I know you. I’ve known you since your injury. I wasn’t there when it occurred; I didn’t hear the sound of your bone snapping and the groan you let out as you collapsed to the dance studio floor, but I know it happened. I know because it haunts you everyday. I know because there are many reasons as to why you never like to get out of bed.
I know all the reasons you are the way that you are. I am the reasons you are the way that you are. I am every bad thing you’ve ever done that’s been stored away in the deepest and darkest parts of your brain. I am every traumatizing thing ever done to you that makes your heart race, your hands shake, and your personality just the way it is.
I am you. Just without all the cheer.
You’re in your bed today, the blankets over your entire body and your head under your pillow so your family doesn’t hear you crying. They won’t be surprised; they’ve known something is wrong for the past year, but you always refuse to talk about it on the rare occasion they ask. You’re scared they won’t understand, and if you talk about me then I’ll become more real. It’s cute how wrong you are. Not talking just makes me stronger. Ignoring me makes you crumble faster. You’re like a piece of clay in my hands, and I get to mold you into whatever I want with the more power you give me. I absolutely love it.
There’s a knock on your door. “Billie?” Your mother asks, and you lift the pillow off of your head so you can hear her through the door that hasn’t opened in days. “Dinner’s ready, honey. Want some?”
You painfully swallow, your throat sore from all your crying, and croak, “no, I’m okay.”
“I’ll set a plate for you for later. Come and get it when you’re hungry.” With that, she turns and walks away.
Your mother. What a sweet woman she is. She’s sacrificed so much for you, you know; she’s given you and Finneas the only bedrooms in the house, she rarely buys things for herself and always thinks of ways to surprise you and your brother so you’re always happy.
Why can’t you be the daughter she wants? Why can’t you be the daughter she deserves?
That thought makes you begin to cry even harder, so you pull the pillow over your face so nobody has to be reminded of how much of a failure you are. And hey, maybe if you hold the pillow tight enough, you’ll suffocate. That is, that’s if the starvation doesn’t kill you first. That’s what you want, right?
If you want it so badly, then what’s stopping you? What do you want from me that’s making you stay?