Old Things Die (But Not Us) -- Chapter three and a half: Entry 13

Fiction By Madalyn Clare // 11/28/2018

Dear Levi-
I wish I was invisible. I wish that, for one moment, I could feel like I blend into the background and become nothing. Just a face. Not a life, not a person. Only a presence. Maybe then people would ignore me. I, personally, would love to feel ignored just for one day. It’d give me a rest from Alan.
He beat me up today. There was a group game that our cabin was supposed to do together, see- we were supposed to talk with our assigned partners about bad things that have happened to us, and then we needed to find something positive about the situation. Obviously, I got Alan again. I told him about this time when I got locked in the house and I had to climb out the bathroom window to escape. I made sure it had nothing to do with him. Anyway, Alan told me the bright side to the situation was that no one cared about it happening anyway, and that no one cared if I was still living. Also, he said no one wanted me around and that it’d save everyone energy if I never showed myself again; even better, if I was gone forever. He laughed as he said it.
I didn’t know what to do. I kind of shrunk into my seat and bit back tears because I was certain I didn’t want to bring attention to it. He’d just beat me up later, when no one was watching, and they’d blame his violence on his situation and pay for some outlet for his anger or something. They wouldn’t pay me as much attention.
Anyway, it was his turn to say something. He told me he broke up with his girlfriend after he found out she wasn’t interested in going to his house (I stopped him there because I couldn’t stomach what he’d say next) for any reason. I told him the good thing was he found a girl that takes care of herself and has a mind of her own, and he gave me this look like he hated me for saying that. Then again, he already hates me.
After other activities and stuff like that, we went on a hike. Upside, I found another pretty leaf. I’ll give it to you first day of school. It kind of looks like a dragon paw.
Downside, we had to stay with our partners. I tried to lag behind Alan, so that he’d slow down and stay with the group, but the hike was free range and we could go anywhere we wanted, so long as we came back at curfew. I wanted to find rocks and leaves and squirrels (I saw a deer, too, before Alan’s stupid yelling made it run away). Alan wanted to get away from the group as soon as possible. The camp director encouraged me to go with him, saying that a nature walk would sure make us friends. I ended up finding him.
When we were alone he beat me up for talking back the way I did, and I just barely got away. I ran back to the camp and they were pretty upset I came back alone. When Alan came back, he complained that I left him in the forest and it took him an hour to get back. I didn’t say anything about what he did. It’s bad enough that we’re in the same cabin. I was lucky to get away with bruises, nothing major. I can heal.
I know that it’s not true that no one cares for me. You do. Mister Cannon does. Lissa does. Pretty sure Miles does. That gives me four people who care. That’s three over the minimum.
My mom did. Your mom did. Doesn’t it count as, like, ten, if they’re in heaven?
Why do people hate without needing to? Why waste any energy on hating someone? Why would it be better for everyone if I was gone, if they can just not notice me instead? It just doesn’t make sense to me that people notice others just to despise them. Why did Alan pick me out to torture? I get enough hate from the guy who’s supposed to be my father.
Levi, the only thing I can say is that I’m glad you don’t hate anyone. It seems like a worthless way to live.

Your friend,
Josh

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