This Is How I Breathe

Dear Whoever,

In two days, I will be 18.

I haven’t given much mind to that paramount date until last Friday, which marked my younger sister’s, yes we both share a birth month, yes her day was a relative blast, yes her enthusiasm cowers me, and yes I am terrified.

Of a billion things, for a billion reasons, most of which you know of without strenuous thought.

Come the 6th, I imagine I might wake up to a gloomy Tuesday or a fairly bright one (let’s be positive). I will run my sweat caked fingers through my stiffly curled hair while staring at the makeshift mirror in the bathroom; of a transparent board.

I will stare, and try not to see myself as me, I will attempt to employ the eyes of a stranger startled to find a gangly body, suffused richly with stories, emptiness, hurt, emotions, phases, and most importantly history.

With that eyes, not of me, perhaps brown, perhaps charcoal black, I will measure my height, gauge my arms, run a study through the crux of what makes my body mine and then travel up to criticise my face, while mentally playing out its flaws, its disappointments, its failures, the rejection I have given it, and the ones it has gotten, the appraisal I have grudgingly slipped towards it, and the ones it has gotten, but did never sound sincere.

I will contemplate. Match. Pair. Compare. Contrast. And wonder if it still keeps being passable enough to mark me amongst the normal.


On that day, I assume I might get a few mechanical Facebook wishes, a few from family, none from that special someone(haven’t got any in that sense), from real-life friends tender at my heart as well, and that would be it.

The day will end. But the ache wouldn’t. I’d rest my arm on the railing at the balcony and try to calm a fear I know is heavily there.

A fear that says I haven’t done enough. A fear that says I have missed something; crucial, imperative, transforming.

I wouldn’t know what to name it, I wouldn’t know what to mark the hefty box I’d place it in, I wouldn’t know how to handle this gnawing sense of deprivation, like I am here at a window, outside a grand house where dinner is being served, while my stomach churns, while my eyes burn, and yearn, until they grow into bold, amplified protestants.

But the family within, looks through me, never at me, and quickly decides to see me only as a party crasher, a dinner anomaly.

They believe I wouldn’t handle the fork right, and so insist on using a spoon or disgust their appetite by adding too much salt to my pear, or audaciously note the carelessness of the cook and therefore disrupt their round of two-faced compliments.


In all things true, I hadn’t contemplated freedom two years before now. In all things true I didn’t expect this bludgeoning sense of destitution.

In all things true, I never thought I might have death etched evenly, in the uneven lines on my palms.


And so as I stare at myself-


I will remember that forced kiss, that whip of correction, that scorn, those words sewn with stripped precision from familial tongues ” you disgust me, for the past few days I have just felt a sense of disgust towards you.”

I will recollect those looks; shirty, expostulated, and driving sharply into subcutaneous depths.

Those threats and slander will come back in friable clips, slowly, until they form a frame ” Those people are pure works of the devil, when I see them I just feel like stabbing the life out of their useless bodies.”

I will make sure to remember as much as I can.

Like me,

You know this pain, won’t go away anytime soon.

This is how I breathe, if you know to care.



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