Beautiful Yet Tortured

Reads: 172  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hunter is a brilliant kid that has just won a scholarship to study abroad. Everything seems to be going perfectly until something strange began to happen. Can Hunter make sense of what's going on? Can he eventually regain his perfect life or was it all a lie?

Submitted: December 16, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 16, 2018

A A A

A A A


  Beautiful Yet Tortured

 If somebody had told me this is how my life was going to turn out a few months ago, I probably . . . no . . . I would definitely not have believed them. So, let’s start with what there is to know about me, other than the fact that I was an ace student, but I was never good at athletics . . . I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a lovely family, and my life had always been rosy, until now. My name is Hunter, and this is my story. It all started a few months ago when I was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Manchester. A beautiful country, no doubt, although extremely different from what I was used to. I arrived here in May with my dad. He was to stay with me for a few weeks, and we lodged in an apartment near the university. I remember being so excited, not only about getting the chance to study in another country, a prestigious university at that, but also for the long-awaited freedom I was about to finally get, as I had lived with my parents all my life. I attended all the lectures as usual. I bid farewell to my dad when it was time for him to leave. Things were normal for a few weeks after that, at least that’s what it seemed like to me. One day, out of the blue, during a lecture, something strange happened. I had been having this nagging suspicion that my classmates were plotting something against me. I didn’t know what it was, but I found it extremely difficult to concentrate in class because of that suspicion, so I decided to leave early. “There is no way my classmates were plotting something right?” I thought as I hurried home. The next day, I decided to skip my lectures for the first time. This was very unlike me, because I really enjoyed the lectures. But I just couldn’t erase what I had felt the previous day from my mind. This continued for a few days, and thoughts like “they are jealous of your good grades” or “they want to get rid of you, because they believe you’re better than they are” inundated my mind. This made sense to me . . . after all, I was “unparalleled” when it came grades, so I wasn’t suspicious when I gradually isolated myself. Soon, this paranoia-driven ideation extended from my classmates to everyone around me, even those who didn’t know me. I became wary of the deliveryman who brought my food, believing he or she had somehow poisoned it or maybe tampered with it, but I was too scared to leave the house to buy food myself, as I feared being attacked on my way to the store. I then decided to make do with the food I already had by limiting myself to eating only one meal a day. Anytime my friends or family would call to ask how I was doing, I would lie, saying I was fine. I gradually started ignoring all of their calls. Whether this was to protect them or because I thought they were somehow against me, I am not sure. Things only got stranger from there on. I remember waking up surrounded by shining beings one day. I supposed they were fairies. I still vividly remember how they looked, as though they had come straight out of a cartoon. With bright colorful wings, round hollow eyes, and funny little hats. The fairies, about three or four of them, whispered things into my ears, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. They suddenly disappeared, and I remember pondering whether it was a dream. Believing that it was indeed a dream, I didn’t put too much thought into what had transpired that morning. This happened a few weeks before my final exams, exams I didn’t write on account of my fears and concerns. No surprises there, I got a low grade for the first time. I was obviously dejected, but I didn’t think my failure had anything to do with my missing classes for weeks or the final exam itself. Instead, I believed it to be a conspiracy of my professors to ensure I failed and lost my scholarship, because they were envious and hated me. I was depressed for weeks and constantly mulling over what to do. But I came to no proper conclusion. After all, I had no proof of these conspiracies, and them failing me may have been a plot to lure me out of the house. “I won’t fall for their tricks,” I thought. It was me against the world. During this period of depression, I started seeing the fairies more frequently. And each time, hearing bits and pieces of what they had to say. I started getting accustomed to the hunger pangs I felt from eating once a day and slept a lot more for not having much to do. I noticed that I stayed up most nights swamped with thoughts like “people are after me” and “I am going to be killed.” I also began suspecting that I was being watched, not sure by whom, but maybe everyone. After all, it was the world against me. I also noticed that I talked to myself often, having prolonged conversations with myself, laughing, and even getting mad at myself. I guess it was to fill the emptiness and loneliness I felt. Of course, it’s a different thing that I didn’t believe. The fairies appeared even more vivid as weeks passed by and I was okay with