Beatriz Bentley: The Elements Game

It’s been a whole week; that’s seven days since I started high school. But who’s counting. I suppose a short recap is in order. Everyone in all my classes think I’m weird except for Jessica. She made me handshake people in the hallways and introduce myself to them. I felt like stabbing myself in the neck. 

To tell you the truth, the only mildly interesting thing that happened to me was in my Spanish class. Yes, I know, I’m Hispanic, but it never hurts to re-educate yourself in your native tongue, but I digress. His name is Tyler. He’s a green-eyed blonde haired senior. Most silly girls would find him dreamy but I’ve fallen for his brain. I heard around school that he’s suppose to be this science wiz and I’m hoping to check out his formulas. Thing is, he finds me annoying. 

He laughs when he gets nervous just like me. Ugh, that is such a girl thing to say. He mocked me the second day of class because I didn’t greet him. I just headed to my seat and sat there staring at my book pretending no one was in the room. 

He had the nerve to make up a song about me; “Rude Beatriz, never says hello, so I ask myself, why won’t she ever say hi?!” I gave him my signature evil eyes only to be mocked and laughed at by the rest of the class. I know I’m anti-social and lack charisma; my therapist is working on that.

Tyler could be such a jerk sometimes. Then on Friday, a strange thing happened, he gave me a compliment. I was discussing a formula with a fellow squint when he so abruptly interrupted us and praised me for knowing the correct elements. 

“Beatriz knows her elements”, he said. I tried not to smile but I was filled with joy that he acknowledge my existence and work. Here’s the kicker, I’m weird. I got angry about it because I didn’t want to smile. I didn’t want to feel like his praise meant something to me. I was furious. How dare he make me feel special. I’m not special. I’m just Beatriz.

I rolled my eyes at him and stormed off. He yelled, “What a psycho!” I hate myself sometimes. I plan on ignoring him for the rest of the school year. My therapist says I have deep emotional issues. I ate a whole bag of dollar store brownies and watched a marathon of Power Rangers. 

That night I dreamed I was playing an Elements Game with Tyler. His green eyes digging into my dark brown ones; sinking into my brain draining me of substance. His blonde buzz cut glistening white skin and weight-lifting muscular arms paralyzing me completely stupid. 

I woke up shaking. No more brownies before bed. However little did I know that there was more to these Element Games. 

Beatriz Bentley: It’s A Boy!

Innocence is taken for granted. Most are rushing to be grown-ups, never taking the time to really enjoy their childhood. Already since entering Black Horse High School, I have spotted 7 pregnant girls. There life is already over.

I’ve had my share of peer pressure but I’m not stupid. Besides most people think I’m gay or they just call me a “Tomboy. I do judge them and I don’t feel bad about it. I am a complicated Catholic. 

I mean sex is off putting, to me , that is. I don’t even know what sex is nor a vagina. I have no interest in it, whatsoever. The River Woods School system really did a number on me. They brainwashed me into staying a virgin for the rest of my life. 

Do you know what happens to a women’s vagina when she has a baby?! No, thank you! I suppose I have the Peter Pan Syndrome where I just remain innocent forever. It calls for concern that I’m not mentally nor emotionally capable of handling or grasping that adult realization. 

I sit here on the East Wing bench, people watching. Soon all these people will get married and have kids. For me, that is not an option. I don’t think I will ever be able to comprehend what sex is. It’s terrifying for one and a complete invasion. I refuse to be part of it. I shall remain untouched and unloved. 

I hear the bell ring signaling my next class. Gym Class! I play basketball with the boys and compete with them on who burps the loudest. Jessica plays with us too but she doesn’t par-take in the burping. 

The guys call me, “Dude” and ask me to join them in weight lifting. That’s how I fell in love with weight lifting. The rest of the day is a blur filled with math, science, history and English classes that I dominated most of the time.

When I get home, my brother shouts, “It’s a boy!” and I’m not offended at all. Nice to see you too, bro. I respond with a smile and head up to my room; just another day being me. 

