The Scars Within

Here’s an evocative short story by Alisha that she penned during a Creative Writing Workshop, conducted by our Editor-in-Chief, Arindam. An exclusive for Different Truths.

Red.

That was the only colour she could see at the moment.

Deep thick red.

Her span of vision was filled with the colours of blood, her tongue felt a strange tinge of metal, iron perhaps, and her ears had the ring of something she could only explain as being that of death.

That morning had been like just any other. Waking up, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. Same like ever before. The only difference was that that morning had begun with an argument for Shreya.

Arguments were something which usually took all of her energy away from her. This particular one with her mother left her gasping for breath. It is strange how something so mundane can be profoundly disturbing for someone with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

For her, life seemed to have just ended. For her, everything seemed to possess different new shades of red.

“It is so easy for you to just say that you can’t!” her mother had exclaimed in quite a brutal manner. “Why don’t you simply just tell us the fact?! You simply don’t care, that’s it!”

“Mother…Maa…Maa! I am telling you the truth! It’s not so simple. I have a responsibility! This is something very important to me maa!”

“Yes, you are the only one with responsibilities.”

“What do you – ”, Shreya raised her voice a little. Not being able to explain herself had frustrated her to her very core.

“Don’t you talk to me like that, I am your mother and not your friend!”

Silence. All that could be heard on the phone was heavy breathing on the mother’s end of the call and absolute silence on Shreya’s.

Then a voice spoke in a sombre manner, “Call me when you get your priorities straight Shreya,” and with these words, the call ended.

Shreya sat there for a few minutes thinking about what had happened. She thought about what her feelings where. They were of a jumble of mental and physical sensations. The long list included palpitations, problem breathing, dizziness, and so on. Shreya blinked her eyes, trying to focus her vision, and suddenly felt her hands and feet go cold. The only thing she could think at the moment was, “I am going to die.”

The familiar deep thick red feeling inside her arose. This was clearly a panic attack.

It was not a surprise for her. She had had these feelings before, with anxiety this was a package deal for her. With every attack she would find her soul scared, she would see fear crawl up to her and engulf her for those few minutes which felt like an eternity.

“I need water”, she mumbled to herself, and barely managing to get a bottle, she slumped down on her bed and picked up her phone. Distractions could work wonders, “…I need to hear maa’s voice”, and with these thoughts circling her head she opened the messaging application of her phone and tapped on the voice note that her mother had recently sent her.

Her voice was all she needed.

The next night Shreya’s mother opened the door to a late evening knock. “You came!” She nearly gasped in surprise mixed with anger, love, happiness, and relief.

“It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I could never miss his birthday Maa.”

©Alisha Phillips

Photos from the Internet

#ShortStory #Anxiety #Feelings #Emotions #Life #DifferentTruths

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