White Rose

White Rose

A Story by Syren Creates

Just a little depressing drabble that I wrote. Inspired by numerous quotes I found on We Heart It, but especially by the quote, "Even a white rose has a black shadow." I think it's a beautiful quote.

Here's the thing about shy people; We notice things without being noticed. We sit in the corner observing the ones around us without anyone casting as much as a second glance. Almost as if we aren't there. But we are there and we see things. Things that, if they would just take the time to really look, everyone else could see as well. But they choose to ignore. Little changes in habits and routines that tell us about others. It's not hard. Just observations.
For example, the girl that just walked in the front doors of our high school. Something exciting must be happening in her life tonight. She never would wear a dress and heels to school otherwise. Her hair has also been curled and she's wearing makeup which is also unusual for her. One of her friends goes up to her and they share a greeting before walking off together. Probably going to the Art Room upstairs as was typical for them.

The guy, Adrian, standing at the bottom of the stairs to my right is surrounded by other guys. He's the golden boy if there ever was one in real life. Straight A's, advanced classes, dual credit classes, plays football and recently got a full ride scholarship to a big name college for the sport. Pretty popular, too, if you can imagine, although he's not the friendliest of people. A smile breaks out across his face as he laughs at something amusing his friends said. It's just another typical day for him. Must be nice living in perfection everyday. Too bad none of the rest of us can live there with him.

Almost directly in front of me, but several yards away and slightly to my left, is his female counterpart, Mabel. Not much difference on the cover; straight A's, advanced classes, dual credit classes, star of the swim team. Really, it's a wonder the two of them haven't hooked up yet. She's sitting at one of the long cafeteria tables with her friends. Laughter and smiles cover her face and, to the untrained eye, it would seem as if she was living with the golden boy in Perfect World. My eyes, however, were not untrained and I could see a different reality. Even from my seat on the bench yards away from her position.

Dark circles of stress and fatigue hang under her eyes which seem to have lost a bit of their luster and spark. She has also taken to always wearing long sleeves. This would not be considered abnormal if it weren't for the fact that it was mere weeks away from summer vacation and nearly a hundred degrees outside. Her hand continuously shoots over to rub at the underside of her forearm and the bright smile on her face looks forced.

No one else would ever guess in a million years that she puts a blade to her skin and cuts herself. Nor would they even fathom how she struggles with suicidal thoughts everyday. Her so called "friends" have yet to notice anything, but I do. I heard her crying her eyes out one day in the bathroom near the end of class. Something wasn't right in her life. Perhaps she was being abused a home, or somebody close to her recently died? I didn't know. Either way, she needed help and I appeared to be the only one who knew it.

Do you see that girl over there? The one with the happy smile on her face? Yeah, that one. I'd be willing to bet that you didn't know that she cries herself to sleep at night. Behind that smile is everything nobody could possibly understand. She's such a bright girl, why would she want to end her life so young? They don't get it. People don't commit suicide to end their lives; people commit suicide to end their pain. I get it. I understand. The same scars on her wrists cover my own.

Perfection is a hard thing to be in this world, yet she makes it look so easy. Going off to college with scholarships for a successful career. Such a bright future ahead of her, but still she's struggling. Drowning. And no one notices it. I would bet that she hears her parents talk about her future every night. When they do, she would smile that smile again and nod her head in agreement to whatever they just said because she hasn't built up the courage to tell them that she may not be alive.

Watching her, I notice things that no one else does. Little quirks and changes that stick out like a sore thumb to me. It amazes me how I'm the only one to see them. Her friends don't notice anything strange, but I do. Her shoulders are slumped more than usual. As if the weight of her burden is too heavy for her to bear. She doesn't stand quite as tall when she walks and keeps her face down towards the floor. Her voice doesn't ring as loud and clear as it once did and, despite the beaming smile plastered on her face, if you were to look into her eyes -- really look -- you would not find happiness there.

Her body is a cage, a prison. There's something within her screaming for help with tears falling from its eyes and blood from its wrists. It's pushing and shoving at the walls concealing it, but to no avail. She's trapped within herself. She's screaming and crying and pleading for someone -- anyone -- to notice her pain. To help her, but she does so silently with a smile on her face and no one notices. But I notice. I see it all too easily because I know. That trapped feeling is the worst of it all. It drives you to the brink of insanity but never quite pushes you over the edge.

The shrill sound of the bell rings through the air of the bustling cafeteria and I pull my backpack over my shoulder as everyone makes their way to class. Looking back up, I notice that she hasn't moved from her spot. She glances around but doesn't see my watching her before pulling something from her purse. I approach her and recognize the object as a small silver blade. Her eyes shoot up to me and she quickly hides it from my sight as she smiles that smile. She always smiles because it's easier to pretend than to try to explain something you can't explain to someone who doesn't understand. But I understand and I smile back at her.

"It's okay," I say quietly, pulling up my sleeve so that she could see. The cafeteria was practically empty by now. "You're not alone."

And, although her smile fades, I can see that there's a spark in her eyes. A spark of hope as I tug my sleeve back down and she stands up. We walk to class together in silence. She departs for her seat at the front of the room without a single word to me as I take my own in the back, but I know that she will see me again. Silence is, after all, and answer as well if you know how to listen for it.

Slowly, an hour ticks by and the bell rings again to signal the end of the first class of the day. Everyone stands up and leaves the room. I notice that she leaves with her friends and that smile back on her face. Her eyes meet mine for a split second before she looks away and laughs. She's good. No one would ever suspect that she is anything but happy. But I knew better. You can't judge a person by what they project to the world, because even a white rose has a black shadow.

© 2014 Syren Creates

Author's Note

Syren Creates
Yes, this is depressing. I hope that I didn't offend anybody or come across as snarky with the whole "advanced classes" and "perfect world" stuff. I didn't mean anything by it. I take advanced and dual credit classes myself.
If anyone notices any misspelled words or grammar errors, please feel free to correct me and please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions. I really want to know what you think.

My Review

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Very good. We do have a nasty tendency to just put on a mask. Hell, all of high school is really just one big masquerade. On the first line, the third "the" is missing the "t". My biggest gripe with this story is the fact that there are no names. I get why the narrator doesn't have a name, being in the background all the time having not name is one of the few times it fits, but the others need names since they are known and popular in the school. The other girl could even use a nickname to symbolize that she has two lives, that she puts on a mask for everyone.
It could use some more descriptions and figurative language to really show what is happening rather than just tell us what is happening. It would make it much more engaging.
I do like the characterization of the narrator, she seems like an actual person rather than just words on a page. As it stands, it is still a solid read and I enjoyed it.

Courtesy of the Constructive Critics

Posted 8 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on May 7, 2014
Last Updated on May 8, 2014
Tags: White rose, depressing, facade, depression, perfect, black shadow, self harm, stress, cuttting, observing, suicide, suicidal thoughts, quotes


Syren Creates
Syren Creates

Rock Hill, SC

Hobbies: Dancing (mostly jazz and lyrical, but I also do a ballet techniques class), writing, drawing, painting, reading, singing, doing puzzles, sudoku, word finds, fill ins Movies: Harry Potter, .. more..


A Book by Syren Creates