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Head Above Water

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Lilith Bradshaw wanted to die, to end it all and never go back, that was until Beck Whittaker interrupted her. Follow along Lilith as she's taken on a journey, where Beck shows her the aftermath of taking the wrong path in life. While she'll meet new faces along the way who show her different views on how suicide can affect those around you, she'll also be the one to teach others around her about the importance of spotting and treating mental illness as soon as you can.

Drama / Adventure
Heaven Hess
5.0 9 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter One

“Lilith, dear, we’re here. Time to get up,” her mother shook her leg, smiling at her daughter as her eyes adjusted to the light. Lilith glanced out the window, seeing the well over-priced lake home in front of them and the multiple cars pulling into the driveway. She gently laid her head against the back of her seat, sighing deeply to herself. The summer was only beginning, but she was ready to end it all.

Every summer, Lilith compared her family to the Murtaugh family from Cheaper By The Dozen 2, but with only six children instead of eight, and she was the Steve Martin of the bunch. She just never understood why she felt like an outsider in her own family.

Growing up in a family of eight, you would think it’d be pretty simple to slip under the radar. Unfortunately for Lilith, her family was all about getting in your business. As her brothers and sisters grew more successful, her role as the disappointment child only became more noticeable in her eyes.

While her parents were constantly caught up in their work projects, they still made time to be involved in their children’s lives. Lilith would watch as her siblings would get praised for doing so well in school or their jobs when at times she felt like she only got disapproving looks and comments on how she should be more like one of her sisters.

All of Lilith’s older siblings had moved out by the time they were her age, beginning the rest of their lives and enjoying figuring it all out. For Lilith Bradshaw, at the old age of twenty, she was still living at her parent’s home along with her two younger siblings.

She was attending college for some time, pushing herself as hard as she could to keep up with her siblings and also keep her scholarship. It wasn’t until she began failing all her classes that her motivation soon became nonexistent. Nobody knew of her plans to drop out, and she was definitely not ready to share those plans with her parents. Lilith had the summer to figure out some sort of plan before giving them the bad news, but first, she had to get through their traditional summer vacation without letting anything slip.

“Come on, Lil, let’s go inside and see your brothers and sisters.” They both unbuckled their seatbelts, pulling themselves and their suitcases out of the car. Lilith followed her mother through the tall entrance of the house, looking around at the very modern decorations.

All Lilith’s brothers and sisters were catching up around the entrance foyer as their father started moving some of the suitcases to their bedrooms.

Levi, Lena, Lilith, Leah, Leo, and Libby.

They had a Kardashian thing going on with their names, so while it should’ve been easy enough to go without being noticed, Lilith failed miserably.

All her older siblings immediately spotted her as she walked through the door, going over to give her hugs and plenty of questions. Lilith hugged back, giving them all love as she truly did miss them. She missed living with them all, having her siblings at home to talk to when no one else would. Now that her two younger siblings Levi and Lena were growing older, they were always off doing their own thing.

It was when her siblings started asking questions about her future plans when she felt like going to lock herself in the bathroom for an hour, complaining that she was having intense cramps or something to give herself some privacy.

For now, though, she did her best to give vague answers, hoping to get them off her back for long enough to not cause any drama. After everyone had enough of catching up and unpacking their belongings, they decided it was time to hit up the lake. Lilith slipped into her favorite swimsuit, giving herself a small pep talk in the mirror about how it was just family and no one would be there to judge her body.

As she stepped outside of the house and down towards their dock, she heard whistles and catcalls coming from her family. She smiled down at her feet, her face turning a light pink shade as she couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. It boosted her confidence while also making her feel self-conscious, it was refreshing. She quickly walked down to the water, joining her sisters in trying to walk into the water. Her brothers were already jumping off the end of the dock, trying to splash the girls who were walking out the furthest. Their parents sat in the boat, watching their children as they prepared for a day out on the lake.

Some time passed and Lilith’s father, her brothers, and her youngest sister all went out tubing as the rest sat around the dock, simply laying in the sun. At first, it was all relaxing and they discussed cute lake boys they had seen earlier that day. But then as the day wore on, their conversation turned to the inevitable.

“What is it that you’re studying again, Lil?” Her sister, Libby, asked. Lilith felt pressure when all heads turned her way. She kept her eyes on the few clouds in the sky, trying to keep her voice calm.

“It’s cell and developmental biology.” Her sister simply nodded her head before her mother took the reins.

“You’re going to make a great doctor just like Leo and Leah. Maybe you all could work together one day, wouldn’t that be fun?” There it was, the comparisons and the high hopes for her future. Lilith swallowed her tongue, figuring it best not to reply right away, but instead just giving her mother a smile. “Leah, do you have any cool projects you’ve done? I’m sure Lilith would love to hear more about what she might be doing soon.”

She quietly gave one-word replies, “Yeah.” Her mother smiled, oblivious to the fact that Lilith wasn’t planning to be following in her sister’s footsteps for much longer. Her sister’s face lit up as she knew of the perfect story to share, so she quickly started rambling on. Lilith’s mood was ruined though and she honestly wanted to be anywhere else.

Lilith waited for the story to finish before finding any way to get away from her family. She stood up, wrapping the towel around herself and slipping her flip flops on her feet. Her other sister, Libby, who took notice of Lilith starting to shut down after that question spoke up. “Where are you going?”

Lilith nodded her head towards the house, “I’m just going to walk around for a bit.”

Libby propped herself up on her elbows, “Want me to come with you?” Lilith gave her a small smile, appreciating the effort.

She shook her head, biting the inside of her lip. “No, I’ll be okay. I’ll be back in a few minutes, don’t worry about me.” Then she was off, walking up towards the house. As she got close to the back door, she looked back to see if anyone was staring at her. When she realized no one was watching, she kept walking past the door and to the edge of the woods.

She had never actually walked through the woods, but she heard about a waterfall at the end of a river which flowed into the lake. Lilith always wanted to go find it, but no one would ever go with her. She hugged the towel to her body as she stepped through the trees and over the roots, keeping an eye out for any poison ivy. After minutes of walking and realizing that the house was no longer visible behind her, she contemplated turning around and heading back but the sound of water rushing caught her attention. Lilith smiled to herself as she sped up her walk towards the noise.

As she came upon the rushing water, she went to stand beside the river. Lilith crouched down by the edge, placing her hand in the water and feeling the current go against her skin. Her heartbeat slowed back to normal as well as her breathing. Her chin rested on her knee as she just stared into the clear water, watching for fish or any other living creatures.

Lilith’s smile faltered as she softly spoke out loud, “I just don’t understand why it’s so much harder for me to do what everyone else has done. Why do I have to follow a certain plan you have in mind? Why do I have to be like the others to be successful?” She lightly splashed at the water before picking up a small rock beside her.

“I shouldn’t have to lie to my own family to feel loved,” Lilith whispered, gently tossing the rock across the water, a single tear sliding down her cheek. “They’re too caught up in their own perfect little worlds to notice me struggling to keep up.”

She picked up another rock, chucking it more forcefully this time. A few more tears fell, “Maybe if I just jumped into this river and never came back out again, maybe then they’d realize I’m drowning trying to catch up to them. I don’t want to keep up this stupid perfect act anymore, I can’t do what they want me to.”

As the rock splashed against the water, a rustling came from the trees just down the river followed by an unfamiliar voice, “You’ll regret it if you do.”

like and comment your thoughts, preferably kind ones.

thank you for being here, means the world.

-heaven :)

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