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She lay in her bed knowing what is about to happen. She won’t get up. She won’t get up. She’ll fall asleep just like everyone else as this ungodly hour. As she thinks these last words she’s swinging her legs over the side of her bed getting onto her feet and moving across the room. She falls back into bed and gets the feeling again. No, she will not get up. She tries to think of a silly word, a remedy her mom thinks will work but before she knows it she’s up again and in the hallway. Fighting the tears she gets back into bed and the feeling rises from her feet and crushes her chest yet again. She gets up again and runs into the bathroom. It’s off, its empty, its closed all the way, it’s clean, its smooth, its all ok. She circles her bed for the final time that night and crawls in, she cant let her mind stray from the lyrics running through her head or else it will happen all over again. She drifts off feeling defeated, knowing it’s just the beginning.
She’s running late, its 7:53 and her bus will pull up in two minutes yet she can’t pull herself away. Searching for some sort of approval from the three holes in the wall, she must stay until she finds it. It’s empty, she knows that, why can’t she leave. Her feet are shaking, waiting to leave. Her hands are clutching her bag and her breathing quickens. She feels the tears rush to her eyes but she can’t cry, she doesn’t want to cry, she wants to scream and most of all she wants to know it’ll be ok if she just goes. She stares until the feeling finally makes it’s way back and washes over her, soothing her mind. Its 7:57, she missed the bus but there was nothing she could do.
She’s home and enters her bedroom facing many of her rivals. She knows what’s happening to her, she’s known it ever since she walked in on her mother making the bed and slowly counting to herself while smoothing the underside of the sheets- she knows it’s genetic. She can even remember it all the way back to when she and her brother used to play and if he touched her hand the slightest she’d feel the urge to touch his back with the need to cover every inch.
The clock reads 11:07pm and she is exhausted and knows she should go to bed but at this point she’ll do anything to push off the dreaded hour she knows she is about to face. She picks up the pillow and stares, it’s clean, so she puts it back and lays down her head. That all to familiar rush surges through her again and her head is up and so is the pillow. She sees nothing, its clear. She thinks to the outlet in the bathroom and up she goes- just as she thought, nothing. She sees her lamp as she gets back into bed and there she is again reaching across her chair twisting the little metal knob until her fingers hurt. Night after night this happens and she’s beginning to develop a callous on her pointer finger. Oh no she thinks as she begins to get thirsty, but she decides she’d rather face the discomfort of thirst than the battle she is bound to have with the bottles cap.
Soon enough her nightmares are creeping into the daytime. She can’t sit down at her desk, on the couch or on her bed. She sits and gets up, checking the surface for what? She doesn’t even know, all she knows is that she will feel better if she just gets up one more time to take a quick glance- it’ll all be better after that one quick glance. It doesn’t and after three years of terror and living with the feeling of anxiety lurking around every corner she finally realizes she is the one that isn’t ok, not the outlet, or the light switch, or lamp, it’s her. But the thought of getting the help she needs scares her back into the reality of ritual.





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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Really excellent work keep it up i really liked this  could you please check out and commetn on my story Numb.  i would really appreciate the feedback
 
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