Beatriz signing out. 

Bill Nye the Science is on right now! Get out! 

Beatriz Bentley

This morning I decided to paint my face with over-priced make-up because society would judge me if I didn’t. You see if I don’t present myself as pretty, guys won’t like me and I’ll ultimately end up alone. I wouldn’t mind being the crazy cat lady who enjoys tormenting unsuspecting strangers.  Then again I don’t like cats, more of a dog person. My therapist says I’m anti-social but I beg to differ; I’m just highly selective of who I talk to or not. It’s just that simple.

Today is the first day of school, high school that is. I don’t bother to even dress decent either. I wear my usual batman t-shirt, American Eagle jeans and green Converse sneakers. Most people would say I was a tomboy but I would have to disagree with them. I just don’t care about clothes. As I write all this in this stupid journal, that my therapist also gave me along with anti-depressant and anxiety drugs, I cringe at the thought of a new school year.

Everyone knows who I am. The rich smart girl with mental issues. Girls hate me and I don’t fancy them neither. I’m one of the dudes. My only friend is a German born gymnast named, Jessica. She’s the only girl who gets me. We love making fun of the pretty dumb girls who’s only purpose in life is to shop and people who give themselves labels, such as, nerds, geeks, ect.

I am a human being and that is all. Perhaps an intellectual savant at times but please don’t’ label me a nerd or a geek; it’s so constricting. Like an onion, I have many layers.

So, here I go, entering the unknown abyss every freshmen barely comprehends, high school. It won’t be pretty; there will be blood, sweat and tears and maybe a few psychotic episodes.

I’m sorry, let me introduce myself. My name is Beatriz. Beatriz Bentley. Wait, that didn’t sound like James Bond at all. Who cares, I’m not perfect (Yes, I am.)

Grandiose 16

“Elizabeth, what are you doing?!” Barbara screams at me. I keep my eyes closed, shivering, as she vigorously dries me off with a white towel. It feels like sand paper against my skin and I cringe at the touch of it.

            “It seems she needs more help than I thought,” I hear Kauffman say with a sigh. I pretend not to have heard him. I have been pretending many of things lately. Sometimes I imagine myself back in London helping mum with dinner while we laugh about silly things. Other times I think about Henry locked in that room strapped to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, reality creeps in like a cold breeze on a summer day and I find myself in my padded white room, alone.Image

Barbara quickly helps me put on my institution issued blue patient uniform. As she guides me out of the room, I slip a weak smile at Kauffman. He doesn’t smile back rather just nods his head. That’s when I notice Victoria and Demetrius walking about the grounds from the open window right behind Kauffman. They are holding hands.

This makes me angry but I act calm as to not upset Kauffman much further. I wonder what they are up to all the way back to my room. Dinner wouldn’t be ready for a couple hours, so I was stuck in there for a while.

I sprawl myself on the floor just staring at the ceiling lights. At first I’m slightly blinded but my eyes gradually adjust to them. I felt like I lay there for hours and thought dinner would not come soon enough. As time went by, I found myself in a trance. The lights danced in front of my eyes but I was oblivious to them. I was on a high induced by the erratic thoughts that now occupied my mind.

They consisted of Victoria and Demetrius. My suspicions about him were not without merit, after all. I now knew he could not be trusted since he was obviously in cahoots with Victoria. I reckon they’ve been planning their evil deeds against me since the beginning. It wasn’t enough that she drove me insane and ruined my life but now she wanted to hurt me even more.

I closed my eyes and let the darkness sink in. I heard and felt nothing. I was dead to the world and so it had gone on without me. Time has and continues to pass me by while I remain frozen in place. Then like an unexpected wave, an orchestra of 300 violins starts to play. They play so vehemently in my mind; growing louder and louder as smooth and beautiful as the calming sea.

Back home, the Elders would say that if you heard violins play in your sleep something magnificent was going to happen. It could either be something terrible yet magnificent or something great and magnificent. I wondered if the latter was true for me.

