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New Beginnings

By @GoDucks10

One

Ash.

Ash.

Ash.

Her name echoes in my head, over and over until I press my hands to my scalp, willing it to stop.

Ash.

Ash.

Ash.

“Stop!” I scream. Tears begin to flow down my cheeks and I started to sob uncontrollably. The voice inside my head seemed to be banging against my skull and it hurt more than anything.

I could hear footsteps on the stairs, probably Mom coming to check on me. It wouldn’t be the first time. Brushing my sleeve across my face, I tried to erase all signs I had been crying.

But, the voice was too much.

I crumpled onto my bed and hugged my knees to my chest, and I could feel a fresh wave of tears coming. My nose was running and my head hurt. I squeezed my eyes shut, but not before I saw my door swing open.

“Oh, Kayli,” Mom said, rushing over to me. She sat down on the edge of my bed and pulled me up into a sitting position. I melted into her shoulder, her soft sweater warm against my cheek.

And then, just as suddenly as it had started, the voice faded away, leaving me with a pounding headache.

“It’s…it’s…gone,” I stutter, standing up, followed by Mom.

“I’m so sorry, Kayli. I know how awful this is for you. Come down for dinner when you’re ready.” With that she left, gently closing my door behind her.

As soon as she was gone, I hurried to my bathroom to examine my appearance. My nose was running, my eyes were red, my face was wet, and my hair was a mess. I blew my nose repeatedly, then splashed my face with water, helping my headache a bit. Brushing my hair made me presentable enough for dinner, but I still waited a few minutes for my eyes to return to a more natural color than red. After that, everything I did seemed to be programmed into me, like I was coded to do certain things.

Out the door, down the stairs, into my chair.

I had no control over my body.

I didn’t know grief did that to you.

But I won’t question it.

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