DISCLAIMER! This story was written with the prompt of being the most depressing story that could be thought of. If you are sensitive to stories about bullying, self-harm, and/or suicide, please do not read this story. (Also, the author of the story did not write this in any relation to their own life.)
Not Everyone Lives Perfectly
By Savannah Burke
Edited By Keara Galbraith
There was a girl, she was 16, and she lived with her dad. Her name was Shelbey Coston. She wasn't exactly the thinnest girl, she weighed about 250 pounds, and she was blonde. Shelbey only had two friends, Ryan Winter and Jayson Barker. They were both guys because they really didn't care about what she looked like or what she did, and any girl that she tried being friends with didn't want to touch her or go near her because she was, “too fat.” Shelbey used to be thin in her younger years and then her mom walked out on her and her dad, Westley Coston. Her mom left when Shelbey was 11, and her dad begged her not to go. Once her mom left, depression kicked in, and she began stress eating, eating when she was bored, and eating when she was sad, which was very often.
Her dad began drinking every night. He would come back home wasted and fall asleep on the couch until about noon the next day. Shelbey tried saying something to him, try to get him to stop, but he wouldn’t listen. Westley started to turn against Shelbey. He started beating her with his beer bottles when he was done with them. He would yell, “This is what you get for being born,” and he would hit them on top of her head, then take the shards and scratch up her stomach. Shelbey would never say anything to anyone, for she feared that he would hurt her more than he already had, and since he did that every night, she actually believed him whenever he said those things.
When actually, her mother left because she didn't love Westley anymore. She left hoping that he would figure it out without her needing to tell him. Westley also had Crohn's disease, so he was always taking medication and watching what he ate. He was always so jealous that his daughter was able to eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.
So one day, Westley went out and bought a cat-o-nine tails whip, a steel rod about three inches thick, and some duct tape. When he came home, he put the rod inside the shed in the back yard. It was a pretty decent sized shed, with room to walk around. The rod was nailed into the roof and the floor so it wouldn't move. He hung the whip up on the wall and set the duct tape nearby on a shelf. Whenever he was really mad at Shelbey, he would take her into the shed. He told her that she needed to take her shirt off so the blood wouldn't stain the clothes. He would duct tape her hands together around the rod. He would back up and whip her for every time he had a drink that night, or to make her feel worse about herself, he would whip her 11 times because that was the age that her mom left them. It depended on how angry he was. Shelbey was always so sad.
At age 14, Shelbey was noticeably gaining more weight, and that's when people started calling her fat in school. When Westley goes out drinking, she went to the bathroom and got out an old razor that was in the closet. She opened it up and put the cold blade to her wrist. She stopped for a few seconds, thinking if she wanted to do this or not, but she thought, “What could be worse than what I'm going through now?” She applied some pressure to the blade, it only hurt for a few seconds, but her pain tolerance was much higher than average. She actually thought it felt good, so she continued until Ryan noticed. He made her promise not to ever hurt or kill herself, and she promised him.
Westley’s friend gave him and iPod, and he had no idea what to do with it since he had his iPhone, so he gave it to Shelbey. She was so happy, she actually wanted to hug her father for once in five years, but she didn't. She went on social media immediately. Things like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. All these beauty and hair tutorials came up. Also, people that go to her school. She wanted to follow only the people that didn't know her, and there were a lot. Shelbey spent hours watching beauty tutorials and workout videos. She wanted to look like the thin, beautiful, average looking girl that everybody liked so people would actually look at her without saying, “How could a human even look like that?” So, she grabbed all the money that she saved over the past few months, took a bus to Sephora, and they took over from there. Shelbey showed them pictures of the types of makeup she wanted to do and they brought her what she needed. She went back home and went to bed. It was about 11:30, and her dad wasn't home yet. Westley had passed out in his car.
