Her eyes fluttered open, heavy as lead, from a fit-full nights sleep. Even in her dreams she couldn’t catch a rest. The foreboding sense of fatigue & exhaustion which she carried with her every day waved it’s welcome.
A quiet sigh escaped her lips as she rolled over and felt the familiar tap on her shoulder. ‘Good morning’ he whispered, ‘but it’s not good is it… it’s never good’. She dragged her fingers through her hair, wishing him away, wishing he would go.
But he never leaves, because he’s not a physical presence that she can move, he’s in her head. He’s the fatigue, the thoughts that never stop swirling around in her mind, poisoning anything positive or good. His one job, is to keep her down. To remind her she’s ugly, disgusting, not wanted, a waste of space.
‘Job well done’ she muttered to him and she swore she could hear his cackle. ‘You’ve won, God damn it, isn’t this enough’. But it’s never enough, he won’t be done until he drives her to the darkness of silence, until he makes he crack once and for all.
“Callie hun, it’s time to get up, you’re going to be late for work” knocked her flatmate Hannah. “I know, I…” and then it seized her chest, her throat, before she could mutter another word she felt the breath leave her like she’d had a hard blow to the stomach. “I’m still sick” Callie barely whispered in return… She heard the resigned breath of Hannah and could almost see the defeated shake of her head as she walked away.
She just needed one more day, just one more day to sleep and then she swore she’d be fine. Surely, another day in bed will knock this overwhelming sense of exhaustion. ‘I must be sick’ Callie thought to herself, it was silly to think that her own mind could make her so tired, so nauseous. ‘I’ll get to the doctors’ she thought, ‘and they’ll tell me what’s wrong… I’m probably depleted in some vitamin but once they give me medicine I’ll be fine. I just need to get out of bed. But first, just a few more hours sleep’. Her sick days at work were already depleted, everything was so far gone that one more day wouldn’t make a difference. It’s not like they understand anyway.
‘No-one needs you, no-one would even notice that you’re gone’ he muttered in her ear. She felt like screaming but no sound would escape. Besides, it wouldn’t get rid of his incessant dialogue. He’d only scream louder.
Callie reached out and grabbed her figurative safety net. The sound of those wonderful little pills knocking around in the plastic bottle, chanting away ‘take me, take me. I’ll make you feel better’. She even felt the corner of her lips turn upwards, was that almost a smile, as she slipped two of those blessed pills between her dry her lips and swallowed them down. ‘Just a few more hours sleep and I’ll be fine’ sung through her head as she lay back and let the pills send her to oblivion…
“You know, you may think she hates me but Callie and I really have a beautiful relationship. We’ve been going strong for nearly 10 years now but the best part is we only grow closer. With every family issue, friendship breakdown, employment problems, financial disasters… it just brings us tighter together. Now, you can’t say that about many relationships, can you?”
“But we have fun, because as much as I torment and tease her, constantly feeding a string of toxic thoughts through her head, she still keeps me around. I’m her comfort you see… she needs me. What on earth do you think she’d do if she was normal. Do you think she’s in any state to go about her daily life without a little bit of grounding. I’m here to keep her level, to make sure that she never get’s too high. A little reminder here and there that she’s a worthless piece of shit… we don’t want that ego getting to big. Then she might think she can do things without me. And I’m telling you now, I’m not going anywhere.”
An obnoxious buzzing stirred Callie from her slumber and a fog thicker then she’d left greeted her. Why was she awake already, she’d only had what felt like a few hours sleep. She was still so damn tired. As her cloud of fog lifted, she noted the lit up screen of her phone and realised the buzzing was her phone vibrating. ‘Why can’t people just leave me alone’… Then her eyes widened, as she registered the date of her phone, ‘Fuck. It can’t be’… It was two days later. Callie flung herself upright in bed and seized her phone with urgency… Missed call after missed call from work, one from her mother and a number of unread texts. ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck’ she hissed.