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Amanda Cries In The Bathroom

technologiesMaybe it’s because it’s where we’re potty trained or where we perform the most self care, but the bathroom had, over time, become Amanda’s safest spot in her life. Granted, it wasn’t because she was taking care of herself in there, she’d be lucky if she managed to wash her hair more than once or twice a week, and it certainly wasn’t an upset stomach keeping her in there either. No. It just was the place she felt the safest. When she was at work, Amanda would pull a book and her lunch out and head into the bathroom to sit and read and eat.

Sometimes, late at night after a bad dream, she’d wake up, covered in sweat and terrified, and head for the bathroom, locking herself in and cowering in the tub like she’d done so many times before as a little girl. She could swear she could still hear her parents fighting outside the door, or the sounds of her mother berating her weight, but no, it was always just in her imagination. Those days were well and gone, even if the trauma wasn’t. But now it was where she went whenever she felt threatened or upset or that she wasn’t in control. When she felt hopeless or lost, the bathroom was her guiding light.

Sometimes she’d cry, sitting on the edge of the tub, still brought down by all the negative things her mother had said to her growing up about her weight, or about her looks, or how she ‘wasn’t keeping up with the other girls, appearance wise’ and that the boys would notice. She didn’t care about the boys noticing. She only wished her own mother wouldn’t be so harsh about it. At least the boys ignored her, while her own mother expended the energy to be critical towards her. Sometimes she’d cry, sitting on the toilet with the seat down, while thinking about her parents fighting right there in the kitchen. They either didn’t realize she was in the bathroom and could hear their every word, or, and much more likely, they just didn’t give a shit that she could hear their every word. Amanda locks the bathroom everytime she goes in now, even if just to brush her teeth. Anyone else coming in while she’s occupying the space would be a serious invasion of privacy.

Everytime Amanda had looked to live somewhere new, it always boiled down to the bathroom. What was the lighting in it like, was the aesthetic pleasing, was the color palate enjoyable? Where was it located in relation to the other rooms was a big one. If the bathroom was right off the bedroom, or better yet, attached to the bedroom, then boy howdy she had a winner there, because the bedroom was the second safest place she’d ever had.

But what was it that made the bathroom the absolute best place? Sure, all those things were good starts, but in the end, it’d probably have to be the fact that when she came home from school one day, her mother, who’d terrorized her her entire life and made her question everything about herself, had slipped on a bathroom mat and hit her head against the sink, dying instantly.

When Amanda found her, she’d only been dead for about an hour or so, and nobody else was home yet, but for the first time in her life, Amanda felt protected…and free. So Amanda did what she did everyday. She took a bag of chips and a few books, sat on the toilet with the lid down and her mother cold and lifeless on the floor, and enjoyed the only place that ever made her feel safe.

The bathroom.

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!

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Gracie Walks Down The Hall

technologiesGracie was standing in the kitchen, just staring at the coffee machine.

It was just finishing up her drink, while the rain dripped off the gutters over the kitchen windows. Gracie glanced out, picking at her nail polish, and felt like her head was swimming in a fog, like she was having trouble remembering even the most basic things. But, that aside, it was a comfortable day. A cozy day inside while it poured outside. It seemed like it was always raining these days, and then Gracie realized she couldn’t remember the last time she left the house. Not that that was particularly a problem, as she loved the house and would rather be here than anywhere else in the whole world.

The coffee machine stopped and she picked up her mug, taking a nice, long sip. As she finished, she didn’t feel any different…any warmer. She still just felt empty, like always. She’d read somewhere that this was just another symptom of depression, that not only do your interests go away but your appetite becomes less and less, and you stop feeling anything at all. Gracie certainly had been treated for depression in the past, but she wasn’t even feeling bad these days. Actually, she wasn’t feeling much of anything at all. Still, she had her house. When her husband had died, the house had become hers, and she had been fighting tooth and nail to keep it, taking any odd job just to make ends meet, along with her 9 to 5 job of graphic design, which she’d grown to hate over time, probably thanks to said depression.

Gracie walked down the hallway, looking at the photos on the walls; trips she and Jake had taken, or family get togethers for the holidays, or the shots they’d each put up of their college graduation, and finally the one of their wedding. Gracie held her mug in one hand as she reached out and touched the photo, smiling warmly. It had been a stunning service, and they’d both been so enthralled with one another despite having been together 4 years prior to the wedding day. She’d been feeling little pangs of pain in her heart since his death, but the last few days she, much like drinking her coffee, didn’t feel a damn thing this time. This house was all she had now from him. It meant the world to her, and seeing as her family moved around so often she never felt like she’d had a home to call her own, until now. This was her home, and she adored it. She would never leave it.

As Gracie entered her bedroom, she stopped in her tracks in the doorway, dropped her coffee mug to the floor, letting it shatter into a million pieces. Right. That’s right. She had to go through this every single day, that’s why she hadn’t been feeling anything for the last week. Gracie sat on the end of the bed and sighed, looking at the floor before looking over her shoulder at her body resting against the headboard, blood splattered on the wall behind the bed, gun in her right hand. Every single day it was something she had to remember. Gracie wiped the tears from her eyes, though they weren’t coming as strong as they had been the first few days.

She’d lost her husband, and then she’d lost herself. But she hadn’t lost her house.

She’d never lose her house.

Hey, I’m Maggie. If you liked this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. If you feel so inclined to help keep me and my girlfriend from being homeless, you can also donate to our PayPal and literally help us pay rent and buy groceries. Anything is greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!