The symphony kept on playing even though my mind simultaneously transported me back to various flashbacks. Many from my past in England and a few from my time in New York like a really fast picture book. Then I heard the door open and the music stopped. I kept my eyes closed.

            “Time for Dinner” Demetrius barked at me. He was not in a good mood. I quickly pulled myself off the cold padded floor and followed Demetrius out of the room. He walked ahead of me while I stayed closely behind him in silence.

As I walked behind him, I could help but notice his broad shoulders and tattooed muscular arms. He twitched his neck to expose another tattoo on the right side of his neck. It was of a red dragon that ran down to the nape of his neck. I imagined he had about fifty tattoos over his entire body but couldn’t be too sure.

            “What are you looking at?” Demetrius scolds, startling me. I freeze.

            “Nothing” I respond with a gulp, my body starting to shake. He grabs my arms and pushes me against the glass wall. I feel the vibration against my back. I close my eyes.

            “Open your eyes!” He yells. I slowly open them and look into his green eyes. They are not warm but cold. He is cold. He squeezes my wrists but I do not cry out in pain. I pretend he is not hurting me.

            “Say something” He tells me with an evil grin. I don’t respond. He lets go of me.

            “Walk faster!” He says to me as he points towards the end of the hall. I slip past him and start walking ever so quickly towards the cafeteria. My body still trembles and my heart is pounding so fast that I fear I will drop of a heart attack. I could hear my heart pound as if a mad drummer had taken refuge in my soul.

            “Pace yourself” I suddenly hear my mum’s caring voice say to me. I take a deep breath at the thought of her. I try to fight the tears but they come down anyway. Then I really start to cry and fall to my knees, distraught. I don’t even notice the two orderlies coming from the right. They immediately assume I have gone mad and haul me off to the shock room. Demetrius never says a word nor raises a finger.

I scream at them to let me go but it doesn’t seem to help my case at all. They strap me to the cold steel slab, stick a rubber white stick between my teeth, and place a tube on each side of my head. The attending doctor then proceeds to shock me with fifty volts of electricity. My whole body shakes violently and I pass out within minutes. The violins start to play again. At first I can barely hear them but they grow louder and faster with each passing second.

            “Are you happy now?” Mum asks me as she brushes my hair. I smell her Chanel perfume and it makes me smile.

            “No, mum” I cry as I reach for her hand but she disappears. 

The Lesbian Diaries

“You will never be alone. Stop chasing shadows and just enjoy the ride.”

Those words stay in my mind like a stain that never fades. As I walked through the sturdy halls of BethenCourt High, I tried not to remember the horrors of last year. I still can hear Amy Winehouse’s, “You know I’m no good,” acoustically blasting from Natalie’s second floor dorm room. Her lifeless body hanging from the ceiling fan incessantly occupies my thoughts, torments me at night and I relive that horrific Halloween night every single day. Image

Natalie was my best friend and lover. It’s hard not to recall those bitter-sweet memories of us because I will always be reminded of them. 

We both attended a really strict, religious, all-girl boarding named BethenCourt High. It was a place for prominent affluent families to send their spoiled misbehaved girls to be reformed into respected educated women. There’s that stereotype or perhaps myth that an all-girl school spurs homosexuality but BethenCourt prided itself of not being sullied by what they called an abomination. 

“Homosexuality is a sickness,” said our prestigious headmaster, Mrs. Rosethorne during our first year orientation. She is a pit bull faced vicious woman who loves to wear pink. She is keen on enforcing strict and questionable policies that can’t ever be disputed. She runs the school like a dictator, even Hitler would be scared of her. Her white Persian cat, Bubbles, isn’t a peck of sunshine neither. 

“Hazel!” someone screamed out my name. I knew that voice; it was Natalie Singborg. It was our year at BethenCourt. We had both been out of control; doing drugs, partying too much and shopping too much so our parents shipped us off to BethenCourt. I turned around and she came running up to me. She planted a sweet kiss on my lips. A kiss I’ll never forget. 

