Emily. J: 18th. June. 2008
My name is Emily. Emily Jason. I'm eleven years old. I'm a glass fish from the Twilight Zone of the English Channel.
Now, before I continue anymore there's a few things you need to know:
I've been neglected.
I've been rejected.
And I'm swimming away from home.
Now, everyone whoever met me after this little escapology has always doubted the fact that I was neglected. But I'm telling you, I'm dead serious!
Well, I guess I should start of by telling you about my family.
Back home I had two sisters, a baby brother and a mum. We lived in the reef just of the coast of Southampton in the English Channel. Me and my sisters have been their ever since we were born and so has my baby brother.
Well, actually, we didn't live in the reef. We kind lived below it. You see, we're glass fish. We live in the Twilight zone. It's a really deep, dark part of the ocean. There aren't many in the Atlantic. But there's one in the English Channel, that's where we live.
Out of all of us, Louise is the oldest, she's nineteen. Then Alice is fourteen. Then I'm eleven and baby Tyler can barely paddle his little fins, he's only seven months.
Our mother is thirty nine and a glass fish like the rest of us.
We don't have a dad. Well, I guess we do but none of us have the same dad and none of us really know who our dads are.
Louise's dad left mum when he found out she was pregnant.
Alice's dad died before she was two, (my mum really loved him).
My dad wasn't very nice to Louise and Alice and so my mum made him leave.
Ty's dad left my mum after about a month while she was still pregnant.
Our mother's had a hard time trying to find the perfect man who will spend the rest of their life with her. She's had nine boy friends and was married once to Alice's dad, he was apparently the only one she really loved.
The men my mum's been with have either been sweet and sensitive but then left through no fault of my mothers or they have been complete scoundrels to me and my sisters.
For instance, when my mum met Jerry he often shouted at Alice and Louise for the slightest little thing and made them cry. And when my mum shouted at him back for being to mean to her little girls he pushed her.
But he pushed her so hard she fell through the television. Worst of all, she was pregnant with me.
She was rushed to hospital after being electrocuted. My mother got away with a few minor burns and scolds, but as for me, her unborn child, I came out a lot worse…
My mother had a miscarriage.
Now, you might be thinking that if my mum had a miscarriage then how am I alive today. Well, the truth is I still don't know. But I can tell you what I do know.
When my mother went to have an abortion two days later to remove her dead baby… Well, first they checked me to find out whereabouts I was with an ultrasound, and they saw me moving.
Baffled, they searched for my heart beat. And they found one.
Two days ago, the doctors confirmed me to be dead
Two days later, I had come back to life.
This is where it gets a little strange.
You see, this is the reason I'm changing who I am and leaving this life behind..
Well, I guess I should start from the beginning.
Despite the accident, I was born a normal healthy baby. Now, 'healthy' I agree with. But 'normal '? I was anything but.
Just before my mother became pregnant again, she'd suffered the death of her husband. Alice's dad. Then she had an 'accident' with a boyfriend, (don't ask me what that means 'cause I don't know).
But when I was born, my mother was still so depressed from Jonathan's death that she barely noticed she had a third daughter. And had she paid any attention to me at all, she would have realized that I was a rather extraordinary child.
Now, after I was born my mother hit an all time low. We've always been below the poverty line, but my mother lost her job through illnesses and we couldn't keep up with the rent.
So guess what happened? We had to move house. But we couldn't even afford a grimy old flat. Oh no. We had to move into a mass household. The means that we moved into a big house with load of other families.
And as it that wasn't bad enough, my mother couldn't get another job and Louise and Alice's school was costing too much. Mother had to force Louise to leave school and go into work. She was only nine a the time. And I was still a baby.
Mother carried on dating creeps and losers. Alice kept on going to school until she was eight. And Louise kept looking after me whenever she got a spare moment. But apart from that, I was on my own.
Louise once told me that when I was a baby she caught me rummaging in a bin bag 'cause I was hungry. When she pulled me out, I'd cut my lip on an old tin.
Louise went to get the first aid kit for her crying baby sister, but when she came back my injury was gone.
She cleaned me up anyway but that little mystery had puzzled her ever since.
But things were about to get ever weirder.
