Anyway, here's Part 2 of Hate. I hope you enjoy it! To see the first part click here.
You Can't Hate A Dead Girl - Part 2
My first instinct is to reach out the mirror and grab her by the shoulder, plead with her to stop. But judging from her expression, I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a very good idea. Instead, I hold my hands up above my head. “It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you. Just...calm down.”
Her mouth closes in the blink of an eye and she stares at me. Her eyes have grown to twice their normal size and beads of sweat are blossoming on her pale skin. I swallow. “It’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you,” I repeat, trying to make my voice sound as soothing as possible. It’s hard to keep the spite out of my voice. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m trying to help her, not harm her. For the first time in my life, I’m trying to be nice to Leah. “Shush...it’s ok, it’s ok...”
Slowly, the shocked look on Leah’s face disappears and she leans in closer to the mirror. Her face is still deathly pale, and her eyes are darting over me, inspecting me. I have the sudden urge to cover up, to shield my body from her penetrating gaze. I realise I don’t know what I’m wearing. Am I wearing anything? I glance down and sigh inwardly. I’m wearing the clothes I died in, but thankfully, they’re not stained with blood.
“You-You’re meant to be dead.” Leah’s voice wavers and I look her in the eye.
Leah gulps and runs her fingertips over her skinny wrist. “I’m hallucinating, aren’t I. I’m having a nightmare.”
“No. No, you’re not. I’m here, really here. I need to tell you something.”
“If you’re going to insult me, I’d rather we waited until we were both dead, ok? It’s not going to be much longer for me.” Her fingers trace the scars on her wrists and I have to stop myself from shouting at her to stop. But it’s her decision. If she wants to kill herself, that’s up to her. All I hope is that with me gone, she can be a bit happier.
“I’m not here to insult you.” I cross my arms over my chest, overly aware of how small Leah’s is. “I’m here to apologise.”
Leah raises her eyebrows. “I must be dreaming.”
I shake my head. “If you were hallucinating, wouldn’t you hallucinate about something a bit more whacky? A bit more colourful? Like a Chinese dragon wearing a tutu?”
Leah opens her mouth to reply and then shuts it again. “But you’re...you’re Madison. You never apologise. To anyone.”
“Yeah, well, dying changes a person.”
Leah nods and pauses. “You’re real. You’re actually here, in my bedroom.”
Leah gulps again and sits her hands in her lap. “You don’t have to apologise you know. All those things you said were true. I am ugly. I am disgusting. I am a freak. You weren’t teasing me. You were telling me the truth.”
I sigh and let my arms droop to my sides. “Look, Leah, I’m apologising for insulting you and for laughing at you and for hitting you and for all the other crappy things I’ve done. I was - no, I still am- a shit person. I know I am. Which is why I need you.”
“Why do you need me?”
I take a deep breath and remind myself who I am. I’m Madison. I’m not a martyr or a saint. I’m a girl, and a horrible one at that. I lean forward. “Leah, you of all people know that I’m a bitch.”
Leah looks terrified for a moment and then, figuring that I can’t hurt her through a mirror, nods.
“Right. I’m a terrible, horrible person. But all those people going to my funeral have forgotten that. I need you to remind them.”
Leah’s face crumples. “You want to go down in history as a scumbag?”
“Yeah. I was fake in life, pretending to be all perfect - I don’t want to be fake in death as well. You’re the only person that can help me. I need to you to gather up as many people as you can and bring them to my funeral. Show your scars. Tell them what I did to you. Make them hate a dead girl.”
Leah furrows her brow and flicks a strand of hair from her eyes. “Why should I help you?”
I was dreading this question. “Do you know how I died?”
Leah pauses and shakes her head.
“I died chasing a girl across a road, with the intention of hurting her. A bus came along, and neither of us saw it. She was hit instantly, and I died later in hospital with two punctured lungs and a ruptured liver. I died being a bitch - she died being a victim. You want to know how many people went to her funeral? Twenty. You want to know how many people are going to mine? Over one hundred. That’s why I want your help,
Leah. I want people to see me for what I am, for what I died being. For the first time in my whole life, I’m trying to say sorry. This is my way of apologising. That, and this is your first and last chance to rub metaphorical dirt in my eyes. So are we on?”
Leah bites her lip and rubs her scars even more furiously. The urge to say something horrible is rising in me again, but I push it down. “I-I don’t know...”
“I don’t know? Come on! This is your chance to be mean to me! I want to be hated, and I want you to do it - this is a shocking privilege. Plus, I’ll be your guardian angel.”
“Naw, probably not. Just come on. If not for me, for that girl.”
Something in her eyes sparks. Leah swallows and takes a deep breath. Her tiny chest rises and falls, and I can see her ribs through her dress, ridges breaking the soft fabric. Her hands cross over her lap and she closes her eyes. I know even before she opens her mouth what she’ll say. After all, the enemy of your enemy is your friend, or so the proverb goes. “Ok.”
I fist pump the air and grin. “Thanks a bundle. Ok, go and gather everyone you know who doesn’t like me. You’ll find quite a lot of them hiding in computer labs and stuff - just look for the non-popular kids. Gather them up and take them to the funeral. Stand up halfway through and just talk. Get people to tell their story and get the crowd into a frenzy. People will object, but it doesn’t matter. Just keep talking. Get the hate, the anger flowing. Not only will it help me, but trust me - you’ll feel better after ranting about me. Point out my pitfalls and my faults. Tell people I deserved to die. Tell everyone to hate me. Make them hate a dead girl.”
Leah nods. “Are you sure about this?”
There’s silence for a few minutes until Leah raises her head. “I’d better get going if I’m to get all those people.”
I nod. “I guess so. Thanks, by the way.”
Leah doesn’t bother to nod back, and she stands up and walks to the door. Just as puts her hand on the wood, she stops. “Why me?”
“Because I figured you of all people hate me. It seemed fitting for you to persuade everyone else.”
“Ok.” Leah sweeps some hair out of her eyes and, with a parting nod, she walks out the door. Her footsteps get quieter and quieter as she disappears down the hall, and I feel myself relax. I did it. I can leave now. I can float away. I close my eyes and smile. I feel a bit better about myself. A bit happier. I’m trapped in the mirror, but not for much longer. I can finally let go. I can feel the waves of death washing over me, inviting me to swim in the frothing white ocean. The waves are lapping over my toes, my legs, my belly. It won’t be long now. I relax further into the air and wait. I did it. I finally managed it. Maybe now, I won’t be haunted by guilt, or at least, the people I hurt will feel better about themselves. Maybe Leah will stop cutting and start eating again. I smile, just as I feel my mind drift away.
Hating a live girl is easy. Hating a dead one is hard. And persuading people to hate a dead girl, well...I died trying.