1 1: The Chrysalis
The dawn rain tapped on the crooked glass window of young Clarissa's apartment residence. Thunder claps were heard for hours and hours but she had no fear of thunder. After sustaining herself throughout the years, enduring the absence of her parents and family who had either died, deserted or deviously cheated their way to greatness, she had become an expert at self-sufficiency
She decided that she had taken enough of the peaceful clouds and lightning. Getting off of her chair, she gazed around at the shambles the house was in. Faded paint on the walls, a dusty coffee table, a sofa older than her and the wooden door to her room, laden with cracks and holes that almost made it lose its purpose. "Something's better than nothing" She repeated to herself for the twelfth time today. Her finances were falling and her rent was overdue. Her bills were flying as the rates of the gas, air conditioning, electricity and automobile gasoline flew into the heavens with no signs of slowing until they'd successfully surpass the moon.
"Clarissa...calm down...you've held up this far, just a few more grades and you can get a job. You'll get everything you want" The voice of her heart, disguised as her own, whispered into her ear while her mind wreaked havoc as it bellowed in her other ear "It's not going to work. It's all falling away. Nothing is ever right. You always set yourself up for disappointment"
She gave herself a firm slap. Knocking off whatever nonsense her mind was cooking. It was finally time to go to school, but who said she was waiting for it? She wanted anything but to go that hellhole again.
Anderson Public School.
The name was enough to make her nauseous. The terrors the children encountered there were of no known limit and always managed to go past the educational board. A school that caters to killers, insurgents and corrupt businessmen in the making, she thought to herself. She'd have left a long time ago but then she'd have nowhere to go. It was the only public school that would allow someone to enter for free education and actually had a promising plan for the futures of the students, if they chose to follow the path of those who would kill for a mere comment, steal to add to their pleasure and assault because they thought it was fun.
She unwillingly walked into her room to change, her wardrobe was not very fancy but rather a set of decent clothes she managed to buy with the money her family chose to leave to what her mother called "A reason to not have children" and "Top reason why pulling out is best". A toxic family, if they still knew she existed, thriving for herself.
She had finally dressed up, having already showered before and put on the small bottle of perfume her father had gifted her, with actual and pure love, before her mother had guilt-tripped him into divorce. She grabbed her bag after checking her load of books inside, 7 notebooks and 5 heavy textbooks, each as big as a World encyclopedia. She grunted as she pulled the bag over her shoulder and groaned as the weight pulled on her back.
She took one final look at the storm outside, the heavy tapping on her window the bright purple flash of lightning against the dark grey world and nearly slate-gray skyscrapers, the booming clap of thunder almost felt like the world reassuring her. Telling her "There's still a chance. It will get better. It always does".
She smiled back at the dark clouds, the piercing winds and the heavy rain.
"I hope so too but I'll be damned if it does"