I pulled away from her scared of who would see. “Aren’t you worried we will get in trouble?” I whispered, my heart skipping a beat. She just laughed.

“Did you miss me?”, Natalie asked.

“Of course,” I said.

We had our first class together so we walked there holding hands. News travels fast in BethenCourt so it was no surprise when we were called to the headmasters’ office during our first class. 

“Sickos!”, someone yelled out as we headed for Mrs. Rosethorne’s office. Rosethorne was furious. She didn’t even want to look at us. She immediately called our parents and sent us to counselors in hopes that they could cure us of our “sickness”. My  parents didn’t bother to come no call. Natalie’s parents were outraged and they blamed me for “infecting their daughter,” as they said. 

It was Natalie who had kissed me first. I don’t want to say she seduced me but she made the first move. I never paid any attention to guys in a romantic way, that is. I was always a tomboy and knew deep inside that I was a lesbian.

“How could you do this to our daughter?!”, Natalie’s mother screamed at me. I looked over at Natalie and she had tears in her eyes. Her mother hated her; she never wanted to have her. At that moment I just wanted to hold her. Then Rosethorne, as punishment, had our schedules changed and moved me down to the first floor dorm rooms. 

After that we were harassed for weeks. Girls would spit at us, throw our books from our hands, pull our hair and other evil things. We also received threatening emails and letters. Natalie started getting high every night and cutting herself. Her family had told her if she kept seeing me she was to be disowned. However, we still manged to sneak around and see each other.

The day before her death, we had walked through the school gardens. I should have known something wasn’t right. She seemed distant. Her eyes were puffy from all the crying and for a long moment we just embraced each other underneath the stars. 

The next day a shrilling scream came from the second floor. All the girls had been taking pictures of their Halloween costumes when they heard the screams. Everyone rushed up to discover Natalie’s lifeless body hanging from the ceiling fan. When I saw her I just incessantly screamed. I think I passed out because I woke up in the medical ward. 

A strange letter lay on my stomach. It was vintage paper sealed with a red wax seal. I gliding my finger through it to open it. On it it read, “You’re not alone.” At that time, I didn’t know I was going to be part of a secret society that was as old as the school.

“You will never be alone. Stop chasing shadows and just enjoy the ride.” Those were the last words she said to me. They stay in my mind like a stain that never fades. 

Grandiose 15

Still frazzled from the past days, Elizabeth lay still while submerged in a white vintage tub filled with cold water and ice. Her long red wet hair lay flat against her flushed silky skin. She kept a blank stare and seemingly lifeless body gave the illusion of death but from time to time you could still see her chest heave.Image

A nurse sat a few feet from her on a wooden chair reading a cover-less blue book, leg crossed over the other, who peered at Elizabeth every few minutes from the rim of her glasses. There was a dead silence like the world had been forbidden of sound.
Meanwhile, in her dormant state, Elizabeth thought about Henry and how they had unexpectedly had their first date, even though it was never confirmed.

I was getting quiet annoyed with Victoria. Our current arrangement was not working for me at all but I was too much of a coward to point it out. She had a knack for emotional abuse, always putting me down, insulting and humiliating me. I was getting tired of it but every time I would convey my discomfort she would turn on her charm and suck me back in to her nightmare. I felt my life being sucked out of me every time I was with her. My only constant source of happiness was my acting career which was looking bright and of course, Henry.

On one warm March afternoon, I had come out of my acting class early and decided to grab a cup of coffee by the nearby café. Mind you, I always walk fast even if I’m not in a hurry. While going through my purse for my wallet and walking down the street like a mad woman, I slammed into someone dropping my bag and all of its contents.

“Bloody hell” I started to say but then stopped when I realized it was Henry.

“Oh, it’s you” I said smiling, pushing my hair back behind my ears.

“Nice to see you too” he laughed, bending down with me to pick up the spilled items from my purse.

“I was hoping to bump into you, no pun intended” he continued with a smile.

“Mission accomplished” I replied, flustered. After helping me pile all my items back into my purse, he helped me back up and dusted my shoulder off.

