so, I’ve been working on the IDEA of this for quite a while, and have just put my ideas into action. Pen to paper, although it was really fingers to keyboard… Rambling, L, rambling. To the point: I’m writing a story. I’d rather call it a story than a book, because that kind of gives me a get-out-of-jail-free card, if you see what I mean; if I give up, there’s nothing tying me to the story.
I’ve had the plans for it for quite a while, and have written and edited them time and time again. I’ve written a fair chunk [not that much, but enough to get started with], and I really wanted to share this with you. You guys have always been here for me, and you deserve to see the crap that I come out with when I’m feeling unstoppable and literate.
This part of the story is quite closely tied to an experience I’ve been through, although there are some additions and differences. The general idea, however, is very similar to what happened to me, and I think that’s made it easier for me.
If yu have ANY feedback at all, please please please drop me an email, or Kik, or tweet, or leave a comment. Even if you think it’s absolutely rubbish, please tell me; I need honest oppinions. If you think that a word I’ve used in one sentence should be replaced with another word, tell me. I suppose in a way, you’re my testers, to see if it’s worth going on.
Without further ado, here goes [I’m actually really nervous about pasting this – what if you don’t like it?]
Even after the line went dead, I kept the phone pressed tightly to my head, as if I expected the three beeps that signified the end of a call to be deceiving me. In my mind, I almost expected his voice to sound once more, his broad northern accent pushing the flow of words around and around my head. Somewhere inside, I suspected that he was still there, listening, waiting for a reaction. Reality told me that I was clinging on to a hope which was both impossible and not in my best interest. Ahead of me, my laptop screen flashed up with a message: “Niall Compton is online”. It’s as if it was trying to taunt me, doing everything it could to push Niall’s face back in to the forefront of my mind, when all I really wanted to do was to bury the image deep down, where no one, including myself, would ever find it.
I slowly brought myself to remove the phone from the side of my head. It had stuck slightly, because of the pressure I was applying. I didn’t realise how tight I was gripping the phone until it was directly in front of me, at which point I loosened my grip. Apparently, I loosened it a little too much, because the phone flipped from my hand, and landed, unbroken, on my bedroom floor with a thump.
“Shit, I mumbled, although to what event I wasn’t entirely sure. What I planned to get out of saying it, again, I wasn’t sure, but it felt oddly satisfying, as if the anger inside me was releasing itself in one, violently uttered sylabol. Experimentally, I tried it again:
“Shit. Shit. Shit.”
It felt a little like I was spitting the anger out, throwing it from my body with as much force as I could muster. Hell, that was what I wanted to do: throw the hurt, frustration and confusion from my body, and just feel – nothing. I wanted to feel nothing. After all these months, an emptiness was what I needed, what I craved.
Unbelievably, it had been just two weeks since The Argument. I was sure it had been longer, but my own need for self-punishment had caused me to save the screenshots of the texts to my phone, which were clearly dated 27/12/2015. Today, 09/01/2016, brought me to just under a fortnight since that day. Clearly the events of the last two weeks hadn’t sped time up, as I’d hoped they would; I must have missed him more than I wanted to admit, although that in itself was no surprise. Niall had been there for me for close to two years. Upon reflection, that seemed an awfully short amount of time, but friendship isn’t always a bond that needs the power of time. Some people are just meant to be friends – or so it seems at the time -, and that, for some reason, is enough to form a bond of trust.
With a sigh, I leant down to retrieve my phone, and placed it towards the back of my desk. It was almost as if, by placing it there, I was also placing the memory of him to the back of my desk, as far away from me as I could get it; not far enough, in my opinion. Almost subconsciously, I placed my hands on the keyboard of my laptop, and brought up the desktop. Unlike most teenagers, I prefer to use my computer via the keyboard only; it’s faster, and it allows me to improve my typing speed, which for some reason unknown to me is very important. I furiously typed the web address of my blog, and allowed the web browser to load up, inpatiently drumming my fingers on the desk in front of me while I waited.
I navigated to and selected the link to compose a new post, and then allowed my fingertips to gently rest on the keyboard for a moment. Focussing on my breathing was something I do before each and every blog post; it clears my mind, and allows me to ensure that what I’m about to write isn’t going to come out as complete and utter crap. And then, I started to write:
Saturday 09 January 2016
Is This Hurt, Or Is this Just Life?
