She was lying on her back with her eyes closed. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking she was dead. The way she was lying there, so peaceful and serene, surrounded by small, yellow leaves scattered through the dry dirt in the backyard. Her hand was tapping ever so slightly, the only movement that gave any indication of life. Small white headphones sat in her ears, the faint blare of the alternate, indie-pop she adored wafted over the air towards me, lilting through the dry summer’s day.
“Sometimes I feel as though I am the only person in the world who ever feels this way,” she said, her words cutting through the silence that hung heavy between us. “I feel as though my heart will explode with all the love I feel, as though it surely couldn’t not expand any more without streaming out of my chest.” She stopped. “And then other times it’s as though there’s a dark grey cloud hanging on everything. And I can’t see how I shall ever feel good again.” She’d spun around now, her eyes were looking at me, but they’d glazed over as she continued, “It’s as though I will never feel good again, and not that I’ll never feel good again, but that I’ve forgotten why I ever even wanted it.”
Tears had formed in the corner of her eye, she blinked them away quickly, and let out a long sigh.
My heart went out to her, she looked so small and alone. The right side of her mouth had tugged down, as though it were being pulled by a tiny invisible thread of cotton. The grass was tickling my back now and I thought I should have some words of wisdom to share with her but I didn’t know what she needed to hear.
“I think we all have days like that,” I mumbled lamely, but continued anyway, “Ya know, every one feels shit sometimes.”
She just stared at me without blinking, and she shrugged. “I guess so,” she said, as she rolled on to her front and spun around.
I’d lost her attention, I hadn’t said the right words and I didn’t know what she wanted from me. I reached over to stoke her back, running my fingers up and down. Her t-shirt felt coarse on my fingers. She let out a small shiver. “It’s getting cold out here,” she said, “Let’s go lie in bed.”
She jumped up and grabbed my hand, looking at me with a small smile as she led me down the hallway towards her bedroom. I blindly followed after her, as usual. Always eager to please.