We Bully the honey. Round and round it went through her head, meaningless, senseless yet always there. Intrusive, distracting, constant as if melded to her heartbeat the phrase echoed over and over, sometimes quietly, sometimes so loudly she thought that others would hear it too, if only she opened her mouth, she had learned to keep it shut.
She was used to the stares, the watchful eyes, judgmental glares. When she did speak, sometimes it would slip out on its own, as if trying to infect others. We bully the honey. She stuck to communicating through email, text, it was easier to delete a word then unsay it. She felt safer when she was alone, unable to spread this terrible affliction. We bully the honey.
It didn’t bother her like it used to, the way people had looked at her. She was used to being an outsider, a freak. She had little time for normal people anyway, we bully the honey. These days her contact with people included only three. Her doctor, her editor, her proof reader.
We bully the honey, she pushed it to the back of her mind, a practiced gesture born of suffering managed. She focused on the task she needed to complete, reached for the sugar placed it carefully on the counter. We bully the honey, whispered again as she measured exactly 2 teaspoons and deposited them I into her coffee cup. She took a deep breath; we bully the honey. Then another. Today was not one of the good days.
She picked up the coffee pot with shaking hands, without the medicine this morning she was feeling jittery and fragile, she kept dropping things, bumped into things. We bully the honey. She poured the coffee into the cup, managed to only spill a little. Just a little she told herself as she turned to the fridge. we bully the honey.
She reached inside, ignoring the smell of old forgotten food. She would take care of it soon she promised herself with a sigh and grabbed the creamer, just a little left. A little was all she needed though, and she dumped the last of it into her coffee. We bully the honey. Just what did it mean she wondered for a moment, then stopped herself. She had been down this road before. If she thought too hard about it she would get lost in a strange forest, every tree a different thought, every flower an idea, butterfly dreams would flutter by. When she finally awoke, days had passed, and she had no idea where she was. We bully the honey. She shook her head.
Therapy and drugs helped to keep her grounded on most days, and she found other, small ways to cope. The drugs never stayed effective for long, and the new ones always took time to get used to. Her good days were numbered. We bully the honey.
She would not work today she decided, her editor, aware of her condition had told her to take what ever time she needed. We bully the honey; she was not in the mood to have her proof-reader jokingly tell her how many of her strange phrases needed to be removed. We bully the honey. They were aware, but no one really understood.
In that place she went to when she gave into the phrase, it was mystical, beautiful. Like stepping through some kind of magical window, she could get lost forever walking among the foliage, beneath the dappled sunlight and the breeze. Time stood still and she was free, no incessant, terminal phrase over and over again. She was peaceful, feather light, she was home.
While there, part of her wanted to stay forever, but inevitably some danger would pull her out and she would be back. Injured usually, sometimes starving, or dehydrated. Once she woke up at the hospital and finally had to admit there was a problem. We bully the honey.
That was when the therapy and drugs had begun. They wanted to lock her away, but the thought had terrified her, almost as much as the thought of losing her world. We bully the honey, we bully the honey, we bully the honey.
She refused, demanded other options, and convinced them that if she really tried, she could remain lucid, though it was a struggle it was not impossible and so they agreed to a trial.
Now, she had a handle of sorts, ways to stop herself from going through the window as they liked to call it. She could recognize when the curiosity came up like a wave. We bully the honey. She learned the breathing techniques and used them when it got too loud, we bully the honey. She began to write stories, about normal people doing normal things, we bully the honey.
She posted them online, and some of them began to get published, we bully the honey. Now she had a book deal and deadlines, the added stress wreaking havoc on her brain, we bully the honey, we bully the honey.
She sipped her coffee, one long pull, then swallow, the hot liquid warming her throat, her chest, her stomach. She breathed, she counted. What no one knew yet, was that the voice was getting louder, harder to ignore day by day. We bully the honey. The pull of the other place so strong it was almost impossible to breath at times. A longing so intense she wondered of this was what junkies felt all the time. Can you become addicted to madness? She thought about the peace and quiet, longed for the sunlight and the…
She stopped herself. It had been a long time since she had succumbed and she wasn’t sure if she would ever return again, once she crossed over. She breathed, she counted, she sipped. The clock on the wall ticked the seconds away, and time moved forward.
There would come a day, she told herself, when she would have no choice, when she would be completely swept away, we bully the honey. It would come, but until then she would fight. We bully the honey, for every last, shred of experience.