April 2, 2008
By Alyssa Smith, Hamilton, TX

"Don't let me drown!" She wanted to scream, but she couldn't. She didn't have enough breath for that, and they wouldn't hear her, anyway. They were off in their own world having fun; they wouldn't miss her. They did care for her in some way, but they didn't care enough to save her.

She tried to breathe through her nose, but she only inhaled the salty water. The warm liquid burned on the way down. The water had been a comfortable temperature at first, but now it seemed to burn her. She struggled to swim; she had no desire to die. Sure, she was depressed, but that didn't mean she was suicidal. The laughter of her friends and family reached her ears, and she found herself wishing that they were laughing at her. At least it would mean they were paying attention; anything would be better than their cold indifference.

Despite her efforts to stay alive, she sunk slowly to the bottom. She heard her voice mocking her in her mind. "They don't care about you. Why should they? You're always burdening them with your problems. They'll be happier without you, and you know it's true." The voice repeated it continuously. Her last thought before everything faded to blackness was how ironic it was that she would die on this perfect summer day; no clouds were in the deep blue sky, the breeze was gentle, and the sun shone brightly.

Her heartbeat was rapid when she awoke. She let out her breath slowly and inhaled deeply, savoring the sweet, fruity smell of her bedroom. It was so much nicer than that horrible salty smell. She hated her dreams; they played her worst fears. She couldn't ignore her doubts of those she loved; she wondered sometimes if they felt that way about her. She eventually relaxed and fell into another nightmare. There was no end to them.

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