by Simon Evans
What the fuck is going on? Seriously. I’m really getting pissed off now. I feel so wound up.
Just let me try to explain.
I’d consider myself to be a fairly ordinary teenager in a run of the mill family. Mum, Dad, younger brother, suburban house, smelly bedroom littered with empty packets of cheesy puffs, music a bit too loud, slamming doors to prove a point, the usual shit. But seriously, what’s going on with my family?
My Mum and Dad just don’t seem to want to acknowledge me and my brother looks at me like he’s sort of disappointed, or pissed off with me in some way. Everyone’s acting so fucking moody.
I don’t know what it is but over the last few weeks I’ve had this uneasy feeling and my family really aren’t helping. I feel so tired and just generally uneasy, sort of…paranoid, like, all the time and no one really seems to give a shit. They all just seem to be a little too busy with their own crap and forgive me for sounding like a cliché but ‘what about me’? What have I done? I feel like I’d welcome guilt if I knew what I had to be guilty about. How am I supposed to put things right if no one fucking speaks to me?
I don’t feel right.
You know when you wake up with a hangover and you know that there’s something you don’t want to remember, something lurking in the back of your mind? Some shitty thought ninja ready to pounce? Well it’s like that but like all the time.
Half the time I feel like I’ve just woken up from a shit sleep. Everything just feels a bit unreal. People seem distant. I know Dad’s always going on at me saying that I’m acting dopey because I don’t get enough sleep but this is beyond fucking dopey. It feels like an edgy nothingness. I feel a bit sort of lost and confused and worried.
Despair. That’s it. Despair. I just feel fucking awful. It’s like I’m full of tears but incapable of crying. Like a wasp with pants on trying to sting something.
Despair, desperate frustration, anxiety, anguish, depression – all that shit sums it up. Is it just teenage angst? Am I just a moody little twat? Well maybe I am. But is it fair to just label me like that and just leave me stewing like this? Why is it left to me to sort this out? I don’t know if my mood has dragged my family down or the other way around.
Well enough’s enough. This has to end. Seriously.
So now I find myself feeling confused but on a mission. I’m walking home and I need to speak to my family. Let them know how I feel. Make them actually notice for once that I do exist and I need..I don’t know what I need but this can’t go on. I feel like I can’t go on.
Here we are then. The familiar house, the same old perfect garden. And what a surprise, there’s Dad pruning the frigging privet. For Christ’s sake! It’s like he’s looking through me! Snipping away at his precious hedge, face like thunder. When did he become such an asshole?! Screw him then. I mutter something and walk in through the open front door. My brother is sat on the stairs playing my fucking Xbox. I hold my hand out as if to say ‘give it back or else’. He just stares at me like a little mong, looks close to tears and just runs up the stairs. Little pussy. At least he noticed me I suppose.
Mum’s sat at the kitchen table with a glass of wine the size of a vase. What’s wrong with her? I stand there and try to ask her what’s wrong. I’m struggling to find the words. The words are stuck. What do I want to say? Do I just say sorry? But for what? Do I hug her? No, that would be weird. The words are queuing up and trying to come out. Words like ‘what the fucking fuck help me what did I do what’s wrong jesus christ’. They’re all just jammed up and I can’t get them out. I can’t communicate. I just want to swipe everything off the table. The wine bottle, the wine glass, the fruit bowl, all of it.
Mum just sits there sniffing. I can’t do this.
I go upstairs just as my brother is coming out of his room. He sees me and goes straight back in. But I’m too quick, I’m right behind him. He throws himself down on his bed face first and punches a clenched fist against the duvet. What the fuck’s wrong with him? I approach him. He turns and faces me, face red and wet with tears.
He clenches his teeth and hisses at me.
‘LEAVE US ALONE!’
He’s so forceful it makes me stop. An icy feeling deep inside me clenches tightly.
‘YOU’RE DEAD! YOU’RE DEAD! LEAVE US ALONE!’
My mouth drops open. My brother is screaming.
‘I feel Ok. I feel OK though.’ I’m speaking, I’m pleading, trying to understand but scared to understand what I now know is true.
‘YOU DIED! YOU’RE FUCKING DEAD! LEAVE US ALONE. LOOK AT YOURSELF!’
I look at myself. Somehow I look at myself.
Oh my god.