Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #4

A few weeks later, I sat waiting for my friends in the school cafeteria. It was unusual for Katie and me to arrive there separately. When I searched for her in her classroom, she’d already left. I scanned the room, making sure I had a view of all the entrances, yet neither Katie nor any of my other friends walked through any of them. Suddenly Kasey appeared – we made eye contact, and I warmly waved at her.

Recently, I spent afternoons at her house working on our school project. Unexpectedly, she’d become a great friend of mine, even though we barely spoke to each other at school.
At most, we would acknowledge each other. However, we would speak over the phone regularly, and through this, we got to know each other better – which made me realize that Kasey was not like how we thought she’d be at all!


Katie and the rest of my friends found this new acquaintanceship super weird. They would readily make remarks whenever I would greet Kasey. Once, when Katie was feeling especially mean, she made snarky comments about our friendship – of course, I simply laughed it off. I knew she wouldn’t mean them, but the insults became annoyingly unbearable, and I tried to avoid bumping into Kasey whenever I was with my friends.


The cafeteria became a bit noisier. I looked over my shoulder to see Katie and our group of friends laughing as they made their way towards me. Katie’s face sobered up as soon as she saw me.


“Hey”


“Hi, where have you been?”


“Around,” Katie answered vaguely. She shared a look and a giggle with our friends sitting at the table.


“Around? What’s that supposed to mean?” I was confused about why they were leaving me out all of a sudden.


Katie looked at me whilst rolling her eyes. “I mean around, Emma. Do you really need to know everything?”


I was taken aback by how harsh her tone was. “Everything? I literally just asked one question, Katie, it’s not such a big deal.”


She scoffed. “I swear ever since you started hanging out with Fatty K you have been acting so weird! I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


“What are you even talking about? I don’t hang out with her.”

“Are you serious, right now,” her bitter laugh made me freeze. I started feeling queasy, fidgeting with my fingers. Katie had a blank look on her face, completely unreadable, which made me feel threatened. “Come on, Emma. We have all seen how you greet her in the hallways, even now you waved to her.”
Around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”

Looking around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”


Stunned, I felt the room spinning around me. Not saying anything – unable to find the words, Katie and the rest of the table broke out into a fit of laughter. I gulped nervously, feeling uncomfortable as they laughed at me. I could feel the blood rush to my ears as tears welled up in my eyes. My throat was closing up, making it hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t stay there any longer – I had to escape – but I couldn’t move at all. It was like I had lost complete control over my body…

What was wrong with me? Why did I just sit there like an idiot? Why didn’t I just deny it? That would have been better than to have them laugh at me.


Katie steadied herself, “well this is rich. Our little Emma is all grown up and making friends with our school’s resident Fatty.” She checked her wristwatch, putting her arm around my shoulder. Leaning in too-close-for-comfort to my ear. She whispered, with a hot breath that sent shivers down my spine, “I really think you should see what’s about to happen next. I think it’ll put you back on the right path.”


Unable to look at her, she tucked my hair behind my ear. Once she finished speaking, a commotion started on the other side of the cafeteria, right where Kasey sat. I looked up just in time to see a tray of lasagna thrown on her head. I swear I gasped, but it was lost in the raucous laughter erupting in the cafeteria. Kasey stood up to defend herself – her protests were silenced with a yoghurt cup thrown at her face.


“Go ahead, Em. Go defend your friend, she looks like she needs your help,” Katie said loudly standing up from next to me, making me look up at her. She looked at me with such malice in her eyes that made me feel so intimidated – it made me feel so small. I wanted to stand up, I really did. But I was frozen to my spot. I was scared that if I moved right then, everyone that was throwing food at Kasey would turn their attack on me in an instant.


A high pitched scream.


It was Kasey’s last warning for them to stop… and everyone did. Until Katie walked towards her at an agonizingly slow pace. Picking up a can of soda, she opened it – the slow fizz of the can synonymous with the cocking of a gun – and poured all the contents over Kasey’s head. Katie’s speciality.


My heart sank to the ground as I made eye contact with Kasey. Her entire face was covered in food, but I could easily see the humiliation on her face. But nothing stung more than her look of sheer disappointment directed at me. Kasey’s glassy eyes were the last thing I saw before she ran out of the cafeteria, fiercely pushing through the crowd that shattered the silence with a piercing, mocking laughter.


Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #3

Kasey was nicer than I thought… she wasn’t at all how we made her out to be.

To read the previous chapter of Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer, click here. Enjoy!

Taken by @aaronburden. Courtesy of Unsplash.com

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Kasey’s house the next day was how different her house was to mine.

The smell of homemade cookies filled my nostrils as soon as I stepped into her house. It made my mouth water and gave me a warm feeling in my stomach.

The décor itself was a complete contrast to ours; our house was decorated with a modernized style, everything in Kasey’s house screamed antique. From the furniture to the colour of the wallpaper. Now this wasn’t necessarily bad, in fact her house looked so cosy that I felt more at home in the first five minutes there than I ever had in my own house.

black and white table lamp on brown wooden table
Taken by @davexmit. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


Kasey’s mother was not at all how I expected her to be either. She was a petite lady that wore glasses with a frame that seemed too small for her face, and she was one of the kindest people I had ever met (to date). She greeted me with the most welcoming, and contagious, smile.

I followed Kasey up to her room after her mom chased us up with a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. When I stepped into her room, I nearly did a double take seeing a poster of one of my favourite bands taped to her wall.

“You listen to The Gray?” I asked her, deeply perplexed at never having met anyone who liked their music or who even listened to them.

“Of course,” she replied, motioning for me to take a seat at her desk. “They’re one of my favourite bands. Why do you ask?”

“It’s surprising, that’s all.”

“Why? Because you didn’t think someone like me would listen to a band like them?” Kasey questions, accusingly.

“What? No, it’s not like that.” I replied, a bit flustered. She didn’t say anything in return, instead she motioned for us to start working, which we did, in an awkward silence.

We worked for about two hours before deciding to take a break. I sat back in the desk chair and replied to a text I got from Katie.

silver MacBook on gray textile
Taken by @mialiamani. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


are you at fatty k’s? She had texted me. I looked at Kasey who was eating a cookie, her attention focused on her phone screen.

Yeah. I replied. Katie’s response came no longer than a minute later.

don’t forget to dig up some dirt on her!

Not knowing how to reply, I locked my phone and looked at Kasey, who’s eating her second cookie. I pulled a grossed out face.

“Do you know how many Carbs are in one chocolate chip cookie?”

“I don’t know and I do not need to know,” she answered, matter-of-factly. She pushes the plate of cookies towards me. “But I do know that you should have one of these.”

Reluctantly, I took one and broke it in half before placing a small piece into my mouth. My eyes widened.

plate of four chocolate cookies
Taken by @picoftasty. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


“It’s good, right?” Kasey asks and I find myself nodding, while eating another piece. “See, there’s much more to life than the amount of carbs that are in one chocolate chip cookie.” She jokes and I find myself laughing…

Unknowingly, I started to let my guard down. Kasey was nicer than I thought she’d be and after only thirty minutes of talking to her I felt more comfortable around her than my own friends. She wasn’t at all how we made her out to be.

After rolling in laughter for a while I asked, “Why are you being nice to me?” A silent, yet warm, cloud fallen over us.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Personally, I think you’re really cool. And honestly speaking, I don’t think you’re truly like Katie and the others.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know, I’ll let you figure that out.”

She refrained from saying anything else. That night, as I lay in my bed, her words replayed in my head and so did some of my memories with my friends.

For some reason, those few words made me question all my friendships.

To be continued…

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#SHADY: What Does It Mean To Be A Mother?

What does it mean to be a mother ?

I stared at the presentation topic in confusion. I understood that they wanted to be creative with mother’s day nearing but this topic made no sense at all.

Firstly, what would we, as high school kids, know about being a mother? Secondly, how was this topic even applied to us? Lastly, with the amount of research we’ll be able to find, all of our presentations won’t last longer than one minute – maximum. With that being said, why is it even an option?

Yet, Mr Atticker gave us a week to compile research and come up with the perfect presentation for our mid-year marks. My mind was blocked, I had no idea where to begin.

My dad picked me up from school that day and I told him all about the presentation. “In your opinion, what does it mean to be a mother?” I asked. He took his time thinking about it whilst focusing on the road. After a moment, he replied, “Well, that’s easy isn’t it? Being a mother means caring for your children and being there when they need you.”

Credit: Unsplash / Annie Spratt

I thought about his answer for a long time after I got home. Was the answer really that simple? Was I overthinking the entire topic? Should his answer be the main idea of my presentation?

