Speak Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Lindsay just won't speak.

Submitted: September 02, 2018

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Submitted: September 02, 2018

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He left my apartment that early evening and I was alone in the dark, stark naked and vulnerable.

His hands had been all over me and I could still taste his tongue in my mouth.

Guilt churned in the pit of my stomach and bile rose up my throat. Later, I was bent over the toilet bowl, heaving my guts out. After a while, I got up and stood in the shower for hours. The warm water trickled down my skin and I relaxed for a moment.

Unfortunately, it did nothing to erase the memories from my head.

Finally, I got out of the shower, still dripping wet as I walked into the bedroom. Mom wasn’t home yet and I was glad.

I wouldn’t be able to tell her what had happened anyway.

I picked up my phone and dialed a number.

At last, he answered, “Hello?”

“Ty, there’s something I need to tell you.

 

***

 

It had been a year since I last saw him again.

He walked past me without saying ‘hi’ or anything and I stood there, watching him.

Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. My heart started to race, and I was trembling from head to toe.

“You okay?”

I whipped around to see Ty looking at me with concern in his eyes. I nodded my head and he said, “Let’s go somewhere to talk.”

Before I could protest, he added, “I have a free period.”

We sat on a bench outside an empty classroom and the floodgates opened. Ty wrapped his arm around my shoulder, whispering ‘It’s okay’ as I sobbed.

After what seemed like ages, I calmed down and Ty said to me, “You need to talk to someone about it.”

I shook my head. “No. No one must know.”

 

***

 

It was fourth period which meant History class. My teacher was Mr. Rowan and he was known for giving students a hard time. It was fair to say he was not my favorite teacher.

We were supposed to give an oral presentation about the history of Aborigines in Victoria.

When it was my turn to speak, however, I couldn’t.

I stood in front of the whole class, gaping at them like a dead fish. My breaths came in quick short gasps.
“Is there something you want to say, Lindsay?” Mr. Rowan spoke. I looked around, crushing the edges of my papers. The students snickered and whispered to each other.

Mr. Rowan rolled his eyes. “I don’t have time for this.” He looked at me and told, “Open your mouth, Lindsay.”

The whole class burst into laughter.

Suddenly, my legs took control over my body.

“Lindsay!”

I dashed to the nearest bathroom and locked myself in one of the stalls. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Rolling up my sleeve, I fished out a cutter from the pocket of my skirt and dug the blade deep into my flesh.

Blood bubbled at the surface of my skin and yet, I felt nothing.

I drew more red lines across my wrist just as someone pounded on the door.

“Lindsay Ong! Come out at once!”

Another knock on the door.

 “I know you’re in there!”

I quickly wrapped my arm with toilet paper and rolled down my sleeve. When I opened the door, my school coordinator Ms. Heather was standing right in front of me.

“Lindsay Ong, what on earth is the matter with you?” She asked.

I said nothing.

 

***

Ty was already waiting for me by the time I came out of the office during recess.

“What did she say?” he asked.

I sighed. “She wants to have a word with my parents tomorrow during recess.”

“Did you tell her why you couldn’t deliver your presentation?”

I shook my head. “Didn’t bother to tell her,” I replied. “I don’t think she’ll understand anyway.”

He didn’t say anything, and I was grateful for that.

We made our way to the cafeteria where our friends were waiting for us at our table. “Hey! How have you guys been?” Sara exclaimed.

I sat beside her and Sara immediately gave me a concerned look. “Are you okay?” She questioned.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just got detention after school.”

“Well, that sucks,” she said. “Anyway, Mr. Lowell has been a real jerk to us lately.” And with that, she rambled on about the incident with her politics teacher, but I wasn’t listening.

“Aren’t you going to eat?”

I turned to look at Lisa and replied, “Not hungry.”

“But you barely ate your sandwich,” she told.

I quickly excused myself as I gathered my things and headed off before my friends could say anything. I kept my head down as I walked and bumped into something or rather someone along the way.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, bending down to pick up my books. “Let me help you with that.”

When we looked at each other in the eye, I froze and so did he.

He said nothing as he handed me my stuff and walked away.

I hid in the bathroom for the rest of the day after that.

 

***

 

“What’s wrong with you, Lindsay?”

Everyone had been asking me that lately.

My parents.

My friends.

My teachers.

Ms. Heather.

Everyone.

