my eyes open to white ceiling.
blank, empty,
my ears strain to hear
just the lightest creaking
or softest footstep
or the constant ticking of a clock.
there’s nothing.
I hear it. ringing.
it’s just the paralyzing silence.
nobody’s home.
my heart kicks a beat to match
the haunting melody of fear
repeating over and over and
my eyesight blurs, black spots staining
perfect white canvas.
I don’t realize I’m crying until salt runs
down my cheeks and onto my

I’m a kid again.
loud voices telling me I’m wrong.
This is disgusting, they say, crushing
my sandcastle back into the ocean.
it wasn’t enough.
I’ve failed.
I stumble through the sand, frantically
searching for success.
I stray further and further from the
crowd of people,
until I can’t hear their harsh words,
but they’re still repeating in my head.
I fall to the ground, sharp pain
from the voices
my head into pieces.

there’s music blasting from speakers, reverberating
against the gym walls,
decorated with limp streamers and color changing lights.
it’s hard to think about anything,
aside from censored lyrics of Ariana Grande.
I forget why I came in the first place.
the crowd’s cheering in the center, and I feel
leaning against the wall.
my friends surround me, pushing me towards
the circle of adrenaline junkies.
I push back, trying to resist, but
they’re too strong.
lights flash in my eyes, I can’t see anything
except mountains and seas of people,
screaming, laughing, in my face.
are they laughing at me?
I can’t move, my hands tremble, words
surround me.
what’s she doing here?
that’s so embarrassing.
come on, dance!
don’t stand in the middle of the circle.
do something…
but all I can do is stare at my
I want to run away
I want to cry
I want to go home
but I’m frozen, cocooned by my own fear.

I hear it.
Do you hear those whispers, too?

2 thoughts on “whispers

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