Introvert Shorts Part 4 By Ashley Houston

Sometimes it feels like my brushstrokes are calling forth the ghosts from my past. The face staring at me looks so young and so wistful. It reminded me of things I wish I could forget about. Things I wish I didn’t know about. Those faces. The faces of all those I cared about trailing the brushstrokes of my paintbrush.

The paintbrush is suddenly too heavy, and I freeze the flow of blue on the canvas in front of me.

The glistening water only half-finished, whispering up at me to finish what I started… 

I can’t keep the paint flowing, as the ghosts from my past dance on the distant shore that the water is supposed to be touching. 

It was that time of the month again. The time that I am at my weakest and am not able to fight off the claws of depression. 

AHHH

I won’t give in; I tell myself as I lay down my paintbrush and turn away from my unfinished canvas. 

Steven glares at me from his perch on the tv stand. It’s like he knows I gave in again. I gave into my depression and allowed it to drag me down.

“One day you are going to knock down my tv.”

He doesn’t move until I plop down onto the clawed-up leather couch. It was my thrift store find of the year. It didn’t take Steven long to lay his claim on the old leather. Not much I could do to stop him when I wasn’t home. 

I try to smile but didn’t want to. 

“Why can’t I just go out and hide within the crowd at the bar.” I inwardly shudder at the thought.  

Steven yelled at me as he lazily jumped down from his perch near my dinosaur of a tv. I got up and followed him into the kitchen. It had been a while since I fed him. It had been even longer since I had fed myself. 

Food wasn’t something I wanted, even though my stomach was as active as a volcano. I was going to be sick if I didn’t eat. 

I opened the door of the fridge and stared at the creamer. 

Steven was happily munching on his catnip treats as I weighed my options. To drink coffee or to drink tea. Toast would go well with either option. 

“The real question is do I want to stay up and avoid the bliss of sleep. Maybe I should drink the nappy time tea blend and hope that there are no nightmares this time…” I glance down at Steven.

“What should I do Steven?” 

I laugh. It’s an empty sound echoing around me. 

No, I won’t do this.

“Stop. Get control of yourself, Heather.” 

Steven stopped eating and stared up at me.

“I’m not crazy Steven.”

The kettle screamed at me as I grabbed my nappy time tea bag. 

The tea smelled like lavender and something else I couldn’t quite place. The old lady that lived next to me made the blend for me. I tried to politely tell her that I didn’t need anymore, but she never listened. I gave her a five every time she brought over the small brown bag with the homemade tea inside. It made things less awkward, even though she would later put the five in my mailbox. 

I smiled thinking about the lady next door, and her uncanny ability to know when I needed the nappy time tea every month. 

“What should I read tonight Steven?” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read. 

Maybe I should just drink my tea wrapped up in a blanket and drown my thoughts out with the tv. My eyes did feel tired. The more tea I drank the closer to sleep I became. The bliss of sleep I didn’t want to give into. 

By Ashley Houston

Enjoy every day and don’t let the small stuff get you down. Sometimes it is not as easy to get past the big things that affect us, but it is possible. Look forward to tomorrow because it does get better. Smile because you are an awesome human being. 😊

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