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Empty

She was so tired. That was the only thing she really felt anymore... tired. Sometimes it was kind of peaceful- the whole world a fuzzy blur, an unchanging, dull ache in the back of her head. Sometimes, though, she felt a tired rage, a creeping loathing that she couldn't quite swallow. Loathing for things she hated, even more loathing for things she loved. And, most of all, loathing for herself. She averted her eyes from her own lifeless gaze in the mirror and threw on a T-shirt. She paused for a moment, then stuffed an over-sized sweatshirt over her head. The better to hide in.

Hiding was one thing, maybe the only thing, she was sure she was good at. She slid into a slumped position on the floor and tried to remember what life was like before. This had become somewhat of a ritual for her- not so much because she could truly remember those times, but more to reassure herself that they had existed. She needed to wane the rising panic inside her, and assuage the fear that those hazy, happy days would become too distant and float away. She needed to know that that life was a part of her still. So she held onto the past with desperation, as the present stretched out before her, blank and mundane.

She mindlessly made her way down the stairs and stood at the kitchen counter. She felt the tension in her shoulders ease a little at the familiar swooshing sound of the cabinet next to the refrigerator as she pulled it open. The reassurance of routine gave her small comfort. She grabbed the 1/4 cup measuring cup, and paused as she turned it over in her hand. It was so infuriatingly small. On her tiptoes, she yanked open the cabinet above her head, and reached for the cereal box. After a moment’s contemplation, she faltered. Without removing the cereal, she closed the cabinet door again. She returned the measuring cup to its rightful place in the drawer below. What was the point? Fifty calories that would only gnaw at her insides, begging for company. Fifty calories that she would berate herself for endlessly later on. Fifty calories that she never tasted. Zero was an easier number to swallow.

She spent the rest of the day feeling empty. It was nothing new, really. She knew what empty felt like... she felt it everywhere. She was so full of emptiness that it overflowed; her body and mind ached with it. And as the slight tingling of numbness began to infiltrate her limbs, it took the place of everything else. She was so tired...so tired of being empty.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Adamruss This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm:
You are truly a gifted writer. Stick with it you really have talent
 
swallowedbystreetlights This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm :
thank you so much! 
 
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