It's past midnight and I'm lying awake in bed, staring at my ceiling. I look around and it feels like these walls are closing in on me. My mind decides to revisit every bad thing that has
happened to me in the past. And I feel a mixture of guilt and panic coming up.
I can't be here right now, this room is suffocating me.
I get up, turn on the lights and start to pace around. It seems impossible to even get through this night.
All of a sudden I feel a force from my inside, forcing me to put some clothes on as fast as I can. I pack a small bag which includes some money and my bear that I've had since childhood. I can't leave him behind. I text my boyfriend and tell him that I'm leaving. He asks me if he needs to come over and pick me up.
When I go down the stairs, I meet my mom at the bottom. She notices the bag that I'm carrying and looks at me with sadness in her eyes. She realizes it's one of those days again. She asks me where I'm going and when will I be back. I tell her that I'm going out for a walk. I can see that she's worried, but she lets me pass her anyway. She tells me to text her, and not be out too late.
I close the front door behind me, and I am greeted by a cold midnight breeze.
A small feeling of regret passes my mind, but also relief. I am actually leaving this time. I hope to find a place where I don't have to face my problems anymore.
And I've heard of so many people doing this before. With only a little bit of cash left, they end up making it in some unknown place. But deep down I know I'm lying to myself.
I walk towards the train station, which is a half hour away. My breathing is slowly going back to normal. I look around and I notice the eerie silence. Night and day are so different from eachother.
While I'm walking, my boyfriend is blowing up my phone with calls and texts. I refuse to pick up, but I do read all of his texts.
One says to me "ARE YOU INSANE? GET YOUR ASS HOME BEFORE SOMEONE HURTS YOU!"
I role my eyes and ignore his next call.
I keep walking and a few minutes later, I pass a guy walking with a bike in his hand. He greets me and I ignore him. I guess he is one of those guys who doesn't take rejection very well. He turns around and decides to follow me and keeps calling me. I'm still refusing to acknowledge his existence which pisses him off. When I attempt to cross a street, he blocks my way with his bike and grabs my arm.
Uhm, Isn't my fight or flight reaction supposed to kick in right now?
It's like time stops for a moment while I'm looking at this guy, and I don't feel anything. My brain takes over, and is shocked that this person standing in front of me, is demanding my attention? I feel myself getting angry and scared at the same time.
The audacity that this guy has to actually touch me, triggers a whole 'tough girl' act.
I yell that he's pretty much fucked from this point on. My whole family is 'crazy as hell' and he just signed his own death sentence. I rip my arm away from him and grab my phone.
I pretend to call someone 'to come get this fool' and somehow he believes it. While he jumps on his bike and takes off, I am having a very loud conversation with no one.
My hands are shaking while I text my boyfriend. Ashamed and afraid, I let him know that I actually did get harassed by someone. I expect him to send me a shit storm of texts, basically telling me "I TOLD YOU SO!", but he doesn't. Instead he asks me where I am.
I look up and I'm at the train station.
I take a seat on a cold bench and I reach to touch my bear, who's stuffed in my bag, so I don't feel so alone anymore. A feeling of comfort surrounds me.
A train arrives, but I remain seated.
The option that I could leave, keeps me here. The train takes off.
I text my boyfriend that I'm at the train station.
And within minutes, he is here.
The doorbell rings and I quickly check in the mirror to see if I look normal. When I open the door, I'm greeted by two perfect blue eyes and a genuine smile.
"I've got your package right here" he says cheerfully.
He's always so kind, but I don't feel like talking to anyone today.
I quickly nod and look away. "Do I need to sign anything?" I ask, while forcing a smile onto my face.
While I take the package from him, he notices my bloodshot eyes.
"I'm sorry, but are you okay?" He asks me with a slight sound of worry in his voice.
The sincerity in his voice brings tears to my eyes.
No one ever asks me that. No one actually comes to my door, looks at me and asks me how I'm doing.
Even though that's not why he's here, he didn't have to say anything.
Other people, even friends, are always saying things like "Hey, how are you doing?"
Secretly hoping to hear you say "Great!" Because no one really wants to be seen with somebody who's pouring their heart out in public.
Instead of responding right away, you get a late night text saying "Hey, are you really okay?" With a sad emoji at the end, so you know they actually mean it.
"No, not really." My honest reaction shocks me. Did I really just say that to a stranger? Well, it's not really a secret. My dried up tears are even more visible standing here in the daylight.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He asks.
"Uhm, not really no."
"But.. Do you feel the need to?"
I hesitate. But the way he looks at me makes me feel safe enough to say something.
"I.. I think I hate my life." I instantly feel regret. Great, why did I tell him that. Now he definitely thinks he's got a crazy one his hands.
He adjusts his posture, to look more engaged. "How so?" He asks me.
"Because this not a life," I carry on.
"Waking up early to do something I hate is not a life. I feel like I'm dying but no one notices that I am."
He looks at me like he's afraid to ask me something, but gathers all his courage and does it anyway. "When you say dying you mean as in.. suicide, right? Are you, suicidal?"
"Wait what? God no!" I say in a defensive tone.
I can see that he's regretful for even asking. "I'm sorry! I just watched this show on tv and I thought.. never mind."
He stares at his feet, and there's an awkward silence. I feel bad, because I know he means wel.
"I mean, it feels like my soul is dying. I've gone to school for years, learned things I didn't need to. Did all kinds of tests. And now I'm spending years working jobs I don't really want. Constantly doing my best and for what? So you can be cast away, the first opportunity they get?"
I'm waiting for him to interupt me and tell me that I've got it all wrong, but he doesn't.
"In this society, I am no one. I could literally die today and they would replace me the next. Same goes for you, same goes for all of us. We are all dying, but I feel like I'm the only one realizing it."
"I feel like I can't do this anymore. I'm mentally too tired to live like this. Waking up and putting my mask on for the day. Walking around, pretending to be happy. Our worth as humans is impossible to even express in money. But still they expect the most out of us, but not give us anything close to what we actually deserve."
"So, what do you really want?" He doesn't sound irritated like others have been in the past. He listens to understand, not to reply.
"I want them to see me as a human. I want their compliments to be genuine. I want them to tell me what they want.
And give us what we deserve.
Businesses can only be succesful because of the people that work there, so why don't they realize that. Help us be excited about our life since we spend so much of it with them. And be genuinely gratefull that we do. Stop taking us for granted."
I let out a deep sigh of relief. He looks straight at me and asks "do you feel better now?" I nod.
"I hope you do know that you have a choice, right? You don't have to settle."
I let his words sink in for a moment.
Finally. Someone who gets it. With a feeling of gratitude I look at him and say
"thank you for listening."