She had a secret. A secret that has been kept for far too long. A secret that was only two words, six letters long.

The two words burned inside of her like freshly-lit gasoline. You can tell she wants to tell her secret. Hell, she probably wanted to scream it out to the whole world, that two worded, six lettered word. But she doesn’t. She instead remained silent, allowing the pain to slowly but surely envelop her to an inevitable nothingness.

Throughout the days, weeks, and months, she had become a gifted actress. She had masqueraded her outward appearance to make it seem like everything is okay. Her eyes seemed bright, her smile almost glistening, and her laugh almost harmonic. It was typical, lovable her-the persona she knew everyone could get along with. But there were days when she knew better-when that dark, eerie shadow encompasses her very being, forcing her to become so small she couldn’t breathe. Those were the days where she loathed herself the most. Her mind was constantly racing, her heart beating so fast it was seconds away from forcing itself out of her chest. She tried her best, she really did. She didn’t want to be a downer, especially to her friends. She would quickly run to the bathroom if her eyes burned from the impending tears that would soon fall down her face. She would dig her nails on her forearm to replace the emotional and mental pain with physical pain; something that had become easier to bear with. And through all of this, those two words, those six small letters sat in the pit of her stomach, eating her alive bit by bit, waiting for her to become nothing.

Did you notice her?

Did you see her slowly begin to fade into nothingness?

Did you hear the soft, sad melody escape her lips whenever she spoke?

Did you see the chains on her feet that made every step she took heavier and more painful?

Were you oblivious to the empty, dull eyes that would stare into your own?

Were you aware of the pain she was in but decided to just brush aside her and her demons to focus on yourself?

Sometimes she felt as if she was already nothing. There would be times where the dark, eerie shadow was so powerful and heavy that simply could not get out of bed. Or eat. She forced herself to use the toilet. This would be a whole day, and then two, and if it was really bad, three days she would reside in her bed. A lot of her friends didn’t contact her during those dark days. She would check her poison apple, social media, constantly see them having a very average, almost fun time while she resided in her dark chambers of a room. Maybe they didn’t realize it. Or maybe they couldn’t be bothered. Either way, they were out there, and she was stuck-no, she was trapped.

A friend or two would check in on her once in a while-that would bring a small glitter of happiness in her slowly dying heart. It was during those times she was tempted to spill her secret: to type out those two words, those six letters that could potentially set her free from her self-loathing imprisonment. But who was she to spill her secret to her friend; a secret that could make her friend feel responsible for her. She would become a what she already was: a burden. So instead she typed out a different two worded, six lettered message that made her feel like more a fraud than ever: “I’m okay”.

If one were to pay very close attention to her, it was evident that she wasn’t doing okay at all. Her once bright eyes were almost glossy and dull, and the glistening smile that she tried so hard to put out to the world seemed oh so forced. On her arms you could see the marks from where she dug her nails deep in to her skin. Her overall presence, once beaming with all things good, had become dull. She tried hard to prove otherwise, but sometimes she just had to let it envelop in order for her to breathe. She was trying her best, she really was. There were days where she felt ready to tell her story; her two worded, six lettered story. But those feelings were very temporary.

And then there was that day. That fateful day that would mark the total decline of her mental and emotional stability. On a night where she was completely alone, with no one in the house to prevent what happened to happen, she snapped. Cracked. Completely broken. She screamed. She sobbed. She slammed her head against walls dug her nails so deep into her skin blood would begin to drip down to her fingertips. She was screaming her secret out loud for the world to hear, but there was no one there to listen. Those two words, those six letters were escaping her mouth and ending up in oblivion. Air was escaping her body. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t hear. She couldn’t feel. Why couldn’t she feel? She needed to feel. Someone needed to touch her. To hold her. To tell her that everything was going to be okay.

But no one was there.

No one was there to hold her hand.

No one was there to assure her that everything was going to be okay.

She was all alone in an empty, cold house. Just her, her tears, her scarred arm, and her warped thoughts.

She never wanted to feel like this. Who ever wanted to feel unwanted, unneeded, a waste of space?

All she wanted was to be the girl who could go to sleep without shedding tears that stained her pillow.

All she wanted was to be the girl who didn’t have constant fear of her friends resenting her for every little imperfection that she carried.

All she wanted was to be the girl who didn’t feel the need to dig her fingers into her arm from class to class to prevent her from having anxiety attacks.

That night, shaken by the events that had occurred, she crawled into bed. She placed her head against the cold pillow and lied there for what felt like an eternity. She looked at her arm, which was bandaged thoroughly. She had already come up with a lie to tell her friends the next day if they asked. She didn’t want to be a burden.

She covered her head with her blanket and wanted nothing but to desperately go to sleep. She knew that if she continued to let the tears fall back down to her pillow, she might pass out of exhaustion. That was better than nothing, right?

As she slowly descends into a deep slumber, her mind had begun to wander. Wander into better times. Better times involving car rides and sloppy drinking and terrible singing and late night talks under the starry sky. Better times where she never dug her nails into her arm or cried herself to sleep. Better times where she wasn’t imprisoned at all, but was a free, beautiful spirit that could soar wherever and whenever.

But that wasn’t the case any more.

Because she had a secret.

A secret that had been kept for far too long.

A secret that was only two words, six letters.

A secret that she muttered to herself as she began to drift further and deeper into her subcounscious:

“Help me. Help me. Help me-

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