Hanging onto the curtains with both hands, she felt her legs turn to jelly, and although she did her best to stay upright, sure enough, she soon fell down. With fresh sunlight washing over her body, she curled into a ball, and there on the floor she sobbed. She sobbed until there came wave after wave of stomach cramps that caused her to wretch and heave and snort. It was a humiliating thing, and even though no one else could see, she pinched herself out of frustration and banged her head against the floor for being so stupid. It hurt but she didn’t stop, and with each dull thud as her skull hit the imitation wood panelling, she felt as though the pain was her just deserts for pushing away the only man she had loved as much as her father. After a time, she felt as though she might faint, but she didn’t stop banging her head, nor did she cease pinching the back of her left hand. She did so until blood trickled out of her body the same way as her tears. She wasn’t fond of the sight of blood, so she averted her gaze, and yet she could feel it flowing over her skin, clinging to her wrists like the black ink of her tattoos. The pain felt better than being numb, for an absence of feeling was the worst horror of all, and yet it wasn’t much of a consolation. She was a stupid bitch who ruined everything she touched. This is what she said to herself, over and over again. Sometimes you could make out the words, and other times it was impossible to make out anything at all for she was crying so hard. In the gaze of the open window, she may not have realised it, nor believed it, but she was changing into something beautiful and taking the first steps at earning her wings. Amid the cursing and the bleeding and the sound of her skull bouncing off the floor, one version of X was making way for another. Outside, the animals had gathered on the lawn beneath her window, and one by one they made their way up to catch a glimpse of the sad little girl who would one day be as magical as them.