She seemed evil – Part 1
_A fictionalised novel based on real lives

Everyone is online nowadays…

X has always had a very big imagination and also she has always been scared by the act of looking at people’s profile pictures. The problem is that she often found herself “jealous” of people’s past even though she never cares too much about people’s lives. It is somehow contradictory, inconsistent, illogical and irrational: she cares about the stories behind a picture, the stories behind what brings people into her life in a certain moment right there even if it is only for one single day.
Since she was a child, intelligent enough to make her teachers blush, she has been asking questions, many questions, to the adults she has been in contact with, even if it was for a moment: friends of her parents, parents of her classmates, relatives of some sort. It was not important for X. She has always been curious, curious about the reason why a specific person on a specific day was there somehow in front of her.

Y has a very peculiar look. Her outfits are always very much “meditated”. Nothing is left without her full attention and care. Everything about her is exercised under a great deal of self-control. This appeared clearly to X in the pictures Y had on her virtual profile. What didn’t appear was the reason, the real reason of her being a sort of virtual exhibitionist: were Y simply someone who was trying to attract attention from the people online? What reason was behind showing her tattoos, her hidden bitchy smiles, her extravagant outfits with horns and evil symbols. Why was so much of her right there available to everyone? “She seems evil” – X thought and out of curiosity she decided to write her a short message. She didn’t notice Y wrote her too while she was sending her first message. Weird. The message from Y was again very much controlled. It was quite long and a bit accommodating but that was only the beginning. X was surprised that they wrote each others almost at the same time.

18.30, Wednesday the 2nd of November: this is the time and day they met for the first time. X wrote it down in her diary. She had a passion for writing notes since she was a little child.
It has been quick the time in between their first chat and their first meeting and after that they kept chatting virtually too.
X  was shocked to find so much in common with Y and was excited reading the long messages Y wrote to her: raw, cruel, morbid, dark.

Y was a tiny young girl with so many weird passions that no-one really explored and her maniacal self-control in the chats with X was less evident after couple of days. In fact it was slowly fading through smiling emoticons and a total surrender to honesty. Nothing would have changed her attitude; even when chatting about blood, blades, violence and other creepy things she was fine, curious, weirdly morbid. Well, X a long time before was very dark too, having some weird inclinations which made her life more complicated. She was the victim of bullies at school and later on she bullied the bullies (like Y did). At the beginning she felt like crap about it afterwards but then she started thinking it was the result of natural selection. X was at the centre of everyone’s attention during secondary school (the only one she could remember) and she hated every single day at that school for pricks, outcasts, poor, neglected and broken children. Often she saw her mum crying because the teachers told her that her little daughter was a “peculiar” girl, a “weirdo” too clever for her age who would always have problems socialising and accepting the world and the people around. That was partly true I suppose. The aunt she loved most told her that she was surely on the Asperger Syndrome’s spectrum when she was a young child and no-one could judge better than her as she spent the first years of her life with this lovely aunt and her grandparents. X’s mum indeed was trying to get a Bachelor when X was 5 years old. Life was not easy for X’s mum: being an adult student, she was distressed, nervous and she couldn’t cope having X and her older brother around at home playing and shouting while she was preparing for her exams. When X and her brother were left alone together it was a nightmare for her as he was extremely abusive and soon enough her parents found this out as she was absolutely distressed and depressed. So they decided to do what they thought was better. Her brother was sent to her dad’s mum’s house (a scary old woman who X really hated). Whereas X was supposed to stay at her mum’s parents’s house all afternoon after school. The grandmam was lovely to X. She used to pick her up from school and when she was sick, she cooked delicious food and before lunch she washed the little hands of X within hers with rose smelling soapy water in a small bucket. Actually this is the first and sweetest childhood memory that X could remember vividly: she could still feel the smell. It is such a sweet memory: her hands marked by some wrinkles but still soft enough and gentle. X always kept thinking about this one memory in very specific periods of her life in order to feel love, to prove to herself that her heart could melt a bit. She did it purely because sometimes she doubted she has a heart.

