Between the hours of 3:30pm and 6:30pm was the only time Spencer had the house all to herself. It was her alone time. Her favourite time.
Her old modernized Victorian house was still. The only noise was the faint blowing air from the air conditioner, the ticking of the tall black grandfather clock, and the muffled sound of alternative rock coming from Spencer’s headphones. Spencer was working on a painting in the family den. If it can even be classified as a den. It was more of a lounge. Spencer’s mother had converted their second floor veranda into an all seasons parlor. 3 of the 4 walls were completely made of glass, the wall without glass was painted a light metallic grey. There was a black bar table directly in front of the wall. Silver lights hung over creating a glow on the marble counter top. Behind the bar was a fully stocked wine cooler, a mini fridge, a tea cabinet (Spencer was the only one who used it.), a kettle, shelves with every type of glass imaginable, and a mounted bottle opener. The inside of the bar has a large, fully stocked liquor selection, along with tins of cookies and drink mixes. There were two couches adjacent to each other in the far left corner of the room. They were both positioned to face the flat screen TV that hung from the ceiling. There was a circular glass coffee table in between the couches and the TV. Spencer had her art supplies set up upon it. An air hockey table was against the glass on the right side of the room. Spencer sucked at air hockey, she could never get the hang of protecting her net. It didn’t really bother her anymore, her other siblings had moved out of the house, so there was no one to play with regardless.
Spencer was deeply focused on her current painting. Spencer’s art skills work in mysterious ways. She never seems to know what she’s creating while she’s painting it. It’s like her brushes do it for her. She just sets everything up, puts her headphones on, and starts daydreaming. The brush has full control. Every stroke. Every colour. It’s a surprise that waits until the very end to reveal itself. By the time her playlist ends, Spencer finds herself with a new completed painting. Always unexpected, and completely unique. She added the last touch and took off her headphones to explore what was before her. It was a picture of an elephant on its hind legs and its head to the sky. Water was spewing from its trunk like a fountain, the backdrop was a land with tall trees and bright flowers. It was blended together so beautifully that Spencer actually felt a small amount of pride.
Spencer heard someone come through the front door. It must be her mother. She grabbed her painting and went downstairs to greet her.
Spencer turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs to find her mother setting her purse down on the kitchen counter.
“Hey mom.” Spencer said quietly. She didn’t want to scare her mother by sneaking up on her.
“Ah, Spencer, how was your day?” Spencer’s mother said cheerfully as she turned around to face her. Spencer’s mother was dressed in a beautiful, professional looking, royal blue dress. Her chocolate hair was twisted into a bun. She had a simple silver necklace with a star shaped pendant on around her neck. There were small diamond studs that brightened her ears. Her lips were full and coated with a subtle pink lipstick. Her eyes matched her hair perfectly. Two mahogany circles framed with mascara and eyeliner, and accented with a hint of silver eyeshadow. Overall udderly radiant. She definitely did not look her age. A fact she loved to hear.
“My day was…good, I guess.” Spencer said hesitantly.
“That’s good.” Spencer’s mom said. She clearly hadn’t noticed that Spencer was lying. Or maybe she did, and chose to ignore it.
“My day was so long, I had two cases today that we’re basically the same thing.” She explained, as she walked over the the cabinets.
“Two people suing their former employers for wrongful termination.” She grabbed a small glass and walked over to the sink.
“I won them both so easily, I should get a medal, or a raise.” She said boastingly.
Spencer’s mother was a lawyer, a seriously extraordinarily lawyer. She graduated at the top of her class at Queen’s University. Only furthering Spencer’s belief that her mother was better in every way Spencer was not.
“That’s….good mom.” Spencer said sheepishly. “I’m gonna go to my room.” She was always uncomfortable around her mother. She always felt inadequate. She needed to get away from her.