that. They felt like friends to me. Whenever I felt sad or alone, I felt like they were there to cheer me up. I no longer questioned whether it was a dream, but I didn’t look at my reality either. One day, for the first time, it felt like they spoke to me. “Hunter,” I heard my name being called by the fairies. It was a surreal moment, as if I had been transported to another world. Everything around me became colorful. Yet, I had no doubts about the reality of the situation. “Yes,” I replied. “Would you like to join us?” they asked in a heavenly harmonious voice. “What?” I was not sure if I had heard right. “There’s a world, our world, where there is no pain and no suffering. A world where you can be yourself and not have to worry about what others think about you,” chimed the fairies. I felt an inkling of doubt about what they had just said. I didn’t believe I deserved such a world. Even then, I could not resist. “What do I have to do?” I asked. “That’s easy,” they said in a voice, that unnerved me slightly. “See that knife over there. All you have to do is . . .” I immediately caught on and screamed, “No!” until they disappeared. I then burst into laughter, saying, “Thank goodness I live alone. If someone had heard that, they may think I am crazy.” For the first time, I doubted my reality. I immediately felt a great panic. If that wasn’t real, what other part of my life isn’t real? “Am I really the unparalleled genius I think I am? Did I really get a scholarship to study in England? What about my family and friends? Are they a lie too? Is this all a dream?” I thought and thought, while in a state of shock. I eventually dozed off and, on waking up again, felt very confused. I had no idea of what to do next. No idea if I should be angry or in tears. I couldn’t even eat. A horrendous thought then popped into my head, “What if my life until now wasn’t even real? If everything is a dream, all you need do is wake up.” For moments there, I agreed. Not because I necessarily believed this was a dream, rather I didn’t want to accept my reality. So, I walked into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and was about to slit my wrist, when I started seeing flashes of my friends and family. The knife immediately fell from my hands and I burst into tears. “I don’t want to die!” I said out loud. I then summoned the courage to pick up the phone and call my dad. Choking with tears, I blurted, “I am sorry, dad, I lost my scholarship . . . and . . .” Following a long pause, I said, “I think I may be crazy, dad.” My dad then called his friends in Manchester and asked them to check on me. When they reached my home, they found me in an almost unrecognizable state, as I had lost a ton of weight. Apparently, they hadn’t checked up on me all those days, because they thought I didn’t want anything to do with them. One of my dad’s friend immediately hugged me and said, “I am sorry you had to go through that all alone.” I immediately burst into tears again. There we are, a few weeks after I made that phone call to my dad, talking to a clinician. I was diagnosed with psychosis and placed on medication. I don’t really feel a lot better or any different. And I still find it quite difficult to engage with people. But at least now, I know for certain that there is no one out to get me, and it was all really in my head. Even then, I feel scared and victimized. Apparently, that is normal for people with psychosis. My family has come to visit me, and seeing those worried and sad looks on their faces, I think to myself, “I am the one with the illness, why are they acting like the ill ones instead?” A few months down the line, I no longer think that way and do not see the fairies anymore. But, the fear persists and there is still an increasing desire to be isolated. I had lost my scholarship, and remaining in this country as a temporary resident would prove quite difficult without that additional help. So, my family had to gather whatever funds they could to ensure I could remain in England, as the free intensive medical system here is lacking in my home country. My clinician recommends I go out at least five times a week, as sitting at home idly wouldn’t help me get better in any way. Doing this was hell for me. I remember my body feeling as though it was about to burst into flames, my heart pounding hard whenever I walked past someone. The intense desire to rush back to the safety of my home whenever I stepped outside, being unable to enjoy anything, wondering what I had done to deserve this. There are times when I feel there is nothing wrong with me but rather it’s the world. But you know what, summoning the courage to make that phone call was the most important thing that I could have done. I have realized that, a few months later, as I am back in school, working towards getting another scholarship. My family may have gone back to our country, but I am now closer to my friends than ever. I no longer feel scared or paranoid, and I don’t hallucinate any longer. In fact, I feel like I am a better person, as I used to be so vain and always thought I was unrivalled. Now, I am much humbler and never hesitate before asking for help. Perhaps, in a few years, I will have a good job, a house, a wife, and kids, all of which would never have been possible if I hadn’t summoned the courage to ask for help. Adios.


© Copyright 2019 AbsoluteMadMan. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Literary Fiction Short Stories