Hey viewers, its Lydia posting tonight. So I've now been at university for almost a month! I remember starting this blog with Heather and Shani at the end of year twelve, so it's nice to think how far we have all come. This is a creative piece I wrote at the start of this year. I'm going to try and set up a structure to my posts, maybe one creative post every two weeks, and a review once a month. - I'm still thinking about it. But next month I'll be doing a review of a book called 'Colour of Madness' by Simon Clark, so I hope you give it a read and tell me what you think.
At night, before I go to sleep, I leave my phone on my bedside table. I already know what is coming; the Facebook messages, emails and texts messages tear painfully into my thoughts. I await them as I get into my warm bed. It is no safe haven. My sheets are thrashed by the claws of the monsters living in my phone. I hope each night that it will be different but it never is. They are awake and ready, attacking me with words to torment.
It is my very own circle of life; I wake up with the fear like a stone weighing me down in my stomach. Each morning I try to delicately move, to not disrupt the perfect mess. When I reach school, I am shouted at with words I cannot say aloud. Sometimes they scribble the vile invective on paper, knowing that it hurts me more. Social media is an open door. At home I wait for sleep, my eyes dry and open, before the ping of the phone shatters my trepidation.
Facebook message from Shaun Thompson: “Hey Eleanor, I noticed you were having trouble reading in class today. Can you try and read this allowed for me? You are irrelevant, an awful dream that no one can wake up from. Do us all a favour and change schools.”
The heart inside my chest is a heavy clay sculpture; each message sends a rippling rupture. It causes my body to arch and my back to curve as my knees rise and press against my chest. My eyes swell and thick warm droplets darken my red sheets. Sometimes I think that if my brain worked the way it was supposed to, I wouldn’t be in a loop of anxiety. If I were normal, I would have some sort of self-belief, and my mind wouldn’t feel like drowning in a pool, trying desperately to filter towards the right answer. Mum calls me her unique little elf; she tells me that I should not feel ashamed. I hear her voice and her words are soothing. I erupt in sobs as she asks how my day was. She hugs me, stroking my hair and resting her chin on top of my head. I smell her perfume as my cheek is squashed against her chest.
Email from Anonymous22754@hotmail.co.uk: “What makes you so special Eleanor Phillips? I know what it is; you’re just thick aren’t you? The teachers treat you better because you’re special? Let me tell you this, you are nothing more than the mud I tread on.”
I lie there absorbing the words, allowing their meaning to be processed by my slow mind. I believe every word. I don’t work the same way other people do. I can reread sentences, three, eight times and still not comprehend what the words are telling me. There is something missing, a piece of the puzzle that was thrown away. God decided to create my being differently. Why? I am not special.
The pings of notifications loom in and out like little insects nibbling at my brain.
A thought has been relaying for some time. This one fear has blackened my reality and my future. I wonder if one morning I will have lost the strength to get up and carry on, my strength sapped by the night’s harsh language, my body sucked dry of all happiness and my heart finally cracked in two.
I open my eyes and see the outline of words: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The image underneath the words is more terrifying in the dark, the yellow eyes staring back. The monster’s bruised, twisted features are accentuated and defined by shadow. He is rejected, spurned and stoned by the community he so desperately wants to be welcomed by.
But reading for me is acceptance, a means of escape; the words flow easier on the page because there are no judgmental eyes causing my face to burn. I build walls of imagery in my mind, seeing the words I read through the eyes of Scout, who perceives everything but understood nothing. I feel the silk of my fine dress as I sit and drink tea with Elizabeth Bennet. I pause, breathe, and become the intelligent, emancipated Portia, not giving a single thought to the buzzing of my phone.