You forget what it was like. You’d swear on your life you never will, but year by year it falls away. How your temperature ran off the mercury, your heart galloped flat out and never needed to rest, everything was pitched on the edge of shattering glass. How wanting something was like dying of thirst. How your skin was too fine to keep out any of the million things flooding by; every colour boiled bright enough to scald you, any second of any day could send you soaring or rip you to bloody shreds.
Trust your instincts, Dad always says. If something feels dodgy to you, if someone feels dodgy, you go with dodgy. Don’t give the benefit of the doubt because you want to be a nice person, don’t wait and see in case you look stupid. Safe comes first. Second could be too late.
There’s nothing wrong with elitist. Some stuff is better than other stuff; pretending it’s not doesn’t make you open-minded, it just makes you a d*ck.
She hears all the voices from when she was little, soothing, strengthening: Don’t be scared, not of monsters, not of witches, not of big dogs. And now, snapping loud from every direction: Be scared, you have to be scared, ordering like this is your one absolute duty. Be scared you’re fat, be scared your boobs are too big and be scared they’re too small. Be scared to walk on your own, specially anywhere quiet enough that you can hear yourself think. Be scared of wearing the wrong stuff, saying the wrong thing, having a stupid laugh, being uncool. Be scared of guys not fancying you; be scared of guys, they’re animals, rabid, can’t stop themselves. Be scared of girls, they’re all vicious, they’ll cut you down before you can cut them. Be scared of strangers. Be scared you won’t do well enough in your exams, be scared of getting in trouble. Be scared terrified petrified that everything you are is every kind of wrong. Good girl.
Reminded myself: the ones you don’t like are a bonus. They can’t fool you as easy as the ones you do.
Once you have mates who know you, right down under the this-and-that you decide people want to see today, then there’s no room left for the someday person who’ll magic you into being all your finest dreams. You’ve turned solid: you’re the person your mates know, forever.
Murder is the thoroughbred stable. Murder is a shine and a dazzle, a smooth ripple like honed muscle, take your breath away. Murder is a brand on your arm, like an elite army unit’s, like a gladiator’s, saying for all your life: One of us. The finest.
If I had to get there without friends, I could do it. Had been doing it. I’d never met anyone who brought me somewhere I wanted to stay, looked at me and saw someone I wanted to be for good; anyone who was worth giving up the more I wanted down the line.
I love beautiful; always have. I never saw why I should hate what I wish I had. Love it harder. Work your way closer. Clasp your hands around it tighter. Till you find a way to make it yours.