Chapter 1: First impressions (part 1)
I don’t know when it all began. When I first started to feel like a spectator of my own life. Was there even a precise moment? And if so, how long did it actually take me to realize things were falling apart? They say you’re supposed to feel it when something bad is about to happen. Well, either I’m completely clueless, or there were no real warning signs.
The more I think about it, the more confused I get. It’s been months now and even after a disturbing amount of therapy sessions, nothing seems to get better. I see the desperation in my mom’s eyes every time she asks me how I’m doing and I answer, I’m fine mom. Because really, what else could I ever answer? Of course I’m not fine and there’s no point in trying to hide it.
I gave up on that when the fatigue took over the features of my face. On the other hand, it hurts me to know that my on going bad attitude and bad decisions are affecting her so much. I was in this really big spiral that was taking me down but she was not responsible for that.
Just like every other good mom would do, she keeps on trying to make me feel better. I try so hard for her. I really try to be better and happy again. But nothing ever worked so I started pretending. I know what you’re thinking. I just said I didn’t hide the fact that I’m not fine, and that’s true. But I believe there’s a difference between not being fine and feeling completely desperate and broken. That’s how I truly feel, broken. And I just don’t know how to fix myself.
“Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.”
After what happened, I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. It will always be a part of me somehow. Some days are easier than others, I won’t lie. But the feeling of hopelessness is never gone for long. The unspoken words and all the voices in my head won’t leave me alone. They drive me crazy. All the “what ifs” are eating me up from the inside.
My therapist keeps telling me nothing that happened is my fault. That it would have happened anyway, no matter what I could have said or done. Whenever we talk about it, I simply nod and change the subject. Because I hear everything he says but I don’t believe a word of it. I could have done something. Anything would have been better than what happened.
Anyway, let’s not go there. I’m too tired to deal with all of this right now. I’m lying in bed with my headphones on. Screw the damaging of my ears. I turn the volume up to the maximum. Playing really loud music through my headphones is the only way to let go of everything for a while. I can just lose myself to the music. The beats and melodies chase away all the dark thoughts crawling at the back of my head.
As I close my eyes and let out a long sigh, I feel my left leg moving along to the rhythm of the songs. I think it’s been proven somewhere that music can reduce stress level a lot. For me, it’s definitely a happy place. I just go into this little bubble where nothing matters and the lyrics are like arrows going straight through my heart.
Sure, I like all that mainstream music that you hear on the radio. I’m even that girl that will turn up the volume in the car and blast the music with the windows down. I think we all have that one song that makes us go crazy. Some songs will make you lose all credibility when you hear them. Anyone who disagrees is just being a hypocrite. But that’s another story. What I’m saying is that I love popular music but I do tend to prefer songs that have a deeper meaning.
It’s one of the best feelings ever when you come across that one song that expresses exactly how you feel. Sometimes it’s even freaky to see how much you can relate to some lyrics. It’s like the person who wrote the song looked directly inside your head to find the inspiration behind it.
As I turn my head to look at the time, it reads 1:43 am. I stare at the white ceiling and start thinking about the day coming. I don’t want to go. I really don’t see the point in any of this. As if being a part of something like this would suddenly make me forget about everything else. But it’s important to my mom, I can tell. And I don’t want to keep on letting her down so I faked a smile when told my therapist, Why not. It could be fun.
Another sleepless night. Once again, I will read the letter. Once again, I will fail to understand. I don’t know if finding it a few days after was a relief or if it was torture. I thought it would ease my mind but I’ve been obsessing over it ever since and the only thing it does is bring more questions. You know how handwriting is supposed to define a person’s personality? It’s interesting because it’s something that evolves but at the same time it’s fixed on paper forever.
I like to think it can tell us a lot of things when we really pay attention. I’ve read the letter at least a hundred times and I know all the words by heart, but something only recently struck me. Her handwriting.
It used to be so soft, round and generous. I don’t know if that’s something we can say about handwriting but to me it’s the best way to describe it, generous. As I grew up my handwriting became more affirmed with small characters and thinner lines.
But not hers. Hers became bigger with soft edges. And it fitted her so well. This letter though, it wasn’t her. It was shaky and clumsy. I’ve been so focused on the meaning of it that I haven’t even seen the most obvious thing of all. The urgency. The urgency in writing this letter that will haunt me forever.
I tried several times to picture her writing it. Where was she? When was it? I’ll never know, but my heart will always ache at the thought of it.