(half-inspired from a song, Way Back Home by SHAUN and the remaining: a true story from my closest friend.)

“Here I stand, was proud in my own feet then trembling legs had almost let me fall several times. Hoping an empathetic line was said.” – ENFJ, the melancholic jokester and dreamer.

It is cited from an old friend of mine; struggling with self-confidence and strength inside her big heart. Previously a very bright and positive person, she almost forgot how to smile and laugh. An excellent learner, happy virus of the era, most positive person, suddenly disappeared. Gloom took over her eye smiles, thunderstorms raged like crazy, she said.

Being beautiful inside out, she was really loved by everyone. She is still close to me, sharing her stories and feelings. A few days later, I found her with a razor blade and red legs, covered with her post-depression tears. I asked her what had happened to her and she just fainted.

After being hospitalized for a few days, she told me that it all started with being catcalled, wolf-whistled, and the worst; stalked and sexually harassed by a stranger. Her bangs were hanging low, eyes started to water, limbs weakened; she lost her strength.

I saw it in my dream that he covers my aura, replaces yellow with purple. I thought it was just a dream caused by stress, but yeah, she said.

Waking up traumatized, she trembled hard after a male nurse passed by. Her lips went pale, her hands lost their heat and her heartbeat paced a bit too fast. She had indeed reached the palest moment ever. Her jaw slowly regained its sanity and got back to normal.

She once said:

This is the lowest key moment in life. I expected high school to be one, but this reached the limit. It was just the worst memory, ever.

Her grades dropped, along with her confidence. Blowing up the cover, she revealed the truth to her loved ones. It was a huge shock to her family and I was there patting her back to bring her braveness back. A fire burned through the family, determined to elevate the harassment to the police, at least.
A few days later, we parted. I went back to the city, she stayed with her family. Saying goodbye was not our forte. Waving with traces of tears, she walked back to her room. My phone broke, I went home hoping that she was doing things right.

Two weeks passed, she barely contacted me, asked me to comfort her, even sent memes, or joked about her studies or classmates. I ended up calling her. Yes, she said.

‘How are you doing these days? Do your grades dropped as hard as Yellow Claw’s arrangements?’ I asked.

‘I am doing things great. Yes, grades love to ride rollercoasters. As much as you do too,’ she answered.

‘Well great! Eat well mate, pale lips does not suit you. Did you—‘ the call had been cut.

It snapped.

Hours later, she called me back. She sounded really mad as if a Maserati went down to a dead-end street. One hour spitting fire of anger, I finally felt relieved to hear her voice again, but a thing sounded off that day. Maybe she caught a cold, or she forgot to drink water regularly as usual, or shouted fan chants too hard in a concert, I thought. I slowly answered her and changed the mode into video call.

I was shocked to see the new face; full makeup face, polished nails, blue contact lenses, choker—her least favorable accessories before—black sweater that completed her whole look.

Is this really her?
Did the incident hit her like a truck?

‘What happened really?’
‘She went back,’
‘Are you…her twin?’
‘Yes, I am. She left you a journal here. I wonder what she left for you. By the way, she went back just yesterday. Please meet me at the fifth station, with this kind of outfit,’
‘Thanks. When will it happen?’
‘Today’s at 5, sharp. Bring your backpack too,’

Long story short, we met at the station. The twin drove us to their home. Arrived safely after 30 minutes long, she handed few things; her twin’s glasses, journal, rose scrapbook, mirror and denim jacket. I started to read her journal from the back. Then, a feather flew from the book, bleached-maroon one.

“Actually, I wanted to eat well, but I could not. I wanted to talk more, but I could not. I also wanted to voice out the truth, but I just could not. Let me work this on my own, I will let you join later, if everything has been settled well.

I felt wrong to be angry. I wished someone could stand with me together, fight for the best grades and foods, walk together to be great doctors, and meet later as really successful sisters. No matter what I do, he would always bring me back to reality. Thanks for these 24 years, make your parents proud of you. I will always guard you with my wings. I will always be all ears for you.

Here I stand, was proud in my own feet then trembling legs had almost let me fall several times. Hoping at least an empathetic line was said.

[Florence Ivanny Victoria]