birthday was just miserable, but she was still a beautiful 17 year old girl.. Her mum had never realised that X was throwing away her daily pill until that day. She still regrets her total absence.
Meanwhile at 6, Y was growing up fast and becoming a curious and intelligent child. A new girl (L.E.) joined her class that year and became her first proper friend. L.E. was a scruffy urchin of a girl, who rarely brushed her hair or cleaned herself properly. She had moved to the area with her family after her home burned down. Y and L.E. spent a great deal of time together often playing make believe games. Y sometimes made her cry by making her imaginary character more powerful or more important than L.E.’s. For example, Y would be a queen whereas L.E. would be a servant. If she complained then Y would be wicked and tell her that she was too stupid to understand the game and that is why she wasn’t as important.
X became weaker as time went by, and in turn, became more and more attached to her true friend M. By the end of winter ’97, at the age of 18, X and M represented the most unconvincing and debatable couple in the entire school. His love was declared in the most embarassing way possible: at night he painted every wall in the school with love graffiti. X found out about this the following morning. It was hilarious and so exaggerated! She didn’t approve of his childishness or the unrefined black graffiti on those grey walls. Additionally, everyone easily understood that he was the author of the amusing love scrawling, but he couldn’t care less. M owned one of those fancy Nopeds, blue in colour and illegally tuned for higher speed and power. Often, even when it was bloody cold outside, they didn’t go to school and instead spent their time hurtling along the roads, feeling as if they could fly. X knew that they were probably only doing forty miles an hour, but still it felt like they were hurtling. They didn’t talk altogether very much or plan any future together, but they were able to understand each others feelings without any effort; they laughed at the same stupid things, they were both quite unsociable, and perhaps misanthropic, and in particular they both enjoyed climbing to the top of the beach’s lifeguard turret in winter. When no-one was around they could watch the lively waves in silence from the height, while the daylight started to fade.
At 7 Y moved to a different school due to bullying. It was a Catholic primary school which was highly strict and religious, and the children were posher than the school she was in before.
The children were made to pray twice a day and go to church every Friday for a full service and Eucharist. The most intelligent children were made to learn Latin in addition to the national curriculum – this included Y.
Initially Y was very infatuated with the religious aspect of the school as it was new and extremely fascinating to her because she came from an atheist home. The contrast between the beliefs of the school’s teachers and her family made things very interesting for Y.
At first she was quite shy at this new school as she didn’t know anyone. But eventually she made more friends here as the children were much more intelligent. Perhaps due to their religious upbringings they also tended to be quite gullible and more susceptible to theatrics. Y used this to her advantage, creating a kind of cult, engineered in a child’s mind and she positioned herself as high priestess.
While X was growing up to be a manifestation of numbness and indifference towards human beings, Y was developing an evil and morbid curiosity towards that which could easily be conquered…