Apparently all of a sudden one day X stopped being empathic with people and she became a jaded young girl. Her mum told her that one day she realised her daughter was dramatically changed. One day she realised X wasn’t a baby girl anymore. Now X doesn’t remember much of when she was a “normal” child if and when she really has been normal. What she remembers well enough is that she was too wise, too sensible and too “deep” if compared to her classmates.

Perhaps the medication she took since she was 11 years old for a problem she was born with, simplified this change but what she knows for sure is that she was too young when she realised how ephemeral and evanescent life was. How temporary reality was, how subjective feelings were, how stupid humans were to be attached so much to something that exists for such a brief time. Then she realised that death exists…

LAZYBONES BABY

The remains of an old Fiat 127 reversed teetering on the edge of a guard rail along a narrow clifftop route. X’s parents were outside of the car, on the road covered in blood but still breathing. X is walking, she doesn’t know where to look. She is scared of heights. Now she is running to her parents; they are close to each other in the same area of the road. X first crouches down to see her mum in tears. A few unclear words are muttered, then she dies… X woke up after only a few hours of rest.  This was a recurring dream in those days when she had realised that death exists…

… and actually understanding at such a young age, and on such a deep level, that we are all going to die was so shocking for X. So terrible and romantic, sad and beautiful. She spent nights and days, even whilst at school, trying to understand why the hell humans are so unlucky to be born just to experience a material life in this world and then die sometimes in terrible ways. She was terrified when listening to the news on TV about murders. Watching, listening and believing the news made her so aware of the evil environment in which she was living. She had violent nightmares, dark visions of evil people and she started asking everyone around her questions about life and death that none of the adults could understand. Her parents underestimated her thoughts and fears as they were also having their own problems. Their relationship at that time seemed so fake and toxic. She couldn’t understand why her mum spent nights crying. Her dad wasn’t happy and her brother was a perverted little child. Also her cousins were riddled with problems. She became aware of the existence of the hatred and violence around her. But still, killing another human sounded like total nonsense to X at that time. Also realising that human bodies not only get sick but that they can actually die and rot due to some specific illnesses was another shock for X. All the while X was completely absorbed in her own dark visions trying to understand the world of the adults, her mum was continuing to study until one day she passed the final test.

Not long after that, she started to do an apprenticeship in a Catholic primary school for orphaned children in town. She had more free time in the afternoons and as a consequence of this, X could go back home from school with her sometimes. She was 9 years old back then and she wasn’t really happy about this change. The time with her grandma and her favourite aunt seemed so much better to X and the idea of spending more time with her brother was awful and terrifying. The alternative to this was spend the afternoon in that Catholic school which was even worse. In fact, that school was managed by nuns, one more evil than the other. The children were weird: one in particular had his face completely burned and seemed like a monster in the eyes of X. She dreamed of his face several times and in the end she realised that it was better for her to stay at home.

X’s brother, Z, was 15 years old at that time; he was a good looking boy and he had a couple of friends: they were all awful daddies’ boys with a lot of money and no real interests in life, except for first sexual experiences and “transgressive” things of any sort. At some point Z and his friend S started reading a satanic book. S was the son of the funeral director in town. He was completely nuts; a very beautiful boy with the saddest blue eyes you could ever see; he was the one who brought to X’s brother a massive black book with a red goat impressed in the leather cover. He also brought the pillows and sheets his dad used to arrange the bodies for the burial recesses. Z used to keep these weird objects in his bedroom closet away from his mum, who one day eventually found the book. She was absolutely terrified of asking the reason why he was reading such a book. She thought that was just another way to express rebellion.
I know where he’s coming from” she thought.
X found the book too. She found the drawings in it extremely interesting though she didn’t understand the rest of its contents very well. She didn’t even know what a Satanic Bible was. It was just another fantasy book for her. Very soon X got addicted to that book. She never told anyone that she had found it or that she kept reading it every time that she could. When X was alone she would  take the book from the bottom drawer of Z’s bedroom dresser and she would quietly creep downstairs into the dark basement. She would turn on the light of the dusty dirty lamp and read carefully a few pages every day. Then she would put the book back in the exact same place. No-one never realised that she had read it all, no-one never knew that she had drawn all those fascinating symbols in her notebook and no-one could ever imagine that thanks to that book she had started to better understand the evilness in the world around her. Concepts such compassion and destruction that were not clear to X at all at first, became clear when reading the book. When the book disappeared, one miserable winter day, it was awful for X. At least she still had her drawings to remember it and slowly the desire to touch that black leather cover faded away.

