My name is Drew, I‘m 18 years old, six feet tall, a damn good swimmer, and I live in a small city in Louisiana. I’m not afraid to give out my information like this because it won’t matter after tonight. I was always a little different from other children when I was growing up. Teachers always seemed wary of me, even paranoid. They’d avoid prolonged discussion with me, and often snapped at me for asking questions. I got in trouble a lot more for things other children would do too, but nobody cared when they did them. No, it was just me. As the years passed, I think the other kids started to see the difference between us as well.
One-by-one, the children I played with stopped wanting to be around me. They’d purposefully exclude me from games at recess or from groups during class work. My mother used to tell me that it was because of my eyes. She said that, traditionally, people with bright-green eyes (like me) were thought to be witches. We’d laugh about that one a lot. She even suggested, more than once, that I be the Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween. I’d laugh it all off, because, it just didn’t bother me that much. It didn’t really start to bother me until I started to see the differences myself. When I got to middle-school things changed drastically. The other kids started to get violent towards me, and the teachers wouldn’t do anything to stop them.
It almost became the norm for me to skip P.E. because the other guys in my class would all gang up on me. Now, I’m no wimp. I can defend myself, even against multiple assailants. My dad was an ex-Navy SEAL, so I could take care of myself in a fight, but, no amount of training can help you when it‘s 25 on 1 against you.. It was stay away from class, or go to the hospital. One day, I got caught ducking out of class and wasn’t able to get away. I had to go through P.E. I guess the boys had been saving up their aggression for me, cause it was especially bad that day.
One of the older boys in my class ran up behind me and kicked me in the backs of my knees. Another grabbed me as I fell, picked me up, and threw me to the ground. Then, they all started kicking me, stomping on me, throwing shit at me, anything to hurt me as much as possible. When I’d try to scramble to my feet, one of them would just pick me up and slam me back down. When it was finally over, I’d managed to stave off some of the worst blows they threw at me, but it was still pretty bad. I had a few cracked ribs and a broken tail-bone, not to mention bruises everywhere.
Of course, there I was, sitting across from the principal, in his office, explaining what happened, with two other boys sitting beside me. I pointed to my black eye and how I was having trouble breathing. They said I was a racist, and that was the end of it. We all get detention, and the attacks became more frequent, because “Nobody likes a snitch.” It was the night after that incident, however, that things really changed for me. I was looking in the mirror at my black eye when something caught my attention. It was the glimmer of my eye, hidden under the baggy, swollen flesh around it. There it was, bright-green. I stared into the mirror and my eyes looked back at me. Everything else around me swirled and swam away, and only I and my reflection were left, with those green eyes. I had never really looked at myself before, what normal person just stares at themselves in the mirror, right? Had I always looked like this?
It seemed like lines had been drawn into my face from years of agony. Wrinkles in my skin looked as if I had never smiled, not even once, in my entire life. I started to cry. The salty tears welled up in the sore and swollen skin and it burned like hell. I closed my eyes, as if closing them would keep the tears in. Then I heard it. I heard someone call my name. They just said it. “Drew” I looked up, but I was alone. I swore that someone standing right next to me had said my name. I had heard it so clearly. “Here Drew.” I heard it again. I looked into the mirror, but all I saw was my own reflection.
I looked into my eyes again. “There…” The voice, I realized, was my own. “Why are you crying?” Was I talking to myself, or was this all in my head? I couldn’t tell, because all I could see was those two, green eyes in the mirror. ‘Tunnel Vision’ I think they call it. “They did this to you. You never hurt any of them, never deserved any of this!” It was true. I had thought this many times, but what was the point of such thoughts? I couldn’t change anything at this point. I’d just have to wait it out, right? “No, you‘re better than them. If God cursed you, then spit on his creation.” What? What was I saying? What did that even mean? “If witches have green-eyes, then maybe we can put a curse on them.” This was crazy.
There’s no such thing as magic. No such thing as curses. Oh, how wrong I was. As I left the bathroom, I could still hear the echoing of the voice from the mirror. “A curse cast once, turns seven times.” I can’t describe to you my fear at that moment. I tried my best to let that memory go. Tried my best to forget about that night, but it was no use. After that, I’d find myself, sometimes, when I was alone, talking to myself, and then that voice would answer. Long conversations with someone who wasn’t me, but was me at the same time, would drag on for hours almost, and I wouldn’t even realize it. It was only a couple of times at first, but it became more and more frequent. Soon, I wouldn’t even notice whole conversations going on. The line between myself and… whatever that thing was blurred.
