photo courtesy of Picky Wallpapers
I set my life to a playlist and listen while I walk to class, over rain misted streets and brick covered walkways. I hear Adele and I consider it all. I relive it all like a highlights reel, like the teaser to a new teen drama.
I tie my ponytail high, tugging at the base until it sits tightly against my scalp. It gives me a headache, but I ignore it and set to work. I type essays and make study guides, set to do lists and follow the rules. My head hurts and I tighten my ponytail. I make lunch dates with friends and kiss sweet boys. I visit my family and try to eat healthy. My head hurts and I tighten my ponytail. I tighten it until my scalp throbs. I set back to work.
I tell myself that I’ve stopped running. I was a broken vase, racing through crowds, scattering shards of myself on roadways and hallways. Air filtered in through the cracks and the holes, but I pasted a smile and kept moving forward.
I looked in the mirror, and all I saw was a skeleton of who I am, who I was. If I didn’t stay in the same spot for too long, I wouldn’t see the pieces of myself collecting around my feet.
I’m okay I’m okay I’m okay. It became a prayer of lies, a holy death sentence.
I’d fill the cracks with wind, with the lives of others, supporting those around me, pretending as if I could support myself.
I tell myself that I’ve grown, that I’ve gotten better. I cut people off and I fold into myself, a perfect origami crane that it took months to master. I present myself on a bookshelf, a clean, organized example of the put together life I’ve worked to present. I tell myself I’m okay, but then I whisper that it’s a lie.