Sometimes Z and his friend S went to the basement with a flask of pure alcohol and they would spill the alcohol, drawing a Jewish star on the floor with it. Then Z or S took a lighter and they used the big fire which started to hellishly light up the star on the floor. This happened a couple of times and they called X to watch and see how brave they were. She was impressed by how quickly the cold basement became suddenly hot. But S at the end of the day was a good guy; he was her favourite from that bunch of evil people whom her brother brought home.

There was another one called J: he was evil. He had an obsession for horror movies and he used to fill a table in a notebook with the titles of every single horror movie he watched, giving each one a mark based on his appreciation of it. At that time splatter movies were very popular among teenagers and when X’s parents went out for some reason and X was doing her homework or simply reading a book, they often knocked the door of her bedroom and took her in the kitchen where there was the TV screen and a VHS recorder. They literally tied her up in a wooden kitchen chair and forced her to watch the most terrible scenes from some of the most violent horror movies of the time. She couldn’t close her eyes otherwise they would slap her or laugh in her face calling her: “Lazybones baby”.

X hated Christmas. For her Santa Claus was an evil serial killer who chopped off the heads of every child he went to visit. He didn’t bring any presents or candy. He was just a terrifying big man with a white beard and an evil smile fixed on his face. In his bag there were heads of children still hot with lost life and in his hand there was an axe still dirty with blood. His purpose was to decorate a massive Christmas tree with children’s heads as balls ornaments,  which eventually would have light on the 24th night.

This was the story her brother told her since she was able to understand and she believed it so deeply that every Christmas she spent nights crying and calling for her dad.
Her mum was often crying and running in circles around the kitchen table, whilst her dad was shouting sometimes with a belt in his hand. Then heavy metal Anthrax tunes were coming from Z’s bedroom at a very high volume… Flashback memories of 9 year old X.
X soon realised that the only way to survive was by reading and imagining other scenarios, other realities, through books. She started reading every book in the house, even the oldest books in the basement – dusty and dirty with broken covers. She started asking for books from relatives and everyone she could. At school she spent as much time as she could at the Library. Soon she developed a huge passion for literature and started writing herself too. Her stories were often touching and difficult to understand. She liked to read some of them to her grandma who was so proud of her. X’s English teacher was so impressed that her compositions were usually read to the entire class as examples of an imaginative brain and good creative writing skills. Though at school X was judged by teachers as a peculiar girl, she was always one of the cleverest girls in the class, the others of whom were just very simple good mummy’s girls who spent their afternoons studying. X instead didn’t study much and was a pain for all of the teachers and often quiet within the class. She didn’t have many real friends during primary school.
At some point the stories of X became evil and her teacher, who was so positive and impressed before, became concerned. Characters started dying. Animals first, then people. X started collecting bones of dead animals, worms, snails from the soil; leaving them to rot in plastic boxes and then studying the shells.
Why did the little cat in your story die, X? – said the teacher

Because we all die.

MUSIC BOULEVARD

Come on X! For god sake! We must leave now!
Put everything in your bag and let`s go!

