Alex laughed with her friends as she waited for her Dad to pick her up. He’s late, she thought. He’s never late. Something must be wrong. After about half an hour, her Dad arrived, red-faced. She got inside their car and her Dad immediately made their way home. There is deadly silence between them. Alex sensed that something is not right, because her Dad usually ask her how it was in the school. Something is definitely wrong. After a few minutes her Dad broke the silence:

“There’s a rumour….around the neighbourhood.”

Alex just stared at her Dad. What’s he talking about? What is going on?

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“The rumour is about you!” Her Dad continued.

“What!? About me? What’s the rumour?”

Alex couldn’t believe that someone rumours about her.

“There’s a rumour that some of our kin has seen you almost every day of the week at a

certain bar. Smoking and drinking alcohol with some guy… I don’t know his name.”

What!? Alex is too stunned to speak. “Who started the goddamn rumour!?” she thought.

“Alex – Is it true?”

“No Dad!! It’s not true!! I haven’t been smoking or drinking or going to some bar with a guy! Dad, please believe me. Somebody is abviously trying to destroy me….”

“Don’t reason with me young lady. Your Mom will deal with you later.”

Alex remained silent.

When they got home, Alex’s Dad made her get out of the car and he quickly drove away. Alex knows what that meant. If her Dad drives away like that, it means trouble is waiting inside their house. Alex gulped. She stared at their front door. She took a deep breath and entered. Just as she expected, her mother is sitting in the couch, waiting.

“I demand an explanation young lady.”

“W-what is there to explain?”

“Is it true? Is the rumour true!?”

Slowly, Alex shook her head. Unexpectedly, her mother smiled. A devilish smile.

“Oh come on Alex. You don’t suppose I’ll believe you?”

Alex stared at the floor.

“Alex, when you tell a lie, you get scolded. And when you tell the truth, you also get scolded. So why don’t you just tell the truth Alex?”

Out of anger, Alex looked straight at her mother’s eyes and spoke coldly.

“Yah. You are damn right. What difference does it make? I get scolded no matter. Yes I was there in a bar and I smoke there almost every day. But I don�t know this guy. He was just standing with me and smoked.”

“Ales, we never had any problems like this with your sister!!”

“That’s all you think about. It’s always my sister. It is Audrey here and Audrey there. I’m so tired of this darned name!”

Alex was crying by now.

“So you don’t want to be compared with your sister? That’s just because she is a good daughter, she never gave us any problems while you are giving us a lot of trouble!”

With tears falling freely down her cheeks, Alex ran upstairs to her bedroom.

“I am not through with you yet! Give me the key to Alex’s room,” her mother said to her father.

Alex heard the stamp of feet getting closer. She jumped on her bed and cried. She heard the door open but she didn’t pay attention while her mother was scolding to her. She just lay there and cried. Without realizing it, she fell asleep.

She woke up the next day, took a bath, got dressed, skipped breakfast, (because her mom was eating that time) and went to school.

As usual, her Dad picked her up that afternoon. When they got home, her Mom completely ignored her. When they stay on the same room, her Mom pretended that she didn’t even exist and Alex was very grateful for it. In return, she also ignored her Mom and stayed out of her way. This went on for days and days turned to weeks. After about 3 weeks, Alex’s Mom began to talk to her again. Alex was so happy, because in this time she realized how important her mother is. She began to build her relationship with her parents again and everything was alright and forgotten. She was sure that in the future such a thing won’t happen again.

But one day her Mom received a text message that destroyed everything. Alex was at school when her mom got the text message. It was from one of her friends that betrayed her. It was Maisie who told her Mom that Alex had a boyfriend whose name is Laurence. The worst part is she also told Alex’s Mom that Alex lost her virginity on this guy! But Maisie is lying. Laurence doesn’t really exist.

When Alex got home that day, her mother greeted her with a slap. Alex was startled. She stumbled and fell hard with her mouth on the floor. She looked at her mother with wide and inquiring eyes and a bleeding chin.

“What did I do now?” Alex asked frightened.

“I know that style of yours Alex.”


Alex didn’t understand what her mother was talking about.

