Laila opened her eyes to see Her sitting across from her. “What are you still doing here?”
“I’m always here, Laila. I never sleep and I never leave.”
Laila sighed and rolled her eyes at Her as she got out of bed and left the room.
“Getting ready for school?” She asked
“Yes, unless you have another opinion” replied Laila sarcastically.
Laila was annoyed by Her presence. But what bothered her, the most, was that She never leaves. She followed her wherever she went. She was with her at home and at school and everywhere else she goes; it drove Laila crazy.
Laila was the most popular girl in school; she was the girl every girl wanted to be like, the one everyone envied. However Laila was arrogant, shallow and vain, and yet everyone still admired her; everyone except for Her. She continued to follow Laila and observe her at school. Laila didn’t notice Her presence except when she suddenly finds herself alone with Her.
“I don’t know how you can live with yourself Laila, how can you even look at yourself in the mirror?”
“Quite easily actually, I’m gorgeous,” replied Laila with a smile as she admired herself in the school’s bathroom mirror.
She glared at Laila with a disgusted look on her face. Laila ignored Her trying to avoid her look. Laila’s school day continued as usual without anymore confrontations with Her. That however didn’t last long, back in Laila’s room She waited for her.
“How are you not feeling guilty about what you’ve done,” She asked
“I feel bad about what happened to him, but we both know that he shouldn’t have been there,” replied Laila.
“Neither should you. Do you really believe that you should have been stealing the exam results? Was that the only solution you could’ve thought of?”
“I couldn’t have failed that exam, mom would’ve killed me. Plus, I wouldn’t be graduating next month,”
“He also didn’t get expelled, so I don’t really know why you’re giving me a hard time about this,” continued Laila.
“He got suspended Laila and it will be put on his record, doesn’t that bother you at all?” She asked
Laila was unable to respond and before she could even come up with an answer, she found her mother walking through the door.
“Laila who were you talking to?” asked her mother
“My friend on the phone mom,” lied Laila
“For some reason I felt you were talking to someone in the room, never mind. It’s time for dinner sweetie,” said her mother, but before walking out, she turned and faced Laila again.
“Oh, by the way I saw your report card. I can’t believe you improved your math grade, I so proud of you,” she said with a smile concluding the conversation and then finally walked out.
Laila felt her heart drop when she heard her mother’s final statement. She watched Laila’s conversation with her mother; She was right in the middle of it but of course Laila’s mother would never know that.
A month later Laila stood among her peers in her graduation gown and cap. She was ecstatic, “high school is finally over” she thought. During the graduation ceremony Laila saw a familiar face in the crowd. The boy who got suspended because of what she had done. The boy, whom she allowed to take the fall for her, even though his only crime was that he wanted to get noticed by the most popular girl in school. He was always intimidated by her, so when an opportunity to talk to her presented itself he had to seize it. That day in the teacher’s lounge when Laila stole the results of the exam and got him suspended for it, she did another thing that affected his life. Something she didn’t even realize mattered; she spoke to him, acknowledging his existence which was something he never thought could be possible. However what he realized a few moments later, when she disappeared and allowed the principle to accuse him of a crime he did not commit, is that everything that was said about her was actually true and that she is a beauty with a black heart.
Laila avoided his gaze as she walked down the stage to receive her certificate. All the while She was looking at her, observing her closely. Laila laughed and cheered with her friends as they threw their graduation caps up in the air, but Laila wasn’t as happy as she appeared to be. The guilt of what she had done was eating her up inside, but she never confessed. She was glad that Laila finally realized the extent of what she had done and was relieved by the thought that this guilt will remain with her for as long as she will live.