X hastily put another pack of pencils and a few books into her back pack and ran away from the shop together with A and C, two boys she had met at school.
X was 10 years old when she moved home with her parents. This new neighbourhood was worse than ever: blocks of grey council houses everywhere and tiny, sad green areas with no trees. The roads were dirty, full of garbage and entire sets of broken furniture. Every now and then cars were burnt out and left at the edge of the sidewalks. There were more outcasts, more poor, uncultured people. The children were rascals; more rude, more wild, less intelligent, poorly clothed … Her parents, scared of the people around them, banned her from any outdoor activities. At least they tried to. X longed for the time she had spent with her grandma. Even though for a child this new area could have been a smaller version of the Bronx, X developed a huge curiosity for these new people that she saw when walking to buy cigarettes for her dad. Her parents seemed more absent then ever and her brother was increasingly busy with his even idiotic friends. Time was going fast and suddenly X wasn’t a baby anymore. She decided to explore this new world.

The most ironic thing of all – and also the favourite thing of X was the name of the road: Music Boulevard ! How can such a bad neighbourhood be named this extraordinary name? She really liked the sound of it.

Her first term at secondary school was about to start and the choice for her parents was way too easy to make. They didn’t feel that they needed to spend much time looking for the best school in town. They just sent her to the public school closest to their new home. It was a grey building with a tall red gate and an enormous willow tree at the main entrance. There was a small green piece of land around the perimeter of the school; everything totally made it look like an austere and intimidating institutionalised building. Inside though, there was the biggest mess you could imagine for a secondary school; with wild repressed children in small classrooms, teachers shouting in every corner, dust and garbage in the corridors, dozens of future criminals smoking in the toilets. The first day there is now the only one that X remembers.

X’s mum did her best that day to advise her about what she should wear for her first day at school. She had never cared too much, but she thought that that particular day was kind of important. X didn’t know what the school was like yet but she wasn’t particularly excited. Now she remembers the fear she felt whilst looking around at the children all divided into groups; chatting, laughing and shouting. She was the only one alone waiting for the bell to ring.

8.30 am: the sound of the bell was so loud that everyone in the road could have heard it. X imagined the people still sleeping in their bedrooms, inside the council houses in front of the school, swearing to God for they had been woken up by that deafening ring.

In that school something shocking happened every single day. Well, these things were shocking at least for the fragile teenage X. Somehow, luckily or unluckily, X forgot many things but someone she will never forget is G, a boy of her age who used to beat down the French teacher and who would slap every girl who didn’t let him touch her. She will never forget E, an extremely aggressive girl, older than X, who was already pregnant at the age of 16. She will never forget M, a fat bully girl who would punch all the younger girls who dared argue with her about boys. X tried her best to be a transparent ghost – quiet, silent, accommodating. She tried to operate in the same way that she did during primary school but now it was harder; children were more noisy, more curious, more evil, more arrogant, and unfortunately they were somehow attracted to X. The more she tried to avoid them, the more attention she got. Inevitably, no matter what she did the attention always ended in unfortunate events. Due to some fortune, she forgot most of these events. The sharp details faded into her memories but still nowadays she has recurring flashbacks of those days. Broken dreams became merged with sad realities; fragments of a broken adolescence lived out in those small toilets where lambs became wolves, and perhaps unconsciously, innocence faded away. Violence became the only daily and consistent reality, and ironically the safest feeling became fear. The only way to escape the violence was to accept it. Acceptance transformed the abuse into guilt, violence into a normality, because people are “normally” evil.

