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Jennifer Marie Smith

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By Jennifer Marie Smith
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

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Three hundred and sixty days, or a life time, which ever comes first.


Laura’s Struggle
Her open hand lay lifelessly across crimson bed linen. The time of day was indicative to the mood as the sky’s fire slowly burned out. The attire she had chosen for this, her day of death was a simple black blouse, and a pair of black underwear. The clock on the wall ticked its way around the moon as she lay in wait. Warm sensations pulsated throughout her body as the blood slowly oozed in a river of sadness. All she could do was watch, not giving a second’s thought to the subtle voice inside telling her to call for help. She surmised, what did she have to live for anyway? If one were counting the days that she had been dead then they would have known that she had died three hundred and sixty six days ago on a cold hallway floor.
Laura was a quiet sort of girl with natural beauty and an athletic build. Her inspiration had always been famous athletes and she used to pretend she was Michael Jordan. She would often pretend on the basketball court as she came up to the hoop, ready to dunk. Hers however was lowered so that she could in fact dunk like Michael and the ball was smaller. It was all in fun though, and she did not think twice about it. Her five foot nine frame and long flowing brunette hair made her a looker no matter what she was doing. Sometimes it bothered her, the way men twice her age would gaze up and down gawking. Just the thought made her want to throw up. Usually when she came across one of these ghastly sorts she would hasten her walk to pass by more rapidly, as well as look to the ground, avoiding eye contact.
At school she was one of the cool kids. Laura was good at showing off and the boys often catered to what ever she wanted. Her teachers always described her as a good student with average grades and an inclination towards the arts. Laura was seldom late, infact, she was usually about thirty minutes early. At around eight thirty every school day Laura would come bouncing in with a glow on her face and rosy red cheeks. 
At home Laura was an all American kid. The walls of her room were plastered with American pop icons such as Justin Timberlake and Brittney Spears. Her bed spread which she had no doubt picked out was a mesh of oranges and yellows with one large flower in the center. It was no doubt a name brand, as being cool was first and foremost the number one concern. Atop her mirrored nightstand sat a jewelry box with two ballerinas’ that twirled side by side. One ballerina stood for her, the other for her sister who had died in an automobile accident two years prior.
Celia’s death had been hard on Laura and she insisted that Celia’s room be left just the way it was when she was alive. Often Laura would go into her sister’s room and talk with her, or take a nap on her bed. Sometimes she would wear one of Celia’s sweat shirts, though usually not for long. Grief would set in to remind her that no matter how Celia’s room was that she was never coming back. Life was different since that day and everything that was hard before only seemed to be ten times worse without Celia around to make light of the situation.
Twice a month Laura went to see Dr. Ross, her therapist since her sister’s accident. He was a nice gentle man with probing eyes and curly brown hair. When she had first started coming she had been infatuated with him and would often talk about serious issues just to make her session last a little longer. Usually it worked and the good doctor was sure they were making progress.
Still, there was no amount of counseling that could bring her out of the funk she was in now. If she were awake there was a constant video playing in her head of the events of that night. Desperately she had tried to turn it off, but it was no use. She would never be the same and she wanted to be with her sister.
Laura remembered the day she told her therapist what had happened! How he had chuckled under his breath and told her that making up stories to hurt people was not a good means of getting attention. At first, unable to believe what he had said she had went along with him. Then, all at once anger had taken hold of her causing her to shake uncontrollably. Laura had quit going to therapy that day. Her parents never knew.
It had been a cold day and Laura remembered the sound of the wind as it whistled through the trees. Although it was almost dusk the street lights had not come on which unnerved her a little, she had quickened her pace eager to reach home. The time on her watch said six-thirty which meant she was late and would surly hear about it when she got home. Then she had been approached by two boys that Laura had known from school. Laura had known them well and so she struck up a conversation of sorts, walking whiles all the time talking. There had been one boy on each side of her and it had actually made her feel a little more safe than she had before.
Then without warning, the boy on the right of her started yelling obscenities, calling her all sorts of names and making her feel totally stupid. She surmised this all a game and yelled right back at him. Turning her head to laugh had proved to be a mistake when something hard slammed into the back of her head making her fall to the ground. She could hear the boys laughing and taunting. Stunned and too afraid to run she had stayed put on the sidewalk hoping they had had their fun and would just leave her be.
Then the boy had picked her up by her hair and made her walk until they had reached the tall brick abandoned house. Laura had screamed as loud as she could but that was all she could do. Her sight was blurred and she walked in a drunken state, helpless to the strength of these two guys.
They had thrown her to the cold floor causing her to bite her lip. She could taste the blood as it pooled inside of her mouth. They had violently torn her clothes off of her and had raped her over and over, each taking turns. She had stopped crying after a while and just let them continue. They had assured her if she was to tell anyone that they would have killed her. Funny, the one thing on her mind was how she was going to explain to her parents how late she was. 
As she had arrived at her house that night the first thing she had noticed was all of the lights were off and no car in the drive way. Concerned that they had maybe gone looking for her she had rushed inside, being sure to lock the door. But, hanging by the phone a sticky note that read; Laura, meeting tonight and a dinner party, will be late”.
Not knowing what else to do she had showered for the next hour and put an ice pack on her bruised head, taken one of her mother’s sleeping pills and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning was business as usual and no one had mentioned the bruise on Laura’s head and so neither had she. For the next couple of weeks Laura went on as if everything was fine. She still joked with her friends, talked on the phone, flirted with the boys and all things that a teenage girl is supposed to do. However, she did not walk home anymore; as a matter of fact she did not want to be left alone period and so she surrounded herself with anyone and everyone who could keep her from thinking about what had happened.
Three months after the attack Laura had seen one of the boys that raped her getting out of the principal’s car. She saw him pat the boy on the back and shake his hand. Then she had heard him say “thanks dad”, as he disappeared into the building. This asshole was the principal’s son, so who would believed her had she said anything.
Getting the guts up to tell her therapist had been hard but she had been able to do it. Surprisingly she had not shed a single tear, as the time for crying it seemed had come and was now gone. Dr. Ross had listened and asked the name of the boys who had attacked her. When she had told him his eye brow raised and with a nod of his head had chuckled.
“You know Laura, it’s ok to admit that you messed up. Just be sure you use protection.”
He had said and dismissed her. Despite his calls Laura had not been back to Dr. Ross’s office. She withdrew, and started neglecting her appearance, wearing black and listening to heavy metal. Her bedroom stayed bright but Laura had moved into her sister’s bed room. Her parents never knew.
Laura decided that the one year anniversary was going to be it for her. She wrote out her suicide note, thanking her mother and father for all they had done to support her and telling them how much she loved them. The note had apologized for not being stronger and told them she wanted to be with her sister, and she knew they would understand. 
Laura placed the note on her sisters bed spread along with her favorite picture of Laura and her sister together. Then she had taken a single blade from her bathroom and had positioned herself across her bed, strewn like a rag doll, only her and the blade. Laura had taken her Ipod and turned the dial to her favorite Tool song. She put the head buds inside her ear canals and drifted off mentally, preparing herself to see her sister. There was never a moment’s hesitation as Laura made a cross into both of her wrist and watched as the blood ran from her arms. Slowly the world turned black and she closed her eyes.

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