Simple Words

Simple Words
By: Lauren Thompson

“You’re strange.” 



“But that’s so easy! Why can’t you do it?”

I looked down at the tiled floor. The words swirling in my head. Was I truly stupid? I felt the tears collect below my chin making my skin sticky. Why was I like this?  I clutched my chest and the pain that resided there. I was choking- choking on air, on sobs. 

“Dear Student,

We regret to inform you that you did not qualify….” 

Even when I try hard, I still don’t make it. They didn’t even tell me the exact reason as to why I didn’t get in. They didn’t even bother to take the time to type my name. “Idiot.” 

I choked again. Why, why does it hurt so much? I set my hand down on the cold porcelain of the tub. I tried to focus on the way it felt against my skin. I took a deep breath as tremors racked my frame. But it was useless – I was useless… 

The pain spread agonizingly slow, causing my limbs to feel tired and worn. Why did I have to feel? I wanted to sleep – to curl up in a ball and forget the world existed. Forget I existed. I wanted oblivion.

My throat constricted. Oh, why? Just why? I looked down at the floor once more. My skin felt foreign, strange, irritating. Why did I have to be here? 

I punched the tile. 

Pain surged through my skin, my fingers, my bones. My throat loosened, the voices- slowly dispersing. I concentrated on my hand, at the bruises that formed on my knuckles. Would people notice? Would they care? 

No, I mustn’t bother them; it’s not like they care or understand. There are plenty of other kids at my school who are in harder situations. I shouldn’t complain about mine. No one can truly understand, nor do I want to rehash this moment. No, I am fine

I stood up moving to the mirror. I looked back at my reflection. I tried to smile. Some say that this helps you cheer up. I tried lifting the corners of my mouth up. It hurts. Don’t cry. “No.” I say. “You are strong.”

Why does it sound like a lie? 

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