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The Scars

The Scars

Author: Lusi Solona

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General Romance

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Introduction

"Use this to treat your scars," Reno suggested. My mouth muffled in stun as soon as a plaster moved to my palm, and in a response to my silence, he trudged to the lift with both of his hands buried beneath his pants pockets. "Surviving without scars in the toxic world is beyond healing," I mumbled to myself. *** As fate never renders her with bliss but woes, Ilana, an impoverished seventeen-year-old teenager has to endure the adversities her father caused for ruining her world with his tortures; the bullying she suffers at school deteriorates her life without hope of escaping the ravines of misery. It was only her dreams which bolstered her until two strangers, the nerd yet the smartest boy at school, Reno, and Vera, the energetic girl with her secret no one knows, step into her life and change the compass of her destiny. Their constellation draws a line that connects them through their scars. However, the villains jump in their line and loot their propinquity when the intruders manifest their existence into their life; can spite conquer veracity and let it fall with their downfall? Will Ilana survive the hells created by her father and her bullies and accomplish her goals after all the disasters and agony?
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Chapter 1

Inside the wall of the horrible twilight, I raced with the time, escaping the shrieking and rushing footsteps that chased me behind; at my rear, my eyes sometimes peered over my shouder and horror reflected through it. The moonlight dimmed above the glistening moving object in white accompanied by the rustling wind and the black-turning leaves in my surroundings created a spookier atmosphere that sent shivers up my spine and triggered apprehension in my heart. My brain warned me to flee the peril that might lurk behind the blanket of the dusk yet my feet were firmly planted in their place after a long walk, defeated by my own fear..

As none of the courage left within me, a verbal confrontation might work out to daunt the one whose distance, in no time, let no space between him and me; the trembling yell of words from my mouth cracked the silence of the night and that human being froze like a statue along with the numbness throughout my limbs ignited by dread.

"W-who's t-there?" It was only that short quetions of curiosity I could muttered under the control of my anxiety.

As if nothing could put that unknown person in fright behind the shadow of the darkness, he calmly and confidently introduced himself as a classmate of mine who stalked me without bad intentions according to his confession; how could I trust the words of someone I was not close to?

“I finally get a chance to have a talk to you after the day long I escorted you to find out where you live; and I am here with no other purposes than conveying my gratitude to you.”

To his detailed explanation, my mouth locked in wonder and suspicion at the same time; I wodered what kind of good deed I had done to this boy who appeared to be too polite to me thorugh the way he spoke so that he voluntarily saw me here, however, his escort to where I went today to discover my house indicated that he might be a maniac whom I had to alert.

“I have no idea what you are babbling about; if you have no any bad intention for me, I hope you would kindly get out of my sight as I will never allow the stranger to come to my house. Besides, there is nothing you should thank me for.”

“You are the only one who showed me sympathy and kindness in English class this morning while other students just turned a blind eye on me.”

My eyebrows nearly twitched to each other in preplexity at his blabber for something he told me I did which I was not sure of. “What favor did I do to you that brought you all the way to this slum area?”

“You lent me a pen,” my mouth busrted in chuckles for his innocence; it was not because I didn’t respect him for his struggle but for me it was merely a small thing everyone could do; he could just ignore it.

“It was just a pen, not worthy anough to get your sacrifice of striding the gravel road just to thank me for that object which I consider nothing.”

“For me it is not the pen I apreciate the most, yet the friendship you offer through that pen.”

I, who just turned my back on him to resume my journey, stunned at my spot in awe at his rectitude and sincerity; this boy despite his social status of living in a wealthy family, not only from the way he dressed and acted at school but also based on piece of information I heard from other students, showed his down-to-earth attitude to me, a commoner girl. And the fool me, instead of giving a positive response to his kindness, requested him to leave.

"This area is not safe for you; you better leave." My harsh statement cut him off in his tracks. I didn't wait any longer, forcing my feet to collide with the pebbles paving the dark street.

"My name's Reno. You are Ilana, right?" His shout of mentioning his name meant nothing to my ears other than the breeze that caressed my hair; as his voce faded with the wind, he had no nerve to follow me, I bet.

***

What a pitiful life a poor girl like me had to live; born as a child in an unfortunate family with a drunkard father and a miserable mother. I never regretted my fate, but life was not always fair to me, pushing me into the ravine of hardship with no way out. Living in a suburban area, it took me a half hour to get to school every day on foot which bruised my soles, battling with the asphalt road.

Even a long the way to my destination this hour, my ragged, full-of-stitches shoes couldn't save me from skidding and slipping into the hole that my eyes couldn't see. As a reaction to my bad luck, my mouth mumbled only a groan of pain

I grumbled not because no one came to help me, but because destiny had dragged me here. If I didn't have to scavenge and sell junk after school, I wouldn't have had to deal with fatigue or swelter all over my torso at this hour when others slurped the delicacy of the soup or chewed the tender beef. I pushed that wild imagination to the back of my mind, knowing that despite being at home at this time, I would not be able to enjoy those amenities.