Meanwhile, X’s parents were just co-existing in the same house. They were a presence that was not particularly active except on Sundays, when X’s dad watched football matches and X’s mum called her to talk (often crying) in her big bed. X enjoyed the fresh smell of the clean cotton, flowery sheets in those summer days. Summer was her favourite season, mainly because there were no school classes to attend; no evil children from whom to protect herself. The best memories of X though, are all beside the sea. That infinite dark blue. Her parents had no money but her dad’s greatest passion was spend time in the sea. They would take little trips around the bay close to the town in which they lived. When X was 11 years old there was little time for trips, but still some weekends her dad was in the mood to show X the constant and powerful blue giant. Those were the best times spent with her dad. She felt so committed to the sea. She observed its vast mass changing while the sun light danced upon it, and the ships passed by.

We all came from the sea. – And it is a very interesting biological fact that every single human being holds in its veins the exact same percentage of salt in the blood that exists in the sea water. This is the reason why we have salt content in our blood and our tears are briny. When we go back to the sea – whether it is to fish, to sail or just to watch it, it is like going back to whence we came. Therefore we are all tied to this shapeless, tranquil, unrelenting and majestic blue mass.

A and C were the only two people who X might call something similar to friends. They were two dirty, poorly dressed and unattractive boys who lived 15 minutes walking distance from Music Boulevard. Their mums used to talk to each other from their windows. Chatting loudly so everybody could hear them from across the street. They were both fat, uncultured middle-aged women with dark eyes, dark hair and an army of children between them. X had counted 9 kids, but she didn’t know exactly who was from which family. The families were so interconnected that they merged into each other like one. But A and C were not brothers, they were just 2 really close friends. Friendship was another one of those strange concepts that X couldn’t understand at that time. Her mum had always said that Love and Friendship are momentary and the real ones are more rare, utopias than anything else. Being poor, A and C had to steal books, pencils and everything they needed for school. Often they even had to steal clothes and food. They stole from small shops and big shopping centers, trade malls, open local markets or wherever the occasion arose to steal something that could have been useful. As X became good friends with them, she started stealing with them too. In the beginning she didn’t steal much as she was scared of getting caught, but after a while she began to enjoy having finally pencils, good pens, good notebooks and a real diary just for herself. X’s mum never asked where these new things were from, until one day they were caught by a security guard disguised in casual clothes. Apparently guards were co-operating with the local police, studying their movements as they had become somehow very predictable. On the day which the police caught them they had many things in their backpacks including music cassettes, entire stocks of pencils and pens, books and clothes. A even had flower pot which was very expensive. Their parents were all called. X’s dad was extremely angry. Although finally his attention was caught by X, his reaction was demented and violent. Again X was forced to become estranged and move on. She will never forget the pain of being dragged out from her bed and punched, then kicked and finally left on the floor. She didn’t cry.

Meanwhile that summer, in another country, and another totally different scenario and environment – it was an ordinary hot day (for X at least) and a baby girl had just been born. Her parents were not really ready to have a child but she seemed so ‘pretty’. That tiny human being, helpless and vulnerable, didn’t know yet who she was going to be or which place in life she was going to have.

She was Y

LIKE A FISH

“You are special X, and fragile. I know that. You need to start believing that you have a health problem. Mum knows you do.”

X’s mum was sure that she had some particular illness since she was born. She couldn’t figure out what kind of illness it was, but she saw that X was too fragile, her skin was too pale and during the winter she was more susceptible to colds and flu, often with fever. She expressed her concerns about X’s health to everyone, including her doctor. No-one believed her. Everyone said that X was perfectly healthy: as healthy as a fish, they said. Assuming that a fish is healthy – why the hell did they say that? Why did these people think that fish are so healthy? Fish die like every other animal in nature; so what was that phrase supposed to mean?

Before X’s 12 birthday, at the end of that hot summer, her mum took her to some specialist practitioners to check her blood and general health issues. By the end of September a lady, Dr G.C, was able to address what sort of problem X had. Her biggest fears came true. Reality was damn painful. X now had the most bitter proof that humans could get sick and ill. X felt it now and she would have loved it to be a lie. But it wasn’t – and it pained her to become a teenager whilst realising by herself that humans are as fragile as pathetic porcelain dolls. Our bodies are defective and faulty machines, made only to collapse one day. Tragically, we are born to die. Ironically we are made to feel as though we belong to this life; naught but an inconsistent and vain matter.

