A fragment from a YA story I am working on about mental illness.

I fell ill one Tuesday in June. It was the day I decided to drop out of school, my mum picked me up from the bus stop and she could tell I had been crying. I wasn’t even nervous that I’d made a big mistake; I listened to the clear summer air (because sometimes things speak to me), and I knew I had to do it. I walked straight out of there and no one even noticed. I put my headphones on and didn’t even say goodbye to anyone, I’ll admit that was mostly because I didn’t have any friends.

I should have been in music class when I was lying in the school field when things got messed up. All the noises in the world got louder and all the lights brighter, I could feel a tingling sensation in my brain and then the sky opened up to swallow me whole. Only it didn’t. Because later on the doctors told me in reality the wind doesn’t speak and the sky doesn’t eat people. But I didn’t know that when I was sixteen. So when my mum picked me up from the bus stop that day and she saw I had been crying, she asked me like usual, like nothing was even wrong; “how was your day sweetie?”, and I said nothing, because how could I tell her? As if she’d understand.

Flash forward six months and I’m sitting with my legs tucked under my chin in an empty bathtub. I try to focus on my pink toenails as the bathroom sways back and forth in front of me. I fill the tub with cold water just enough to cover my ankles and my feet are now blurry and swollen from the illusions played by the water. The handle clicks and my mum is standing in the doorway.

“Do you want me to call Doctor ____?”


She blinks at me. I interpret this as a sign of approval.

As she makes the call I try to think of a reason for me being this way. But I can’t fault anyone, not even my mum and dad. Last summer my mum took me to the country in an attempt to forget about all of this but I’d of rather stayed in the city with the big shopping malls and park benches where I could spend hours walking or sitting losing myself in my head.