I don’t know.

When I came down from my room later that night, Mom was in the kitchen preparing dinner, still wearing her office attire. I stood at the kitchen island watching her manage the oven, the stove and cutting up vegetables at the same time. She greeted me with a tired smile when she noticed me.

Sam, my little brother, ran to the kitchen calling for her, “Mom! I need help with my homework!”

“Just a second,” she replied before taste testing her stew on the stove. She turned to me with a sheepish smile. “Honey, you don’t mind watching the food while I help your brother do you?” I nodded and took over cutting the vegetables as she ran to help my brother. I sighed, deep in thought. I wished there was something more I could do than help my mom with the food preparations. She’s always so tired when she gets home from work, yet she still cooks and helps us with our homework without any complaints.

I was so deep in thought that I almost didn’t notice the knife cutting my finger. I winced loudly and dropped the knife, bringing my finger to my face to examine it. Mom immediately ran into the kitchen and when she saw my bloody finger, she made a face.

She hurried and got the first aid kit from the bathroom before examining my finger herself. “You should’ve been more careful,” she said and placed a plaster around my finger. “I’m sorry,” I said, but she shook her head.

“Don’t worry, it’s okay. As long as it doesn’t hurt a lot,” Mom smiled at me and it suddenly hit me.

That night, after dinner, I sat at my desk and stared at the presentation topic again.

What does it mean to be a mother?

Credit: Unsplash / Jonatas Domingos

I picked up my pen and began writing.

To be a mother means being a superhero.

When our entire world turns dark they are always there for us. They are the light that helps us see again. They were there for us on our first day of school, and waited for us with a delicious lunch when we got home. They are always there when we feel like we’re on the verge of a mental breakdown, they provide the shoulder for us to cry on.

Plus, they always give the best advice and have our best interests at heart. Mothers care for us and protect us even if it means that they get hurt in the process.

Yet, we take all those things for granted.

Honestly, we will never really know the true meaning of motherhood until we experience it ourselves, and therefore we should cherish and appreciate our mothers even more. This mother’s day is the perfect day to do so.

Thanks for reading!

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#STORYTIME: Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer: Chapter 2

If mom knew Kasey was my partner, she’d probably have thrown a fit and rushed to my school the next day to complain and demand me a new partner. Which I guess wouldn’t have been that bad… but it’d sure have been embarrassing.

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Read Chapter 1 of ‘Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer’ here.

When I got home after cheerleading practice the next day, I found my mom in the lounge working out. The furniture was moved aside to create an open space at the centre of the room. An old work out video played on the television and she effortlessly followed the instructor whilst looking over at me. 

“Hey, honey,” she greeted. I smiled politely and proceeded to make my way through the lounge towards my room. 

All I wanted to do was fall back onto my bed and stay there for the rest of the day, especially after the crucial practice Katie put us through. Mom, however, stopped me before I even reached the stairs. “Emma I think you should grab a yoga mat and join in,” I tried hard not to roll my eyes at her disapproving tone. “That cheerleading uniform seems a bit too tight.”

Instead of retorting, which I really wanted to do, I did as I was told and placed a yoga mat right next to her. I quickly got into the same position as her and just fell in with the work out.

“I heard from Katie’s mom that you guys got a project today, but you and Katie aren’t partners?” 

Mom’s laser-like eyes were focused on me and yet she never even wavered in the workout position she was in. I, on the other hand, could feel my arms and my legs wobbling.

“Yes, we couldn’t choose our own partners.”

“Well, then who’s your partner?”

“Just this new girl,” I lied. 

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If mom knew Kasey was my partner, she’d probably have thrown a fit and rushed to my school the next day to complain and demand me a new partner. Which I guess wouldn’t have been that bad… but it’d sure have been embarrassing.

Besides that, Katie thought that the project would be a great advantage to get some leverage over Kasey, I obviously couldn’t have agreed more but I was a bit anxious about how I was going to get said leverage.

“Oh, okay,” mom said and got up from the yoga mat to switch off the workout video. I stood up myself, trying hard to catch my breath before she noticed I was panting. She gave me a once over before walking towards the kitchen. “Dinner will be ready in an hour.” 

When she finally left, I felt like I could breath again. My phone went off with a notification and I checked it to see a text from none other than Kasey, herself.

Image from medium.com

I sighed when I saw her name was changed from Kasey to Fatty K. Katie must have done it. I made my way to my room while checking the message.

