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Nicole Allen


there’s this,
kind of light, kind of far away.
where am I? Who am I?

I am Evelyn. I remember now. I remember it all.

So it’s just a Thursday, y’know, your average sort of Thursday; grey, miserable and cold. It’s October, right? No… early November. The sixth. I’m on the balcony with Emilia, talking about Josh Layter.

“You think he’s fit, don’t you? The Layternator?” says Emii, glancing at me over her studded mirror.

I shrug uncomfortably and shake my red hair out of my eyes. I’ve recently had it styled all spiky, but all it does is get in my face and make me look stupid. Truth is, I wanted it to look like Emii’s; y’know, really cool. I only had it done coz of her. Though I could say that about a lot of things. Sometimes I used to think too many.

“Everyone thinks he’s fit”, she comments. I remember distinctly a small, somehow confident snap. Looking up, the mirror is gone, and now she’s peering at her ruby nails like she doesn’t know she is, talking as if she’s reading from a script or something. “But he only dates pretty girls. No hope for me!”

I mutter under my breath and a desperate kind of look comes into her eyes. “I said you’re stupid if you don’t think you’re pretty. And I know you’re not stupid; you’re in top sets at school and you got an A* last week in that English test.”
“Thanks,” she says seriously, before pulling out her hairbrush, “really, Ev… thanks.”

Those were the moments I was friends with Emilia for; the real ones. Sure, her grades were good, but her image meant everything to her; so keeping it up was a full-time job. When I’d skipped an exam once to take her home because she’d skived and got drunk, I remember her mum saying something. I was good for her. Good for her, a positive influence, her own personal guardian angel. I guess she did seem more real when we were alone; maybe I even brought out the best in her. I like to think that.

And she wasn’t such a bad friend either, under all that make-up. It wasn’t her fault; we’re all under pressure, aren’t we? Everyone needs an angel in their life, don’t they?

After that conversation, Emilia had started one of her routine modesty tactics, the OMG-I’m-So-Not-Popular-You-Totally-Are, also covering the bright We-Should-Hang-Out-More and You-Should-Totes-Get-A-Boyfriend pep talks.

Funny thing is; Emilia’s words were the same as they always had been. “You’re popular. You’re pretty. You just can’t see it, babe”.
But for some reason, they stuck in my head all day, and a full two days later I was still thinking about them.

It’s the weekend, Saturday night. And I’m sitting watching reality TV. Why does my life suck so much? Apparently, Emii must’ve recalled our conversation, too, even though 48 hours is about a month and several boyfriends for her.  She had probably been thinking the same depressing thing, because suddenly a tingly monotone tune buzzes out of my phone. I snatch it up.
Her text reads: Heyy do u wanna come 2 prty 2nite? 24 Lake Lane @ 10

A party? I almost laugh, picturing a muddle of geeks all awkwardly standing in a boiling hot room with a blasting stereo, silently sipping non-alcoholic cocktails. That’s the sort of party I’d get invited to. For the second time, my phone sounds. No freaks, she clarifies.

So it’s 10:22 and we no longer look like ourselves. Well, Emii could probably pass for herself given what she usually looks and dresses like. But I look like some sort of poser that has pushed me out of the mirror and taken my place. Not like Evelyn. Definitely not the weird girl with the hair. Now I’m; loads of make-up, hair clipped up and one of Em’s bang on trend dresses. I’m nervous.

11:05. Emilia’s making out with Josh Layter in the corner and has been for, I don’t know how long. My phone battery’s dead. Guess I’m walking home.

11:13. So this guy called Nile was chatting to me, but he left, like, a minute ago. Also, Drake; the guy whose house this is, is handing out drinks. I don’t know what’s in them.

11:23. The police have turned up about the noise and are asking for IDs. I’m sensing it’s my time to leave. Drake looks really shifty about those drinks and I’ve had three already. Plus, it’s getting really hot in here.

I didn’t realise then. I didn’t put two and two together. It’s pointless now, but I can’t help wishing I had, while there was time.

11:31. Walking home. Still a bit hot, though. It’s November, weird that. 11:48. Getting kind of scared. Well, yeah, a bit about being alone and it’s dark and I guess I do look pretty bad, but mostly about why I feel so faint. I need a tablet or something. 11:58. I can see next-door’s early Christmas lights I think. But I’m nowhere near home. 11:59. What, what’s happening? I can’t see a thing. And it’s still so, so hot.

00:00. There’s, there’s this, kind of light, kind of far away. And, where am I? Who am I? I am no longer Evelyn. I remember now. I am Angel now.


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