"Hey look! It's the emo kid!"

Bill whirled around and was overcome with a heavy feeling of dread. Buck, the biggest and toughest bully in school, was coming straight at him; his slightly smaller friends followed close behind him like minions. Bill wanted to say something, fire back at the bully who dared call him emo, but he found that he couldn't; he was frozen against his locker, breathing unevenly. Buck was taller than he was, and had a hell of a lot more muscle mass.

"What's wrong, emo kid? You gonna cry?"

The thugs behind the brute started snickering. Bill was shivering, but held his ground. People had assumed he was emo ever since he started dyeing his hair black and wearing makeup, so he was used to the accusations. But Buck was the first to actually bully him about it.

The savage giant grabbed Bill's shoulders and shoved him against his locker with a clang. Bill yelped, then immediately pressed his lips together knowing he'd regret it.

Buck pursed his lips mockingly. "Aww, did that hurt, Billa?"

The boy felt himself grow hot with rage; only Tom was allowed to call him Billa. He emitted a growl which elevated to screaming, kicking his legs and flailing his arms wildly. "Leave me alone, Buck!"

The bully's minions were now doubled over in laughter, and Buck continued to taunt the boy. "Ooh, someone's getting a little wild! Are you gonna cut yourself now, emo kid?"

The boy threw his head back. "DON'T CALL ME EMO!"

Bill thrust his limbs at Buck with all his might, but to no avail. The bully had him pinned against the lockers, and the boy's stomach dropped when his pursuer's fist rose and leveled with his face. Bill shut his eyes tight and braced himself for impact, and suddenly he felt an amazing amount of pain around his left eye as his head was whacked and thrown back against the metal. Dazed and hurting, Bill barely saw the thug's fist charging his head a second time, his knuckles digging into the boy's soft forehead and knocking his head back into the locker. It was a deadly move on Bill's part; one blow from Buck meant two bruises for him.

Everything became blurry, and Bill knew he was about to go unconscious. He tossed his aching head from side to side, tears running down his face, pleading for mercy.

"He's had enough, Buck," scoffed one of the bully's minions. "Let's go."

The rest of the smaller thugs started laughing again as Buck thrust Bill to the floor, the hard tile whacking the boy's already-battered head. Bill was sobbing and his face was turning black with running makeup.

"Told you I could make him cry," Buck sneered. "The emo ones are so easy. Go cut yourself, Kaulitz."

The bullies kicked the boy in the side as they walked away laughing. Bill felt as if his world had been shattered; he lay there on the ground for several minutes, wailing and sobbing. He felt weak, like a child separated from his mother. How could someone do this to him? What had he done to deserve such torture? And why were so many people against him that no one cared and did nothing as he was inhumanely beaten black and blue?

I hate my life

I can't sit still for one more single day

I've been here waiting for

Something to live and die for

The bell rang; Bill was late for his next class. But he didn't care; he couldn't go to math like this. Once his head cleared, he picked up his books and ran down the hall and into the washroom. There was no one there, so the boy made a beeline to the nearest stall and locked the door. Safe and alone, he fell against the wall and slid to the ground. The tiled flooring was wet and disgusting, but so was his face now that tears had ruined his makeup and turned his face black.

As Bill sat on the soiled floor, he looked around him at the walls of the stall he hid in; they were heavily decorated with graffiti scribbled over every square inch—it was hard to believe those walls were once white, seeing them in every other color imaginable. And the scribbled work was some of the meanest pieces of writing that Bill had ever seen. Melvin Green is black trash. Sam Jonson is gay. And then he saw a statement that made his heart feel like a rock: Bill Kaulitz is an emo fag. But to his own surprise, he merely grunted and looked away, pretending he just imagined it.

There was something bitterly relaxing about being alone in such a crummy state. It gave Bill's emotions a chance to dictate his body without having to worry what others would think. Curling into a ball, the heartbroken boy cried and sobbed and sputtered—anything he could to flush out the overwhelming amount of emotion inside his core.

Let's run and hide

Out of touch, out of time

Just get lost without a sign

Tom tapped his pencil's eraser against his physics textbook page, frustrated at the complexity of the question. Suddenly, he was hit by a dark wave, and a sickly feeling draped over him. He knew this feeling all too well; he and his brother Bill had an incredible ability to read each other's emotions, and when they were separated they could tell if the other was in a crummy mood—it was a twin thing. And judging by the intensity of the sensation, something was horribly wrong with Bill.

Tom raised a hesitant hand. "Mr. Krenburg, can I go to the washroom?"

Without looking up from his desk, the teacher held up the hall pass. Tom got up and took the slip of paper, then strode out the door and ran straight for the boy's bathroom.

Bill ceased crying when he heard the door open and footsteps shuffling around the tile. But when he peered out the bottom of the stall and saw the familiar shoes and baggy jeans that belonged to his twin, he sighed quietly in relief.

"Bill?"