If you’re free we should start with the project tomorrow. I could go to your house or you come to mine?

I closed my room door, fell onto my bed and replied.

Your house.

An hour later I was sitting at the dinner table with my mom, trying to force down the salad she had made. 

“Where’s dad?” I asked in order to make small talk but it was shut down almost immediately.

“Working late.”

The atmosphere was so awkward but I guess I should’ve been used to it by then. 

I envied my dad for being able to escape having dinner with us. I was mad at him for leaving me alone with my mom when he knew exactly how unbearing and controlling she could be.

I imagined him sitting at his desk in his office or being at a restaurant, just eating anything that he wanted without having anyone control what he ate because of the amount of calories in it. 

“Why aren’t you eating?” Mom’s stern voice knocked me out of my thoughts. I looked up to see her icy gaze on me. I quickly smiled and shoved a few pieces of lettuce into my mouth. 

That night, when I went to bed, I prayed that the rest of the school year went by quickly so that I could just get away from all of it…

[To be continued…]

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Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

#HORROR-SHORROR: Shadow of The Night

Though bittersweet, this is the final installment for our month of spoopy!

E/N: Though bittersweet, this is the final installment for our month of spoopy! Let’s give a huge round of applause to these amazing writers👏🏼

I hope you’ve enjoyed these few stories written by our amazing spoopy writers, and that you continue to check out their posts in future. For more spoopy posts, check out the #HORROR-SHORROR tag.

Tara has never liked Halloween.

She detested everything to do with Halloween. As a matter of fact, she thought the entire concept was ridiculous. Who even decided to dedicate an entire month towards this charade? Her dislike included even horror movies – she thought they were just too nonsensical and predictable.

She was seen as the odd one out of her family, because her entire family absolutely loved Halloween, more than any other holiday. They constantly teased and pestered her with scary stories.

On the 31 October, after being assigned the duty of handing candy to the trick or treaters for the entire day, Tara couldn’t wait to get to bed and fall asleep. She was excited to see Halloween come to an end.

That night she got ready for bed earlier than usual, put on her comfiest pyjama’s and went about doing her nightly routine. When she finished, she got into bed, eager to fall asleep and wake up the next morning.

When Tara woke up again, it was because of a sound that she heard coming from downstairs. She sat up, a bit confused; she was usually a deep sleeper. The clock on her bedside table read 01:12 a.m. She decided to go back to sleep, but when she heard the noise again – louder this time – it made her jump.

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Frowning, she decided to check what the noise was. She got out of bed and slowly made her way towards the bedroom door. Cautiously, she opened the door; afraid she might make even more noise and wake everyone else up. But when she opened the door, she immediately froze.

Instead of seeing her brother’s closed bedroom door, as she was supposed to, she looked straight into a dark abyss…


Fearfully jumping, she slammed the door closed. She leaned against the door, panting. Her heart beating so fast she was scared she might go into cardiac arrest. She shut her eyes and repeated the words “this is just a dream”, and “wake up” several times. When she opened her eyes again, she let out a breath before slowly opening her bedroom door.


This time, however, instead of looking into a dark abyss, she was staring into a living room that looked to be abandoned. The furniture was dusty and covered in cobwebs. Though wanting to shut the door and just crawl back into bed, her feet carried her into the living room.

The door slammed shut behind her, giving her a shock. She ran back and pulled on the door knob, but it seemed to have locked by itself. She turned around and looked around the room. On the wall opposite her, she noticed a red handprint – walking closer to inspect it. A chill vibrated through her body and she realized that it was bloody. Slowly, the blood still dripped to the floor. She pulled at her hair and quickly backed away from the wall. 


What was going on?


A door slammed open, making her gasp. There, by the door, were stairs leading upward. Mustering up all of her courage, Tara slowly proceeded up the stairs. With every step she took, the stairs creaked louder and her anxiety increased. There was another door at the top of the stairs, but this wasn’t what made her stop dead in her tracks.

In front of the door stood a tall figure. He was cloaked in black and it looked like his feet weren’t touching the ground. That still wasn’t the scariest part, though. The scariest part was that his huge, glowing red eyes were looking directly at her. Tara turned around, preparing to go back downstairs, but, to her surprise, the tall figure appeared at the bottom of the stairs as well. 


She wanted to break down right then and there.


