I look around the filthy bathroom as the hot water creates tendrils of steam that rise up into the coldness; is it cold? Or is it just me? I don’t know anymore. It’s disgusting in here, really, I have cleaned the bath though. It looks odd, gleaming white whilst surrounded by grime, like when you clean half of something that was really dirty and the contrast makes you realise just how dirty it was.
I can hear him, he’s ok.
The hot water is nearly to the top so I shut it off and blast a bit of cold in, not too much though. I peel my clothes off, Jack’s old tracksuit bottoms, the ones with the hole in and the white shirt I wore to bed last night. What’s the point of getting dressed when you know your not leaving the house?
I can hear him laugh, he’s ok.
I listen to the noises of the house, it’s busy, 5 bedrooms, 6 students. I don’t like any of them, except Jack. The football is on, I can hear the background noise of the television and the occasional rowdy cheers of the boys, laughter, the clatter of cutlery. Their laughter makes me feel angry, sick, jealous. Another sign of how far I have come, that laughter makes me feel angry a universal sign of happiness makes me sad, how can that be right.
I can hear him shout, he’s ok.
I look down at my body, pale and skinny covered in goose pimples as my skin reacts to the cold in the bathroom. I gently run my fingers over the cuts on my arms, red and sore and raised. I close my eyes and my finger tips trace the lines, they tell a story, they convert my hidden unseen pain into something visible, something that shouts out loud to be heard, to be seen. The raised edges bring me comfort.
I can hear him cheering, he’s ok.
The bath is hot, burning hot, which is just how I like it. I step in and gasp at the heat as it burns my toes which are almost numb through lack of circulation. I’m always cold, always shivering, numb. This is the only way I know how to heat up, my skin turns red as a lower myself into the tub. It’s the type of cold that’s comes from the inside out, the slight shake that comes from inside and stretches out into my limbs until I’m shaking all over, I’m trying to stop it, to heat it up, to relax the muscles.
Silence, what are they doing? Where is he, has he left, no he would of told me. Is he ok? I hear him call out to someone, he’s ok.
I lie back, my body tingling, beads of sweat forming on my temples, sliding down my cheeks. I lick my cheek, the salty tang of sweat fills my dry mouth. I’m hot, finally I’m hot and there is some sweat relief from the tension, from the shaking and the insistent cold. I sigh as I lie back and a tear escapes the side of my eye and joins the beads of sweat already rolling down my cheeks.