“The game’s over Alex. I’m not as stupid as you think. I know all about you and Laurence. ”

“Which Laurence!? I don’t know any Laurence.”

“Alex, why bother to cover up for your boyfriend?”

“I have no boyfriend.”

“What’s that you said?”

“I said that guy you’re talking about is no boyfriend of mine.”

“Why don’t you just admit it Alex!? Why do you have to pretend that you don’t know anything!?”

“What is there to admit? What is there to hide?”

“Goddamnit Alex! First, you go smoking with a guy named Laurence in a bar! And now, you actually lost your virginity on some other man!”

“I lost my virginity? That’s only bullshit! How do you suppose did I go into a bar and smoke with a guy? And with you having to watch my bedroom door all night?”

Alex’s mother just shook her head in fury.

“I suppose you want my virginity checked. Am I right? Go and have it checked. And you’ll see that I am telling no lie. I am just telling the truth. I suppose if somebody told you that I’m cutting classes you’d believe that somebody? Or maybe if a person down the street tells you that I’m pregnant, you’d believe that person even if you do not know him.”

Out of anger, Alex didn’t notice the tears in her eyes that caused her blurred vision. Both she and her Mom are now crying. Then, Alex told something to her Mom before she went to her bedroom.

“Do you know why I love Dad more than you? Do you know why I hate you? Because you’re such a bad mother. All you ever think of is your own opinion.”

Alex stormed to her bedroom and cried her eyes out. Somehow, she can’t express the pain she feels inside. Her heart ached for her sister, her Mom and her Dad. What she told her Mom a while ago was not entirely true, and she knows it. She loved her Mom. It’s just that sometimes her Mom is hard to understand. Her Dad is more agreeable. As for her sister, she’s not really loathing Audrey. She’s just jealous for all the attention her sister is getting. After a few hours, that seemed like ages to Alex, she fell asleep.

Alex had a nightmare. She was falling, just falling in a whole. She was not alone. There are two of them. Audrey, her sister, is falling with her. She looked down. There in the hole she saw that hands are reaching out to them. But on one side, there is a pavement and some people are waiting to catch one of them. They were falling fast. Alex was shocked when she saw that her sister was the one that the people in the pavement chose to catch. She felt herself being pulled in the deep hole. She reached out her hands to her sister. Her sister tried to help Alex, but she’s too far away. Alex fell into the deep hole. She felt pain. It was hot, and she’s burning.

Then, she woke up. She didn’t realize that another girl, 2 years older than she, had the same dream. Alex realized that she was sweating. She wiped her face dry and looked at the time. It was exactly 2:45 in the morning. Everyone was sleeping. Alex got up and washed her face. She looked at herself in the mirror. I’m dead anyway, dead in the inside. The pain I felt has killed me, not physically though, she thought. And so, she has decided. After she locked the door of her bedroom she opened her window around 3:00 and went out on the rooftop. Slowly, she looked for a place that will make a good landing. She found the perfect spot and jumped. She landed softly in a copse. She stood up and looked up at her parent’s bedroom window.

Without any feeling of regret, she made her way to a lake about 10 kilometres away from where she is right now. She walked for a long time without stopping or eating or drinking something. Around 5:00, she finally arrived at her destination. Alex’s biggest fears are bodies of waters, because she couldn’t swim. And she felt that she needed to face her fears even at the last hours of her life. She hired a boat, got in and started to row straight towards the centre of the lake.

Many kilometres away, Alex’s Mom woke up. She didn’t know what woke her up. But she had the funny feeling that it has something to do with Alex. She got up and decided to check on Alex. She found her bedroom door locked. At first she called Alex, but she didn’t get an answer. So she went downstairs and got the key.

When she opened Alex’s bedroom door, she found an empty bed and also an empty room. When she saw the opened window, she screamed a very ear-piercing scream. She woke her husband up and showed her that all. They both were looking for her a few meters around their house, but they couldn’t find anything.

At that time Alex reached the centre of the lake. She slowly inhaled and exhaled. She didn’t know how to swim. Alex closed her eyes. She thought for a short time about her family. But she pushed it away. She shed a single tear before she jumped into the ice cold water and allowed the blackness of the lake to swallow her…


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