My diary is staring at me from the corner of my bookshelf in front of my desk. It’s screaming to me, ‘You know you want to open me.’ I can’t. That binding of mere paper holds words which scream my past. My hatred, my worries, my anxiety: everything wrong with my life stays in those papers. It has helped me a lot; I feel like I simply have one thing less to worry about each time I complete inking a page in it. I do. But not today.
My insides feel exactly the same as they had been feeling a week ago, scarred. The past week has been comparatively easy, mostly because I took to sleeping for fifteen hours, more than half of the day. But yes, the past week did somehow feel light: it felt like the early rays of sunshine finally being able to break through dark curtains on the broken windowsill. But I guess those rays have succumbed to the darkness yet again.
My mom’s in the hospital. She has been puking her guts out since yesterday. Vomit mixed with blood. I regret ever seeing it. She has severe diarrhea, stomach ache. My dad’s in the hospital with her. My brother is busy playing with his friends; he doesn’t think it’s serious, he doesn’t care. I do. I am afraid it’s something serious. I want these intrusive thoughts to go away, but they won’t. My diary is screaming at me, ‘You will feel better, just write a page in me.’ Somehow, I just can’t get the courage to open those pages; maybe someday I will write in it again — I desperately want to but I can’t open it. I could write on the diary’s cover. I wouldn’t have to open it that way. The thoughts would go away, too. Maybe I should.
But what if someone picks it up? And sees the writings on the cover? I can’t afford someone peeping into my insanity. What if, worse still, someone finds my diary and opens it pages? I suddenly think I should burn it; I should burn it to the ground. Yes, that would feel good.
I have been sleeping most of the day, I am not in a position to deal with reality right now. I woke up at 11.30 am, bathed, my eyes were red when I came out of the bathroom. I convinced everyone it was just shampoo. It was not. I thought some Netflix ought to cheer me up. I watched it till 3.30 pm. Then I slept again. I woke up to my phone ringing at 5 pm. It was my class teacher asking if I wanted to enroll in a program. But I am glad my phone rang; it woke me up from that disastrous dream.
I recently watched ‘Train to Busan.’ It greatly influenced this dream. I was a fish, I was hanging upside down at a meat-seller’s, but I was still alive. Suddenly the vendor put in more fishes in that box, and that rabid virus started spreading. Fishes were biting each other’s heads off, becoming zombies. One of the fishes had a gun. I begged it to kill me. I screamed at the top of my gills, ‘Shoot me before one of these bites my head off.’ Soon enough I had the virus. I managed to hop out of the box. In front of me there was a wall. It separated the river into the water with the infected fishes and those with the healthy fishes. I hopped towards the healthy fishes. But in the end, my little conscious took over and I leaped straight into the infected waters. I died. But the worst part of the dream was not yet over.
As I was dying, I could feel crucifying pain all across my body. I was screaming. But when I opened my eyes, I realized I was flying. I didn’t have a body; it was just my voice. I was still screaming, but I didn’t feel any pain. I couldn’t differentiate my body from the mass of rotten fishes. And then my teacher called. I don’t hold any particular affection for that teacher, she always comes up with random excuses to avoid answering any of my questions, in class or otherwise. But suddenly I feel a newfound love for her. She rescued me from that hell.
I woke up sweating profusely, partially in tears. My dad was sleeping on the couch in the living room. Thank God, no one saw me. I cannot afford for anyone to get the slightest breeze of my battles; they are my own, and I don’t need any help. I had this urge to call my ex-best friend: we broke up our friendship because my mom said I ought not to talk to her for she’s a bad influence. Mom isn’t wrong. I partially wanted to call her because she lost her mother two years ago. A mixed subconscious made me drag my hand across and call her, but I didn’t. It’s my own battle. I don’t need anyone. “I don’t need anyone,” said I, as I broke all my ties with any sort of friends. I don’t have any friends now. But I don’t need anyone.
Ayushi Jain is a high-school student from Gurgaon, India. She is an ardent photographer, writer, and poetry enthusiast. You can find her spending a merry Sunday afternoon in her room, with the perfect Urdu poetry in hand. She is also the sub-editor of her weekly school magazine and has a special place in her heart for all things bearing the name, Agatha Christie.