She came home from work. The pain in her lower back had intensified and spread to her inner right thigh, her left shoulder, and her neck. She was exhausted after a sleepless night, followed by her first day back at work, as well as by lifting the weight of at least her world for years on end. She felt like the loneliest person on the planet. She knew she wasn’t, but the biggest thing she hated about emotions was how fucking irrational they were.
After freeing one of the cats trapped in a room he shouldn’t be in, and taking off her boots, she ascended the stairs with the mail she had picked up earlier. Doctor’s bill, phone bill, and something for the father who hadn’t lived in this house for about seven years now. She dumped most of it on the kitchen table and ascended further up, watering a plant along the way.
She heard her brother listening to loud music in his room. Good. He probably won’t hear a thing, then. As if this was the permission she needed, she began breathing heavier, the breaths soon turning into sobs. The sobs were wails by the time she reached her own room, and the first tears started to form. She turned on her computer, then went to her bed, where she collapsed. Curling up, she cried in loud howls, drowning out the music in the room next door, as warm tears streamed from her eyes. Laying on her side, she noticed how annoying it felt to have the tears from her right eye not cross her cheek, but instead run along the bridge of her nose into her other eye.
This time, she wasn’t afraid of her eyeliner smudging. She didn’t wear any, because she honestly didn’t see the point. She wasn’t going to be pretty enough with or without it. Pretty, perhaps, but never pretty enough.
Her mind wandered amidst the wails coming from deep within her throat. She noticed how, when crying, her voice actually sounded loud, but not deep at the same time. She wondered if maybe she should try screaming, then immediately discarded the idea. Her thoughts started dwelling somewhere they roosted with alarming frequency: maybe it was hopeless. Maybe she should just give up. Give in. Stop trying. Stop being. Die. It wouldn’t matter to the world. Just another girl committing suicide, the papers would say.
Except that’s not what the papers would say at all. Thanks to that thing between her legs, they wouldn’t call her girl, and they wouldn’t use her proper name. That just wouldn’t do, she concluded. That just wouldn’t do at all. It wouldn’t be a suitable end. It wouldn’t be a satisfying payoff to her struggles. Her story would feel off.
She didn’t stop being. Instead she stopped crying, got up, sauntered to her computer, and began writing a really horrible one-page story.