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Authors: Christina Barr

Almost Alive

BOOK: Almost Alive
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Almost Alive

Christina Barr

















Copyright © 2013 by Christina Barr

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.


Front cover photo taken by
©Sergey Sukhorukov.  Front and back cover design by Christina L. Barr.


This book is published under Ninja Dust.







For my amazing best friends, Jenna, Becky, and Gabby


You have done so much for me over the years and have always been there when I needed you.  You have given me genuine friendship and I’m blessed to have you in my life.

Chapter One


              I opened my eyes, and my consciousness took over, letting all of my subconscious feelings and images rest dormant in the depths of my mind where they belonged.  One might refer to this as “being awake” but I wasn’t.  Life had become an everlasting nightmare.  I wanted to pinch myself so the pain could force me back into a reality where the world felt real, but life had become so painful that pain was incredibly dull.  I thought my life was meaningless before.  If I had known my rebirth would be so dragging, I would have stayed dead the first time.

But, it’s not like I wanted to live, hence the killing myself.

“Are you up?” Mom yelled.

I sighed.  She only pretended to be a mother when she wanted me out of the house, but I couldn’t find the will to leave my bed.  My therapist said I was ready to face the world, but I played along in order to keep myself out of rehab for the depressed, which just seemed a tad bit sadder than the people who drowned their sorrows in substance abuse.  “I know my parents love me.  I’m grateful for this second chance.”  Those were the lies I told.  I didn’t want to get high or drink myself happy.  I just wanted another day to go by until I rotted back into oblivion.

Mom had other plans and busted through my door.  “Michelle!”

I rose up.  “I need five minutes!” 

She was stunned.  It was the most emotion she had seen from me in months, and it was unlike me to snap.  “Please, don’t be late.”

“I won’t.”  I plopped down and rolled away from her.  I didn’t want to go to public school.  I would have missed my old school, but it was hard to face people who knew I overdosed.  I didn’t need that thrown in my face from my enemies, and I didn’t need my friends treating me like cracked glass that would shatter if touched the wrong way.

I really was going to force myself to get up.  After all, I couldn’t even die right.  I didn’t have much of a choice but to try and salvage what was left of my new life.             

I took a lukewarm shower verging on chilling.  Ever since I came back, my skin had become very sensitive.  I didn’t burn easily, but something about the heat made me shut down.

I missed seeing steam on the mirror above the sink after stepping out the shower.  I didn’t enjoy looking in the mirror quite like I used to.  I still had the same dirty blonde hair and dull green eyes, but I didn’t feel like my reflection moved as I did.  It felt like someone else’s eyes were staring back at me, observing me in the most dreadful way.  Honestly, it gave me the creeps.

I gave myself the creeps.  How pathetic was that?

I hurried up so I wouldn’t put a dent in Mom’s schedule.  She and Dad were waiting by the front door by the time I came downstairs. 

Dad smiled and gave me a hug, but he felt cold.  Everyone I touched since my death did.  “Are you sure you don’t want me to drive you?”

It was a kind sentiment, but I was discomforted by the fact that I knew he wasn’t genuine.  “I’ll be fine.  It’s not like I’m gonna drive into a tree or something.”

“I’m not trying to accuse you!”  Dads are supposed to know how to make problems better, but he was too awkward.

“I shouldn’t have even said that.”

“You two had better be off if you want to be on time,” Mom said.

Dad had plenty of time, but he was on a tight schedule if he expected to screw his secretary.  About a half hour after we left, Mom was gonna have a house call from her hot yoga instructor.  They were both sex addicts, yet ironically neither of them could stomach having sex with each other and salvaging their plastic marriage. 

“Don’t worry about me.”

“Well, just remember we love you.”

I hugged them, but I didn’t believe them.  I should have given them the benefit of the doubt, but I knew how selfish they were.  They made life unbearable, but I always pretended I didn’t believe the rumors or that I didn’t come home early that one afternoon when my boyfriend dumped me in the middle of the cafeteria or swung by dad’s office when I wanted to hear him tell me that everything would be alright.  They both committed adultery and instead of ending their scandals, we never spoke of them, and they screamed at each other in the therapist’s office about how they were uncaring of each other’s needs.

“I’ll have a good day.  Trust me.”  I did think of driving into a tree, but it was just a thought.  I was surprised I had the nerve to kill myself the first time.  Then again, it all started out as little thoughts that turned into bigger thoughts with more soul wrenching results.  “Would anyone miss me if I were gone?”  The answer more frequently became “no”.

But I was sure I didn’t want to die.  For whatever reasons, I suddenly wanted to live my life to the fullest.  It didn’t sound like something I was up to thinking, but the thought lived on in my head regardless.

There weren’t many kids near the front office when I came in, but I could hear them bustling about from all over.  It was a huge school, yet I had a suspicion that I wouldn’t manage to find one friend to confide in.

There were a couple of secretaries who didn’t even bat an eye at me.  The students waiting certainly noticed me, and they glared as a warning not to cut.  It was a bit intimidating, but I clenched my backpack strap and continued walking to the front desk and stood in front of an adult until they bothered to look at me.  “Can I help you?”

“I’m new.”

“And your name is?”  She didn’t exactly make me feel confident in the school’s ability to care about me as an individual.

“Michelle Dorin.”