How are you? It’s coming up to 11pm here, and I’m sat by my laptop, just typing this post, and thinking. I need to let this all out, and I need someone to help me, and I just need you guys, more than I ever have done before. I hope that this doesn’t sound like I’m moaning or being really depressing: I just want to tell someone the truth – the WHOLE truth -, and I know that if I tell someone who knows me, I’ll be judged, or reported, or told to shut up.
My best friend – well, my ex-best friend – is called N. Of course, he’s not called N, but for the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him N. Why I’m protecting his identity after all that’s happened I don’t know, but I guess I’m not that cruel. Regardless, N has been my best friend now for about a year, and I’ve known him for about 18 months, possibly two years. I trusted him with pretty much everything, including what I write here; he’s one of only two people who know about this blog, and who the person behind the words really is. N knows about the depression, the self-harm, the anxiety, and from all of the things that he said, he was totally supportive. Although he’d never personally experienced any of it, he seemed to somehow get what I was talking about: he understood why I get anxious like I do; he understood what stresses me out, and why I can’t cope with it; he managed to calm me down when I was so far gone that a knife in one hand, fresh blood dripping from the other seemed to me like the only answer to my problems. Before N, I’d neve met anyone like this, whether because I’d never told anyone that stuff, or no one genuinely understood I don’t know, but that’s far from the point really.
Two weeks ago, on 27th December, we had an argument. Lots was said – lots was said which I never wished to hear, but somehow, I knew was true. He called me needy, attention seeking, and told me that I needed mental help. I’m not sure if he intended to hurt me; I’d like to think he didn’t, but common sense tells me to wake up and smell the coffee. Of course he meant to hurt me, or else he’d have said nothing in the first place. Oh, I wish he’d said nothing in the first place. Why couldn’t things have stayed as they were?
Of course, as any teenage argument should conclude, I “blocked” him, which really means that I found the block button on his contact, but I didn’t have the courage to neither press it, nor tell him that I hadn’t pressed it, effectively blocking him. Things were quiet; no texts, or phone calls, or emails. The new year rolled around, and God I was tempted to send him a Happy New Year text message – anything to break the silence. I was just one tap away from sending it too, but I thought better of it. If he really feels that way about me, sending a text out of the blue is surely only going to inflame an already bloody wound.
I deleted the text, and closed the messages app, almost without intending to. Almost.
Tonight, the silence between us was broken, and it wasn’t me who broke it. My phone buzzed, and I immediately froze. I hadn’t yet removed the unique vibration associated with his contact, and even after two weeks, that pattern still made his face flash before my eyes. I was, for just a moment, torn between head and heart. To ignore the text would never do; I’d not have the text off of my mind until I read it, and analysed every last word choice. However, I knew deep down that the text would be nothing but bitter truths, with words designed to hurt me, to cut me and leave me open and vulnerable. With a sigh of resignation, I looked at the text, and instantly regretted it:
“If you thought blocking me would shut me up, then let me tell you this: those who tell you the truth are actually speaking the truth, and ignoring them doesn’t make the truth any less real. I know that you know that, and you know that it’s true. By “blocking” me, you’ve just proved a point to me: you know that every last word I said was pure truth, and you don’t want to admit that. I have nothing more to say.”
I pressed my finger slowly and deliberately onto the text notification, and then snatched it back again, as if the screen was red hot. The damage, however, had already been done; my phone had sent him a lovely read receipt, to eliminate the probably nonexistant doubt in his head that I’d read the text message within 30 seconds of its delivery to my phone.
Look, my mum is are coming towards my room; I can’t write any more now. There’s not much more to say anyway, and nothing that I really want to put here anyway.
Thank you for reading, and letting me vent to you guys. You’re the only people I know who really care enough to listen.
I just had enough time to publish the post, close the web page and slam down the lid of my laptop before my door inched open, and my mum’s face popped in. She was looking tired – I could see the bags hanging from beneath her eyes. I took a moment to compose myself, and then looked right into her eye. It’s always difficult, I’ve found, to establish a natural expression and level of eye contact when you’re preoccupied with other matters, but desperately hiding it.
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine,” I attempted a vague smile, but then decided that maybe that was too cheerful.
“I’m just off to bed love. I’ll see you in the morning, OK? Usual time?”
I nodded, as I did every night before school. It was always the “usual time”, and she knew it. It filled time though, and was a safe conversation for us to have together.
“Night then,” she said, as she retracted her head from the doorway, and pulled the door closed behind her.
“G’night,” I whispered, but she couldn’t hear me any more.