Goosey lucy

Helen Grant

United Kingdom

18 | Linguist | Anxious resting face

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Floating

April 5, 2015

PROMPT: Floating

0

I trod water, but it was exhausting.

You know my very lowest point? It was when I found myself standing in a toilet cubicle and counting out the approximate amount of time it would in theory take me to pee. Just to give myself a break from pretending I was fine, just to allow myself to bob under briefly.

I had to squeeze past girls who were younger than me and shorter than me and scarier than me in order to get to the sinks to wash my clean hands, and when I looked into the mirrors the grey face of a new kind of desperate stared back at me. I left the loos in a cloud of cheap, chlorinated perfume and even cheaper and far more toxic self-loathing.

I stood in the corridor and looked at my watch and saw that I had another fourty seven minutes to kill. 

Maybe they would kill me first; it seemed to be a pretty open playing field. 

On my multiple laps round the campus, in which I indulged myself on a daily basis, I passed other girls like me. Flotsam and jetsom. I never spoke to them. I thought I was above them. I wasn't needy or anything. I kept my chin up and my eyes fixed far enough into the future to outdate myself. 

One day one of them spoke to me. She caught me under the chin and gently paddled us both over to a buoy, and we stayed there, spitting out salt water and floating together. For a little while.

 

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