Growing Pains

She sat on the floor of her bedroom, her pink Hello Kitty bedroom that had meant to be an ironic statement but now just looked vaguely silly. She sat there and stared at the guitar by her knees. ‘Play me,’ it seemed to say. ‘Play me.’ It implored her to pick it up and start strumming – she felt it, but still she sat there, motionless.

It had been three years. Three years since she went crashing into the void. And now what? Endless hours spent sitting on a pink carpet, staring into space. Where was the creativity in that? Not that she had felt very creative lately. Not that she had felt very much of anything lately. It was all a bit of a blur. Everything went foggy in her mind and she found it hard to recall quite what happened. Then the numbness came; that flat empty feeling that she didn’t want to let go of. It was so much easier to bear than the pain, the violent, aching misery. Who would choose that?

She stood up slowly, surveying the room. She felt like she was an outsider, watching herself. She saw her hand reach out. She saw herself grab the guitar by the neck, then swing it back forcefully. She spun right round in a circle, smashing the guitar into the pink wall. The she fell to the floor, sobbing. The guitar lay beside her, splintered and broken. Flakes of paint dropped from the dented wall onto the carpet and the bed. What a mess she had made.

She glanced up at her reflection in the mirror, at her long black hair and black clothes. Black smudges around her eyes. She smiled wryly at herself. Black on the outside, black on the inside.

Slowly gathering herself, she went to the bathroom and washed her face. Then she started to tidy up her room. Tomorrow, she thought, I’ll go shopping. I’ll buy new clothes, all in different colours. And I’ll paint the walls blue.

Hello Kitty stared up at her from the bedcovers, as if to say, ‘Do you even know who you are?’

Then in the summer, she told herself, in the summer…I shall learn to play the piano.

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