The sun was too bright, I thought.
I squinted up at the sun.
I could only make out some of the giant golden orb through the trees branches and leaves.
A cloud passed over the sun, and like a light bulb flickering out, I was cast into darkness.
"What a shame." I mused to myself out loud.
I brought my cigarette to my lips and took a drag.
I turned my face so I no longer saw a blue sky and green leaves.
Instead I had the pleasure to be eye level with dusty firt and converse that needed a good cleaning.
"Since when do you stand me up?"
I ignored her and looked back up at the skyline.
The tone of her voice made me look up.
Her pretty blue eyes that were the same color as the sky glared down at me.
"Did you eat today?"
I rolled my eyes and looked away.
"What'd you eat?"
"Why does it matter?"
"Why are you suicidal?"
We both fell silent.
I took a drag from my cigarette.
I held the smoke in.
I did this frequently.
I liked to hold my smoke in and hold my breath,
I began to count.
My lungs began to burn.
Black dots swarmed my vision.
Mel's foot connected with my side, hard.
I let out the smoke and began to sputter and cough.
"You need to stop doing that. You're going to kill yourself one day."
"That's the plan."
She rolled her eyes.
"If you kill yourself then I'm going to bring you back to life so I can kill you myself."
"Not so sure it works that way, Mel."
"You're a pessimist. You see the world differently than I do. So shut up."
"Not pessimistic. Just depressed."
"You're gonna be real depressed when I kick your butt."
"Go ahead. I invite you to hit me. All forms of pain are welcome to me."
She rolled her eyes at me.
Yet again, I ignored her annoyance.
"Why'd you even come out here, Ana?"
Both of us looked over by the trees.
One of us saw nothing but a squirrel and a branch breaking off a tree.
The other saw the faces of her worst nightmares and her worst enemies.
Mel's face fell.
Her annoyance was gone, new replaced by concern.
"What're they saying to you?"
"The usual things."
I could hear the taunting voices.
No matter how far I ran or where I hid, I could always hear them.
"You went off your meds again."
Not a question.
A wise observation, instead.
Since it wasn't a question, I didn't say anything.
Then she asked: "Why?"
The million dollar question, right?
Everything just always seemed to come down to why.
My answer: " I don't like them. They make me feel drugged."
"That's because they are drugs."
We fell silent.
Somewhere in the distance, we heard thunder.
I put out my cigarette and sighed.
"Let's go now."
"Do we have to?"
"Yes. You need your meds."
I looked over at them.
For the moment, they were silent.
"I'm fine. I don't need them right now."
"Okay whatever. You still need to go home."
"But I don't want to."
"Well, you have to."
"Can't we go to your house instead?"
"Because you need to go home."
She was right.
She was always right, after all.
I held out my hand, wiggling my fingers.
She rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time and took my hand, pulling me to my feet.
"Did you drive here?"
"Then how did you get here?"
"I took the bus."
She pinched the bridge of her nose but then began to walk down the little pathway.
I followed her.
Neither of us talked the entire walk to her car.
As she began to drive me to my house she asked: "How're you feeling?"
"Do you really feel fine?"
"That's what I thought."
"You shouldn't make assumptions, Mel."
"And you shouldn't hide from people, Ana."
"I don't need your advice."
"I don't need yours either."
I glared at her and turned on the radio.
Some Selena Gomez song blasted out of the speakers.
My nose scrunched up involuntarily.
I turned off the radio.
The rest of the drive was silent.
When we got to my houses, Mel walked me to my door.
Probably to make sure that I didn't run off.
"Will you be okay tonight?"
"Will you really?"
"Bye. I love you."
"See you tomorrow."
She got back in her car but she didn't pull out of the driveway.
My shoulders slumped forward and I walked into my house.
My mom was in the kitchen.
I could hear her on the phone while she was making dinner.
I walked into the living room instead.
My dad was watching a car show.
I sat next to him and he looked at me, surprised.
"Ana, you're home."
"Dad, you're sitting on the couch."
He was confused.
"I thought we were stating obvious things. Sorry."
"I'm going to my room now."
I stood up and began to walk out of the living room.
I didn't like it when people said my name harshly.
I didn't like it when people yelled.
It scared me and I usually jumped.
"Where were you? You were gone almost all day."
"I was out."
"Why does it matter?"
"It matters because you're my daughter and I want to know where you were."
I rolled my eyes.
I didn't feel like his daughter.
"I'm not obligated to tell you anything. Freedom of speech applies both ways: freedom to talk and freedom not to talk."
I could tell he was surprised by this because he didn't say anything else.
I walked into my bedroom before he could get over his shock.
My bedroom was where I spent the majority of my time.
It wasn't a hiding spot, it was just a place I truly felt safe and a place I enjoyed being.
I laid down on my bed and instead of playing music like I usually did, I did something a little different.
I took a deep breath then said: "Hi."
I looked over to the other side of my room.
They were shocked that I had decided to talk to them.
I hadn't talked to them since I was in elementary school.
Back then I just thought they were friends.
But then the doctor told me and then I was put on meds.
I waited for one of them to say something back.
None of them did.
I repeated myself: "Hi."
Finally, one of them said something back: "Hello, Ana."
"How are you today?"
He looked taken aback.
I opened my mouth to say something else, but my mom knocked on my door, interrupting me.
"Ana? Who're you talking to?"
"I'm on the phone with Mel. Do you need something?"
"It's time for dinner..."
"Can I eat it in my room, please?"
"I'd appreciate it if you actually ate with us tonight."
"Thank you, sweetie."
"I'll see you at the dinner table."
After that she left.
I got up and looked at them.
Then I looked at the one who I had talked to.
"Bye. Talk to you later."
He only watched me as I left my room and went to dinner.