A Short Story
Inspired by Air Pressure
Misera knows there’s something wrong with me, that there’s something about our relationship that is a little...off. It’s not her (I think) but it just feels...weird now. Being with her all the time. We’ve been together for awhile and she’s let me cope with problems, but I don’t know. It just feels strange now. She does tire me out a lot, though. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m just tired of feeling tired all the time.
Every time I used to see her, I would feel some kind of relief. She would wrap her arms around me in a tight embrace and whisper promises and comfort me when I most needed. She was always there, ready to help me in her own special way. She’d greet me with a smile in the morning and ask if I wanted to sleep a little more and stay home, and I’d always say yes. I saw it as protecting me from the outside, from people’s prying eyes. I saw her as a shield that would always be there, that would never fail me in anyway, that would help me in all the stressful situations that I’m put in.
But now….she feels more like a wall. She feels less like protection and more like something blocking me off from everybody else. For the first time in, well, forever, I said no when she asked me to stay in bed for a few more hours. I got up and got changed, and I could feel her panic, her fear, from across the room. I grabbed a granola bar from the kitchen and opened the blinds up, and I could feel her hurt look from way over there. I don’t want to hurt her like that, but for once I don’t want to stay in this house forever. I don’t want to be isolated from the rest of the world; I want to experience it and get immersed in it.
I told her I was going for a walk, and that I wanted to be alone. She quietly whispered something to me, and then I went outside. The stream of people was, at first, overwhelming. Cars and sounds and people and noise I’ve never actually heard (of course I’ve heard it before, but ever since I met Misera the sounds have been dulled and almost silent underneath her hushed whispers) are everywhere and I finally feel like I can breathe and think. Maybe that’s just because she’s not here, as horrible as that sounds.
I know there’s a public park nearby that leads to a nature walk, so I head there. I’ve missed seeing nature first-hand, missed the feeling of the wind or the smell of thick sweet pollen in the air. The sun shines through leaves on the trees, seemingly make them glow a neon shade of their original colour. Suddenly there’s a hand on my arm, and I turn to see Misera standing there, slightly annoyance in her bright eyes. She tells me to not ignore her, that she’s been calling after me ever since I left the apartment. I feel a slight twinge of guilt at that, even though I hadn’t even heard her to begin with.
Misera asks me to come home, to just go in bed with her for a few hours just to lay there and talk. I don’t want to go back into bed, but I also don’t want to disappoint her. I tell her that we need to talk about something when we get home, and her bright eyes fill with watery worry.
When we get home, she asks me what’s wrong, what can she do, what do we need to talk about. I tell her that I don’t feel comfortable with her being around anymore, that I don’t feel like it’s right. Her face grows red, and angrily she spits poison out at me, saying how I’ll never make it without her, how I need her. I’m used to this; Misera sometimes explodes like this, and usually I’d hide away within myself. But, somehow, I don’t do it this time.
I tell her that I can make it without her, and she laughs harshly. She asks me if I really mean it, asks if I really believe I’ll make it on my own. I say I want to try, I want to do something new. I tell her I don’t want to be penned up in my home forever, that I want to experience things that I’ve missed for years. All she does is scoff at me, but I can see the absolute fear in her bright eyes. She screams out that I’ll need her help again, that I’ll fall apart without her aid, but I just shake my head in response. I can’t rely on her forever, I can’t stay tied with her.
She says that I’m afraid, worthless, useless without her, and a part of me agrees with her. Of course I’m afraid. I’ve been with Misera for years now, and she’s all I’ve known for that time. She is the only part of myself that I’m solid and sure about, but...I know this can’t go on. I can’t live like this anymore. I tell her that, and she looks even more hurt by it. Before she leaves, she says she’ll visit sometimes if that’s okay. I don’t give her an answer, and then she’d gone.
It’s been a few weeks since Misera left. The first week I didn’t know what to do without her, but gradually I got better at being alone. She did knock on the door once, asking to come in, but I told her no, that I was done with her. I didn’t feel as guilty as I did when I told her to leave, and I think she felt that somehow. She seemed to deflate, and then she turned her back and left.
I walk outside, looking around at the world that I’ve missed, and breathe. And for the first time in years, I smile.