How bad can a good girl get?
That really is the question.
It always starts with the apathy. It quietly slips itself in, the same way that you don't really notice the sun setting until suddenly you look up and the sky is almost black.
It sets into everything it touches like smoke to damp clothes or blood to a white bedsheet.
Eyelids get heavier and exhales get deeper. Fingers and toes turning into sticks of chalk on a pavement; messy, incoherent patterns left in their wake; every little thing; the small talk, the feigned interest.
The reproachful gaze of worried friends and the number of hours taken to muster up the will required to go for a shower.
All of it, all of the time, wearing away at her chalk hands and feet; gradual erosion followed by the sharp snap as the pavement encounters a wall. Dusty white remnants tell the stories of her efforts on the concrete.
Like breakable sticks of chalk in the hands of a child, it wore her down and down and away and away.
Broken chalk; bearing a striking resemblance to what may be incurred if a heap of bones were to be finely ground into a delicate powder.
And that is what the apathy feels like. Like the process of gradual grinding and erosion until nothing is left; then comes the disassociation.
As in, if my head starts to feel anymore spaced out will NASA try and recruit me for their next mission? As in, did I just spend three hours making intense eye contact with the ceiling or did I imagine all of that?
It's the hours spent wondering if they would love you more if your ribs and hip bones were threatening to burst their way through the skin, or if really, you are as inherently unlovable as rain clouds in July.
Vacant eyes and hollow words, almost doll-like. But at the same time not at all. Dolls are beautiful, adored; useful. It's addictive, feeling lost and empty I mean; if everything feels like it doesn't really exist, and you haven't showered in three days then do your obligations to the world still exist? If my head isn't here then what else actually remains?
But this is how you learned to survive, you learned to hold your own mind and dress your own wounds.
She'll treat you the way she wants someone else to treat her; that's why she always wants to make sure that you're alright. Because no one ever asked her.
And that, is how you know that it is getting bad again. But really none of it happens in that order or in steps; actually, it happens all at once, but isn't that a lot harder to fit into a blank word document?