Real Stories

The world isn’t as large as I once thought it was.

It’s hard to be alone.

In the morning, I wake up at 7 before my alarm in a twin-size bed that’s far too small. Light creeps in through the blinds, and I’m not allowed to sleep.

The dog hangs off the bed; my limbs are tangled, and I’m curled into the tiniest ball to ensure he has room. Then, when I’ve given up on comfort, I go straight to the bathroom to wash my face. I move so quickly like I’ve no time to prepare. But I have plenty.

I pick out clothes as if I have someone to impress – there’s no one. After I’ve dressed, I take the dog outside. We’ll walk the block. The morning is always muted. The sky isn’t quite so blue, and the air isn’t so humid. I want to spend the entire day with him, but I know I have to go.

My studio is so tiny. Getting the dog ready for his day doesn’t take long. Everything is within reach. I take my time saying goodbye; leaving him is the hardest thing I do all day.

I get into my small car, and I drive for thirty minutes. I stop at the coffee shop. I like to pretend I’m doing something with my life. I want to give someone, anyone, the impression that I am a person with a life. I don’t have one.

I drive from the coffee shop to the office. If I have time, I sit in my car to try and catch my breath. Silence. Breathing. In and out. Pretend I’m not so hollow inside. And then it’s to work. I work alone all day. I spend an hour at lunch alone in my car. I drive home alone. While driving over the bridge, I wish I could stop and enjoy the sunset, but I can’t.

I try to quell my loneliness by talking to the dog when I get home. I ask him, who’s ready to go out? Who’s happy to see me? I walk him a little longer at night. I’ve taken him away from home, and he sits all day alone too. No one visits during the day. It’s just us.

And then, for hours, I watch TV. I’ll think to myself – I’ll read tonight. I’ll write tonight. I’ll do something. Anything. I exist, I exist, I exist. I’ll prove it in some way. I never do.

So here I am again. Another night, the same as all previous nights, leading into a day that will be the same and into a weekend where I’ll pretend I don’t regret this decision every day.

I used to think that I was worth something. I thought people liked having me around. I had self-esteem, low as it was. I had it. Now I have nothing at all. I don’t think anyone misses me, and I don’t think I add anything to anyone’s life. I’m withering away in a studio apartment. The world keeps moving.

Someday, I will die by my hand or by disease. It will be like I never existed at all. I’m not afraid of that anymore. I want it to happen. At least my suffering will end.

by Rchljjr

Rachel Reed is a 33-year-old legal assistant passionate about weaving words and exploring the intricate layers of human experience. Rachel's journey into the world of literature began at the University of Washington, where she graduated with a degree in English literature, honing her storytelling and poetic expression skills.

During her time at UW, Rachel's poetic voice blossomed, finding its way into the pages of the university's Capillaries Journal. Her poems, imbued with emotional depth and lyrical grace, captured the essence of the human condition, inviting readers to delve into the complexities of life, love, and longing.

Beyond her literary pursuits, Rachel has also explored the realms of lifestyle journalism, drawing upon her keen observational skills and innate curiosity to uncover stories that resonate with readers on a personal level. As an intern, she delved into the vibrant tapestry of human experiences, discovering the beauty in everyday moments and the profound connections that bind us all.

Now, as she balances her career as a legal assistant with her passion for writing, Rachel continues to find inspiration in the world around her, infusing her work with empathy, insight, and a touch of whimsy. Whether crafting captivating poems or delving into the intricacies of human behavior, she remains dedicated to illuminating the universal truths that unite us all.

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