As I grew up without my mother noticing, Alice became my best friend, not just my sister. She'd always played with me whenever she wasn't at school. And by the time I was four, it was time for me to go to school too.
But I only got one year with Alice at school. By the time Alice was eight, she was forced to work too 'cause the school cost too much.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, every time my mother brought home a boyfriend they would always be complete scoundrels.
Just like one who was named Nathan
If we didn't do what he said right that second or if we did something wrong he would hurt us. He hit me and Alice.
When mum found out she left him of course, but the strangest thing happened when he injured Alice and me.
Alice's injuries would show, like bruises and red marks on her scales. But as for me, I never seemed to get any marks. But he still hit me just as hard as Alice but I never had any injuries.
I also found out then when ever I tripped in the playground or got hurt in P.E I never had any marks then either.
Every other kid my age has had countless scrapes and bruises from their lively play, but I never seemed to get hurt. There was only me and Alice that knew. Alice said to keep it a secret.
Something real strange was happening and I didn't now if it was coincidence or… something else.
And just as if this whole this couldn't get any worse, it did. I was forced out of school and into work.
But work in the Twilight Zone ain't pretty. Anyone and everyone below the poverty line either gets shoved down a mine shaft, or like us, shoved into a factory.
And that's just what happened to me, Alice and Louise.
Working in factories is a dangerous business. We get forces under machines to clean and fix them because we're small and they don't switch them off.
And guess what? All the labourers are fish and all the staff are either moray eels or angler fish or squids and other fish eating monsters.
I just wasn't fair. Every fish under twelve got smacked every now and then. But I got the worst of it.
I got angry a lot and talked back to the staff. I wasn't scared. I stood up for justice. But I only got punched down again.
My anger always got the best of me and sometimes I did more than just stand up for myself. And my mistakes hurt… a lot.
And get this. All the other under twelves all had bruises and scrapes and injuries of some kind on their scales. But I never had a scratch on me. Even though I got the worst of it!
Something weird was happening to me. But no one really cared.
Do you know what? This little story of mine just keeps getting better and better 'cause guess what? My mother had another baby. And she wouldn't stop drinking while she was with child.
When my baby brother was born, he was a very sick baby. And his mummy was a very sick mummy. Mum had been drowning her sorrows in gin for months and it was now beginning to make her ill.
When the authorities got involved we thought that they were going to get mum some help as well as my baby brother. But instead, they declared our mum as unable to look after herself and they took her away from us.
We were left with baby Tyler who was having trouble breathing and he had a fever, but we couldn't afford to take him to hospital. All we could do was to keep him warm and safe in the household's nursery.
Because of our circumstances, we became the perfect target of abuse from the staff at the factory. And the biggest target of all was me 'cause they knew I wouldn't just stand there and take it. I reacted and then they got me into trouble for answering back and punching back and retaliating alone.
But no-one ever helped me. It seemed like I was the only one who could see the madness.
I often confronted Louise and told her that we can't stand for this and that we should fight back. But Louise would just say that I was an ungrateful little wretch and I should be happy with what I had.
But what did I have?
An abused family,
A fist and mouth full of abuse,
And a sick baby brother.
And worst of all, the strange curse lingering around me. Every time I got hurt my injuries would heal up so fast. There was something wrong with me and everyone knew it. My family, the families in the house hold and the staff at the factory.
Sometime I could just cry. I felt so lost. I had no one to turn to. No one who cared or even noticed my suffering.
So this is it! I'm leaving!
I'd say I'm swimming away from home, but I don't know where home is anymore.
And I'd say that I'm gonna go missing for a while, but how can I go missing if no one will miss me?
I hate being different.
I hate it that I have no-one to turn to.
I hate being me.
So this is it.
I've made my decision.
Enough is enough.
I want out.
Tonight is it. I'm leaving everything behind.
I'm packing my bags and taking with me anything about who I was. The pages of my diary that Alice wrote for me. News paper of when I survived a collision with a train. Even the videos that Alice did of me, she videoed me and what happens when I get hurt.
And I'm changing my appearance. I am a glass fish after all. I can change the colour of my scales, I can even make my scales transparent.
I'm leaving behind everything I was.
My baby brother,
My broken family,
I'm no longer Emily Jason…