I’m cold and alone. As well as hiding. I’m playing a game of hide and seek that seems as though it will never end. I hear other children playing, but I am afraid of what they would say if they found me. I really want to go home, so I think it’s time for me to be found. From where I hide I can hear the kids come closer. “Where did that football go?” “I think it went in that bush!” “I’ll go get it.” A boy about the same age as me moves the branches that keep me sheltered. He meets me face to face. He stops and for a second and I swear I can see tears well up in his eyes before the blood curdling screams start. The boy falls as he tries to back away from me, making his friends rush over only to run away as soon as they see me. I had a feeling this would happen but frankly I’m glad it did. Within minutes police also show up to meet me. As another officer tries to console the crying kids, a white sheet is placed over me covering me from head to toe. I have been found but there are still people hiding. I have been murdered and this is the story of my death.
Everything started when I turned 15, just started my freshman year of high school. I was excited for once, I thought high school would be better than middle school. I thought I could hide as a tiny fish in a big sea. Unfortunately, I actually became a bigger fish than I ever thought possible. Being bullied relentlessly makes you fear others, to the point where you’d like to be invisible. With having that experience in middle school, I learned how to hide. However, there are some people that make it very hard to hide, like the bullies that followed me to high school. The torment wasn’t as bad, now that those kids were at the bottom of the food chain. But the bullying was still there and quite noticeable.
That’s when the star football player of the school met me. His name is Jeffrey and he is a senior, very popular, very handsome, and a very kind heart. He stood about six and a half feet tall with wavy dark brown hair and light turquoise eyes. His hair cut was short on the sides leaving more length on top, but not long enough to be pulled into a ponytail. He had a strong jawline and broad shoulders. His looks were mature for a teenager, he looked more like a college sophomore. Jeffrey was the definition of handsome. In school he was often spotted in his varsity jacket. It sported the title CAPTAIN across it’s left sleeve. But what stood out the most was his beaming smile that seemed to brighten everything around him. That smile was always genuine. No one could ever fake the emotion he showed. It was no wonder Jeffrey had all the girls drooling over him. Each girl fought to win him over like a pack of hungry wolves fighting over the biggest deer. Although I also fell down the rabbit hole, I knew I had no chance so I always avoided him.
One day when he left the school, he heard a commotion, and walked in on me getting my ass beat by the other girls in my grade. The girls were shouting, “Why would Jeffrey like trash like you?” “You should stay away from him, losers like you don’t have a chance. You could never outshine us.” “You know we can make it so that no one, not even your mother will want to be see your ugly face!” All this was being said as they continued to hit me, my vision fading out more with each blow. When the hits stopped coming I glanced up from my folded arms. I saw Jeffrey pushing and pulling the girls away from me. He looked angry and was yelling at the girls, “Get the fuck away from her. All of you are lucky I haven’t called the cops. Leave! Now!” The girls reluctantly backed up, fearing Jeffreys almost crazed look. He crouched down to meet me at eye level and his gaze softened, “Are you ok… Wait you can’t be. Here let me help, can you stand?”
Jeffrey helped me up and carried me to his car. He offered to take me to the hospital but I refused as it was only a couple of scrapes, many bruises. Jeffrey insisted on at least patching me up and brought me to his house to do so. We talked for a long and it seemed as if we knew each other for a lifetime. Jeffrey then asked about the rumor and the bullying that I had endured. I explained everything from start to finish without hesitation. I then noticed the time and got up to leave. Jeffrey stopped me and says, “I don’t want to see you get hurt anymore, If you need any help I’ll be there for you. Those girls wouldn’t dare cross me.” With that Jeffrey drove me home. The next few days at school were surprisingly quiet. Jeffrey would periodically check up on me throughout the day which made me feel more relaxed. I was finally able to breath a sigh of relief. By the second week of school Jeffrey and I had became great friends. We hung out everyday and talked about everything under the sun. I fell madly in love with Jeffrey.
Looking back on it, some may say our relationship advanced too quickly. But the Friday of the third week of school, Jeffrey pulled me aside to where he had first met me. He held both of my hands together, cupped by his own. His eyes met mine and he said, “You honestly are the most beautiful girl I have ever met. Inside and out. You are the only girl I have ever met that didn’t fight over me. It feels refreshing and I love how well we get along. I want to spend more time together. Would you like to be my girlfriend?” The confession caught me completely off guard. I had never expected anyone to like me let alone Jeffrey. My heart began to flutter and it felt like my feet had left the ground. It took me a minute to form the words. It started with a stutter but ended as a strong resonating yes.
The news of Jeffrey and I dating circled the school within minutes. I began to get nasty looks from the other girls. For the most part they kept their distance only making small remarks as I passed in the hallway. Near the end of football season Jeffrey asked me out to homecoming. Making me the unofficial homecoming queen. That’s when the girls in the school really started to show their fangs towards me.
Pushes and shoves became punches and kicks, all aimed at severing the ties I had to my dream man. I kept the abuse a secret from Jeffrey, falling back into the habits of hiding from the pain. I was able to keep it under wraps until before christmas. During lunch one day, Jeffrey had seen a bruise on my leg when I went to show him the reindeer socks he had gotten me. I tried to lie, I told him I had bumped into something but he saw right through me. “You should have told me if they were bothering you. I’m here to protect you!” Jeffrey grabbed my hand and lead me onto the stage in the cafeteria. He lifted my arm in the air, “Listen up you bitches that keep hurting my girlfriend! I’m sick of this, the next time any one of you lay your hands on my girl you are in for a world of hurt! Girl or not get ready for an ass kicking!” The entire cafeteria was shocked at what had just been announced. Jeffrey dragged me off the stage and out of the cafeteria, none of the teachers tried to stop him. Alone in the empty hallway he told me that his threats were real, he seriously didn’t want me to get hurt anymore. And after that announcement it came true, all of the girls in the school left me alone. It felt so reassuring that everything finally seemed over.
