Literacy Week: Partly Cloudy Skies

He was going to tell her, his therapist, how he was really feeling. Hes going to be honest and get the help he knows he needs, but once he got there all the confidence and courage, he had built up had vanished once she started to ask questions. 

  • ••

“So, Jason how was your week? How are you feeling?” Miss lang settles her pad on her knee ready to write every wrong thing I say. She looks up at me when I am quiet for too long, she is looking for something; scanning me up and down with her brown eyes and when she finds it, she starts writing, some of her black hair falls from the clip she has as she bends her neck, but she leaves it. My hand automatically plays with the strings on my hoody, what is she writing? I already messed up, typical. My thoughts run wild as she writes. 

“Hmm I feel fine.”  I answered, but I’m not, “My week was good, passed that math test I was telling you about.” That’s a lie, I thought, I completely failed it. 

The questions go on and on the basic stuff about school and family, I leave the office with yet another paper on how to cope with my anxiety. I shove it in my bag with all the others and start my walk to school.  

I’ve never been so disappointed in myself than that moment. 

I thought therapy would help, I thought I needed to talk to someone to be better, to fix me. But every time I get close to asking for that help, I lose that fight and I don’t know how to get it back. That’s the thing most people don’t understand about us, the hardest part of asking for help is just that, asking. And when we don’t ask, we bottle it all up and try to forget about it, then that bottle crakes and chips. And at some point, everybody’s bottles got to break. 

  • ••

Three years of high school same bell schedule since ninth grade and still no friends; never in my life did I think the sentence ‘get up, eat, work, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat’ would be applied to me. Like I’m one of those creepy life-like robots just following my coding. 

1st, 2nd,3rd, 4th,5th, lunch,6th, and 7th ,once a day for 7 hours 5 times a week over and over and then I go home. 

But not today. 

No today instead of taking a right home I take a left. 

That left path is behind the school and if I follow it for thirty minutes I get to the beach. I follow it without really paying attention, I’ve walked this path so many times before it’s like second nature to know where I’m going. 

When I start to smell the salt in the air and the slight mist of the oceans water on my face, I take off my shoes, my socks and drop my bag on the sand. I walk forwards, my mind zeroes in on the sounds of the ocean’s waves. It’s windy today there’s sand blowing on my face the sting of the eroded rocks doesn’t bother me.  

I stop at the edge of the water; I close my eyes and take a deep breath inhaling and taking in the sensation of the water at my feet its chilly out still at the end of January making the water colder than usual. Opening my eyes, I look up there’s no sun up there right now it hasn’t been there all day, yet the rain in those dark clouds refuses to fall. 

With a sigh I look forwards and see nothing, I walk forwards not moving my eyes from in front of me. By the time I close my eyes again my feet to the waist of my jeans are submerged in the chilly salt water. I suck in a deep breath and dive under swimming further out, I come back up gasping for a breath; I’m deep enough that I need to thread the water but can still touch the ground with my big toe. 

I get tired of the constant kicking after a while and get on my back to float, I’m back to staring at the dark clouds that refuse to break open. With the water muffling out the world around me, I let my mind run, let my thoughts consume me. 

The thought of my feelings come back to me, it’s hard not to think about those feelings when that’s what makes up your entire being. 

And I hate what my being feels; like I’m here but I’m not, like someone cares but they don’t not really, like I belong nowhere. 

So, I let the water take me, I tip my head back letting my body flip back until my whole body is under again. This time when I open my eyes, I see the wavy bottom of the ocean floor, this time I don’t go up and gasp for my breath I hold it till my chest burns. 

Then I let it go. 

I give in to the needs of my lungs. 

  • ••

Jason breaks the surface of the LA waters and is met with rain pouring down on him. He swims closer to the shore to stand on his feet, he looks back up to the sky one last time as he walks on to the dry sand. Reaching his arms out he spins and laughs. Even the sky must break at some point it can’t carry all that water forever. And tomorrow a rainbow may not spread across the sky, but it’s probably going to be sunny and partly cloudy; Jason won’t be 100% good by tomorrow, but he would be partly there. Hes going to do the hardest thing he’s ever done before. 

He’s going to ask for help.