“Same old everything“, she sighed, as soon as her eyes opened to the sunlight creeping in from the window.
She was just so jaded of all the same faces and personalities.
Beneath her pillow, she finds a written note from her best friend:
You really need to know all about the conspiracy being planned to spiflicate your birthday.
P:S: Happy Birthday.
What was really amusing was that she didn’t know they did things that immature anymore. And what was even more amusing was that her birthdays were always a disaster; you can’t destroy something which was already in ruins.
Fatigue got the best of her most of the time, but today was the day she had been dreading for so long: her birthday. There was once a time she was fond of throwing parties and receiving all those presents in the name of her birthday, but as soon as she learnt to secernate she saw how phoney the world was. And over the years every single of her birthdays had turned into something disastrous; almost like her birthday was cursed. Last year she had met with an accident on the day and broken too many bones to even keep a track of.
She was not one with many friends. She had lost belief in that word soon after 6th grade. And today, on her 16th birthday, she just wanted to grab her favourite novel and read it all over again for the zillionth time, but the odds were not her favour. They never had been. Her thinking was profoundly abstract, or so she thought. She never had a boyfriend, though for someone her age, she should’ve already learnt the very “intimate” lessons of her non existent “love life”, but let alone guys, she hadn’t even gotten around the idea of people themselves.
There was a party alright, and a big one at that. Her parents really wanted to see their phlegmatic daughter enjoy being of such a “big” age. She really didn’t want another session with the psychiatrist she had attended, what seemed like, a million times, so she over-did her fake excitement when she agreed going shopping with her mother.
She hated shopping. She was one of those people who would rather spend their whole life in pyjamas than go shopping. Her mother was quite consternated about her agreeing, but dismissed it as her daughter was now turning 16.
The party happened with people who had no idea she even existed and likewise from her point of view. It was mostly a numb feeling, walking through her ‘too-large-for-only-one-offspring’ house, looking at drunk alien faces, hoping to find some acquaintance.
But in vain.
No one; except of course her best friend who was nowhere to be found as soon as the party had started. She was just about to leave to go to Starbucks and read there when someone came out of nowhere and bumped into her and ruined her too-good-to-be-real white, laced dress she had bought just that morning.
She had seen this scene happen so many times in movies that by now she just stared at the stain and thought of atleast 10 different ways of killing the person who didn’t even have the etiquettes to apologise to her.
Then when she turns around, she receives a greeting from the person she had once believed in; her best friend from when she was a kid to the beginning of the sixth grade, Chloe. Only, the difference was that now Chloe was literally dragging her through rooms and out to the backyard. The-somebody-she-used-to-know stands and stares at her like she’s a princess; princess of hell.
“People who haven’t even acknowledged you in ages drag you out in your own background and have the courtesy of giving you death stares, so much for being 16“, she thinks.
What she didn’t realise was that the death stare was a literal one.
Her so-called ex best-friend pulls her from the hem of her dress and stabs a knife in her stomach.
And the world comes crashing down with a loud gasp escaping her mouth.
She stands there with wide eyes and a slacking jaw, trying to get a hold of the handle of the knife, but her hands are stuck to the material of her stomach, the red which was white only seconds ago. She can’t believe it, despite all the evidence in front of her. She thinks of it as a nightmare which would soon end; but the reality was that it wasn’t a dream.
Chloe gets a hold of her and almost drags her to the side of the backyard where an eerie atmosphere awaits.
The pain in her stomach has gone to such extent that her whole body has a burning sensation. She does not have the courage to draw out the knife which has been sunk deep in her stomach and her jaw hangs loose of astonishment while Chloe just stands and watches her fall to her knees. Her vision blurs because of the tears flowing down her cheeks. She wants to know why, why in god’s name, Chloe hated her so much that the only way out she saw was killing her.
Impossible; is all she can think of. She never did so much as to deserve dying, Chloe was the one who abandoned her in the hour of need; they hadn’t talked ever since. They both had the same name, and that is the reason they had even started talking, but one was the murderer while the other was the victim.
She knows there is no saving her, so instead she smiles at her murderer and thinks of how she had always thought of her birth anniversary being the same as the dying one, how she had always wanted to know if there was an afterlife and now, she could.
She had come to peace with her death; just the unsettling expression of Chloe seemed out of place to her.
“Guilty“, her subconscious registers of the expression. And then Chloe starts panicking and runs back to the house, just as if she didn’t know what she had done.
There was nothing left for her to do than to wait for the end, and it was coming; she could feel it.
She could feel death creeping up to her.
She snubs it by thinking of the best small moments in her life; that one time her mom had taken her out to ice skating, those numerous times when her father cracked irresistible jokes, that time when Alice had taken her to an ‘Ed Sheeran’ Concert; those times when she would get upset and Chloe would get her chocolates to make her feel better.
There were things and people and memories she was going to miss a lot but she had already decided to leave; not that she had had any say in it. She didn’t want this, she needed it; needed to leave this paradox of nothingness, leave this place where she never truly belonged; leave and be free.
Something keeps on poking her mind; something even more absurd about this whole situation, but she couldn’t put a finger on it.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. The only thing she needed to concentrate on anymore.
Soon enough, it was time for her to leave her body behind and wander through the world of souls.
“My last few breaths are in my backyard,” she thought, she knew if it wasn’t her birthday, no one would come looking for her; this wasn’t the first time she was missing and no one noticed.
*”You look beautiful.” A memory long lost plays in the last few moments her mind would replay anything. Her mother is complimenting a little Chloe, which is very odd, because her mother was never fond of Chloe; infact she never wanted her to be friends with Chloe.
She tries to recall some minute detail she could be missing out, but nothing.
Her body is drifting off, giving itself up.
Tick tock comes to a lockdown.
Her eyes close down to never open again. Her 16 years flash before her, she sees a ray of light behind her eyes and just as she touches it, she drifts off to her paradise, though her face wears a frown.
In the few moments before she saw her life flash before her, she realised what was wrong, what was so pathetically absurd.
Chloe was not a former bestfriend; she was not anyone but the girl herself.
Chloe was her reflection, a soul that the girl had now become.
She was her own undoing.
Her own murderer