The walls got fuzzier and fuzzier, until there were times I couldn’t even tell the difference. I’d lay in my bed at night, I think of the people who’d hurt me, shunned me, and I’d laugh. Then, I’d start sobbing. Laughter turned to sobbing turned to homicidal anger, then, back to laughter. I was falling apart. That’s when it really started. It seemed like just mere coincidences at first. My “best friend,” a girl I’d known since I was little, and who’d always be the first to get me in trouble for a good laugh, was diagnosed with epilepsy. She had a seizure in the middle of class one day, right after she’d threatened to give a poem I’d written to one of the teachers. It had some ’graphic’ imagery in it, and I would have surely gotten in trouble for a lot less. A boy I’d always had troubles with (he used to be a friend, but was always willing to side against me if it kept him in good graces with our classmates) his parents disowned him, and then divorced. It would come out a year later that his mother had molested both him and his older brother. He eventually committed suicide. I laughed for days at these things at first. Karma sure was a bitch.
I laughed and laughed and it only got better from there. Everyone who’d ever hurt me, everyone who’d ever crossed me, got what they deserved. Teachers lost their jobs, kids lives were torn to pieces irreparably. It seemed like a dream come true. After a few years, things seemed to quiet down. Tempers evened out, as they often do when you get out of middle-school, and people I used to hate became better people. I forgot about the voice, and the “curse.” Something else started though. I started to see things. Things that just weren’t there! A light appeared outside my window one night, and shined into my room. I called my dad in to look at it, but he said there wasn’t any light outside my window. I pointed straight at it and said “There, right there! See it?” He looked out and told me that it was just a street lamp down the road, but, it wasn’t! I knew it wasn’t. Someone, or something was looking in my window, watching me! I started to catch glimpses of things looking at me from around corners, but they’d disappear when I’d turn to look at them.
They were following me. My paranoia got worse and worse over the years. I wouldn’t let anyone touch my phone or my computer, because I knew they would go through my messages. I didn’t have anything to hide, nothing of value to take, but I knew there was something that they wanted, and I wasn’t about to let them just take it. My brother did amateur boxing. He was actually the state champ at one point. He always looked out for me when I was little. On the night of one of his biggest fights, the fight that was supposed to start his pro carrier, I came to watch him fight. He hooked me up with a some sweet ring-side seats for me an my friends. I was so excited that I went hoarse from cheering for him when they announced him entering the ring. Halfway through the second round, his opponent landed a solid shot on his shoulder, shattering the joint. My brother was never able to fight again. It was then, that I remembered the voice, and the curses it had visited on the people around me. But, why would it hurt my brother? He’d always looked out for me, always helped me when I needed it.
No, it was just a bad accident was all… No, it wasn’t. One-by-one, my friends all fell to the curse that surrounded me: My new best friend, my real best friend, every girl he ever dated, dumped him. One moment they were in love, ready to take their vows, the next, they wanted nothing to do with him. One girl, who he really felt a connection with, who he really wanted to make it work with, got pregnant, but the child wasn’t his. She had cheated on him multiple times, and, while there was a chance it might have been his, she told him even if it was, she didn’t want him around and she was going to put the child up for adoption. How fucked up is that? My other friends? One’s parents divorced and now hate each other. Another father abandoned their family. There was one… someone very special to me.
This girl was my first real relationship. I loved her so much and wanted to marry her, wanted to settle down, have kids. She and I shared something very special. But, nothing was meant to last for me. Her parents became abusive. They’d get roaring drunk, and her father would come smashing into her room, tearing the whole place to pieces, screaming about what a worthless slut she was and how she wasn’t even fit to be called human. Her mother would yell at her about her grades if they dropped below an A. She would call me at night, sobbing until she couldn’t even speak anymore.
I did all I could for her, but, I guess it wasn’t enough. After our high school graduation, she committed suicide. She… she slit her wrists one night as she laid in the bath tub and bled to death. After I found out, I ran to the mirror, screaming, begging to know why this had happened. Why were the ones I loved hurting so much? Thinking back now, I understood. Two months ago, my mother died. There was no cause. The doctors were baffled, but I know. It was slow. For three, long months, I watch as she wasted away in a hospital bed. Her skin turned yellow and death crept its spidery hands up her arms and legs like black vines. That was six… “A curse cast once, turns seven times.” Just one more left, one more life has to end because of my curse.