The boy sniffled and reached up to unlock the stall door, gesturing for Tom to come inside. Bill looked up like a scared puppy as his brother entered the stall and locked it again. When the boy with the dreadlocks saw his twin, eyes bloodshot and face stained black in the aftermath of crying, his eyes widened in dismay. "Bill, what's wrong?"

The black-haired boy sobbed, looking away from his brother. "Buck got on my case again. He called me emo and beat me to make me cry."

Tom couldn't believe what he was hearing. But he had to; he could see his brother's face becoming discolored, and he had a horrific feeling of what was going on. Sitting on the dirty floor beside the black-haired boy, he pleaded: "Billa, look at me."

Bill slowly turned his head to look at his twin. Tom gasped in fright at the sight of his baby brother's face; he noticed dark splotches appearing around his eye and on his forehead as fresh bruises started to form. "Oh, Bill…" The boy's arms gently snaked around Bill's waist and pulled him into a hug.

Bill returned his older twin's hug, and he felt relief wash over him. The pain that he had been enduring—both physical and emotional—suddenly vanished, and he knew that it was because of Tom. There was something about his brother that just seemed to melt his troubles away, no matter the predicament; he couldn't imagine a life without Tom.

As long as you stand by my side

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

Shine

Despite Tom's comfort, Bill found himself back in the same ditch just hours later when school let out. People started giving him funny looks, and some even snickered.

"Man," he heard one girl say. "I didn't know he was emo and a wimp."

"Whoa, better not say stuff like that around him," another girl jeered. "You might make him cry again!"

"Or make him cut himself!" the first girl laughed.

The world around Bill became melted and watery as tears filled his eyes. He ran through mobs of people toward the sidewalk leading home, girls giggling mockingly and guys punching him along the way. Normally he waited for Tom at the stop sign a few yards away from the entrance to the schoolyard, but he charged right through it; he had to get away from those people.

After sprinting all the way home, the boy ran upstairs and locked himself in his bedroom. He felt like he was bawling twice as hard now as he was in the school washroom; his makeup had to have been completely gone. But he dared not look in the mirror for fear of the messy face he might see, so he flopped onto his bed and wailed into his pillow.

The mood grew dark. Bill's sadness turned to demonic rage. So everyone thought he was emo; why not be emo? The boy opened up the drawer on his nightstand and pulled out a small but very sharp switchblade. After opening it up, he slashed it across his wrist; at first the stinging pain bothered him, but after a while he craved it. Bill found something deliciously satisfying at watching his own blood ooze out of the wound and roll down his arm in scarlet drops. He found himself lacerating his wrist again and again, until his entire arm was bleeding.

There was a knock on the boy's door. "Bill? Are you in there?"

Bill felt the hotness of his anger return, and he cut himself again to calm down. "Go away, Tom!"

There was a brief silence as Tom listened to the anger in his baby brother's voice in shock. "Bill, please let me in."

The boy growled, but got up and unlocked the door for his twin. When Tom opened the door, he gasped in disbelief when he saw the blood gushing down his brother's arm. "Bill, what are you doing?"

The dark-haired boy gritted his teeth. "If people insist that I'm emo, than why not be emo?"

The boy with the dreads felt tears in his eyes. "Billa, this isn't like you…"

"Not like me!" Bill screamed, tears streaming down his face. "If you knew the pain I go through every day…all I ever wanted was to be myself. I wear makeup because I feel like myself when I do; it's my style, and it isn't about to change. But then everyone has to pass it off like some emo act…do you know what that feels like?"

Tom sniffled. "Do you feel like yourself when you cut your arm? Is emo your style?"

You see my soul

I'm a nightmare

Out of control

I'm crashing into the dark

Into the blue

Into the world of our cocoon

Bill went silent. Out of options, he tried to bring the switchblade back to his wrist, but Tom grabbed the knife and threw it on the floor. Looking Bill in the eyes, he whispered: "I know it's hard for you, Bill, but I also believe you can pull through. And if you ever feel like the whole world is against you, remember that I'm still on your side, and I always will be."

Bill stared in surprise at his older twin's words, and he never felt so stupid in his life. Tom was here to help him, and he had to go and get all dramatic about the situation as if Tom had sided with the bullies. More tears fell as he muttered: "Tomi…I'm sorry…"

The boy with the dreads hugged his younger twin again, as if to squeeze out the last traces of doubt that may have been lingering inside.

You're the sun and I'm the moon

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

Shine

"Tomi…"

"Yes, Billa?"

"Never leave me," Bill ordered.

Tom shook his head. "I would never dream of it."

Bill hugged tighter, drinking in the comforting smell of his brother's cologne. He knew he was coating Tom's oversized jacket with wet blood, but his twin didn't seem to care. "I hope not. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Billa, don't worry about it," Tom urged. "I'm not going anywhere."

The black-haired boy nodded. "Thank you."

Don't let go, no

Don't you know

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

Shine, shine, shine

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

In your shadow I can shine

Shine, shine, shine

In your shadow I can shine