“Why won’t you just eat, Alice?! For God’s sake! I’m scared for you! I can’t loose you, baby, but you’re fading away a little more every day. You’re killing me aswell.” My boyfriend never used to bother too much about my lack of appetite, but he knew how deep I was in now; and he knew it was because of him.
“I told you, I’m not hungry. I’ll eat when I’m hungry.” I knew it was a lie, but I’d said it so much that it my voice didn’t make it so obvious anymore. My stomach rumbled at that moment; sending a thrill through my entire body. The rumble had also given me away. My eyes grew wider as I read the expression on his face; busted.
“You are going to eat, Alice. I swear you will. I did this to you, so I’m going to make you better.” Phil’s quiet voice was almost a whisper as it broke at the memory.
I stepped forwards as he put his arms around me. I buried my face in his chest and clung to his waist. The only place I felt safe now was in his arms. I felt the tears filling my eyelids and I squeezed them even closer together to stop the tears spilling over. I knew why I was crying, and I knew it’d never stop. I knew exactly what was running through his mind as he kissed my hair and told me it’d all be okay. I knew he was wishing with everything he had that he was with her right now instead of me. No amount of tears would ever change that.
The black room in front of me was a shock. No safe arms, no heartbeat against my cheek, no long brown hair, no blue eyes, no whispered voice... nothing. Just me. Just like every night. I rolled over and begged for my daydream to become real again; begged to go back to sleep. The damp pillow was cold against my neck, but the endless stream of tears didn’t have an ‘off’ switch. My self-destruct button was permanently on; he’d flicked the switch. I rolled back onto my side, pulling my knees up to my face. It didn’t close the gaping hole inside me, but I could hide my face now.
I hit the button on top of my alarm clock; 1:30am. My daydream had only become real for half an hour, but I could remember it with perfect clarity. I bit into the duvet to stifle the sobs that sounded like bombs in the silence. I’d fallen asleep before I’d switched the TV on; the blue standby light glowed now in the blackness. I felt more alone than usual tonight; the dream had taken me right back to where I’d been that first night. I fumbled around under my pillow until I found what I was looking for; my iPod was one of the only things I had left. The playlist was still there – just like every night. Another wave of tears hit me as I realised again that everything I wished was a dream was the truth.
My knack for illegal downloading was uncanny. I didn’t like spending money much, so I got songs from MySpace. My iPod had become my lifeline since ‘that week’ in June. No one mentioned it much; I think they were too scared of the memory sending me back there. In honesty, I was just as terrified of the same thing. I’ll never forget that week – bad memories never do leave.