As impoverished people, even having meals twice a day was such a privilege for us not to mention to possess a roof over our head, protecting us from the shower of the rain and the pierce of the sun. My parents and I resided in merely a tiny hut-like house in a slum area where ragged clothe inhabitants and bed-smelled rubbish were our companions. The only access to get to this area was the muddy cramped road which could slip your feet when you didn't carefully step on it.

An hour had passed since I arrived home after conquering the day; I couldn't sleep despite my exhaustion. It was not because of my mother's snoring or the blood-sucking insects dancing around me; many things stuck in my mind that I could not define or express in words.

The gloomy-faced woman under the thin covering, no other than my mother, lay on the deflated mattress with her chest moving up and down in her sleep beside me. Her mouth in a while mumbled random equivocal words while her hands in her unconsciousness clapped the mosquitoes which partied around her ears. Even in her slumber, my mother’s pale face displayed her sorrowful life.

"Please…don't hurt her," my mother murmured with her closed eyes, she was dreaming. Her fingers scratched the itchy skin of the mosquitos' bites causing it to redden the area. To give her comfort and protect her from more bites, I rolled up the disheveled gauzy bedding on her body.

"Ilana…why haven't you slept yet?" In her half-opened eyes, a question erupted in her mouth as soon as she noticed me fixing her blanket. My lips formed a smile before revealing a lie.

"I just woke up, Mom."

"Go back to sleep then." I obeyed her instruction and laid my body next to her, then pulled the thin cloth functioning as a coverlet over my torso.

I had no idea how long I had dozed; my eyes were dazzled by the light penetrating through the ventilation of my windowless room which jolted me awake. I got out of my bed in an instant at my mother's call in her high raised tone.

With the precious limited time I had, the only thing I coud do after staggering out of the room was to rub my face with the cold water before seeing my mother whose mouth filled with grunts for my slugishness through her point of view.

She handed me a plastic bag full of her customer’s clean clothes which then under her order,I sent to the owner, Mrs. Ali, her most loyal cutomer. My mother made a living as a laundress but it was not kind of a big laundry corporation where she worked; she offered the service of her work for the rich people door to door. And Mrs. Ali had trusted my mother for doing the laundry of her family’s clothes for almost one year now.

With a heavy big plastic in my small hand, I propelled my hasty steps over the tarnished stench narrow street toward Mrs. Ali's house located in the other housing, one kilometer from the slum area where we lived. The fog still caged the area around me which required me to carefully walk the path ahead of me. The cold breeze stung the skin under my flimsy t-shirt which made me cuddle myself with one of my arms wrapping around my chest.

After a long stride, the enormous building surrounded by the tall iron fence welcomed me with its loftiness. An elegant corpulent lady about my mother's age in a lavish cherry dress who was no other than Mrs. Ali greeted me with her sweetest smile. Her plump lips motioned the word to thank me upon receiving the plastic of the laundry from my hand.

Despite being born in the same year, my mother looked older than this pretty lady; I didn't spot any flaws on her cheek, and not even a single acne dared to linger there with the beauty product she applied to it. My mother, on the other hand, sucked all the drawbacks as if fate didn't spare her a little beauty. A black spot layered most parts of her face with acne spreading here and there on her sun-kissed skin. Only a thin crumpled dress covers her skinny body.

I threw my gaze at my feet, swallowing the comparison I created in my head while cursing myself for what I did, comparing this woman to my mother whose life had been pathetic since she was a baby.

"I am sorry to keep you waiting. Here is the money. And this is another dirty cloth to wash." I saved the money in my pants pocket without counting the amount of the money for my trust in her honesty.

The drama of a fight and quarrel between two human beings, my father who just returned home after a month of disappearance, and my mother who was kneeling in her sobs, welcomed my arrival at the door of my wooden house. In a rush and with no further wait, I ran toward my weak mother whose hair had masked her countenance.

"Dad…please stop it" My husky voice in a sad tone didn't gain my father's sympathy.

His reddened eyes fell on me and in no time, one of his rough hands grabbed my shoulder harshly like I was a non-living object and shoved me to the wooden wall. Pain crawled through my back and seeped into my heart induced by his action. The corner of his eye caught the gallon of water my mother used to cook and poured it all over my body while cursing me as a jinx to his life.

"Why does God send me a daughter like you, a curse to this family?"

My drunkard father didn't stop there; without bothering my wail of begging for his mercy ,his feet kicked me to the ground whch allowed the soil to harbour my feeble torso and before I cringed at the pain coursing through my body, my jaw and face gave up in his fists. Even though I got used to his brutality, it still hurt and dumped me into a chasm of misery. I surrendered under his brutal blow and collapsed to my knees; what I heard next was only my mother's scream before darkness claimed me.