The figure approached her and she backed up, scared. He then stretched out his cloak covered hand. Seeing no other option, Tara put her hand in his. He led her towards the door further up the stairs, and she closed her eyes, afraid of what she’ll see.

The door creaked open and when she heard the screaming, her eyes snapped open. In front of her, lay a mass of soulless bodies, piled on top of one another. In sync, the corpses turned and slowly crawled towards her.

That’s when she realized that the dark figure disappeared. She frantically ran to the door and opened it but not before one of the corpses scratched her leg. Wincing, Tara leapt out of the door, only to fall into midair. 


She closed her eyes and screamed, but then plunged onto her bed. It was just a dream, yet it felt so real – too real. She could still feel the pain in her leg from where the corpse scratched her. Observing her leg, her heart started beating faster when she saw three deep scars with blood leaking out of them.

Footsteps were then heard coming from outside her bedroom and moments later her door slammed open and the dark figure entered her room, bringing a gust of wind with him. Tara screamed so loud, she felt the ground shake. 

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“Tara!” She heard her mom shout. “Tara, wake up!” Her eyes snapped open and she saw both her parents and her brother standing in her room. She noticed the scars on her legs disappeared, but she could still vaguely feel the pain. “Are you okay?” Her mom asked, concerned. Tara nodded, and mustered up a small smile.


“Yeah, it was just a nightmare,” she assured them. 


Yet, the entire time she spoke to them, she maintained eye contact with the tall, glowing-red-eyed figure standing behind her door…


Thank you so much to our writers and readers for supporting this spoopy month – I’m sure we’ll have more #HORROR-SHORROR posts in future! Now, it’s time to say goodbye to this month of spoopy, and welcome back out usual random quirkiness✨

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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Cape Town, Western Cape
South Africa

#STORYTIME: Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer: Chapter 1

I can think of an overall of three people that had left my school, Preston High, all due to bullying; mainly body shaming. Funny thing is, I was involved in all of those situations.

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Do you believe in fate, or destiny? Or do you believe that every decision you make in your life determines your future?

I guess I’m not really sure what I believe in. For most of my life I’ve been told what to do or what to believe in.

I can think of an overall of three people that had left my school, Preston High, because of bullying.

Funny thing is, I was involved in all of those situations.

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Photo taken from fstop123 on istockphoto.com

In ninth grade, we had what was most probably the hottest day at school yet, and Patty Leviton came to school in a red and black striped tank top and shorts. My friends found it disgusting.

They said that she had flabs under her arms that shouldn’t be shown to anyone at anytime. They said that it should be illegal for people “like her” to even wear shorts. They said that she was too “overweight” to be taken seriously in that get-up.

I laughed along with them, agreeing to everything they said – as always.

That day in the cafeteria, my best friend, Katie, publicly humiliated Patty in front of everyone. There was this moment of silence where Katie looked over at me expectantly, and then everyone looked at me.

I had so many choices to choose from…

I could’ve stood up for Patty in that moment, but then I’d risk losing my friends. So, I made the easiest choice; I stood up and poured my entire soda over Patty’s head.

Photo from commons.wikimedia.org

The same kind of thing happened to Jack Melton and Sarah Umen.

We made fun of Jack for being the skinniest kid in our school. We bullied him on a daily basis: calling him all kinds of names, taking pictures of him and making him the joke of the school website. Laughing at him as he walked past us.

It took Jack a total of four weeks before he left Preston – the quickest yet.

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Sarah lasted a lot longer at the school, although I’m pretty sure she lost her dignity before that. We bullied her for being overweight, for so long.

Katie and I once caught her in the bathroom after lunch, retching so hard in one of the bathroom stalls, I was sure her intestines would’ve come out if she tried any harder.

Katie, who was trying so hard not to laugh, motioned for me to take my phone out and record her. Again, I could’ve said no, but instead I put on a smug smile and did exactly as she said.

The video footage got about 400 views on the first night it was uploaded onto our website and I was praised by my friends for the following few weeks.

Taken from Robert Brookes and Associates article on pinterest.com

Even after all the remorse and guilt I felt for doing all those things, I never once stood up for myself and I never once let people know how I felt about it. Even though it made me seem heartless to most people. Until Kasey Hopman.

At the start of eleventh grade, she was our schools new resident “fat girl”. Yet, everytime we brought her down or bullied her or commented on her weight, she’d smile and walk away with her head held high.