“So, what’s the hurry?” Henry asked.

“Nothing really, just heading to the café for some coffee” I replied.

“I could go for some coffee” he smiled.

“Okay, sure” I smiled back, trying very hard not to blush. I don’t think I was doing a very good job to tell you the truth. I also tried not to stare at him so much but he was just too gorgeous. I couldn’t believe he liked me, nevertheless, have coffee together. Somehow I managed to behave myself and stay calm and collected.

During this unexpected rendezvous, I tried not to talk too much. I was a bit nervous and I have this thing that I laugh when I get nervous. He seemed not to mind, though. He actually started telling me jokes just so I could actually have a reason for laughing and not feel awkward.

He’s such a nice guy, I thought to myself. He gets me, I thought as I looked into his eyes briefly from across the table. We had chosen to sit in the café’s outdoor seating area because it was just too much of a lovely day outside to spend it indoors. The wind kept blowing my hair in my face which so I barely had a chance to drink my coffee.
There was a park to our right where kids were playing carefully watched by their mothers. I looked at three mothers sitting on a marble bench, laughing and talking about things I would never experience. I looked back at Henry, who was still talking to me about something but he seemed so far away. I smiled and nodded, pretending to have heard everything.

“So, what do you think?” Henry asked, suddenly.

“Elizabeth?” he continued, this brought me out of my trance.

“What, I’m sorry” I replied.

“I asked if you wanted to come to the cinema with me next Saturday” Henry responded with a smile.

“I’ll have to check my schedule but I’ll let you know sometime next week” I replied.

“Would you like my contact info?” He asked.

“Yes, that would be helpful” I laughed. He took out a small notebook and a pen from his leather jacket and noted his information on it. Even his writing style was as immaculate as his gorgeous blonde hair. I tried not to blush, I was getting nervous again.

As he handed me the torn piece of paper from his notebook our hands touched. His hand was warm and mine was cold. We both smiled at each other, his blue eyes piercing into mine. He had been the perfect gentleman the whole time. As we said our good-byes, he gave me a hug and kissed me on my cheek. I couldn’t help it this time and I blushed.

“Here’s looking at you, kid” He smiled at me, tipping his head as he went up the park street. I watched him for a while until he disappeared at the corner. I touched my cheek. I could still feel his warm kiss upon it. I smiled and headed the opposite way to catch a taxi back home.

“How is she?” Kauffman asks, startling the nurse.

“Oh, Mr. Kauffman, I didn’t hear you come in. You scared me.” The nurse says to Kauffman, turning her head.

“She’s been like that the whole time, as if she’s so far away, poor girl” the nurse continues to say.

“I had to check her breathing a couple of times just to be sure we didn’t lose her”

“So, she hasn’t said a thing all day, Barbara?” Kauffman asks concerned.

“No, sir, nothing at all” Barbara replies, shaking her head.

“I think she’s had enough. Take her back to her room.” Kauffman tells Barbara.

Elizabeth’s eyes are blood shot red, her skin now pruny and white. She has heard everything but remains motionless. Then she slowly starts to sink deeper into the tub until she is completely submerged. Her eyes are wide open as she stares at the light above her. She starts to make bubbles with her mouth. Kauffman and Barbara are still in conversation, oblivious to her now.

I’m drowning, Elizabeth thinks as she lays on the cold tub surface, unmoving. “Elizabeth!” distant screams are heard through the water and then strong hands pull her out.

Grandiose 14

Near the garden maze entrance, I remained frozen and stared into its never ending abyss, for it was a perfect evening to get lost. On nights like this the trees shivered and dreaded the strong winds. The garden would come to life on these strange nights even though the moon’s light was scarce.Image

The trees would whisper silently as the over-grown wet grass tickled my bare feet. Something or someone deep inside the maze called out for me and I slightly stepped forward only to move backwards again. This was the second time that my room was left unlocked. It wasn’t an oversight anymore; it was deliberate. I couldn’t for the life of me remember how I managed to make my way to this part of the grounds. I think to myself that this must be a dream.

