They use to always tell me to keep my head up, even if everybody in this world was trying to bring me down. And when they said that I didn't pay close attention because my life was always perfect. My life was as porcelain as fine glass.

But now, as I write this, I wish I had heeded what they said because my porcelain glass now had a fine crack in it.

-

I was a swimmer.

The best in our school for that matter.

We had a meet today and I was more than hyped to show off my new skills I had acquired during practice these last few weeks.

I shut my vermilion colored locker merrily and turned around with a smile on my face, but that smile was quickly washed away like a lone crab on a shore and was replaced with a frown.

It was the girls on my swim team snickering at me and my eyebrows creased in confusion. Had I done something wrong?

"Hey guys! what's so funny?" I said after fixing my face and putting on a smile. They stopped laughing and rolled their eyes before walking out the locker room.

"Okay.. that was weird." I said to myself and I heard a cough coming from the far corner of the room. I instantly became alert and grabbed a floatie from an open locker and padded toward the sound slowly.

"Hello? Come out, I have a floatie and I'm not afraid to use it," I said making my voice a bit deeper.

The person in the corner laughed a little and stepped out. Her eyes were a soft jade that glinted with humor, and her skin was a smooth, deep chestnut. Her small afro was receded by the goggles on her head, and the blue swimsuit on her showed off her toned body.

"Oh, um, hi!" I then looked at the floatie in my hand and quickly chucked it on the floor with a nervous laugh. "Sorry about that, I thought you were someone else." I spouted awkwardly.

She giggled and nodded her head. "It's ok, I was just taking some medicine for my cough. I want to swim good today," she explained.

"Wait, you're on our swim team?" I asked in shock. I had never noticed her until now.

Her face dropped a little and she grinned. "Yeah, I've been on here for a while now." I noticed the slight change in her voice and I felt awful about how I responded.

"Well my name is Liya," I said with a smile, sticking my hand out. She returned my smile and took my hand in hers.

"I'm Nikki."

"Like the Minaj?" I joked and she rolled her eyes.

-

"I can't believe you got first place!" Nikki cheered while we walked to the showers. I smiled and admired her high cheekbones as she cheesed excitedly.

"What can I say? I got the juice," I said with a wink. We laughed and walked to where our showers were and we saw the same girls from earlier. They gave us a glare and Nikki slowly inched closer to me. It was awkward as we walked past them and went to the changing area.

"I don't like them," Nikki whispered and I peeked over to see the girls in the mirror putting on makeup. I looked back at Nikki to respond to her, but I saw her beginning to get undressed and I quickly looked away. My face turned a deep scarlet as I looked at my feet.

"Liyah? You okay?" She asked with concern. I nodded, still not looking at her. "Yeah, It's just the steam from the showers getting to me," I lied.

-

"Hey, I'm about to head out!" I heard Nikki say as I was still in the shower.

"Okay! See you later!" I shouted over the water hitting against the ground. Once I was finished I stepped out and grabbed a towel. The room was silent because everyone had left already. I went over to the bench that had my clothes on it, but I couldn't find them.

"Where did they go?" I looked around the dark room frantically.

"You looking for these?"

I turned to see one of the girls from earlier smirking with my clothes in her hand. My mouth opened and my throat felt scratchy all of a sudden.

"Can I please, please have them back." I said slowly but the girl shook her head. Then another girl came out and turned a shower on and the girl that had my clothes threw them under the hot water.

"NO!" I yelped and ran to my clothes, but another girl came out of nowhere and tripped me. I whimpered when my body came in contact with the tiled ground and the girls around me laughed.

"I guess miss perfect isn't so perfect now, is she?" A girl came towards me and squatted down to my level.

"You may act happy all the time and like nothing could go wrong in that little fantasy world of yours, but it's time you get over it. You're not special, you're weird. We know your secret, we watched you today with that girl. You know you need help, we all know it." She grimaced at me and stood up. My bottom lip quivered as I watched them walk out the door and leave me alone in the dimly lit room with the shower's water still wetting my clothes.

-

After that day, I became distant.

I wouldn't talk to my parents, I barely talked to my friends or hung out with them, and my grades were starting to plummet.

I even quit swim.

Nevertheless, the girls still saw me and still made it their mission to make my life hell. I would still see Nikki in the hallways though, but I'd always find a way to avoid her. When she found out I quit she was devastated and left me plenty of texts and voicemails, but I didn't answer any of them.

I was sad, so sad.

I didn't feel like myself at all.

My life was so happy before, but now it sucks.

I walked to my car in the schools parking lot and saw people wrote some bad things on it. But one thing stuck out to me the most.

Miss Perfect.

I ran to my car and drove away in embarrassment.

-

My feet played in the water beneath me. Tears fell from my heavy eyes as I looked around the natartorium. It was dark, and the only source of luminosity you could get came from the pools lights. My heart ached and my stomach churned at how miserable I was.

Those girls were right.

I closed my eyes and held my breath.

They were so right.

And then I slid into the pool.

As I fell, it's like my life flashed before my eyes. I saw the day where on my 8th birthday nobody showed up because nobody wanted to be my friend, the day where my mother caught my dad having an affair and later divorced him, the day where my little brother and I both got in a bad accident but he was the only one that had to get a prosthetic arm, and the day where I finally got the courage to come out to my parents and they both looked at me like I was some sort alien.

All those memories, all those days, and yet people still give me the title Miss Perfect.

Maybe this was for the best anyway, maybe with me being gone everyone will finally be happy.

The water comes up my nostrils and I gasp.

They'll all be happy.

-

"LIYAH! LIYAH PLEASE WAKE UP!"

My ears felt clogged and like the voice that was calling my name was so far away.

"LIYAH PLEASE!"

I felt cold and my skin felt numb from everything.

"COME BACK TO ME!"

My body jolted up and I saw Nikki above me crying. Her clothes were soaked and he small afro was damp and curlier than usual.

"Liyah, are you okay? Can you hear me?" She shouted. My body then lunged forward as I began to cough up water and gasp for air. Liyah quickly came to my aid and patted my back feverishly.

"Oh thank god, you're alive" She sighed at I looked around. I was dizzy and my eyes still hadn't fully adjusted so everything I saw was still blurry.

"I thought I had lost you," Nikki whispered and it's like once I heard that all clarity was regained. I tried to get up but my legs wobbled and I fell right back down.

"Where are you going? You're in no position to move you're still too we-"

"Why did you stop me?!" I yelled causing her to jump back shocked.
"I was finally going to be happy, everyone was finally going to leave me alone." I cried as tears trailed down my cheeks. Nikki carefully scooted next to me and embraced my shaking body in her arms.

"They use to always tell me to keep my head up, even if everybody in this world was trying to bring me down." I sniffled and looked up to her sad jade eyes.

"I wasn't going to let anyone bring you down Liyah, you're too strong for anyone to break you down." She admitted with a weak smile.

I looked down as Nikki soothingly caressed my face.

It was quiet, but then I sighed.

"I like you Nikki." I confessed and I heard her sweet giggle that I remembered hearing the first day that I met her.

"I like you too, Liyah."

-

I am not perfect, so there are some mistakes. (: