"Fuck," I snarl at the air in front of me, closing the book in my hands and setting it down beside me. I take a deep breath in and lean my head back against the wall, squeezing my eyes shut.
What is wrong with me? I ask no one in particular. Why can't I focus?
It's been an endless cycle like this for the past few days now, ever since I went to the carnival with Keira. No matter what I do, now matter how hard I try, I just can't focus on anything. Whenever I finally get my mind to focus enough to begin something it wanders off again a few minutes later, making it impossible to do anything.
You really want to know what's wrong with you? A sneering voice in my head asks. You already know what's wrong.
Shut up, I try to shut it out of my head.
You're lonely, it continues against my will. Just admit it, you're lonely.
I hear myself sigh, too tired to fight.
Where are your friends? It proceeds to taunt me. Do you have friends?
I remain silent, unsure how to reply.
You don't have any friends, it says flatly and it feels like I've been slapped by a cold, wet piece of meat. Just accept it, no one loves you, no one needs you, no one likes you. The only person who was even close to a friend was Liam, but even he left you. They all leave sooner or later, just the way he left all those years ago. You're going to be alone forever, with no one to love, and no one who loves you.
"Shut up!" I yell, squeezing my head between the palms of my hands, trying to push the voice out of my head.
"Leave me alone," I beg it, tears beginning to pool at the rims of my eyes. "Please."
You're going to push me away too? Push me away just like you push everyone else away?
Why are you doing this to me? I whimper as long overdue tears begin to cascade down my face. I push the back of a hand up against my mouth and nose, biting against my jawbone hard, trying to regain control.
It's OK to cry, the voice says in a soothing voice, mocking me. Let the bastion you set up in your mind crumble, no one's here. It doesn't make you any weaker than you already are by doing so.
I don't even know why I'm crying, I lie to myself, trying to convince myself with a shaky laugh. This is ridiculous. My life's perfectly fine the way it is, I've got a home, I've got food, I'm healthy, I have a great life…
Yes you do… The voice pities me. But who's in this life of yours with you?
Yes, who in your life do you have to love and care? Who loves and cares for you back?
Love? I ask uncertainly. Well, I've got mom.
Don't give me that crap, it snaps at me. It's pretty obvious that she chooses that boyfriend of hers over you, why else did she get upset at you instead of him the other day? Why did she defend her boyfriend instead her own daughter?
She, that's not how it was, I take a shaky breath. I'm not alone, there must be someone…
I search my mind, going over and inspecting every memory filed away.
What about Keira…? The voice slowly asks.
Keira? I feel my heart pound at the mentioning of her name.
You like her, don't you? It asks me in a conceited voice.
What? No, it's not like that, I shake my head self-consciously. She's just someone I met the other day. She saved my life. We're friends…
Yes, maybe so, but you don't want to just be friends, do you?
She makes me really happy, I admit. Happier than I've been for a long time. I feel safe around her, like I don't have to hide…
Admit it, the voice cackles in my head. You are gay.
No… I, I don't know. It doesn't matter; she'd never want someone like me. I wince as a sharp pain stabs me in the chest.
Sooner or later she'll just leave like the others, right? It smirks at me. Because they all leave in the end.
Finally, unable to suppress myself any longer, I break into broken sobs, tears flowing down my face to my chin, down my neck, soaking my t-shirt. The feelings and memories that I've contained and restrained for so long refused to be held any longer, as they ardently broke free from their chains and cells within the darkest corners of my mind and overwhelmed me. I couldn't breathe; it was as if I was being pulled down into dark, wet, hopeless pit.
The sobs finally subside, leaving me exhausted and hollow. I look in the mirror. My face is a mess, my makeup smeared across my face, painting my face like one of Picasso's masterpieces.
Swallowing hard, I push my body off of my bed and walk to that familiar mirror. I wipe my face clean, leaving my face naked and clean, and reapply my makeup. When I'm finally done, it's as if nothing's happened, I've expunged all physical signs of the personal hell I just experienced.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see my phone lying at the edge of my desk. Tired of feeling so exhausted and miserable, I go over and pick it up, balancing it in the palm of my hand.
Should I? I question myself, staring at the empty black screen.
Submitting into myself, tired of fighting, I turn it on, and go through my contact list. I bring it up to the side of my face, gently resting it against my ear, secretly hoping that it'll go to voicemail, yet praying that it doesn't.
"Hey," Keira's familiar, comforting voice greets me. "What's up?"
"Can you meet me somewhere?" I ask, using every ounce of my remaining strength to keep my voice from shaking.