An old owl perched on a high branch of an old oak tree on the far-far right side of the garden hoots a sad song. After it was done it blew in the wind and the wind carried it away to a new land; a happier land I like to believe. It was a cold night even though the present humidity caused my hair to frizz; a cold shiver ran through my spine.

“Elizabeth” someone called out for me again from within the maze but yet again I remained frozen in the same place. I can’t move. It is like my bones have been turned to stone and my body has become part of the garden; as if I was a flesh statue.

From the air she would resemble a dark yet alluring fortress that would easily charm and lure you to your death. Many have nicknamed it, properly so, “The Siren”, because those foolish enough to enter it have never been found nor returned.

The side of her long structured well manicured arms, stretching out like angelic wings, was the most memorable part of the labyrinth, and most of the rest of her was covered by over-grown grass and wild flowers. Only toward her head where vintage Victorian statues and man-sculpted animal shaped shrubs had much enchantment, as she pretended to be an art form worthy of exaggerated admiration, creatively disguising her evil intentions.

She called out to me once more in a somewhat ethereal voice and again I remained frozen where I stood. It was like an invisible force was keeping me there, protecting me from her. Then the patient lock-down alarm shook me from her trance, reality sinking in again. They finally discovered my absence and a wave of relief swept over me.

I heard the orderlies shout out orders from a distance, their flashlights flickering in the dark.

“Follow procedure!”

“Bring her in safe and secure!” I heard Demetrius scold. I suppose he was their master now. I imagined him as Hitler shouting orders to his minions. I didn’t try to run or escape not for lack of trying or fear. I just couldn’t move.

“I found her!” I heard a loud raspy voice yell out. As if to break me from a spell, I slowly turned around to have a bright light being shined upon my face, briefly blinding me. The orderly was about a few inches shorter than me, had bloodshot red eyes and was stronger than he looked. He grabbed my right arm and yelled back again, “I have her!”  Then the real terror began.

Two orderlies dragged me back into the main building and somehow I knew they weren’t taking me back to my room. A scary silence took over the grounds that made my heart skip a couple beats. Only her fading whispers called out to me.

“Take me back to my room” I yelled, kicking my legs. My screams and pleading proved to be futile. In a manner of minutes I found myself in a well-lit white room strapped to a cold steel table drugged with two rubbery tubes placed on each side of my head. The light hurt my eyes and my mind swarmed with thoughts of her. She was in my mind now, tormenting me from afar. I shook my head to get rid of her. Still I heard her whisper my name in her oh so otherworldly tone of voice. I tried to occupy my mind with thoughts of Henry to escape her grasp.

“Doctor is she sedated” I heard a familiar voice ask. It was Kauffman.

“Yes, she is” an unfamiliar male voice responded.

“Shall we begin” he continued.

“Ye-Yes” Kauffman stuttered. A tingling sharp pain ran from my head down to my legs. I couldn’t scream because there was a thick white stick between my teeth. My whole body shook violently. The pain continued for half an hour and I thought I would die. After an hour, I blacked out. Even in my dormant state, there was still a buzzing sound in my head. I don’t know how long they kept me in that room, but when I came to, I found myself back in my room with the top half of my body constricted into the dreaded white jacket.

My long red hair lay wet and flat against my face while my legs trembled violently. This caused me to bite down on my lower lip. I felt the warm blood trickle down to my chin; suddenly finding myself licking at it like a cat mending a wounded paw. I was unaware of Victoria and Demetrius standing right outside my door peering at me through its window.

“You think that did the trick?” Demetrius asked Victoria in his strong Russian accent still staring at Elizabeth.

“We shall see soon enough but I don’t think I have to worry about her much longer” Victoria replied with a smirk.

“As discussed, we’re right on schedule” she continued, and then they both went off separately in opposite directions. A strong lavender aroma swept into Elizabeth’s room causing her eyes to jolt wide open from their weary state.

“Victoria!” she screamed repeatedly, the aroma stimulating her ever growing frustrations and madness.