I can’t rightly tell you what that feels like, but for now I am here to make you understand that human beings can’t help each other or share the uncertainty of life. We are little islands, satellites, temporarily occupying centimetres of space in the vast universe;  facing our defects – supported morally only by a few humans at best. X was facing the precariousness of humanity at the age of 11.

It’s strange to say but her mum was almost relieved to know the name of X’s issue: Immunodeficiency. Now there was an explanation as to why X’s skin was so unusually pale and why she was so weak; often tired and often sick, particularly during winter. Before X knew the name of her problem, she endured a long series of medical tests which at least gave her some time free from school lessons.

X will certainly never forget the first blood test she had which took place in a very old and vast Hospital. The building looked like an austere Museum of some kind of antique Science. That Hospital was once known as a glorious institution in the big town nearby, but at that time it was falling into disrepair. The entire building was closed only a couple of years later. She went there with her dad, who was smiling peculiarly. X wasn’t scared of needles. She would learn to like them soon, to be honest. The pinch into the skin wasn’t that bad after all, but what she liked most was the small ruby droplet of blood afterwards. It was somehow pleasant to see. What she always did, and does even now, was try to imagine herself being outside of her body and simply observing what is happening. Even if she sometimes feels pain or she is disgusted, she tries to look at the situation and think “ok, yes, so that is the sensation of having a needle in my arm, fine, it’s somehow interesting“. That day, early in the morning, an elderly nurse shuffled into that white room, the air thick with an antiseptic and chemical smell; and X watched as she checked her arm for a vein. Before she had settled on an area of skin, she pulled her right arm back as she came towards X with the needle. The nurse didn’t use any cream or antiseptic, but she tried her best to make X smile while preparing the syringe. X wasn’t scared; she observed the needle going through the skin, pinching the vein and sucking out the blood from it into a long test tube with her name on it. The blood was fast; she didn’t feel any pain. The nurse carefully took out the test tube full of her blood and put it into a box with other tubes; meticulously aligned and then quickly removed the needle from the vein. When it was over, the nurse congratulated X for her courage and gave her a candy. She hated candies.

Meanwhile in another country, Y’s mother was a beautiful, 20 year old woman, pregnant with her first baby; and surely still too immature to go through the trials of motherhood. She was shy and gentle with long auburn hair, and a fringe which nearly covered her eyes entirely! Y came into the world on a humid day of a mediocre British summer; she choked on the air as she came out of the womb; gulping and sticking her tongue out for a good hour, avidly licking the new air around her. Y’s father was gauntly thin but still handsome; unfortunately he acted foolishly. He was often aggressive, selfish and arrogant, and he treated women with no respect at all. He thought that women were weak and so often in denial. Even when Y’s mum was pregnant, he was cheating on her. His infidelity was as devastating to her as a physical attack. Indeed that was his way to make Y’s mum, who was insanely in love with him, humiliated, hurt, and helpless. Ultimately, his infidelity was experienced by Y’s mum as a grave loss; as a death of trust, and eventually they broke up soon after Y’s birth. It was with great misfortune for the little child that this man continued to live in their same house for some time, although happily he was hardly ever home. Anytime Y saw her dad, it was a frightening surprise. In fact, she was terrified of him because she couldn’t recognise his face after seeing him so sporadically. Y was a sweet baby with an adorable little face, big green eyes, tiny feet, tiny hands and a precious smile. Strangely, she also had an eccentric shock of brown hair which stood up on end as though electrocuted. Damn! She was beautiful! Shy, and cute, and ever so petite. Her mum was very proud when her baby was chosen to be a model and went on to win a number of prizes in image-obsessed and superficial baby modelling competitions. This slowly turned the young and proud mum into a maniacal, pageant mum; fortunately this lasted only for a relatively short time. As when Y was old enough to crawl and climb, she climbed out of her cot and she fell onto a toy cot which she kept alongside her own. That was where her baby doll slept. The wooden toy cot shattered and splintered her face, scarring her nose. She still has the scar hidden beneath her black glasses today.
Y’s mum loved her from the very start; even though their life wasn’t easy. Y stole her breath, and their embrace made her whole. The joy she felt seemed too good to be true and she was amazed by her pure beauty, and overwhelmed by the love that she felt for her. Y filled an emptiness inside of her, and replaced it with pride, hope and a long forgotten faith.

