I shut the door and sat with my knees to my chest and felt heavy. Every sound was an intrusion of my space. The alienation was terrifyingly familiar and I longed for a world that understood my way of thinking, my illogical obtrusions.

I ached for that world, wishing that someone would grab my shoulders and shake me, would hit me in the face, waking me up and awarding me acceptance. I would no longer feel like a fly on the wall, not listening and watching others but landing on their skin, vomiting a little on their pores, while they slapped me away like an insignificant annoyance that altered their perception in such subtle ways they could not even acknowledge or comprehend it.

Always the one in the Venus flytrap, scrambling to get away with just a taste of the nectar but dragged back under by the entrapment of its arms.

I miss the way the wind used to feel on my face. It was icy water splashing over me and I would breathe it in and it would consume me. It would smell so familiar, like blossom trees and freshly turned earth, like pine trees and erasers. It felt like sequins and needles and glittering lights and the unknown. It made my mind leap hurdles and fall into the grass, like grazed knees and the mushroom fairy homes that I longed to crawl into. Now all I have is hands on hips and spit in my face and hard faces that can no longer swell up with tears.

I recall filling myself up with that wind and feeling invincible. I could smile and complete every task with ease and joy. Joy. That’s what I miss. I want back those easy days when my chest swelled with happiness and you could just laugh, we would just laugh for no reason and I’d jump in the puddles and try and climb the trees, which was impossible, because height is always a disadvantage. I miss diving into the swimming pool and feeling the pull of water on my face as I fled through it, structure, technique, peace. Silence. 

By Paige