To say I hated her, would be an understatement because I loathed her. She thought she could just walk away like she owned the place.

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One day, in biology, we got a project that we had to do with a partner. I looked at Katie and smiled. But my smile immediately dropped when our teacher said that she’d be choosing the partners.

Imagine my astonishment when she partnered me up with no other than Kasey Hopman.

“Hi, Emma,” Kasey said with a smile as she plopped down in the seat next to me. I could feel the steam leaving my ears.

Everything got worse when Ms Perrish announced that we would be partners for the rest of the year.

Kasey turned to me, this time with a smug look on her face, “This should be fun.”

I banged my head against the desk because I already knew it was going to be a long year…

To be continued…

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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#HORROR-SHORROR: Haunted House

I had never been the person to get frightened easily. 

In fact, I never really got frightened at all. I was the kind of person that thought horror movies were dumb and too predictable, I could always tell who would die first and who would be the one to survive.

I found clowns funny, which wasn’t creepy – or at least I didn’t think it was – because that was their sole purpose. My friends were never be able to scare me because I’d always see them coming before anything happened. 

My mom said it was because I was observant, somehow I didn’t believe her. 

My friends always got annoyed with me because of this – they never stopped trying to scare me. They’d take me to watch countless of horror films even if they couldn’t stand watching it themselves, they’d even pull pranks on me in the middle of a school day (like this one time when they had literally everyone not come to school for a day, so I was practically alone at school). 

I honestly don’t know what they were thinking with that one.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when they invited me along to check out a house that everyone had been saying was haunted. I had my mom drop me at the house, because no one was able to pick me up.

The house didn’t seem that bad at first, a bit battered and bruised and there were many holes in the walls. One of the windows looked like it was smashed with a rock, some of the glass still laying on the patio. The house looked dull and empty, the only thing that brought life to it was the rocking chair that was still rocking back and forth on the patio – due to the wind, I’m sure.

Thirty minutes later, I was still waiting for my friends. The sun was setting and I was starting to think that it was part of their plan to get me to go through the haunted house alone. To make matters worse, I had no cell service. 

After another twenty minutes of waiting I gave up and decided to go in alone. I walked up the patio stairs and opened the door, which creaked loudly. I stepped into the house, it was absolutely dark, so I grabbed my phone and turned on its flashlight. The door then slammed behind me, I chuckled because it was so cliché.

I shone the flashlight around to get a good look around the house. There was furniture covered in cobwebs and dust and creepy stairs that looked like it would cave in at any moment. I was certain my friends planned for me to go into this house alone and I was sure they were watching, so for their amusement, I decided to go upstairs. 

The steps creaked as I walked on them, there were spiders crawling up and down the railing – I shivered in disgust. There were a couple of rooms upstairs, all of them had furniture covered in dust, some of them still with plastic covers over them.

A sound rang out from behind me. I turned around, pointing my phone around the room. 

“Carla!? Guys, is that you?!” I shouted as I made my way out of the room. 

I could imagine them laughing from wherever they were, thinking that I was getting scared, but I really wasn’t. After a couple more minutes of exploring the house, I found myself at the back door. Something at the foot of the door caught my eye and I bent down to get a closer look. It was a red, sticky liquid and it had a strong metallic smell. 

Blood. 

“Okay, Maddy, no need to freak out. It’s not real,” I told myself, because actual blood made me really queasy – which was weird, I know.

I opened the door before I realised that the door knob was completely covered in the fake blood. I closed my eyes and stepped outside. I opened my eyes and froze. 

That was when I realised that the blood wasn’t fake. 

There, in the backyard, lay my friends, all of them covered in blood. A puddle of their blood surrounded them, completely soaking the grass.

“Okay, guys. You can stop now, I’m officially scared!” I shouted into the forest around me, my voice wavering. “Did you hear what I said!? I’m officially scared!” 

I kept silent just in case I could hear their laughter but all I heard were crickets and the sound of owls hooting. I fell to my knees, tears threatening to escape my eyes, my eyes then fell on the trail of blood leading towards the front of the house. I jumped up and decided to follow it. 

The trail led me far from the house, and what I found was not a sight that made me feel relieved, it just made everything worse. I saw Nick’s car, the same car that I was supposed to drive home in that night, completely smashed and battered. No one would have been able to survive the impact that the case received. 