After coming back from winter vacation two girls started trouble. Their names were Sally and Carly. I knew Sally well as she was one of the girls from my grade that tormented me throughout middle school. She always seemed jealous of me. I never really understood why except for my relationship with Jeffrey. And Carly, she was a junior. The hottest girl in school. She was drop dead gorgeous and put any model to shame. All she wanted was power, she knew she was the best and would not give up that title to anyone. If she wanted something enough she would do anything to get it. Those two girls didn’t care what Jeffrey said, they just wanted to “Put me in my place”. For the most part they kept their teasing to a minimum as to not stir up too much trouble. The possibility that Jeffrey would pound in their faces was still very high. But outside of school I was vulnerable when Jeffrey wasn’t with me.
I was walking home one cold afternoon after a particularly large snowstorm when Sally and Carly decided to follow me. On the way home was a small wooded area next to a small quiet road. The area was pretty desolate so it often became a place for kids to fool around. Sally came up behind me and pushed me into a snowbank by the edge of the woods. I saw the two girls come for me. I instinctively tried to get away from them. But it didn’t work, I was pushed further into the wooded area. That’s when the girls started to beat on me, knocking the breath right out of me. One after another the punches hit my face. Then I suddenly felt warmth, it was my nose, probably broken. I needed to get away so I tried to run. Carly took my foot out from underneath me. I fell with a muffled thud as I landed face first into the snow. Just as I lifted my head I felt a sharp pain on my right side, which left me gasping for air. Carly had started to kick my sides. After the initial blow I screamed as much as I could. This caused Sally and Carly to burst into a fit of laughter. Sally joined in, kicking my left ribcage in unison with Carly. The repeated blows took their toll as my ribs started to snap one by one. The pain was so intense that I saw stars and couldn’t speak. I knew I would die if I didn’t try to escape so I mustered up all the energy I had left and crawled away from them. It was a pitiful crawl, it was more or less, dragging myself a couple of inches at a time only to yelp upon exhaling. There was a clearing deeper in the woods, one all the kids would play at. I was hoping that someone, anyone would be there. Sally and Carly laughed as they followed me, they knew no one was at the clearing today because of the snow. Carly came running up with a softball bat and swung at my legs. At contact there was a disturbing crunch. Causing a gagged croak to escape my throat. She swung again and hit my left shoulder, it shattered my shoulder blade as well as it knocked my arm out of its socket. I fell back into the snow, exhausted and blinded by pain. As my vision came back into focus I watched as Carly passed the bat to Sally. She said, “You’ve known her the longest why don’t you finish her. Look right here” she pointed the end of the bat to the side of my head, “She’ll no longer be a threat. Not even Jeffrey would want a girl as messed up as her.” Sally took the bat and lifted it to the spot Carly pointed to. I plead for my life with the tears and blood that streamed from my face leaving red spots in the snow beneath me. She looked back at Carly with a hint of fear in her eyes, “Are you r-really sure about this? I don’t want her to die.” Carly snapped at Sally and yelled, “Look I already told you this is the only way. If you won’t do it, I sure as hell will. Gimme tha-... wait no, I’ll help you.” Carly’s hands wrapped around Sally’s causing Sally to squirm. Carly raised the bat and looked at me with a crooked smile that made her look deranged. Her mania was hypnotic, it froze me in fear. The last thing I saw was the bat coming down toward my face, I closed my eyes right before contact. A blood curdling “Noooooo!” erupted from Sally as my vision went black for the last time. Sally had begun to murmur to herself softly, replaying the events that just occurred. Carly looked to Sally and said, “Done. It was a piece of cake wasn’t it?” The slight sound of humor in Carly’s voice caused Sally to look at me. I hadn’t moved since that last blow. Sally said, “H-hey Carly… she hasn’t moved… I don’t think she’s breathing. We killed her what do we do?” Carly ran over and pushed me onto my back, her face went white. “Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck it wasn’t supposed to kill her. Sally come here. You grab her hands, I’ll grab her legs. We need to hide her before someone finds out.” Sally and Carly lifted my body and hid me in a big bush at the edge of the clearing in the woods before they left. A huge blizzard had come in that night and it dumped ten feet of snow on top of me. I froze to death before regaining consciousness. I was reported missing the next day. But because of the weather search parties couldn’t be deployed until the blizzard had passed. It took a week. Even after the blizzard I couldn’t be found because of the immense amount of snow and where I was hidden.
Those kids had finally found me a month after my death. Sadly enough today is valentine's day. I know Jeffrey is devastated. He lost his high school sweetheart at the hands of jealous wolves. My murderers were caught soon after. Sally couldn’t handle the guilt and turned herself in as soon as my body was discovered. Now I will be the one to protect Jeffrey, to make sure he lives life to the fullest and to never hide from his problems. He will find love again and have a great family. His first born daughter will be named in my memory. My name is Tavi and I have been found.