Bullets or Anxiety

February 13, 2012
By Anonymous

Why did they do this to me? I don’t understand. I thought they said this was the last time, but there I was again packing my stuff into boxes and there wasn’t a thing I could do to change their minds. All I could focus on was the fact that I had just gotten my anxiety under control and then it’s going to fall apart again. I had just made friends who were trustworthy, and was starting to get use to going to that school. It took me two years to finally fit in and to learn to control the anxiety, I would still get attacks sometimes but they were never as bad as before.
I closed the last box and taped it shut, my mind was filled with thoughts about how the kids would treat me. I know I am different, I wasn’t a nerd, or a geek, but I look the part. I carried my last box down the stairs to the front door where both my parents stood, arguing again.
I sighed loudly and walked by them to the moving van. One of the movers took my box and I went to the truck slamming the door loudly. That snapped my parents out of it, they came over and sat in our vehicle, my dad turned the key and started out of the driveway. I could feel the tension in the air I forced myself to look straight ahead and to not breathe too loudly, anything could set them off again. It was going to be a long drive to Woodside, Utah.
Later I was rudely awoken by my parents arguing about where to park. I sat up and looked around. We had finally made it to the new house. My mind started racing out of control again. Getting my room set up, starting school again, my parents fighting, and I was all alone. I had no one to be supported by. I grabbed a box and ran into the house. It was a small two-story house one bedroom down stairs one up. I raced up the stairs to stake my claim on a room. I dropped my box on the floor and looked around. I wasn’t sure if I should be angry or burst into tears, I had been wrestling with my emotions the whole ride. I started to un-pack as soon as the movers brought the rest of my boxes up.
“They said this would be the last move” I reminded myself as I pulled the covers to my bed down and slowly sank into it, “They both promised.” I pulled the covers around my chin and closed my eyes. Instead of drifting off into a peaceful sleep, my anxiety exploded. What was I going to do when I went to school tomorrow? Should I try to make friends? Or blend into the background. Are my parents going to divorce? I don’t like the idea of being a split family and them fighting over who gets to see me. My mind raced and I got more and more worried and scared. I finally had drifted off to sleep that night.

