They sat there in the darkness, nestled up against her heart. She couldn't feel them, or if she could they felt normal. It was like feeling your toes; they'd always been there so of course they
felt normal. They were quiet, they wouldn't ruin her life yet, they'd wait until the world had hopes for her and then they'd crush her. For now they pressed closer against her heart, causing it to
stutter and scream out for help. No one could hear, and no one would until things were much too late.
Sophie leaned over the toilet, her chest heaving as she lost more food than she'd eaten that day. Hell she thought, staring down into the bowl, more than she'd eaten that week. Panting, she
tried to breath through it. To cope the way they'd tried to teach her; a deep breath in and out, picture yourself somewhere else. They were idiots.
How did it help to try and take yourself out of the picture? She was the only thing that stayed constant throughout all of this. She was the only thing she could truly trust. She took a deep breath
anyway and lied. "I got bitten by a rare spider. The venom will work its way through my body, and it will hurt but when it goes away I'll be powerful. I'll be Cat woman and nothing will be
able to hurt me."
She said it out loud. She always spoke the lies; it was just a thought if you kept it inside. Just a wild imagination on yet another trip into a fantasy world that didn't involve the sickness. If
she said it, it was more real, even if her current fantasy was one she could never believe. It didn't matter. It was a chant she could chorus in the back of her mind, a secret provision of strength
she could keep with her. Heaving she leaned back over the bowl.
"One day" she choked, "It will be just like this, but I'll throw up swirling blackness and it will be all of the pain and all of the sickness. I'll reach out," she moved her hand with her story,”
right into the bowl and touch it. It'll flow up my arm and into my skin and then I'll have magic in the hand that touched it." She opened her eyes, snapping back to reality as her finger
traced the vomit in the bowl. Making a face she wiped it off onto some toilet paper.
Falling back against the wall she curled up into a ball. She hated this new medicine, It made everything hurt. The last one had just made her tired but this? It was like having a war inside her
body, the armies hitting her as much as the hit each other; tearing her up where no one could see it. This hurt in way that her parents couldn't understand. The doctor was less than useless. He
watched this pain, he didn't experience it and his condescending tone only went so far in helping her cope with it.
She was frozen in a reality she didn't belong to, a reality that gripped her and punished her daily for daring to be born. She'd be willing to be always be normal; to be normal she'd suffer this
much pain each and every day. But feeling this constant oppressing agony daily and being unable to run or dance or even move that well most days. She could handle being sick if she had beautiful
legs, if she didn't have to consider her clothes three times as carefully as most girls her age.
She could handle dealing with the physical things if she didn't have to suffer this level of excruciating pain. She had to deal with all of this and it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that her friends
always ended up feeling as though she were holding them back. It wasn't fair that she got bullied for being different while she suffered a pain none of them could possibly understand. Did they
seriously think she'd choose this if she had the choice? That if she had the choice she' want these legs, and this heart and this pain.
Were they honestly stupid enough to think that she wanted to sit at her desk swaying, with blurry vision, refusing to let the teacher see. Demanding the exact same treatment as everyone else, even
when she needed more. Did they think she enjoyed sneaking through the house at three in the morning to throw up, hoping she didn't wake her parents? Knowing they had enough to worry about.
She clenched her eyes even more tightly closed to stop the tears falling; trying to control her breath and calm down her rising hysteria. She was just so tired. She protected everyone from this,
and by the end of the day she had nothing left to help herself. No way to shield herself from the hurt, and it was exhausting.
Tomorrow was Sunday she thought sleepily, tomorrow Dad would cook pancakes and Mum and Tyson would get out a board game and they'd act as if nothing was wrong. Ty would joke and make her laugh and
for a few hours everything would be ok.
Smiling she closed her eyes and drifted off, her body slumping against the cold tiles as she breathed out.
They sat there in the darkness, nestled against her heart. It's screaming finally quiet. They weren't all there, some lost to the fight with doctors and their blades, but there were enough. They
crushed themselves against her heart even more desperately, needing to get as much of its warmth as they could before it faded fully. They were finally home.
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