My mobile phone vibrates against the bedside table. I pretend I cannot feel the vibrations rocking my rickety metal bed frame, I pretend to feel nothing at all.
The bed covers piled around me off some semblance of peace - soft sheets wrap around my overheated skin, swaddling me like the child I am. I refuse to look at my room. I know what is waiting for me and I don't want to see it. Clothes launder the floor, piles of dirty garments and socks beginning to grow sky high. The silver curtains are twisted , caught in a recoil of distaste for the disaster site which was once my bedroom. Though they are allowing flickers of light into the room, tiny rays filter through every so often which scream hope. Happiness. I abandoned those feelings long ago.
Plates of untouched food rot on my desk. Mother has stopped trying to make me eat now; instead she simply brings me steaming hot plates of food with a weary look in her eyes, and then collects the same untouched plate hours later. She's terrified for me, and though I wish I could say something to reassure her, my lips refuse to move whenever I try to apologise.
I wasn't always like this.
Once, I had been a joyous, albeit shy, child who adored being outside in all seasons - flinging my little body into leaf piles with my brothers, chasing my dog through the thick snow in winter, having water balloon fights with my mother on a sweltering summer's day, and braiding daisy chains into my long wavy hair in the spring. Now, I am a creature made up of twisting limbs and a stuttering tongue. Ashes of the person I once was.
Leaving the house is a challenge. The eyes of my neighbours seem to follow me wherever I go, their thoughts transparent on their twisted faces; freak, loner, strange child. I deny none of these things. I wear my anxiety like a second skin, a jacket which is sewn onto my flesh. Present at all times during the day, pouring tar into my ears, turning my thoughts to pitch.
How fragile the human mind is. I smile blankly when I am spoken to now, and nob robotically to appease my peers. The fools sense nothing - nothing, nothing, nothing. They aren't even aware that they are interacting with a person devoid of a soul.
Vibrations convulse alongside my bed, and I shift my body in the cocoon of blankets to reach for my phone, with trembling fingers. Five missed calls and eleven text messages. I put the phone down. My lungs squeezing against my rib cage, trying to choke down some air. My friends are clearly worried about me, and some part of my sick deprived mind rejoices because they actually seem to care. Yet, a disgusted voice echoes through my mind.
"As if anyone would ever care about you! The voice hisses at me. "You're a worthless little thing, and the would be a far better place if you never existed!"
I am far too exhausted to cry. I know what the voice says is true. I am a worthless, lonely creature, desperate for an acceptance of my nervous disposition which will not come. I sink further into the creases of my mattress. I am nothing, I am insignificant -
My mobile phone vibrates against the bedside table. I pretend I cannot feel the vibrations rocking my rickety metal bad frame, I pretend to feel nothing at all.