Now, my parents were in Ms. Heather’s office for a meeting and it was all my fault. The counselor was there, listening to every word my parents had to say to them.

“She won’t talk to us anymore,” said Mom. “And her grades are slipping from A’s to D’s!”

Dad nodded his head in agreement. “It’s like she has no interest in life.”

The counselor looked at me and asked, “Is that true, Lindsay?”

I shrugged, and Mom palmed her face. “Talk to us, Lindsay!”

Dad placed his hands on her shoulders to calm her down and Ms. Heather spoke, “Lindsay, we can’t help you if you won’t tell us what’s going on with you. Last year, you were such a brilliant student but now, you’re failing nearly all your classes and you’re skipping lessons too.”

The counselor told, “We’re not here to judge Lindsay. We’re here to listen to what she has to say and I’m sure she’ll talk when she’s ready.”

Mom shook her head. “This is going nowhere.”

“Well, it takes time for someone to open up,” said the counselor.

Dad asked, “How do we fix this problem then?”

“I suggest she goes for therapy. Maybe then she’ll feel safe enough to talk.”

My parents agreed with her suggestion and so, I was sent to therapy later that day.

I stared at my lap, refusing to look at him in the eye, and yet my therapist was smiling at me as if I had done him proud.

“Hello Lynn, my name is Dr. Kim and I’m one of the psychologists here at the Melbourne Clinic,” he said. “So, would you mind telling me what had happened the past few days or weeks?”

 I kept quiet, gazing out the window.

Dr. Kim cleared his throat. “I see you’re not ready to tell me anything yet. That’s alright, we’ll take this one step at a time. My goal here is to teach you coping strategies so you can handle your emotions better. Sounds good?”

I smiled and nodded my head.

Dr. Kim beamed at me. “Excellent. Let’s get started, shall we?”

 

***

 

Depression hit me like a tidal wave and I dragged myself out of bed, feeling as though my limbs were made of lead.

It was Saturday and my parents weren’t home, so I had the whole place to myself. My phone rang for the fifth time that day and I finally answered it.

It was Ty.

“Hello? Lynn, are you okay? Please answer me.”

“Hey Ty. Yeah, I’m fine,” I said. My voice sounded hoarse and my throat was dry.

“Fine? You don’t sound fine to me,” he said.

“Just woke up from bed.”

“At five in the afternoon?”

I brushed my fingers through my hair and told, “I’m fine. Really, I am.”

Thankfully, he didn’t question me further. Instead he asked, “How did therapy go yesterday?”

“Oh that, I didn’t go.”

“What?! Why?”

I shrugged. “I just think it’s useless since all we talk about is our feelings…”’

“You didn’t tell him anything, did you?”

I fell silent and Ty spoke, “Lynn…is there something wrong?”

I shook my head. “No, nothing’s wrong. Everything’s going to be alright.”

“Lynn-”

And with that, I ended the call.

 

***

 

My vision swam, and everything spun as I stumbled out the door. My head throbbed as if someone was hammering the inside of my skull. My heart was beating faster than a stampede, so fast I thought it would explode out of my chest.

A cold gust of wind came to greet me, whipping my hair around my face. The lights seemed too bright despite it being dark outside and I staggered forward, feeling the rough gravelly road under my feet. At that moment, I heard someone calling my name though it sounded muffled as though I were underwater.

Then, for some reason, I froze and turned to see two yellow lights heading straight towards me. A loud ‘Honk!’ echoed through the air just as I felt someone shoving me onto the ground. The grass felt soft and wet against my clammy skin and I closed my eyes.

Suddenly, I could hear sirens wailing in the background followed by someone barking orders. I remembered nothing more after that.

 

***

“Honey…”

I woke up to see my mother’s face and I noticed there were tubes running down my arms. I could hear the machines beeping steadily beside me.

“Where am I?” I asked.

She answered, “You’re in the hospital.” We elapsed into silence until Mom spoke, “Your dad’s coming here in a few minutes to see you.”

I nodded my head, too tired to argue back.

“You know, your friend came here to see you yesterday,” Mom added.

I furrowed my eyebrows.

“Ty?” I asked.

She nodded and said, “He was the one who called the ambulance that night and thank God he did.”

“Did he tell you why I wanted to kill myself?”

Mom shook her head. “No, he didn’t. Anyway, it’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it. All that matters is you’re okay now.”

I smiled and placed my hand over hers. “No, I want to talk about it.”

And I spoke.

 

 

 


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