She started searching through some files while I tried not to notice all of the students watching me, but their eyes were like an irritable blanket.  I couldn’t think about anything besides that unnerving feeling that they were plotting something against me.  I turned around to catch them in the act, but no one was staring, yet it still felt like someone was watching.

“Michelle, I have your schedule and your locker.”  She placed some papers in my hands.

I waited for something else to happen.  “I don’t get a tour or something?  It’s a pretty big school.”

“We don’t usually do that sort of thing.”  I understood she was busy, but I was determined not to move until I got a little bit of assistance.  “But if you insist...”

“Thank you!”

“Put your things up and I’ll have a student guide here by the time you get back.”  She turned around to finish filing or whatever, but not before I noticed her rolling eyes.

I let it go and found my locker right around the corner.  The kids had flooded in from the bus drop-off and started rushing through the hallways like a hurricane.  There were people at their lockers on both sides of mine, so I patiently waited for them to finish arranging their books and giving praise to their almighty teenage magazine clippings while dodging the whirlwind of students going by.  I was being bombarded by people who didn’t care who I was.  The worst blow to my pride came from a freshman half my size that clocked me with an oversized backpack that nearly took out my knees.

Would anyone miss me if I were gone?  My parents freaked out so much that I had to believe the answer was “yes”, but would anyone else?  I was nothing more than the new girl being beaten down by stereotypes while the god that I wasn’t sure I believed in probably laughed at my pathetic timidness.

Then it happened again for the last time.  “Watch it!”  An explainable rage came over me.   I felt indignant, like I was too good to be treated that way.  It didn’t matter if I were nobody to them.  I should have been pushing them out of my way, so I did.  I paid no attention to the stature of my next unintentional attacker and retaliated by pushing them straight into my locker.

I was so angry I didn’t even notice the kid at first.  I was paying close attention to the jerks taking up all my space.  They muttered some mean things, but finally got out of my way.

Then, there was the guy that I pushed.  “Woah!”  He wasn’t angry, thankfully.  He was pretty stacked.  “You don’t look like the type of girl who snaps at people like that.”  He smiled and actually seemed very nice.  Then I realized how cute he was on top of being tall and physically fit.  His most notable features were his blue eyes, and his dimples.

“Sorry!”  I almost started to panic.  “I don’t know what came over me.  I swear I’m not that way!”

“I hope not.”  He continued to smile, and I realized he was flirting with me.  Someone was actually interested in me!  “Maybe I’ll see you around.”

It had been so long since I even thought about boys.  I wanted to say something engaging to leave an impression.  “Maybe.”  That and a giggle was all I had.

The mystery jock headed for the office, and I hoped that he would be my guide.  I desperately wanted to spend time with him.   Was it so horrible for me to want to move on and have a little fun?  I usually took things slowly, but maybe that’s why I ended up single.  There was a thought in the back of my mind telling me to take a risk.

I needed to hurry so I could follow him into the office.  I tried the locker combination they gave me, but it was a bust.  I must have tried it five times before losing my mind and yanking on the lock like a crazy person before the first bell sounded off and all of the kids flooding the halls drained into their classrooms.  I kicked the locker in frustration before turning around and calling it a quits.

Then I jumped and screamed with my mouth shut so tight that it only came out as a delicate whimper.  I was frightened by the loud clank of a locker flying open and the corner of my eye catching the phantom in the act.  I knew no one was there, yet I slowly turned around hoping for an explanation as to how my locker suddenly flung open on its own.  I couldn’t have forced it open with my silly, little kick.  I must have looked like a real space case staring at my locker like it was possessed.  I should have just accepted that it was a weird and random occurrence, but I was shaking.  It wasn’t the first time something like that happened.  Doors, cabinets, drawers…I pretended at home that those were coincidences and my fragile mind playing tricks on me.  I didn’t know how I could deny it any longer.

“That was weird.”  A stranger’s breath fell on my neck and I freaked silently to myself before turning around and becoming even more startled.  If there were a way to blame it on him, I would have.  He was dressed in black from head-to-toe, and he even accessorized in long wristbands with gaudy silver studs and various piercings.

There was something about him that gave me the serious creeps, and I don’t think it was just because he was one of those kids looking to make a fashion statement by being odd.  I felt something weird that I couldn’t shake that made my heart race and my voice quiver.  “I guess the lockers don’t usually do that.”

“No.”  Then there was the way he stared at me, like he was suspicious of me!  I sure enough didn’t make the locker go all

“Well, I’ve got to go.”  I didn’t even close it.  I wasn’t touching that thing!  The Emo kid was probably some kind of warlock who put a hex on it.  I could feel there was something…Wrong about him.  I just knew it in my gut.

The cute jock was waiting in the office, and the secretary was surprisingly kind enough to introduce me as soon as I stepped inside.  “This is your student guide, Michael.”

“We’ve kind of already met.  I’m Michelle.”  It had been a long time since someone made me feel giddy.

“Michael and Michelle.”  He didn’t sing it, but it felt like it was a sweet lullaby floating from his lips.  “What are the odds?”

“Considering that they’re very common names, it’s not that unusual.”  The strange kid had snuck up on me once again and ruined my perfectly romantic moment!

“What do you want?”  Michael wasn’t so kind anymore, not that I minded since it was directed toward the freak of nature.

The kid didn’t seem to mind either and he stepped right in front of Michael, questioning his authority with his posture alone.  I was surprised how well he sized up compared to Michael.  “I’m volunteering to take Michelle around.”

BOOK: Almost Alive
4.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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