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Sad Fiction Teens & Young Adult

Content warning: suicidal thoughts, eating disorder

I dragged myself out of bed, my entire body sore and haggard of the torture I had put it through the day before. 

I glanced at the digital clock which sat on my nightstand, the bright green lights displaying the time which flashed in my eyes. 3:30 AM it read.

"Huh." I said. "Five minutes earlier than yesterday."

Five extra minutes of torture to live through. A voice in my head clarified as I stared out the large window, watching the raindrops splash incessantly on the glass.

Regardless, moving away from the window sill, I continued with my daily routine of getting dressed, picking out a clean set of grey joggers which I had washed the night before. Slipping out of my nightgown, I switched into the sweats, feeling the cotton material rubbing on my skin.

Once dressed, I opened the door leading out of my apartment dorm, eyeing the elevator situated right next to my room before resorting to taking the stairs as I did every morning. Once outside the building, I felt a cold shiver run down my spine, the frigid wind blowing in my face. The rain only made it worse, emphasizing the freezing temperature.

“Suck it in.” I told myself and pulled the thin hoody of my sweatshirt over my head, a futile  attempt to shield myself from rain. “Suck it in and get it over with.”

Then, although my body was screaming at me, begging me to show some clemency, I prevailed, forcing myself to step out into the rain and begin the ten mile route that I ran each day in the dark before the sun arose.

***

Sweat dripped down my chin as I pulled the door to my apartment building open. The cool air of the AC blasted in my face as if welcoming me back home. Outside, the rain had ceased although the sun had barely risen as it was still only 6 in the morning.

Once again, I eyed the elevator which stood at my disposal, just steps away.

Take the stairs. You have to take the stairs. The voice in my head reminded me. 

Of course, I did what it said. I took the stairs despite being exhausted from running ten miles in the rain. I took the stairs despite there being a perfectly functional elevator two feet away. I took the stairs despite the fact that I lived on the 15th floor in a 21 story apartment building. 

***

After changing out of my clothes drenched in sweat, I stepped into the shower and turned on the faucet. I felt the warm water rush from the shower head, relaxing my entire body as the steam began to rise above my head. I allowed myself to truly relax and enjoy the rushing water splash against my skin as the temperature went from lukewarm to hot. 

Habitually, I slathered handfuls of shampoo and conditioner on my hair which smelled like lavender, my favorite flower.  Then, I ran some body wash along my body, careful not to open my eyes in fear of what I would see or what I would do after seeing myself and body. 

Once cleaning myself of all the soap, I stepped out of the shower and grabbed the thick white towel that hung on the bathroom rail. Quickly, I dried myself, got dressed, and made my way to the kitchen of my small apartment, bracing myself for the battle that was next.

Opening the fridge, I analyzed my options open to me for breakfast. An apple? I thought. No, not an apple. Maybe some yogurt or a string of cheese? Absolutely not. 

Just grab a diet coke. You’ll do just fine with a diet coke. You’re not hungry. You don’t need the food. The voice in my head advised me as it did everyday.

Though starving, I yielded to that voice and picked a can of Diet Coke from the drawer, closing the fridge shut as if to prevent any temptation of going and grabbing anything else. Popping open the can, I took a long sip of the soda, allowing it to quench my thirst and hunger as the carbonated water did its trick, filling up my stomach. I stared out of the kitchen window which casted out to the streets below and wondered if a fall from that height could kill a person.

Cold, tired, and starving, I walked down the stairs of my apartment, this time completely ignoring the elevator. Bright and early, the sun had finally woken from its long slumber although I was about four hours ahead of its wake up schedule. 

Rounding the corner of my apartment building, I stood at the nearest bus stop, waiting for the next ride to arrive.  Crouched on the curb next to me, a middle aged man sat eating what seemed to be a turkey sandwich. My stomach grumbled in agony, chastising me for neglecting to fill it with anything substantial for breakfast.

Two sodas next time. I thought to myself as I stepped onto the bus and paid my ticket fare. 

***

“You look quite tired today Ana.” the receptionist at my office remarked upon seeing me enter the building. 

“You say that everyday Patricia.” I retorted, doing my best to avoid eye contact with her. 

“I say it everyday because it’s true everyday sweetheart.” she watched as I walked over to the door across from her, “And yet everyday you take the stairs though this building has a perfectly functional elevator.”

I heard her sigh as I swung open the door leading to the emergency stairs and began climbing up the seemingly endless flights, exiting the stairwell once I’d reached the tenth floor. I made my way to my work desk, being one of the dozen hundred other cubicles on the floor and sat down with a sigh. Pulling my laptop out from my desk drawer, I hooked it up to the larger monitor which welcomed me with an array of tedious code segments displayed on the screen.

“You’re here early.” a voice behind me remarked. I glanced up to see my manager, Andy, standing at the side of my cubicle. “As usual.” he added with a smile and an affirming nod. 

“Yes sir.” I replied, hoping to have sounded more enthusiastic about work than I actually was. For a moment, he stood there as if expecting me to say something more, but quietly moved on a second later when he realized I wasn’t about to start up a conversation. 

***

The rest of the day passed by as usual. I worked through the strenuous hours in the morning, skipped the team lunch, worked some more, and took the stairs down to the first floor out of the office building. I rode the bus back home, forced myself to climb the stairs back up to my apartment room, and popped open yet another can of diet coke to make up for the lunch I’d missed.

Come dinner, I opened the fridge once more and picked an apple from the side drawer, not daring to allow myself anymore than that.  Sitting on my couch, I stared out the vast kitchen window and took a small bite of the fruit in my hand.

Tears streamed incessantly down my eyes as the negative thoughts and self talk went through my head. Still, I refused to accept the fact that I wasn’t normal, that I wasn’t okay. 

You’re not sick. You don’t need help. The voice in my head repeated again to me as I continued to glance out the window, wondering when the pain would end.

Authors Note: There are so many individuals out there who are struggling with miscellaneous types of mental disorders but are afraid or reluctant to seek help and treatment. To those people, I just want them to know that they are not alone and that they can and should find help. You are never alone.

June 09, 2021 15:32

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