"My name is Allie, and this is my story so far."
Allie is a strong girl with a good heart. She's a natural brunette and has never dyed her hair, but cut it drastically once or twice. She never cries in public but sometimes has to wear a down-turned smile. She's intelligent and hard working and considerate. Reliable, motivated and very, very passionate. But Allie isn't perfect. Far from it. Under that hard, steely exterior, Allie is vulnerable. Insecure. A thousand tears are cried behind the privacy of her bedroom door, and many times has she feigned sleep to dwell on everything she wished she could change in her life. Allie bites her nails, and swears a lot, and has a tendency to be overly materialistic. She probably does drink too much. Her friends try hard with her but eventually, they lose their patience, because she has a tendency to be defiant. She's spontaneous and a little bit crazy, and sometimes out-of-hand, but at least she's never boring. She can be friendly yet out-spoken. Allie is, somewhat secretly, a very fragile little doll, under her disguise. Under the layers of foundation, the dark eye make-up and lipstick, the carefully-perfected hair the meticulously-selected clothes, the perfume, the nail varnish, the complete façade: she is a different person.
The shy, quiet girl, who knows what she wants but has no idea how to get it. The girl with the broken smile, the bitten-back tears, the scar not visible to the naked eye; not physical, but mental. The girl with the idea but lacks the confidence to share them. The one who won't raise her hand in class, although she knows she has the right answer stored in her head or perched on her lips. The girl who may just have the ability to change the world, if only she had a spoonful of gumption in her grasp. Allie spends too many hours crying, too much time dwelling on the past, too much time being unhappy, and there are too many people in her life who don't seem to realise how weak this strong girl really is. The girl who has so much she needs to say, but no one to listen. With a smile plastered across her face, and a whiskey chaser in her hand, the world is her oyster, or so you'd think. She sits at her desk, doodling in her latest, overly-priced notebook, watching the world live their lives, while she's too frightened to live her own the way she'd truly like to. Dwelling on the missed opportunities and poor choices, her negativity is there to cloud any potential growth of optimism. Her family are amazing, but sometimes, Allie needs more than that. She needs freedom and excitement and yet, at the same time, she needs to know that the friends she spends weekends partying with, are there to pick up the pieces when her world comes crashing down around her ears. A very-real hand to help her up, a bearer of good news, a light in even the darkest times, someone just to give her a hug or a tissue or a 'congratulations' card when she achieves her goals.
She needs the people she has in her life. The carefully selected few she'd break an arm for. The support system she has built over the years, in the desperate hope that if/when she needs it, they'll kick in, they'll stand up, they'll be out in full-force, at her beckon-call, to be who she needs them to be. A shoulder to cry on, a drinking buddy, someone to have a late night chat with, and ultimately, someone who not just can, but will, drop everything for her if she needs it. Upset, angry, worried, and Allie's group will be by her side, on the other end of the phone, or the other end of the settee, to make sure that if she needs anything, they'll be right by her side, or just a stone's throw away. Allie's always going to be quiet inside, even if there's a part of her she wants to show off, shout from the rooftops. The reserved, shy side isn't dormant quite just yet. So, the girl with the big smile and the carefully applied mascara, well, she's still sort of hopeful. If they aren't there to pick her up, she picks herself up. If there's no one there to dry her tears, she violently mops up her own. If there's no one there to reassure her when her doubt starts to take over, she tells herself that exact thing. When the insults fly and the tempers rage and everyone seems to be conspiring against her, what does she do? Allie simply shuts the door. She walks away, holding her head as high as she possibly can. She knows the skies will clear in time. Luck changes. And most of all, Allie knows, that with the right help, she will become the person she's always wanted to be, and in her heart, always has been.