The next morning, Shelbey woke up around nine, she immediately went into the bathroom to start trying out makeup looks. She watched tons of makeup videos, and hair styles she could do. So when she was done with one, she would move onto the next. She also set up daily sessions with a personal trainer. She was determined to be thin, strong, and like everybody else. She didn’t want to show up at school fearing that everyone would look at her like she had three eyeballs. She was just so tired of being avoided.
Five months later…
Shelbey was thin and strong just like she wanted. She lost 5 pounds every week, which added up to 100 pounds. She was quite happy with what was going on in her life. People at school are noticing her, she got a few compliments every so often, she felt beautiful, and her dad had almost come to a complete stop with the beating. He only did it when he thought about her mom, which he tried not to do.
At the end of the week, when Shelbey got off the bus, people were waiting for her. When she got to them, one kid had said, “Oh look, it’s the midnight sl*t.” There was a group of teenagers that started snickering and agreeing with what the kid had said. Then, throughout the day, everyone would call her these awful names like sl*t and wh**e. When she got home she just thought to herself, “Why don’t I just kill myself? It’s not like anyone will notice or care. They can live without me.”
When her dad left later that night, she went into the medicine cabinet and grabbed a bottle of tranquilizers. She went upstairs and stepped into the shower. She turned it on and took ten pills. She sat there for a couple minutes, and then she thought to herself, “Maybe, I should keep trying.” She sat up and shoved her fingers as far back as she could in her mouth, and threw up. She did four more times until she felt like everything was up. Then, she carried on her night like normal. She threw her clothes in the wash, put on her pj’s and went to sleep.
The next morning, Shelbey woke up, but her dad wasn’t home, he hadn’t done that for a while. She just dismissed it and got ready for school. At school, people said the same things as the day before, and she told everything that’s been going on to Ryan.
When Shelbey got home, she was greeted by police officers instead of her father.
“We’re very sorry to tell you, but your father is dead.”
Shelbey had a tear begin to form in her eye, “...How?”
“His Crohn’s had turned into cancer, and it destroyed his intestines. His heart stopped beating.”
She wiped the tear away, “Where am I going to go?”
“You’re going to move in with your cousin, Riley. You’ll stay in the same school district, just a different bus.”
“Okay, I’m fine with that.” Her sadness turned into happiness, her dad was finally out of her life, No more beating, at least physically.
A week later, Westley’s funeral was scheduled, but Shelbey didn’t go to it. She didn’t want to be faced with the memories of what he did to her. Instead, she went to the police and told them what he had been doing to her for almost six years. She showed them the scars that she had from him. They asked if it was alright if it was on the news, she said no.
She moved in with her cousin, and settled in.
Some time passes while she is living with Riley, she gets a job, buys a car, and her grades go up. When she turns 17, her cousin makes her pay rent, which she’s is fine with. After a while, she gets enough money to move out into her own apartment, she even bought a puppy. She lived so happily.
After school, whenever she gets home, she’s greeted by her new puppy, Rover. He was a beagle and her favorite thing in the world. But, one day, he didn’t greet her like he normally does. She frantically started running around looking for him calling out his name. When she turned the corner into the kitchen...where he was laying. He got the container of grapes on the island, and he was just...still. Shelbey dropped to her knees, the tears weren’t stopping. She crawled over to him, sobbing. She picked up Rover with care, and put his head on her chest. She curled up into a ball and sat there, crying with him in her arms.
A few hours passed, and Shelbey had buried Rover in the back. She was still crying.
Shelbey was done. She was tired with everything and everyone. Ryan had just stopped by and she told him everything, except the fact that she was going to kill herself. Ryan left to tell everyone.
Shelbey wanted everyone to know what she had gone through, she wanted everyone to know how she felt. She posted her story on all of her social media accounts, and it became the most popular thing going around in North America in one hour. Sadly, she had gone into her bedroom, strung up a rope, stood on a stool, and then kicked it out from under her. She was never really happy, she had a few short moments in her life where she didn’t think about the bad things, where she was away from them.
The next day at school, people noticed that she wasn’t at school. Everyone wanted to apologize to her…but they were too late.