1 Chapter 1

Hands outstretched, I tried moving my finger, ....I couldn't. I shifted my lost attention to lifting my hands but they seemed unusually heavy to be lifted.

I inhaled air and nearly choked with the heaviness that crept over my chest.

The next minute, I was struggling.... struggling to pull myself out of this 'half awake' sleep that left me paralysed for few hours yet I never lost track of what was happening around.

I felt something crawling up my bare leg, something fluffy with small feet. A loud scream died in my throat when that 'thing' bit my flesh making blood rush out of it. Yet other bite and my lungs were ready to explode. My legs trembled when I felt more such 'things' crawl over my legs only then I realized they were rats...red eyed, nasty rats. Had I been awake, I would have shrugged them off, but I wasn't. 

More rats, began to scurry the side of my bed. I could hear their squeals clogging up my mind. Their claws grasped onto my shirt, their heads dipping into my flesh, savouring it like a meal.

"NO!" I cried, completely glued to my bed. No matter how desperately my body was trying to force me to leave the bed....I couldn't. I couldn't even breathe, let alone move. A scream was building up in my chest, one that closes your air chambers making breathing even more difficult.

"You are worthless."  The walls roared as the rats continued mutilating my flesh.

The next moment my back met the cold floor. I jumped up in horror, looking at my skin, running my hands over my body  to see the wounds, the bite marks...but there was nothing my eyes could notice.  I was clean. I looked around for those little monsters, but they too were gone. My hand automatically went over my chest to feel how insanely my heart was beating.

I took a deep breath, and counted seconds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.....10.

It was 2:00 in the morning and I was surely not going to bed.

I stayed up reading, and revising what I had already revised a  thousand times.


It was about 8 am when I headed for the school. I took everything I needed to survive through the day- my books, my water bottle, my stationary and most important of all - My Smile. I have heard people saying, ' Fake it till you make it'. A smile plastered on my lips and that's all what keeps me away from silly questions. Smiling isn't difficult now. I mean, I practice it sometimes, but it's easy.

"Snow " I snapped my head up in the direction of my best friend, Ava who had been trying to get my attention. As usual I was lost. Delving deeper and deeper in the web of my fears and insecurities.

"What?" I asked.

"We reached school. " She sounded annoyed.

We had.

I checked my surroundings to find all the bus seats empty. The bus driver too gave us an ugly look. But who cared.

Without a single word, I walked out of the bus with Ava trying to match my pace. She had been my friend since three years. She adored me a lot and even I did the same. She had been my constant companion through all the joys and sorrows.

Running through the white corridors, we reached our class and took our respective seats. Mr. Chase, our Chemistry teacher, entered the classroom. He was dressed in his plain white shirt paired with black trousers. The presence of tie and absence of his massive ruler clearly indicated that something was going to happen today.

"So class, this is Mr. Jay." Said Mr. Chase referring to the visitor .

"Since you all are so hardworking and obviously stressed completing all those  assignments, the administration wanted to make you aware of mental health, so you won't jump off the school terrace." He seemed to be pissed off. Why wouldn't he. He was always in a hurry of getting his syllabus complete but was always late and now this mental health awareness was taking place at the cost of his class.

He was definitely angry.

But who cares.

Nobody enjoyed his class except Me.

Mr. Jay  continued to lecture us for about an hour and half.

According to him, we must seek help in case:

1.  When you have uncontrollable thoughts and emotions that are affecting your daily life and relationships.

Yesterday, on the dinner table, I got furious because I didn't like what aunt Lisa prepared for me. I hate capsicum and she knows that. A sudden wave of anger ran through my veins and I ran towards my room, destroying everything that I laid my eyes on. Tables turned, bedsheets pulled, pillows thrown till I was left with no energy.

The scattered things left me numb all of sudden and for the rest of the day, I simply cried till I slept. 

Obviously Aunt Lisa was angry. But she forgave me calling it a phase.

2. Irregular sleep cycles.

I don't remember how it feels like sleeping without fear of getting a nightmare. I hated waking up with sweat over my face. There are days when I sleep for two or three hours but somedays, I am just too scared to close my eyes so I do what I like the most- Overthink.

3. Your grades are falling.

I was a A+ student and I remember being among the top students of high school even though it was my first year.  I had that badge the school gave me last year for my excellent performance in academics.

4. Self harm

I was applying lotion over my body after having a long hot shower when I noticed, how clean , how soft my skin looked. Something irked me about the flawlessness of my skin and I reached for a paper knife. I placed the cold blade over my wrist, pressed it against my hand and drew a line over my skin. The sight of blood oozing out of the slit gave me something I termed as satisfaction.

I have ten such lines now.

5. A traumatic or life changing happening of past.









I was RAPED.

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