It was the next day. I had had a restless night, my attempts at sleep disrupted by Tom’s words playing on a loop in my head, so now I was arming myself with bittersweet coffee and music that would hopefully spur my brain into action. I didn’t think I was ever going to get over what Tom had told me; it may only have been words on my phone screen, but it felt like Tom had stuck a knife in my back.

It was halfway through said cup of bittersweet coffee that I decided that it might be a good idea to go out. There was a new film out that I wanted to see, and I hadn’t been to the cinema ages, so that would be fun and relaxing. Maybe I could even do a bit of shopping afterwards if I felt up to it.

There was also the added bonus of the fact that if I went out, I wouldn’t have to deal with Mum and Marie, which pretty much made up my mind for me.

With that decided, I finished my coffee and raced upstairs to get ready and go out before Mum and Marie could appear and say anything that could make me change my mind. As soon as I was ready, thankfully not encountering Mum and Marie, I left.

The fresh air woke me up a lot more than the coffee did and by the time I got to the cinema, not only was I wide awake, but I actually felt like I might be able to have a good day. The film was totally awesome and I even had enough money to get some popcorn and a drink. Everything was going just the way I wanted it to.

That all changed when I went to do a bit of shopping.

Standing outside one of the shops that I was hoping to go to was Tom and some of our mutual friends. My heartbeat skipped. This wasn’t going to end well.

Mostly to be polite, I smiled and said, “Hi.”

Tom didn’t smile. “If you can go shopping, then why didn’t you come to the party last night?”

I stared at him. “I told you last night: I need time for myself. My mental health isn’t as good as I would like it to be right now so I decided to stay at home and look after myself.” Put as clearly as that, I could only hope that Tom understood what I was trying to tell him the night before. If not, I didn’t think I would like where it was likely to end up.

Tom’s nostrils flared. “That’s just an excuse. You’re useless. You never want to do anything, so why would anyone want to be friends with you?”

To make things ten times worse, everyone else joined in. I struggled to hold back the tears as they called me pathetic and a waste of space and other things that I never want to share with anyone because they are too rude and painful to share with anyone else. It was like they all had knives and constantly stabbing me in the back with them.

It was then that I realised that there was no one in that group of so-called friends that I could trust.

After much too long, they finally stopped. There was a small, silly part of me that hoped someone would apologise, but none of them did. The pain inside my heart intensified as they left without saying another word to me. They were laughing and joking among themselves and as they disappeared into the distance, the tears started falling, almost as if they had been waiting to be alone.

When they finally stopped falling, I went home. I didn’t think I could feel any worse than I already did.

 

Mum and Marie were back when I got home; I could hear them laughing in the kitchen. I closed my eyes, silently wishing they would go away. Their laughter continued to tear through my head. I was going to have to go for Plan B: to go to my room there and then and hope that I wouldn’t attract attention to myself.

I was halfway up the stairs when Mum appeared at the bottom.

“Why are you back so early?”

There was no point telling her the truth, I knew that much. “I did everything I wanted to do.” I started to carry on going upstairs, hoping that she wouldn’t see through the lie.

“Why would you let something like depression get in the way of having a normal life?”

I paused. My heart was suddenly thumping so hard that I thought it was going to break out of my chest. I didn’t reply, couldn’t reply. Just what was I supposed to say to make her understand?

Before she could say anything else, I stormed off, the dust flying as I kicked step in my desperation to get away from Mum and her belief that my depression could just magically go away if I told it to. As the door slammed behind me, I sunk to the floor as the tears fell and angry, confused thoughts raced through my head.