She bit her lip, staring down at the book in front of her. Unable to focus, the girl stared up at the ceiling, blocking out all the others around her in the busy library. She wanted to cry, to just curl up in a corner and sob until she couldn't breathe. Unconsciously tugging at the sleeves of her jacket, Caelyn realized she had forgone the layers of jewelry that usually adorned her arms and neck. Giving up, she snapped the book shut and shoved it into her bag, pulling the hood of her too-big jacket up as she walked out of the library.
Several hours later found her topless in her bathroom, gently washing the tear-streaked makeup away to show an old, healing bruise quickly being replaced by a fresh one around her eye as well as a very purple shoulder and faint traces of a handprint on her collarbone. Twisting in front of the mirror she gently poked at each one of them, wincing at the sharp pain generated from the newer ones, and revealing more speckled across her ribcage and shoulder blades. Gently she pulled a baggy shirt on and stripped off the worn jeans, showing the yellow and blue of more healing bruising along the back of her thighs and knees. Tentatively she stepped into a pair of pajama bottoms, obviously a few years old yet still resting loosely on her hips.
After a restless night, Caelyn woke before dawn to shower and sit in front of the mirror carefully applying layer after layer of foundation, much practice left no betraying signs of any bruises. Staring into obviously tortured green eyes she pulled rainbow contacts out of the drawer and popped them in, moving on to thickly apply a black eyeliner and straighten her drying hair so that it draped over one eye and nicely covered any remnants of injuries on her neck and shoulders. Beginning with the spiked dog collar, she layered each choker and necklace perfectly then moved on to the hundreds of circlets piled onto her arms, almost reaching her elbow on either side. Throwing black flats, worn blue jeans, a neon-green tank top and a black jacket on completed her morning routine as she grabbed her bag before hustling a younger girl out the door. A few streets down both girls sat, quietly whispering as the youngest curled up in Caelyn's lap, waiting for her bus.
In only her second week at this high school, Caelyn had already been labeled and begun to be ignored, though her thin frame and pale face often caught many stares as she walked across campus.
Two years passed and she had lost more weight, piled on more makeup, and for the first time since the transfer was falling behind in her classes. Teachers began to notice something was off while students noticed the change in her clothing, more often was Caelyn found wearing long sleeve shirts with the sleeves pushed up for the bracelets and they were more tightly compacted on her arms than before. At night in her bathroom her routine had not changed much, but she no longer checked the bruises, now spending that time on the floor with a razorblade and towel, biting her lip harshly anytime the cool metal touched her arms.
In the mornings she also spent less time getting dressed except for the makeup and bracelets, often times the only necklaces would be the collar and two small stars- a set- one blue, one pink, for sisters. Older and younger. Each morning when she put them on tears gathered in her eyes and she had to fight back a scream of frustration.
Another three years and she was working as a barista in a small cafe, a tattoo on her inner left forearm, over the bulk of the scars, saying in bold script "For Ellie~". Nothing attempted to hide the scars save the tattoo, and a small smile usually graced her face. Still wearing the collar and star necklaces, she looked much healthier with her brightly-dyed hair, scene-styled look and long black fingernails, though any passerby would know some of what she went through by her flaunted scars. One particular stranger seemed to intently study the scars as Caelyn made the coffee, so much so that she paused uncomfortably to rub them for a second before continuing, frown trying her soft lips until, as she turned to place the cup on the counter everything about her lit up and the stranger couldn't resist turning around to see a tall man walk through the door, messy black hair falling into his eyes and dark purple shirt over black jeans almost matching Caelyn's look.