weariness in the same old insecurities you've always had.
"Petra, can you hear me?"
Petra's eyes shoot up from the floor, darting around the doctor's office, before finally settling on those of her therapist.
Her voice feels trapped, strangled by her mind and will. Somehow, she manages to grit out a response. "Sorry. I...I blanked out for a second"
Her therapist, Dr.Rajgopal, is a kind man, who has never judged her, nor made her feel inferior despite her conditions and circumstances. He's been her third therapist since Everything That Happened, and the only one to stay.
"It's quite alright" His voice is soft, unhurried. Patient. "As I was saying, I was thinking we need to increase your dosage for-"
Panic claws in her chest. "No."
Dr.Raj gives her a look. Subtle and stern.
"Sorry. You already know I don't like taking it. Isn't twice a day enough?"
"Petra, I can understand your hesitancy, but you know-"
Her hands' quiver. Lost brown eyes return to the floor. "Please. Please don't". She forces her hands to dig into the meat of her thighs. The prickling points of pain work to ground her.
"Alright," Dr.Raj writes a few things in his notebook of secrets before offering Petra a smile. It doesn't work to console her. "May I offer an alternative? We up the dose for paroxetine, just 15 milligrams. Can you do that?"
Speak when spoken to. Hurry up. Speak.
Talk, you useless thing!
"Y-yes" Her voice sounds far away. Briefly, she wonders if it sounds that way to him too.
A pause. Suddenly, the world comes tilting forward. God, she hates the pauses in their meeting. Without looking up, she knows that he is looking at her, analyzing her, writing more things down in his little notebook. The silence is equivalent to oppression, pushing down on her, plastering her body flat against the chair.
"Hm. That just about sums things up. I'll see you next week, okay?"
Okay means, don't kill yourself, don't try. Okay means, hang in there until next time.
Petra swallows around nothing. "Yes sir."
A heavy, gut-wrenching sigh rips its way through her body. Instinct kicks in, and it has her fumbling for her earbuds and her phone, shuffling a random playlist. She isn't picky about the genre (as long as it isn't country), going as far as to try music from several countries. If she had her way, she wouldn't take her earbuds out at all.
If she had it her way, she wouldn't be so messed up in the first place.
The wait time at the pharmacy is a bit shorter than usual, and shyly, she forks over her prescription and card. Awkwardly, she takes a seat in the back corner. The staff all know her by name, after all, she's shown up here once a week for the past three months.
Her phone tweet-tweet's softly.
Yaretzi: hey petri, appointment go okay?
Like clockwork, Petra's childhood best friend Yaretzi texts her the same message every Wednesday, despite getting the same answer.
Me: It was okay
Yaretzi: thats good, i hope! any changes???
How could she forget? Dr. Raj had only increased her anti-anxiety pills by another 2mg. She practically shut down for god's sake.
Me: Not really
Yaretzi: that must mean he thinks you're getting better :))
There's no getting better for people like me, she wants to type, but refrains. Instead, she digs her fingers into her arm. There is only getting worse, and then better, and then rock bottom.
Yaretzi: they all say hi btw ^^
"They" A group of unruly friends they managed to befriend at the not-so-local-skatepark. Most likely, the greeting comes from the three idiots; Bonnie, Chris, and Amy. She hadn't seen them in probably two months now. She didn't really want to see them, to have to explain her absences (at both school and the skatepark). She doesn't want to have to face their pitying glances and sugarcoated smiles.
Me: Tell Amy I grew 3 centimeters again
Yaretzi: you don't get your height measure at that kinda doctor -_-
Me: I know, but she'll believe it. And it will be funny.
"Miss Fischer?" A voice from behind the counter calls out. Straightening out her sweater, Petra heads to the counter, where the pharmacist begins to list out the times and dosages of each of her pills.
Her mind goes blank at this point, having already memorized this the first time. She does offer hums of understanding, but other than that, her body goes lax. The clerk gives her a soft (sad?) smile, and a customary "get well soon!" before handing her the medicine, which is put into her bag immediately. The worst thing that could happen was that someone she knows could recognize her and/or the pharmacists' branding.
Amy: LIAR !!!
Amy: if u acc grew im gonna fight u :<
Surprisingly, Petra finds herself huffing quietly in response.