Dr. G.C. put X on a strong medication.
Take this twice every day before breakfast. Never forget to take it!
In fact, X never forgot to take her medication for a long couple of years. Day after day X woke up, put the medication into her mouth, drank a glass of water 20 minutes before breakfast, then she ate, got dressed. In between breakfast and bedtime life was fast. Often days were pretty much the same: fights, shouts, violence, blood, fake friendships, doctors and so on and so forth. every-single-day: same house, same people, same school, same smells, same rage. Time went by so fast; X grew up as a very intriguing, dark and beautiful young girl. Soon it was time for her to start High School. As her love for nature had become consuming, together with a morbid curiosity for living and dead beings, she decided to go to a Science High School where her scientific interests could be cultivated. She was soon a magnet for the weirdest, darkest, geekiest and saddest people; and there she met M. He was one year older than her, good looking and extremely dark. They would spend hours in silence together : they didn’t feel the need to talk. They became friends almost instantaneously, even though their friendship was the most morbid and unconventional human relationship you could imagine between teenagers. They were both self destructive. Grieving together felt sweet and melancholic; and also acted as a real way to cope with the feeling of being “different”, whereas taking that pill everyday made no sense to X as she didn’t even understand what sort of relief this pill was supposed to provide. Therefore at the age of 15, one rainy grey September day, X decided to stop taking her medication and she started to throw away the pills. Pretending that nothing had changed. Her only true friend, M, agreed with her about this. It was probably all just another exciting way to challenge life.

Why do I need to take this medication? she thought.

As a consequence, soon enough X started to lose weight, to feel weak again and she stopped having her periods. In the beginning she tried to hide these symptoms, faking that everything was fine; after 3 months the problems were too evident to be hidden.

At the age of 3, Y was a pretty, chubby toddler and her mum always dressed her very sweetly, even though they were poor at that time. Y’s mum would buy fancy clothes for her beloved child and then buy her own clothes only second hand. Sometimes she would even make her own clothes out of old fabric scraps or curtain material. Y often spent her time talking to inanimate objects, like all children do, but one day she began to scare her mother with her vivid “imagination” – showing emergent intuitive abilities.  She began to see some kind of “pictures in her head”, symbols, visions of facts which never happened; like movies in her mind. Her mum was scared of this apparent clairvoyance. There was a spirit man who sat at the bottom of her bed and would read stories to Y at night. Curiously, X also experienced a similar presence during her first years of life, but her memories faded away and she forgot about that. Y instead remembers very well the man who read her stories and when she told her mum of the stories the man had read, her mum would sceptically ask if she had heard them at school. When Y told her mum that there was a man sitting at the end of the bed right there in that moment she was shocked. And the little Y couldn’t believe her mum was unable to see the man because he was simply right THERE as a matter of fact!
Y sometimes got worried about her mother’s inability to see these presences. She was in danger of being attacked by the china dolls she kept above her bed. Y imagined them trying to kill her mum at night. She often told her mum that they were evil creatures but they were never moved for some reason – was she mental?
At nursery, Y mostly enjoyed dressing up in bright and extravagant costumes, and sweeping. She loved to clean and she didn’t get on with the other children much.
They were so boring

AMUSING, CHALLENGING, DANGEROUS

“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 embarrassing 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…

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