Before she left, Lily ran up to me in the hallway as I watched her walk out with her parents. She turned around and sprinted to me. I was taken aback, especially since she grabbed my shoulders and kissed me on the cheek randomly. In utter shock, I was left speechless and unable to respond. She smiled at me and then slipped me a small piece of paper. She whispered into my ear, “You wanted to know, right? Here it is.” and ran back to her parents. I stood there, motionless, until she was out the door, knowing I would most likely never see her again. This thought made me sad, and my vision became foggy. I wiped the tears from my eyes and, as carefully as I could, opened the folded piece of lined paper that she had handed to me. The paper was titled, “My Problems”. This is what it said:
“Hey guy. I know that you asked me about why I was in this institution and I gave you a really unhelpful answer and you just sort of looked at me funny and said it was okay, but I knew that since I would probably never get another chance to tell you that I’d do it now and get it over with. It would be too long and too much work to say it to your face, so I’ll write it out and make sure I get in everything I want to get in. Are you reading? Put your thinking cap on, guy, cause I’m going to tell you the story.
So, I was sick for a while. And by a while, I mean a long time. I got pretty sick for a year and stayed out of school but then I got better but we had moved away from my old school so now I had to go to a new school. I figured that school would be boring and so I devised a plan to make it not boring by pretending to have OCD. I thought that if someone in the class was OCD and stuff then it would be more interesting, but I knew the chances of someone having OCD would be next to none, so I decided to get the disorder myself. So, for the next few months before returning to school I studied OCD and people with it for a while by reading articles on the Internet and acting it out and pretending and stuff. I chose a bunch of obsessions and things to, you know, obsess over. But there was kind of a problem. I couldn’t stick to one obsession, so I’d switch back and forth. Anyway, I convinced everyone in my class that I had OCD and they all fell for it, but then another kid came in and said that she was a recovering drug addict or some obvious bullshit and had strung everyone along. This little attention whore pissed me off, so I decided to switch disorders up and changed it so that I had Schizophrenia. The attention seeker was done for because everyone cares more about schizos than drug addicted depressed kids. But then my teacher told the class that her brother was Schizophrenic, so I realized how obvious it would seem if I were to pretend to have that. Then I’d just look like an attention whore. But I did it anyway and had four different people believing different stories. Three people thought I was schizo and a fourth thought that I was bipolar.
That attention whoring girl had to ruin everything though and wouldn’t stop talking about how special she was. So I managed to make her hurt pretty badly and she stopped pretending to have problems. Then, it was me and some other girls and a guy. The guy, who believed that I was bipolar, was pretty gullible and easy I guess. One of the girls told me that I was in love with him and that he was in love with me, so I sort of did fall in love with him and asked him out. He said yes and the two of us started dating. At first, he was kind of reluctant, but I eventually managed to coerce him with my illness and guilt-tripped him. Schizophrenia became a chore to keep up, though, so I changed again to Dissociative Identity Disorder and pretended to have multiple personalities. But then I had to go to a therapist and they said that I had Detachment Disorder and that my mom was emotionally abusing me. So I told everyone that I was going to kill myself and they all came and told me not to and showered me with attention and praise, so I didn’t kill myself, even though I wasn’t going to. Then I confessed to everyone that I was faking the whole thing and my boyfriend broke up with me and called me a lying bitch. At first, I was heartbroken but then I realized that I wasn’t really in love with him. I thought I was, though. But I wasn’t. Soon though, nobody was paying attention to me so I really did try to kill myself and survived, so they admitted me to this place and I met you.
So that’s the story. As you can see now, there was nothing really wrong with me I guess. I mean, I don’t think there was. Maybe I did have the disorders I was faking but I doubt it. You probably hate me now, but I don’t care. Your feelings don’t really matter. Anyway, thanks for being a pal, guy. Have a good life.
I was absolutely furious. This entire time, a girl who didn’t actually have any problems was leading me on. As a mater of fact, she was probably secretly mocking my issues and using me as research for her next victims. That bitch was more manipulative than I could have even imagined. Worst of all, though, is that she never really cared about me. She pretended to care. She even kissed my horribly unappealing face. I was in love with her. I really was. Lily was the first girl I ever opened up to about these things. I thought she was listening to my ramblings because she cared about me, but she was actually just doing it to learn how to imitate anxiety disorders. I wanted to rip the paper to shreds right then and there, but I refrained, because deep down, a part of me still felt something for that cold whore. I held on to the paper all this time. In fact, it’s sitting next to me right now. How pathetic is that? Go ahead, reader. Laugh. Laugh at pathetic, rotten old me.
A few months and a dozen empty Xanax containers later, I was released from my psychiatric help program and resumed my high school career. It was not an easy transition, but I managed to make it through relatively unscathed. People gave me strange looks along the way, however I simply ignored them and continued on with my life. Sure, I got a bit queasy on occasion and my chest would tighten up around others, but all-in-all, I made the transition back into society quite seamlessly if I do say so myself. Of course, I had lost all of the people that I had once referred to as “friends”, but I really didn’t need them anymore. I felt a sort of relief, being alone, not having to deal with anybody else. Truly, it felt refreshing not to attend social gatherings or interact with classmates outside of school. All I did for most of these days was lock myself away inside of my room and lay on the floor, deep in thought. I would think about the conversations other kids had throughout the day. I’d think of Andrew’s fashion dilemma and his uncertainty of what he was going to wear to prom. I’d think of Sarah’s gossip about the hussy who stole her man. I’d think of Will’s concerns over the strange pink warts he had found on his crotch. Being an outcast had its perks. I could completely disappear from the system. I could become a ghost, silently eavesdropping and listening in to the empty, soulless interactions that other people were having. I could hold my hands to my chest in prayer and thank the Lord that I wasn’t a part of such trivial contact, and then I’d remember that I didn’t believe in God, so I’d lower my hands. Oh, how wonderful it is to be an alien. How wonderful it is to be so distant. Yes, this is honestly the only way to live. The best way to live. To be gone, no longer a part of the society that other people seem to inhabit. I can be nothing. I can disappear. It was such a liberating feeling! I was no longer confined to fake, meaningless relationships that I was afraid of. Oh, how pleasant. But, it’s also so lonely. Why am I so lonely? Why do I not want to talk to people? Why do I want to shut myself away and never leave my room? Why do I feel these feelings? Why do I feel so isolated, yet I want to be isolated? That’s my wish, isn’t it? So why does it hurt? Much like Yozo Oba from Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human, I felt incompatible with the entities that surrounded me. Not a trace of humanity lingered in my blood, and I watched from the distance as other people mingled happily amongst one another.
© Copyright 2016 UN Owen. All rights reserved.
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