The shells we become. The people we're capable of suppressing. Of holding in and down till we forget why we did it in the first place. Why we chose to escape who we are.
I'm on the phone with my mother when I get to Her house. I pace the driveway as we speak. As the conversation ends, Her mother appears on the deck with a cigarette.
Do you know what's going on with Her? she asks.
I shake my head. Furrow my brow. Look concerned.
She just rolls her eyes and heads back into the kitchen. I follow. Inside she tells me that her daughter isn't having the best of days. Isn't coping too well with whatever. So, She decided to take some meds. An excessive amount of meds.
Lorazepam, she tells me.
And I google it. I read up. Learn as much as I can as I ascend the staircase.
The room is dark when I enter. Blinds shut. Lights off. Spider-Man plays on the television.
She sits with Her back against the wall smoking a cigarette. With heavy, uninterested eyes.
I move cautiously. Watching Her. I remove my shoes and sit down on the mattress.
I smile at Her and get little in return.
The room is freezing, as always.
Her movements are sluggish. Her hands rise and fall as if they're receiving falty signals. As if they're lost in a fog. Her jaw is tight. Tense.
I reach out and touch Her forearm. Trace my fingers down to Her palm. To Her finger tips. Then back up.
I wonder how much of this She can actually feel.
But I don't tell Her what I know. And She tells me nothing in return.
So we sit with Spider-Man, pretending that this is just another night. Just one more night to get through.