Come on Neema by Melissa Manuel

Come on Neema. Don’t be so… pathetic. Except as much as I repeated this to myself pathetic was exactly what I continued to be. Scowling at the mirror, at my own reflection, I ran my hands in frustration through my hair. The thick blackness of it snagged my fingers and it took me a few seconds to set them free again.

Stepping away from the mirror I paced the small room slowly. Glancing out the small window I noticed the sun was setting. It turned the sky a mockingly gentle blue and just below that were even more shocking purples. “Now isn’t the time to be staring off into the middle distance Neema.”

Talking to myself centered me, mainly because I hate myself so much and when I talk to myself it’s usually degrading, which puts me in place. Letting out a long sigh, I stand straighter and grab my phone off the nightstand. Sitting slowly on the bed I dial the number in and hold the phone to my ear.

The rings echo obnoxiously throughout my skull and I grit my teeth, “Stop fucking around Neema.”

Finally the phone makes a sharp click and someone says, “Hello?” Except the accent was so thick it sounded more like, “Ell-o?”

My blood runs cold and I shut my eyes, tears burning my closed eyelids. Pathetic.

“Hello? Who is this?” I end the call and throw the phone across the room. It thuds against the wall unimpressively, falling to the floor with a depressing clack.

Staring at it from my place on the bed I notice it isn’t even dented which twists me on the inside. A rage purer than the Virgin Mary boiled up and exploded inside me in a cacophony of violent trembles and everything I saw was tinged with red.

Standing up too quickly I pull open the nightstand drawer too quickly, the lamp teetered precariously and with my other hand I slapped it to the floor causing the thin glass to shatter. Out of the drawer I pulled out the only thing that was in there. The Bible.

I storm over to the phone and slam my foot down on it, hearing the metal and glass crack under me only added more to the blind fury that had encapsulated me. I went over to the tiny window and slammed the Bible into the sky over and over until it shattered and there was blood on my knuckles.

Maybe if I was less infuriated I would’ve realized that the glass had cut my knuckles, but in this moment I could care less. Feeling the air outdoors brush my face for the first time in months sent an uncomfortable chill through me. Grabbing the night stand I dragged it towards right below the window and climbed on top of it, ignoring its groans in protest of my weight.

I pushed off the remaining glass in the frame with the Bible and then hoisted myself up through the small window. My hips got stuck in the frame and it was then I panicked and my pathetic-ness hit me again like a tidal wave.

“What the fuck Neema you’re halfway through might as well get out.” I mumbled this to myself as I used my anxiety as cause to fall out of the window. It wasn’t that far of a drop but I landed lamely and felt my ankle twist awkwardly.

Glancing around I could see nothing but trees. Trees that stretched into infinity, no fence, no walls, but an endless forest with a prison as its secret.

“Go Neema go go go.” At my own urging I took off into the woods, running until it burned, running until there was no more air, running until I could feel no more and collapsed in the dirt into unconsciousness.


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