fiction no. 1
I have been laying in bed, awake for hours, just staring at the ceiling and watching the muted light creep beyond the curtains and along the carpet. His alarm sounds and my first thought is "I don't want to go to work". This isn't an uncommon thought for me to have - I dislike my job but I'm too afraid of failing at something new to forge a different path. I really haven't been a stellar employee of late to be honest. I am irritable, quick to anger and find it so hard to concentrate on anything. It is as though I hold my breath as I walk into the building and can't breathe again until I leave. I'm just so damn tired all the time.
"I don't want to go to work," I think again. I usually say it out loud but this morning I don't seem to be able to. I also don't seem to be able to get out of bed. "Come on legs, move." After forty minutes of my mind swinging between racing and blank, a voice in my head screams "GET UP!!!" so I do.
Suddenly I'm in the shower, water streaming down, and I'm not sure how long I've been in here. My feet are bright red (I run the water too hot) so I guess it's been a while. I stand in the bathroom, wrapped in a towel, blank again.
I walk into the living room. "I feel strange," I say. No reaction. I’m sure it’s nothing. Just overtired and overreacting. It's Monday morning and we're both still inside our own heads.
I begin to dress but feel jittery, my heart is beating hard (too hard?) and I'm conscious of my breaths getting shorter and faster. I hear the shower running and sit on the edge of the bed for a moment, just listening. The room is dark but I close my eyes and listen to the constant drum of water on tile. The sound is comforting and I feel as though I could sail away on it. Tears begin to fall, hot and fast. I move to the bathroom, crouch down with my back against the linen cupboard. The sound of the water drowns out my choked keening.
The water stops and I am jolted back into reality. I stand up, wipe my face and reach for my toothbrush. "Snap out of it," I say to myself but the tears still fall, blurring my vision. I try to focus on squeezing the tube and watch the paste worm its way onto the brush. He walks around the corner, saying something I don't hear. The toothbrush falls from my hand and I turn to him. He knows, he can see it coming and I cannot hold on any longer. I let go and crumble.
I cry, for so long. Loudly, softly, wracking sobs that take control of my body. I cover my mouth with both hands, trying desperately to make it to stop. But I can't stop it. It keeps crashing over me in unrelenting waves. My heart is racing, pounding. Too fast, too much, too loud. It fills the room. I can't get enough air. My lips tingle and I worry that I might pass out so I lay down. My throat constricts and I feel like I might choke so I sit up. I don't know what is wrong but I do know I am terrified. The whole time, he holds me. Weathering yet another storm that he cannot fix or control. It breaks my heart to know that I am breaking his. After a long while I begin to calm down and we repeat the familiar refrain.
"There is nothing to be sorry for."
"I don't know."
I don't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, leave the house, leave this room. I'm broken.