Spring Awakening is not mine.
Sidenote: this follows the canon of an earlier draft of the musical, during which Ilse told the other girls what happened to Wendla. All other things are the same, but - well, they know for sure. Which is sort of where this idea came from.
You've been warned, disturbing things are ahead.
She shuts her eyes and she takes it, over and over and over – she has no way to stop it. It hurts, but it's a familiar hurt; a pain she's used to. An unremarkable pain. An everyday pain. She can take herself out of it, enough to numb herself.
But there's something remarkable today; for the first time she imagines someone else hurting, even more than herself. It's not the same as thinking of Ilse; their stories are so much the same, their pain is so much the same. But the things Ilse knows, that Ilse told her, yes, these are the things that make her blood run cold and activate her morbid imaginings.
In the dark, she imagines her skin paling and the scars on it fading, her waist thinning out, her hair falling from its braids, loose and damp around her shoulders – no longer herself, but another girl, a girl she knew so well. And she feels weight press down upon her, but she imagines it a younger form, she mentally edits out some of the bulk, replaces a harsh cruel touch with a more inquisitive one – she can see it so easily. A little girl, a not-so-little boy, but it's not this part of the story that's full of the pain beyond even her.
She can piece things together, from what Ilse told her, and from what she has gathered; and the touch she feels becomes so much more, something colder, metal, something prying her open; though she has become adept at silencing herself during these times, this awful wrenching causes her to cry out, to sob. She can't help herself; she's always had a gift for being able to feel others' pain – perhaps a curse, she's got more than her own fair share yet at times like these she takes on other peoples', it's more than sympathy, it's a physical ache. It's unfixable.
Her one loud cry, accidental, before she can stop herself, is enough to bring about a barrage of words, sharp, making as much of an impact on her skin as the blows that accompany them – don't you cry child, don't you pretend like you're hurt, you like it you little whore, I'm not through with you yet Martha I swear to God– but soon it's over, over; one shove and she's curled in the corner, her eyes dripping tears, her chest heaving, her skin raw and throbbing. The door slams shut, she hears the lock that she does not have a key to click, she hears the footsteps vanish down the hall: not so unusual.
She brings her knees to her chest, wraps her shivering arms around them; she can't control herself. Her weeping gradually quiets, she can imagine the wordfall through the door if it didn't – now don't make me come in there Martha, really child you shouldn't cry like that, just hush and go to bed or I'll give you something to really cry about – threats that fall empty since she can't imagine anything that she hasn't felt, she's an expert on pain, but she knows better than to invite it in.
She can't see past the end of her arm, in the dark room; even the sky is black tonight. Her window is drawn closed. She shuts her eyes, swollen from crying and from unkind touches; she tastes a scream in her throat ready to erupt and bites her tongue to keep it down. She bites down so hard she swallows blood, and fresh tears well up.
She has never thought to ask God why me?She can't imagine her life any other way, even if it hurts. She wants terribly to, but she can't fathom an escape. Tonight, though, she tips her tear-stained face towards the ceiling and murmurs why her?
"Why did You let that happen to her, God?" she weeps, almost silently. "Isn't it enough, Moritz gone and Melchior sent off, Ilse run off, and me… did You need Wendla, too?"
She recalls the ceremony, the empty lies; she recalls the cemetery, the cold truth. She hears Ilse's cynical words, and her later, more pensive ones. Even with this swirl of words around her, she can't make sense of what's happened. It doesn't seem right.
"She didn't deserve to be hurt," she mutters. "She didn't deserve to die. She didn't have to die, they killed her, they killed her and for what? For her honor? For their reputation?"
She can hear what they must have said – we'll fix you child, it's for the best, oh don't worry your pretty head just shut your eyes and breathe deep and all this will all be over soon – the words they must have used to calm her down, she'd have struggled, she wouldn't have been placid. She can hear what they must have said – ruined, just ruined, gone so far astray, the little she-devil, the little sinner – the words they must have said behind her back, when the pastor and the parents conferred, they would have judged, they wouldn't have seen the truth.
"I just don't understand," she whispers. "Someone so good and so trusting as Wendla, why did she of all people have to die? It doesn't seem right, it doesn't seem fair."
But then, she knows that life's not fair.