But I have been writing A LOT. This both scares and excites. I'm supposed to be editing and I keep letting the voices in my head take over.
Which is seriously not good. I need to edit, edit, edit, edit. So because I need to get in to the editing mood, here's the new beginning to Mirror, Mirror.
We can run away together.
Low's words played over and over in my head, as I tried to cover up my black eye. He always thought he had the solution to everything. But the truth was he didn't.
You needed a problem to have a solution, and there wasn't a problem. I was happy where I was. Low didn't see that. He didn't want to see that.
That was his problem, though, not mine.
Knock, knock, knock. "Ken, you in there?"
Candi. She didn't need to see me like this, all bruised and broken.
I prayed to God that the concealer was enough to hide my mistakes, and opened the door.
Candi was all brown eyes and a giant smile.
"There you are," she said, "I've been looking all over for you."
"I just needed to freshen up," I replied, my lips pulling up at the corners. It didn't quite touch my eyes. You could cover up a black eye, but you couldn't cover up pain.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Kendall." Her voice was firm and motherly, even though she was only a year older than me.
I tucked one of her long, thick braids behind her ear. "You look beautiful tonight."
"Don't try to change the subject," she said.
"But you do look beautiful." Candi was the type of girl to wear baggy jeans and T-shirts that drowned out her figure. But tonight she was wearing a white dress.
It flowed to her knees and clung to her waist like a glove. She looked like an angel. My guardian angel. Nothing got past her.
"Did Kip hit you?" Her coffee bean eyes, grew darker, more serious.
"It was my fault," I breathed.
"Oh, Ken." She pulled me into her arms, but I didn't want comfort. I didn't need it. If people would just let me, I could be strong.
"I'm fine." I held her at arms length, and I could tell she didn't believe me.
"Nothing is your fault." Candi picked up the roll of toilet paper, and tore a piece off.
"Everything is my fault. I ruin everything."
She didn't agree to that, but she didn't disagree either.
"Kip doesn't have a right to hit you." She started dabbing at my eye.
I kept my mouth shut. Candi didn't understand. She would never understand.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"You caked way too much of this junk on your face. It looks unnatural."
"It looks better than what's underneath."
"No matter how hard you try, you're not going to be able to hide this."
"It hurts," I said, tears stinging my eyes. She tried patting it lightly, but the pain wasn't there, it was in my heart.
"I wish you'd tell me what happened."
I didn't mean to cry, but I couldn't contain the rain any longer. Candi stood there looking at me, knowing that all I needed was my space. I didn't need her comfort, but I needed her. She stood there looking at me, all the comfort she could give me in her eyes.
When the storm was over, she made me wash my face. I could feel the water washing over my cheeks, my closed eyelids, but the paths my tears had traveled were still there. I could feel them. They were engraved in my skin. They were yet another thing I couldn't make go away.
I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. My reflection was so ugly. I looked so weak.
Candi gripped my shoulders and turned me around, so I was facing her.
"You're not ugly. And you're not weak."
"I didn't realize I was voicing my thoughts," I said.
"You weren't. I can see it on your face. Don't let Kip turn you into this."
"Kip's not turning me into anything."
Her eyes looked glossy in the bathroom light, but she didn't say anything. She picked up the concealer, and started to lightly apply more. When she was done, she fixed my bangs so that it covered my eye.
"There, that looks better," she said, softly.
It did look better. The bruise was completely covered up, but I could see it. I would always see it. Every time I looked at my reflection, every time I looked at Kip.
"You look beautiful tonight," Candi said, leaning her head on my shoulder.
"You're just saying that to make me feel better."
"No, I'm not. Besides, I think Low would say the same thing once he sees you."
I shrugged away from her.
She sighed,"Low is a nice guy. You should give him a chance."
"He's not my type," I muttered.
"And Kip is?" Candi asked, bitterly.
I didn't answer her. She took that as yes. Kip was my type. He would always be my type.