Bile started rising in my throat and tears escaped my eyes. How did everything turn so bad, so fast? How were they moved from the car to the house and why? 

I heard a sound of movement from behind me and I turned around. The last thing I remember seeing, before passing out, was a hooded figure lurking in the darkness.

#COLLAB: Remember Me


I sat beside her bed, watching the life slowly leave her eyes. I hastily wiped a tear from my eye, because she had made me promise no tears, none at all, but how could she have asked that of me? She was leaving me, leaving this world, and my heart was breaking. Nothing could compare to the pain I felt.


I remembered the conversation we had the night before, “Hey lazy butt lift your head”. I heard a soft whisper and felt a hand nudge my head, at first I was startled, and confused. I blinked a few times and slowly everything came back. The slow and constant beeping of the heart machine, the heavy laboured breathing, that smell you only smelled when at the hospital and the fact that I was painfully waiting for her light to fade. 


“Oh, cheer up! You are making me feel depressed,” she made a joke, laughing or rather trying to laugh. I smiled a small smile thinking about how brave she was and how she did not even look a little sad at the condition she was in.


“And here I thought you’re done cracking your lame jokes,” I said, putting on a happy face while my heart cried out in pain.
“Me? Crack lame jokes, yeah right, that’s more your style,” she replied still smiling. As time went by we looked at each other. I kept thinking how could this have happened? She was still so young and vibrant, she still had a lot to do and she had always been a good person, she had never harmed anyone intentionally always had to share with others and she was generally a happy, healthy and loving person. How could she be leaving me? What would I do without her?  No, I refuse to believe this, she can’t leave, I need her.

 She took my hand as if she was reading my mind, I felt the heat of her hand and held on for dear life.


“You do know you will be OK, right? You will find someone who will be there for you, who will listen to your complaints, give you advice, keep your secrets and wipe your tears. I have to leave, my time is up and I have to tell you I do not regret one second of my life. I just wish I had met you earlier. You became my soulmate, my other half,  the one who knows me better than I sometimes know myself. I need you to be strong and brave, you have to be or I’ll break and I do not want you to remember me with tears running down my face and snot coming from my nose. You have to be strong for my parents and remind them that we have no control over these things and it happens as it was decreed. We must always remember, Allah Knows Best and He is the best of planners. You should not be sad when I’m gone but knowing you I’ll allow you to be sad for a day, but remember – ONE day! Then the following day you have to promise you’ll go to our spot and remember me. You may cry, but when you leave, there should be no more tears. You have to make dua for me: ask Allah to forgive me and ask Him to connect us again in Jannah InshaAllah – you better live a good life so that you will be going there in the first place! You should also name your firstborn daughter after me, I’ve always told you Noora is a beautiful name,” I was about to say something but she stopped me. 

“No, please don’t interrupt me because I need to say all this before my time is up. Go out and find happiness but don’t just fall for anyone ‘Your Prince in Shining Kurta’ will find you and you’ll be happy like we always said we would – remember our daydreaming? You must remember me always because if I’m able to, I will always remember you. You need to know you are not just my best friend you are my sister, my twin sister, my confidant and my very own Hero. My life would not have been the same if you were not in it. No words will be able to express how much I love you and how much you mean to me. One more thing… please promise me while you sit here you will not cry, not even one tear, please? ” she asked. I could barely speak and my reply came out so soft I didn’t even think she heard me. 

“I promise Noora… I love you too.” 

I left the room to give her parents time with her but they came out saying she asked me to be there with her so we could spend our last time together since we couldn’t spend our first hours together, sometimes she would say the weirdest things, but I knew what she meant and I wanted that too. Now watching her leave this life I placed my hand on hers and noticed a smile on her face.

“Thank you Nooree I will miss you so much…” I lifted myself up and we hugged each other as best we could. As I held my best friend in my arms,  I felt her last breath brush against my hijab and I heard the heart monitor give a few more beeps…then just one long one – and my friend was gone. I knew things would never be the same again: I would never see her smile or hear her laugh or listen to her lame jokes, but I knew that she would be fine and I would be fine too.


“Goodbye my friend, go well,” I said as the tears streamed down my face. I took one last deep breath and with it, I took in the smell of Noora, my best friend, my sister, and now my guardian angel.

Written by: Riahannah Halliem with help from Thakierah Rajap

Riahannah Halliem is a 16-year-old girl from Cape Town, who enjoys reading and writing in her free time.