"Everything went well today?"
"Yeah, better than I expected."
"Not really, Mum. I'll be in my room."
I emptied my duffel bag into the laundry basket and took a quick shower before I sat on my bed, towel around my neck. I was exhausted and the day's events were still fresh in my mind. Before I could get comfy, my phone buzzed. A message, Candace.
Jake is excited that you'll be coming!
Wait, what was she going on about? I had barely thought about what she'd asked. As I was replying, another message came through.
Tony said he'll pass by if you come. So, you need to come.
Right. I knew what Tony was playing at.
I said that I'd think about it.
I pressed send and got off the bed. I finished drying my hair and hang the towel to dry. My art books were stacked on my desk and my latest work was sitting neatly beside a bunch of pencils. When my phone buzzed, I was prepared to turn her down flat until...
Rie said she would make it. It would be nice for her to get to know everyone at the party.
When had they asked her? Oh—
I quickly typed a reply and hesitated before I sent it. I hoped my reply was not too obvious.
Yeah. It would be nice for her to get to meet everyone. I might make it.
I can swing by on my way there so that we can go together.
She's got to be joking, right? She lives on the opposite side of town. Why would she bother?
No need, I'll meet you there.
I hoped she wouldn't text after that because I would have to ignore her and that did not go well last time.
I spent some time finishing the drawing I had started the previous night as I listened to Lauv's latest album. My portfolio contained a range of art pieces I hoped would come in handy, soon.
Before going to bed, I moved my books to the side and turned on my computer. It took me a while to realize that I was staring at Rie's blog from the night before. I refreshed the page and there was an update.
Triggers of self-hate
I cannot see what they see. My mind is racing and I can feel myself spiraling. How do I explain the emptiness that fills my life, the pain that demands to be felt? I try, so hard, to be happy every day, yet dark clouds fill the skies I look up to. Aren't I worthy of joy? Why does happiness elude me?
With all the entries she had written, this one made my heart sink. What was it she was going through? It was hard to imagine that the girl at the restaurant today, was the same one who wrote these entries. She had posted it 5 minutes ago and the chances that she was still online were high. I clicked on the comment section and with trembling fingers, typed a reply.
In times of defeat, pain, and uncertainty, don't look up for hope. Look within. It's harder than it seems but the tiny voice in your mind that seems to be muffled is always rooting for you. I'm rooting for you.
I hit enter and put my computer to sleep. I was happy, for the first time in a long time. The voice in my head was screaming at me, begging me to reach out to her and I needed to listen. Just this once.