“Wake up!! It’s time to go!” Mom yelled up the stairs. I looked at the clock and realized I was late already. Anxiety took over again, my body kept getting me ready for the first day, but my mind went wild, scaring me into a frenzy. Three hours of restless sleep had left me jumpy. I ran down stairs and grabbed some toast. More worries entered my mind. What if I don’t fit in? Who am I kidding I will never fit in anywhere. Why do I try?
I was thinking of skipping the first day when my Dad came around the corner.
“I could drive you in.” He offered in a worried voice.
“Yeah, sure.” I tried to sound like nothing was bothering me, but he could tell I was about to have a full blown attack.
“You’ll be fine. I’m a phone call away, don’t forget that.” His eyes were searching mine trying to look into my mind and discover what was bugging me.
I turned on my heel and ran to the car. I closed the door and sat there doing the breathing exercises my counsellor had taught me back home. In and out, clear your mind, think of a fun time. My mind went to the summer before the fighting started. That was the summer before my anxiety went out of control, before I started hurting myself, before everything went south.
I jumped out of the car at the school and pulled my hood on. I was going to keep to myself. I walked into the school quickly. I had studied my schedule and knew where my classrooms were. I dodged friends hugging, enemies fighting and teachers talking as I ran into my first class room. The teacher looked up and made eye contact with me, I felt my anxiety build. I fought the urge to run away. He turned away from me and I took a deep sigh and set my books down. As I did so a hand tapped my shoulder. I turned around quickly. This girl I didn’t know looked hard at me. I wanted to run.
“Just so you know, I am in charge around here so if I don’t like you no one will.” Her icy glare made me nervous. “Oh, my name is Chelsea,” Then she pointed to her friend “and this is Amanda.”
I nodded and they both threw hair over the shoulders and turned out of the room. Anxiety came over me again. I sat down and tried to look calm on the surface, but I guess I did to good at looking calm. By the time lunch came everyone thought I was stuck up. When I walked by people would whisper and point. Saying my nose was so high in the air, I would drown if it rained. I dropped my head lower and lower with each comment. I could tell that no one liked me so I sat outside and let the cold fall air eat at my fingers as I ate my lunch. I saw a small group of girls headed my way. I prepared for the comments and hatred.
“Can we sit with you?” asked the shorter girl. “My name is Carrie.” She smiled a friendly smile.
“Yeah I guess you could.” I looked up at the three girls, wondering why they were here. “My name is Amber.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Megan.” She sat next to me, I sized her up. “This is Britney. Your probably wondering why we’re here.” She must have seen me sizing her up, ready to protect myself. “We saw how people are treating you. I’ve been there, we all have. We want to help you. Please let us.”
I tried to find my voice, “I should warn you now, I have anxiety and I feel like I may lose control of it.”
“We’ll be here for you.” Britney took my hand and gave it a squeeze. I smiled at them all, my first real smile since I got here.
I had been here for a week. My anxiety was worse than ever, but my new friends were there to support me, but the bullying had increased.
I got to the school and went to my locker. I dropped my books. I could feel the tears building. I closed my eyes, tears threatening to pour out. I ran, the words written on my locker racing through my mind. Just give up, no one wants you, your ugly, your fat, you are a freak of nature, why do you try? I ended up at my house.
I ran to the gun cabinet, I knew what I was looking for. There is lay with all its glory. I picked it up slowly. I fingered my dad’s pistol. I slide my finger up and down the barrel. I knew it was loaded. I shoved it into my bag, along with a piece of paper and a pen. I ran out the door, not bothering to close it.
I sat by a big tree at the edge of the park, thinking of what to write. I picked up the pen and the words started coming. I let the words flow from my brain onto the paper. Why would they do this to me? What did I ever do to them? Why did my parents fight so much? Why is life always so unfair to me?
I put the pen down and tucked the paper into my bag. I pulled the pistol out of my bag I felt the trigger. I ran my fingers all over the cold metal. I felt a sense of peace fill me. I lifted the gun upward towards the sky. My finger placed over the trigger. I pulled the hammer back. The gun ready, waiting for me to pull back. I pulled back. The bullet flew through the sky free, like I wanted to be.
“STOP!” The word echoed through the empty park. I heard footsteps running towards me. Then they saw the gun and stopped dead. I heard police sirens screaming. I knew if I didn’t do it now I wouldn’t get the chance again.
“Turn around now.” My voice firm telling my friends not to look, they didn’t have to watch this.
“No, I am coming over don’t you dare shoot me.” Megan came forward slowly, studying me.
“I won’t.” She sat down next to me slowly, than she reached for the pistol. I looked at her and kept a firm grip on the pistol. “Don’t touch it,” My eyes were closed and for the first time I didn’t feel the anxiety exploded.
“We are coming forward Amber, Just give Megan the gun.” Carrie said with a firm yet caring voice. I let Megan take the pistol from me. I watched my friends come over slowly to sit with me. A sense of peace filled me once again. I felt them take my hands, I looked up slowly.
“I couldn’t handle it anymore.” My voice sounded strange to my own ears.
“Amber don’t put yourself through it alone. That’s why we’re here.” Carrie squeezed my hand to show her support and love. The feeling of peace grew even more.
My friends walked me home, all smiling and showing their support. I felt that pistol sitting in my bag, and remembered the wonderful feeling that had filled me when I had shot it. I wanted that again. We got home and I told my parents what had happened, and why I was still alive. They called the cops and the principal, telling them what had happened. I was scared things would get worse, but my friends reassured me that they would be right beside me, they even offered to go to the gun range with me.
Eventually, Amanda and Chelsea were charged with bullying, and the principal started watching the halls closer. My friends were there every step of the way. When I would lose control, I would take that pistol of my dad’s out, and head down to the gun range. I let the bullets fly through the sky. The sense of peace comes flowing through me getting stronger with each shot I fire. With each shot that rang out of that barrel in the past year, the less I was bullied and the more confident I would grow. Life started to look up, but that didn’t mean I would stop shooting that pistol, it gave me a sense of control when my life had little.

The author's comments:
Done for a short story in English

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