“Ok, dinner will be ready at 7.” Spencer’s mother announced. Spencer’s mom never pushed her to stay. It would end badly for everyone involved. Either with an abundance of screaming, or deafening silence. Spencer’s mother didn’t want to be a trigger for her daughter, anymore than she already was. Spencer noticed the look of pity in her mother’s eyes. It pierced her flesh like a bullet. Critical hit. It knocked her back, and out of the room.
“I’m sorry.” Spencer whispered as she ran up the stairs to her room. Her thoughts drilled holes into her brain, causing her to tune out the rest of the world.
Once Spencer reached her bedroom she threw herself into her bed forcefully. While falling she accidentally smacked her elbow on her bedside table.
“Ah, crap!” She whined. She cradled her soon to be bruised elbow with her other arm.
“Oh no, how big is that mark going to be?” The voices consumed the pain and stole the focus completely. “Go look in the mirror! People will see it! Don’t make it worse for yourself! You’ll embarrass us!”
“Okay!” Spencer cried. She got off the bed still cradling her arm. She moved slowly and carefully. Making sure she didn’t trip and hurt herself yet again.
The last few steps to the mirror were the hardest. Fear shook Spencer’s knees, trying to forcibly buckle them.
“Do it! Don’t do it!” The voices were screaming at her, she’d conflicted them.
“Great.” Spencer said quietly. “Now my voices are fighting each other.”
She tried to shake the nerves, but they only built. Spencer reached her good arm out and grabbed a handful of the cotton sheet that stood between her and her reflection. A thin layer of dust covered the linen. Spencer took some calming breaths and closed her eyes. She pulled the sheet. It fell to the ground with a soft thud that caused Spencer to cringe.
“OPEN YOUR EYES YOU COWARD! Why is this so hard for you!” The voices were filling her mind with a vicious force.
“Count of 3!”
“No, please no!” Spencer whimpered.
“I’m not ready!” She begged.
And against her will, the voices yanked her eyes open. Spencer was faced with her cold, hard reflection.
Spencer stared into her own warm chestnut eyes. To her, they resembled rotting wood. With every glance showing their inner destruction that lies just below the surface. Her dirty blonde hair was messy and curled; it does that naturally. She despised it.
The person staring back at her was practically unknown. This person was shattered and smashed. Her mouth looked as though it was carved into a permanent frown. A frown that the rest of the face seemed to grow around. She saw her hair as the weeds she could not control; so she stopped trying.
Her body was not her own. Someone stole it and returned it with permanent scars. She was covered in scars from head to toe. Only, no one else could see them. To the world she bared no marks. Her psyche had created them. Only she could see what the scars said.
The one on her wrist said “UnNatural.” In fine print. Her neck had “Loser, freak, nobody, screw up, and useless.” Scribbled across it. The biggest and most prominent word was “Coward.” Stamped on her forehead. Every inch of her body had countless words engraved in her flesh. Their blood coloured ink hid the skin underneath.
Spencer desperately wanted to look away knowing nothing good could come from continuing her agony. Still, she needed to check her elbow. Spencer turned her left arm inward to reveal a raised red spot covering the curve of her arm. It had already started to swell. “Ice.” Spencer thought. “Put ice on it or it will get worse.”
“Okay.” Spencer replied to her thoughts. “Ice.”
Before turning away from her mirror Spencer took one last look at her body. To others she would be considered average. She wasn’t thin, but she wasn’t big either. She was somewhere in the middle. Her average persona actually benefited the whole obscurity thing she aimed for. She was nothing special. Her looks wouldn’t make boys stop in their tracks, not that she cared. The last thing Spencer wanted was a relationship. That was actually her worst nightmare. How could she love someone else when she didn’t even love herself? No. She was not interested in that kind of pressure whatsoever.
“Alright that’s enough, put the mirror away, please.” Spencer thought. She bent down and collected the sheet. With one wave of her arms she covered the foreign reflection. Once again, she found a strange peace with refusing to acknowledge that, that person existed.
Spencer left her room and made her way down to the kitchen. She was in search of ice to relieve her pain. Well… Her physical pain at least.