C8 Loneliness hits me like a ton of bricks
Light streams in through the window, settling around me like a protective halo. My eyes slowly flutter open and I groan, squeezing them shut tightly. The sunlight is too bright for my sensitive vision. My eyes are stinging and I can barely keep them open for any longer than a few seconds.
I murmur weakly, my voice croaky and low. Silence surrounds me and the feeling of loneliness hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm lying on the bathroom floor, my head resting against the tiles in an uncomfortable position. My entire body aches and burns from any slight movement. My eyes fill with tears as reality hits me...
I'm forced to continue living this nightmare.
I inhale deeply before gripping tightly onto the toilet seat as I attempt to lift myself up. My legs wobble underneath me unsteadily and my arms begin to shake vigorously from the strain.
All I want to do right now is sleep.
My body is screaming at me to give in and rest from years of being mistreated.
I shuffle over and lower myself carefully in the shower before sitting cross legged on the shower floor. The second the warm water washes over my body, I feel my shoulders slump in relief. I spent the next half hour in the shower, feeling completely numb to the world.
After my shower, I dress into clean pyjamas and bury myself in the sheets, surrounded by blankets. The clock on my bedside table reads 10am. The thought of attending school makes me nauseous, my stomach churning. I pull the duvet around me and snuggle in, breathing in the familiar scent. Barely a minute passes before my body finally gives in and I fall into a deep much needed sleep.
I wake up to the sound of my phone going off, over and over again. I groan and reach out for it on my bedside table but it's not in its usual place. I sigh and slowly sit up, my body screaming in pain. It's dark outside and my clock reads 11pm. I slept through the whole day.
"Wow, that's a new record for me." I mutter. I crawl onto the floor and towards my phone which is by my door. The screen is brightly lit up, alerting me that I have several missed calls and numerous texts. I let out a small groan as I reached over for it. My arms can barely support my weight and I feel myself grow light headed. I know I'm about to pass out if I don't rest so I shuffle back towards my bed with my phone in hand. I press the home button and wince at the screen. I am so not ready to face brightness.
I have ten texts from Trish, one from Ivory and one from an unknown number. Trish asks me if I'm feeling any better so I reply to her and lie as usual. I hate lying to her.
I'm afraid if my secret is exposed, people will treat me differently. . . Like fine china. Breakable. Fragile. That's not how I want to be known. I don't want people to whisper behind my back and whisper about my abuse. I don't want rumours being created, spiralling into vicious gossip.
The next text message is from an unknown number. My heart speeds up as my mind wanders to the night where I received the call from the person claiming to be my dead father. Since then, I've had no other calls but the thought of it still causes an uneasy feeling to settle inside my stomach. I breathe in sharply, composing myself before my eyes scan over the text —
Are you ok? -J.
I bite my lower lip as I try to figure out who's texting me. It takes me a while to realise but eventually, I figure it out. How did Jake Melvin get my number and why does he care if I'm okay?
My heart begins to pick up speed once again but not because I'm afraid but because I think Jake cares about me. Why else would he ask how I am? I quickly push the thought to the back of my mind. The boy doesn't care about people, definitely not me. I decide against ignoring him so I quickly text him back, wondering whether he'll even respond.
I'm fine, thanks. Em.
I send the text and don't expect to get a response back immediately. I sit and stare at my phone for a few moments, surprised that he's texting me.
Where were you today? And if you didn't already know, it's Jake.
I roll my eyes and text him back, a ghost of a smile flickering across my face.
Me - I know it's you, silly. And I was at home, busy.
Jake - Can I call you?
I hesitate at my phone, taken aback by Jake's request. I'm afraid if he hears my voice, he'll sense the pain I'm feeling. I bite down on my lower lip, strangely wanting to hear his voice. I feel so lonely and maybe talking to Jake will take my mind off things. . .
Me - Sure.
My phone rings instantly and I glance down at it for a second or two, unsure of what to do. Without thinking too hard about it, I answer the phone, holding it up to my ear.
"Hello?" I whisper, my voice quiet and hoarse.
I smile, liking how my name sounds coming from him. I'm also surprised at how comfortable I feel talking to him. "Hi Jake."
"Are you okay?" Jake asks. I notice his voice is deeper than usual with a hint of raspiness.
"Yeah, I'm probably coming down with the flu or something. Have you been sleeping?" I ask him, sounding amused.
"You got me."
I laugh quietly, pulling the duvet up to my chin. My body sinks into the covers and I sigh, shoulders slumping in relief.
"Do you want me to come round and keep you company? I can bring medicine." Jake responds, his voice raspy.
"At half eleven? It's dark outside." I respond, ignoring the flutter in my stomach. I can't believe Jake Melvin just offered to keep me company and bring me medicine.
"I'm a night person," Jake responds back, humour lining his voice.
"Like a vampire?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty good at the whole blood sucking thing as well."
"That's gross, Jake." I giggle, his voice washing away any feeling of loneliness. Instead a warm sensation grows inside my chest and a smile stretches across my face.
"I thought all girls love vampires?" Jake jokes. I roll my eyes at his stereotypical thought —
"Not this girl. Besides, are you trying to make me love you?"
My words are risky, directed to be a joke. Once they leave my lips, I instantly regret them. Jake pauses for a moment on the other end as a silence falls between us.
"I don't need to try," he eventually replies and I immediately scoff, the conversation turning light hearted once again.
"You're so big headed. Not every girl wants you Jake."
"That's where you're wrong Muffin. No-one can resist my handsome face and bright bubbly personality." His tone of voice is sarcastic and I giggle again.
"Are we still describing you? Because that sounds nothing like you Jake." I respond.
"Ouch, that hurt Wentworth."
"Do you want me to kiss it better?" I tease, feelings my cheek ache from the grin on my face. Jake chuckles on the other end and I imagine him smirking, a cheeky glint in his eyes.
Gorgeous blue eyes that resemble the ocean.
"I'd love for you to kiss it better." Jake responds without hesitation. I pause, noticing the playfulness from his voice has disappeared. I swallow the lump in my throat nervously, unsure of how to respond.
"I'll hold you to that." I say quietly, a slight shiver running down my spine. Jake pauses on the other line for a brief second —
"Make sure you do Muffin."
We end up chatting on the phone for the next hour, talking about all the silly things in life. The conversation never turns deep but I prefer it that way. One thing I noticed is that I couldn't stop smiling and giggling the entire conversation. After the call, I turn my phone off, putting it underneath my pillow. Jake made me feel better. I don't quite feel like I've just done ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
I close my eyes, drifting off into one of the most peaceful sleeps I've had in a long time. My dreams are focused around the people in my life that make me happy. The people who make me smile and cause a warm feeling to settle inside my stomach from the thought of them.
Dad, Trish, Grandad, Ivory, Jake. . .
Yes, even I'm surprised at the last one.