The world outside my bedroom is loud and bright. The sound of the phone ringing is shrill and piercing. My mother's laugh is boisterous. My father's eyes are disapproving. "That's just your imagination," my sister says, over and over again. "He likes you." I nod and go back up the stairs. I sneak back down when the pain in my stomach becomes too much to ignore. My mother is lying in wait. "When was the last time you ate?" she asks, and I shrug and pour myself a bowl of cereal. "When was the last time you talked to so-and-so, looked for a job, saw your therapist?" "When was the last time you walked outside?" I don't have the answer to any of these questions, but she hugs me when I promise to go with her to the grocery store tomorrow.

The End

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