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Leads to the End
~14th of November, 2021, At the Park~
It has been about 5 minutes since I arrived. I got cotton candy as well. It’s her favorite. Just then, I see someone at the corner of my eye, walking towards me with her dress flowing elegantly with the wind.
She walks over and I hand her cotton candy. We start walking around the park.
“Have you talked to your father?” Nitya asks, starting a conversation.
Ew. Why would I?
“No I haven’t, let's sit down behind this tree. I like this spot because no one could ever see us,” I say, desperately trying to hide the overwhelming emotions.
We just sat there. Staring into the sky. Love is all I can think of. Love is all I can feel. Love is all I know when she is around. We turn around to face each other. We lean in slowly. Our lips slightly brushed against each other. The wind starts blowing, as my palm creeps up to her cheek. We then connect our foreheads. There is no hiding the overwhelming, if there is none. As long as we are a secret for a while. However, she asks to leave immediately. It’s only been 30 minutes. This is our 5th date she has ditched me on.
I stare at the light illuminating from my laptop. Twenty-five out of fifty. Fifty percent on the test. A fail. My vision is blurry. How did I not get a ninety-five? Is he going to burst into the room? Would his first words to me after a month:
“You just keep getting worse and worse. First a sixty-four percent and now you are out here failing tests? What has gotten into you?”
Will my mom forget my restless days developed by these numbers?
“I guess I was too lenient. You are becoming lazy. Your father was right.”
The thought of that sentence shatters my composure. What am I doing wrong? The only thing I have changed from last year is the amount of time I spend raising these numbers. That time has only increased. I can’t remember the last time I was able to go to bed, not having to worry about what I just read and needed to know. What has changed?
“Yo, duckling? You already in bed?” the piglet asked.
I didn’t respond.
“Mom, she’s mad again!” I hear her scream as she walks downstairs.
This isn’t good. I keep pushing them away too. But everytime I talk to mom, she gets uncomfortable. The piglet is too young to understand why I am acting like this…I don’t know why I am acting like this. She didn’t do anything wrong.
“I don’t have the time nana. This has been going on for two week, and I’m tired—”
“Anjali, do you know her science test score? Forty-three percent!”
My positive resolutions come to end with that statement. Every nerve is filled with fear. I can’ negotiate with the teacher. Did I really get fifty percent?
The Hopes Shattered by Reality
~15th of November, 2021, At School Lunch~
I sit here, again. I watch as I hear the loud screaming and laughing from my right side. I turn to see Meera stealing some of her friends’ food. I remember when she did that to me. I leave
the place, knowing that she is never going to look back at me. She has brand new friends she can share her memories with. I certainly don’t deserve to be a part of them. Not after how I treated her. Why do I still wish for her here, picking on my food and singing to her musicals blasting from her phone.
~15th of October, 2021, At School Lunch~
“Avani, I am not going to know what you are going through if you are not going to tell me? Have you at least talked to a therapist? It's been a month since you have eaten lunch at school.”
“You know what? I’m done.”
Something just hit me in the head. It hit me hard. Harder than a rock. Harder than a truck. It was a realization. She gathers her stuff and leaves. Her last words were:
“I should have just known that all you will ever do is cry alone. That’s all some people will do. Oftentimes, they aren’t going through anything, except for an unbelievably sick level of attention seeking.”
The Hopes Shattered by Reality (Continued)
~15th of November, 2021, At School Lunch~
I turn away from the group, with those words ringing in my ears.
I turn on my phone, entering whatsapp. Last message on 15th May, 2021.
The previous from 15th of May, 2022.
That’s all they ever said. They never even responded to the “Thank you’s” I sent. They are never hearing me out again. Not like 2 years ago. Everything that happens in India, stays in India. It starts to sink in.
I sit there staring at the ceiling. So much has changed in the last 2 years. I used to feel overwhelmed by people. Now I’m lonely. I used to be the star under pressure. Now I’m disappointed. I used to feel like I belonged, even though there were casualties. Now, I don’t know where there is room to even feel the same. I was the person everyone wanted, but now I’m not what I used to be, what I want to be.
~20th of November, 2021, The Library~
I hear my phone ping. I switched it on. A notification from Nitya. Is it our next date? I can finally have a talk. I don’t think I can take the confusion anymore—
“I know this isn’t going to be easy for you. And there is no easy way to say this,” the voice message says. I’m not sure where this is going. Subconsciously, scenarios started to play into my mind.
“I am breaking up with you.”
“I’ve been seeing John for a while. I don’t think I was ever really interested in you. I just wanted to see if I was actually into girls. Thank you for helping me figure it out.”
~27th of November, At Home~
“Please not now,” I begged.
“It’s been a week. You didn’t talk to any of us,” the piglet protested.
“Your sister is right nana,” my mom jumps in.
“Poojitha, Mom, I need some space.”
I can’t deal with their unintentional guilt tripping right now.
“Why are you acting like you are the only one with problems?” the piglet yelled.
I was caught off guard. We have fought like this before. Then why am I so surprised?
“I have been treating you with kindness, even when you straight up ignore me. You never call me by my name. What, you’re all grown up that you can’t talk to me any more—”
“Poojitha enough!” Mom stopped her.
I have never heard mom yell at any of us.
“You need space. What for? You don’t even try to talk to us even when we lend you a helping hand. It’s a waste of time at this point,” mom says and with that they leave the room.
“You've changed,” was the last words I heard from the piglet, before the door shut with a bang.
The Delicate Point
I feed empty. I feel hopeless. I don’t think I have the strength to eat. I love food, I always have. And yet ignoring it gives me satisfaction. Why? I can’t remember anything. No wonder my tests aren’t up to expectations. Why? I don’t feel like dancing, singing, drawing, reading, or writing. Nothing. But they make me who I am. So why? I feel so—so guilty. Nothing has happened where I can’t survive anymore. Then why am I feeling like this? What is wrong with me? What is with this ungrateful attitude? Why can’t I feel one emotion normally for once? Why is this? Why is that? Why?
~3rd of December, 2021, Unknown Location~
There is only one way to end this—this madness. I don’t think I can take this anymore. I am so stressed, yet I don’t know what I am stressed about. Questioning is all I’ve been able to do. I look at the prices on my laptop. Not one free place to talk to. I have to pay to talk to them. How exactly did Meera tell me to go talk to them? My dad would have lost his cool for good if I bought up the last conversation Meera and I had. I shut the laptop. I don’t know where my dad is. It’s been 5 days. Mom and the piglet left for their trip to India. They didn’t bother asking me. It’s December 3rd. Nitya was supposed to give me her sweater, like she promised when we were listening to her favorite song. On her patio, while the breeze swooped by, and the sunset conquered the sky. She promised while I pulled her in for our lips to meet. Yet, here I am. The
night sky lit by the moon. I still can’t believe I’m here. I am about to do this. The internet assures me with pills and injections, but I think I’m too tired to make any changes to life. It’s too late. I stare down at the concrete cement, a bloody visual painted in my mind, and a second thought rises as my brain realizes what I am actually about to do. However, there is no turning back. For the sake of my ungratefulness. Hopelessness. Patheticness. Worthlessness. My fate has come.