“Having No One” (HCTW) by Sabrina Smith
I awoke screaming. Slowly, I calmed down as well I could before starting to cry into my pillow. I had no one. After glancing down at my wrists and the scars and scabs there I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.
I awoke the next morning and changed out of my pajamas and into my usual black outfit, shoving an equally black jacket on over it. Then I went downstairs.
My father, a banker, glanced at me and pursed his lips, but chose not to say anything. My mother took one look at me and did the opposite.
“It’s been two months, Rosie,” she said, sitting across from me at the table. “You can come out of mourning.” I fiddled with my cereal and didn’t say anything. “I know you miss him,” she muttered. “We all do. But we need to move on.”
“I’m going to school,” I said abruptly, grabbing my bag and walking out the door. I didn’t look back at the massive house I’d exited, know mom would be watching. Instead I chose to look to the manicured lawn and the end of the driveway. Just as I arrived, the bus pulled up and the doors opened, allowing me to board.
Everyone greeted me with “Goth Girl!” I ignored it and kept walking to the back of the bus to sit, alone.
We stopped in front of the school a few taunting jeers later and I made my way to the locker I’d previously shared with my twin.
As I opened it I was hit with the realization I would have millions of times over every day: he was dead. I’d left it just the same for that reason. His things sat at the upper half of the locker, as if he was waiting impatiently for me to finish.
I filled my bag with everything I’d need for the day and closed the door.
My classes went by at a snail’s pace, frequented by the voices of those who I used to consider my friends making jabs at me.
My life was changed at lunch.
I sat in the back corner of the cafeteria, at my own table, under the flickering florescent lighting. Just like every other day, I imagined Alex sitting across from me, laughing. I unpacked my lunch. As I took a bite of my apple someone sat down across from me.
“Hello,” said a cheerful voice. “I’m Janet. Who are you?” For a moment I was stunned.
“Rosie,” I stammered. She smiled and began to eat her lunch as if there was nothing wrong. As I looked at her my eyes hurt. Even in the dim light her outfit practically glowed bright pink and green.
“It’s nice to meet you,” I said suddenly. She grinned.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m new here,” she said, answering the question I never asked. “I only just moved from Windor.” I nodded and felt that it was my turn to make some polite conversation.
“What class do you have next?” I asked carefully.
“English with Mr. Hawthorne, I think.” I nodded, neglecting to mention I was in her class.
A week later she had grown on me. She had no idea that I like to take a razorblade to my wrists yet, and I hoped to keep it that way. Despite myself, I didn’t want to lose her.
“Why do they call you Goth Girl?” she asked one day. “Is it because you wear so many dark colors?”
I nodded. She moved on, talking at fifty miles an hour.
That night I made my way to the cemetery at the end of our street. I found Alex’s grave and sat down beside it.
“Hey,” I said. “I brought you something.” I laid a bluebird’s feather on the grave. “I know you couldn’t find one for your collection.
“I have a friend at school,” I continued, making myself more comfortable.
“Janet. I told you about her yesterday, remember? I want to tell her about- you know. I don’t know how, though. What do you think?”
“Rosie?” I started and turned. Janet stood behind me.
“What are you doing here?” we asked at the same time.
“This is where my mother’s buried,” she said, pointing to a plot a few rows down. “Cancer. Just before I moved here. Now it’s your turn, Rosie. Who’s this?” She pointed at my brother’s headstone.
“This is Alex,” I said. “He was my twin.”
“Hey, Alex,” she said softly. “I’m Rosie. It’s wonderful to meet you.”
“How’d he die?”
“There was an accident. A-A drunk driver came down the road as I was crossing…. Alex was waiting on the other side and saw him. He pushed me out of the way.”
“Oh….. Oh, no. Rosie, I’m so sorry.”
“I’m sorry, too, about your mom.” She shrugged.
“We knew it was going to happen. It still hurt, but we got to say goodbye, at least.” We were both quiet for a moment.
“Jan, I need to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“They- They don’t call me Goth Girl because I wear dark clothes. I-I’m suicidal.”
“You do?” I gasped and she nodded.
“I have since the first day I was here.”
“And you- you still came to sit with me?” She nodded again.
I grabbed her in a tight hug. She grinned and hugged me back.
I couldn’t help but think that, somewhere, Alex was smiling down on me.
From then on I left the jacket in my closet.