This Is Every Reason Why

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Chapter 1|Holland


There’s a few ways someone can introduce themselves.

You can start off simple, by telling them your name, where you’re from, throw in a few facts they’re bound to forget in about a minute.

You could also drop the harsh truth on them by telling them every problem in your life, and perhaps some daunting thing they don’t really need to know, but I don’t recommend that particular option.

Then there’s the avoidance of human contact in general. My way.

When my parents’ 6 year old child started refusing to attend school or go out because of some fear they might get stabbed by an axe murderer, or axed, I don’t know, they tended to think I was just being a scared little child, perfectly normal, yes?

He then turned 7 and had refused every single birthday party invitation given to him, despite most of them being Marvel themed, his absolute favourite franchise in the entire world, ironically.

Soon, he reached the age of 8 and couldn’t even step into a supermarket without screaming and running back to the car, only to duck inside and stay there.

They eventually resorted to consulting a doctor, in hopes they could fix’ their poor son.

The doctor came to the conclusion that, hey, their child’s was all good, but it seemed that he showed signs of something called anxiety and it will probably go away in, you know, never.

My parents tried to give themselves the benefit of the doubt, hoping he grows out of this, what’s it called, ‘anxiety’ phase.

Fast forward to now, surprise surprise, he’s actually still an anxious piece of shit, and worries about horrible things that haven’t even happened yet.

Yeah, that’s me. I’m the son. Sorry? And my parents are not to thrilled by the fact that my brain is a specimen of pure ‘WHAT THE HELL IS THIS AHHHHHHHHHH’. Neither am I, to be fair. At least my parents are somewhat supportive.

I’m not too open about it, really. I don’t go, “Hi, I’m Holland Danvers, I’m 16, and I have anxiety disorder. I also like peanut butter. How are you?”

I mean, as great as an introduction that would be, all I can see happening is the person meeting me looking concerned for a second, cringing, then plastering on a smile, only to talk behind my back about the attention seeking kid who claims to have anxiety, causing my already poorly built impression to crumble upon itself and die.

So, no human contact’s the way, unless absolutely necessary. I don’t think I would go out of my way just to exist in someone’s life.

I’m sitting on my bed, typing away on my computer, with my guitar by my side. I like searching up chords and tabs to learn in my spare time, which I have a lot of since it’s the holidays. However, that seems to be ending pretty soon.

I suppose I like music, it’s the one thing that doesn’t make me want to delete myself from the universe. But then again, it’s just a distraction.

I do happen to be on FaceTime with the one person in the world that I’m not entirely suspicious of. At least one place behind my family and dog I guess. Stella.

“Is this another one of your guitar sessions to support your barely functioning brain again?” she’s lying flat on her bed, facing me with bright eyes and wide smile. Her wavy brown hair cascades along her face.

“Affirmative. This is now my new life support.”

She mocks a dramatic gasp, and puts her hand to her heart “I can’t believe you would replace me. I thought I was important to you.” This causes me to let out a small laugh as I return to the chords on the side of my screen.

My mother barges into the room, causing me to jolt slightly. She mutters an apology and retracts a bit.

“Hello, mother.”

She looks at me and gives me one of those smiles, like, ‘you’re not going to want to hear this, but I have to tell you anyways.’

“Holland, sweetheart. Um, you’re going to have to come with me to the shops to get your new novel for English. The new semester starting soon-”

I start to play my guitar extremely loudly to block out the sound of her voice. “What was that? I can’t hear you. La. La. La. something. I can’t sing.”

She tilts her head to the side and stares at me, blinking her eyes.

“Can’t you just order it online?” Stella says from the computer. “Oh, and hi, Mrs Danvers.”

“Hello Stella. Your presence is like another family member. Also, you know I’ve tried that. It’s only available in-store,” my mum sighs, “Come on, it’s only for a bit. We’ll be home as soon as you know it.”

I put my guitar away and bid Stella farewell, promising to call her back immediately after and shut my computer, pursing my lips. Yes, the vision in my head is getting clearer, a mass earthquake, and me being drowned in classics and then maybe squashed by a falling bookshelf.

My mum gives me a grateful nod. “And for the record, I think you can definitely sing if you tried.”

Soon enough, my mother and I are in the car on the way to a bookstore nearby, a really large one next to a Target and a McDonalds. Maybe I can get some fries and stay in the car while my mum gets the novel for me.

Unfortunately, she needs me to use my student card to get a discount, so the toppling bookshelf is there waiting.

We enter the bookstore, where we walk past those sensors that detect whether you stole something or not. I’m always afraid that I somehow accidentally manage to steal something and the alarm goes off, blaring wildly while I’m being taken away for being a juvenile delinquent.

We reach the section where my novel is supposedly at, and my mum’s phone buzzes. She takes a look at the message and bites her lip. Oh no.

“Um, okay hon, I’m going to have to get some stuff for your sister-”

“Mom, no-”

“You’re going to have to find the book-”

“Nooooo, don’t leave me.” I say, reaching out my hand to her as if she was falling back into the void, but all she does is put a crumpled up note in my hand, and 20 dollars.

“Look, I will be right back, just get the book, and I will meet you at the cashier, okay? This is important.”

She smiles, this time more of a I believe in you, don’t do anything stupid smile before she turns away, drifting further, further away.

I open the note in defeat and it says ’Capital Of Loneliness- Adeara Thompson”, nothing which could describe my current situation any better. I swiftly head to the fiction section, hoping I can snag the book, run far away from any tall bookshelves and hopefully see mum there waiting for me.

I scan the bookshelves from a distance, and finally spot ‘Capital Of Loneliness’ sitting on the shelf. I extend my arm cautiously to take it, but at the exact same time, someone else has their hand on the book.

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