Home. What was it? Rey had never known. They had no memories of it to hold on to, no sense of nostalgia to warm their cold days. Only fear clung to them, like a dark and harsh shadow. Or like a wet, damp smell on their skin that they could not get rid of, no matter how much they scrubbed and cleansed themselves.
The void grew larger and larger, and a shrill cry pierced the quiet atmosphere. Suddenly, Rey visualized themselves on a white bathroom floor, with blood dripping out of their pale, bony arms. The ends of their wrists were lined with deep red gashes.
“How long will this last? End it already!” The voice mirrored their fragmented self.
Rey woke up choking and gasping for breath. Their eyes, wide open, searched every corner of the room for signs of danger. As they realized they were alone, Rey reached out to grab a glass of water with their shivering hand that was tucked inside the blanket. After minutes of taking deep breaths, Rey had finally calmed down.
“Just a nightmare, Rey, just another freaking nightmare!” they consoled themselves.
Rey climbed out of bed, clad only in their underwear, and examined their body. Rey did not identify with the male or female category. As a non-binary transgender person, they were often verbally and physically harassed at school.
With all the bullying they endured, Rey had lost weight and had grown leaner over the years. The scars on their slender legs, at the back of the knees and ankles, and on inner thighs, had multiplied over the months. The wounds of self-mutilation also lined the sides of their slim abdomen. Yet a layer of soft flesh covered their breasts.
Rey ran their fingers on them, half with disdain and half with curiosity. Cupping them in their hands, Rey stared deep into their own eyes in the full-length mirror, then turned away. They rummaged into the closet and pulled out masking tape to flatten their chest.
After the tiresome task, Rey pulled a white baggy t-shirt, then an XXL pullover over their body, which completely hid the frame of their upper torso. Their hair cropped in a short natural crew cut that complimented their high cheekbones. Large, slanted dark eyes investigated their own reflection, finding a solemn face with full lips and a button nose.
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