You quietly lay on your bed, blankly staring up at the ceiling with a rather saddened expression on your face and your hands resting calmly on your abdomen. Ever since you had arrived home from school a while before, you did what you did just like every other day: went up to your room, closed the door behind you, and cried into your pillow. Now, a few hours later, when your eyes were finally free of tears, you turned around in your bed so that your nose was pointing towards the ceiling, several thoughts running through your head.
By this point, your stomach wasn't hurting as much as it was after Gilbert had punched you, though it was already rather late into the evening and you didn’t feel even the slightest hint of hunger. You figured your stomach was still pretty shaken from the injury it had received earlier in the day and for the meantime wasn't working as normally as it usually was.
Closing your eyes, you thought back to the threat Gilbert made to you as you had been heading out of the waiting room next to the nurse’s office. He had told you there would've been dire consequences involved if you told the teachers of what you had been doing, but it’s not like threatening you would've convinced you to keep your mouth shut. Even before that, you never bothered telling any of the teachers or even your own parents about the trouble Gilbert had caused to you ever since you started high school. You didn’t feel like they would've been able to help you, and even if they did, that wouldn’t have stopped Gilbert from harming you outside of school, and you knew that for sure.
Besides, it’s only until the end of high school, right? you thought a bit nervously, shifting your gaze over to the side to stare blankly at your nightstand. After that, you would've gone to college and put all of Gilbert’s bullying behind you.
Adjusting your gaze, you let it focus on a photograph sitting atop your nightstand next to your lamp, which was currently the only source of light in your room that was turned on. Sitting up in your bed, you reached out to grasp the frame and brought it over in front of you, looking down at the picture you had placed in it several years ago.
The picture showed you when you were about 5 or 6 years old, playing in a sandbox with a boy with light blonde, almost white, colored hair and red eyes. You didn’t remember his name, but what you remembered from your early childhood was that he was your absolute best friend. The two of you had done almost everything together and shared things from toys to an ice cream cone. You remembered how close you were to him and how much the both of you meant to each other, but then your parents were forced to move somewhere else and after a heartbreaking goodbye, you never saw him again. You didn’t remember his name, but if you had anything of his left behind, especially if it was a phone number, you would have called him long ago. You remembered that he had promised you that the two of you would have met again and continued being friends, but as far as you knew, that moment never happened. You wished more than anything that it did, but you doubted it. Instead of having a best friend, you had a bully to deal with in your high school years.
Letting out a sigh, you put the frame back in its original place on your nightstand and flopped back down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling with a longing look. You wondered why your life had to be so hard, and why you were the one that had to be bullied so much because of a simple action you had done, and that was just walking up to Gilbert and offering to be his friend. Honestly, what was so wrong about that? it wasn't as you had teased him or embarrassed him publicly. You wished you had enough courage to go up and ask him nicely why he bullied you so much, but unfortunately you didn’t. The best thing you could've done was just deal with all this until it was over and let your emotions out when you were alone.
As you continued gazing up at the ceiling, you were able to hear the faint sound of a door unlocking and opening.
“_____, we’re home!”
Confused by the sudden voice, you turned your head towards the digital clock on your nightstand and were surprised to realize that it was already nearly 8:00 p.m., which was around the time your parents usually came home.
Letting out a groan, you rolled over and buried your face in your pillow, too exhausted to deal with your parents at the moment.
“_____?” You usually responded to your mothers call when she informed you that she and your father were home, but now you were feeling too sick and depressed to care. After a few moments of silence, you were able to hear the sound of heels gradually getting louder as your mother made your way up the stairs, and you let out another irritated groan when you figured that she was probably heading to your room.
Not even bothering to knock on your closed door, your mother’s footsteps grew louder and louder until you heard the door to your room open, and she poked her head inside to find you lying face down on your bed with your head buried on your pillow, which you kept your arms wrapped tightly around.
“_____, are you alright?” your mother asked in concern as she walked into the room, keeping the door partially opened behind her. “I haven’t been seeing you feeling so happy as of late.” You continued to remain silent as you felt one side of your bed sink as your mother sat down next to you and reached out to stroke your hair.
“_____, please look up at me.”
Feeling a lump start to form in your throat, you shook your head, not wanting to speak for fear that it would've given away the fact that you were close to crying.
“Aww, _____, don’t be like that,” your mother said calmly. “Please lift your head from the pillow. I rarely get to see your face.”
After a few more moments of silence as you continued to remain still, your mother let out a sigh and grasped your shoulders, hauling you into an upright position despite your low moans of protest. Even when you were facing her, you kept your head bowed and your gaze fixed firmly down on your pillow still held tightly in your arms, not wanting your mom to see the desolate expression that made its way to your face.
“_____...” your mother murmured, grasping your chin and lifting it so that you were forced to meet her gaze, which you noticed was filled with concern that matched that of the frown on her face. “_____, what's the matter? You look upset.”
You continued to sit there in silence for the next few moments, trying hard to fight the lump in your throat so she wouldn’t have seen you cry. Finally, you let out a sigh and shook your head. “I’m fine, mom.”
“Then why do you look so desolate?” she asked.
“B-Because...I kind of have a lot of work to do in school,” you muttered, dropping your gaze back down to your pillow. “And I guess I'm feeling a bit...stressed.”
“And everything's fine with you and all the other kids at school?” your mother continued. “Nobody is bothering you or anything?”
You shook your head. “No, everything's fine. I guess I just need to relax for a while...”
“Tell you what, I’ll let you stay home from school tomorrow and let you rest,” your mother decided, leaning forward to kiss your forehead. “That will help you feel better, won't it?”
You nodded weakly. “Yeah. Thanks, mom.”
“Sure thing,” she said, looking down at you and smiling. “Remember, _____, if you're having any kind of troubles, don’t hesitate to tell me, okay?”
You nodded again. “Sure.”
A few minutes after your mother got up and left the room, closing the door behind you, you let out a sigh and fell back on your bed, burying your head in your pillow and starting your fit of silent tears. It pained you and made you cry even more to think about how many secrets you were keeping from your mother, but what other choice did you have? You never felt confident enough to tell her about your bullying problems, and even if you did, you knew that Gilbert would've found you and made you pay the consequences, especially after the threat he had given you earlier. You were glad that your mother was making you stay home for a day, because that would've helped your stomach as well, but that wouldn’t have helped solve all the problems you were facing with Gilbert.
Lifting your head up from the pillow, you shifted your gaze so that it was once again able to focus on the photo placed on your nightstand, and you felt an even greater amount of longing surge through you as you stared at the little boy in the picture. The boy who used to be your best friend until your forced separation with him.
I wish you were here with me...you thought desolately before you once again buried your face in your pillow and continued crying.