Depression. Anxiety. Panic. they were not foreign entities to me. I recalled a time in my life when they were close friends. When everyday was a chore to get out of bed. Some days if it hadn’t been for the fear of disappointing Dae’lin with my absence I would have stayed in bed. Failing to show up to classes meant I didn’t get to touch the elements. And that was the only joy I had.
The power flowing around me. Now that was different. I had people who made me happy. And I was disappointing them. I was making them worry. I was making them angry and they fought.
I remembered the times that got really bad. The times I wanted to die for real. A time before I valued my life. Granted there was still room for improvement, but my life was worth something even if only to me. There was an echo in my head making me doubt my self worth.
Worthless. Useless. Kill yourself.
The rain poured down around me despite the fact I knew I was loved. I was loved.
Everyone hates you. No despises you. You are a stain on the earth. Kill yourself.
The feelings all crashed in around me. I felt like I was drowning under a sea of hatred and self-loathing.
And then a tiny ray of sunshine fell on my cheek. I felt the warmth I knew should be there. But the deluge increased its efforts in trying to drown me.
A small blade of green grass shot up and I reached for it. The moment I felt the cool blade I felt safer. More grew around me.
Kill yourself. Worthless. Useless. End it all. The phrases echoed in my head.
But I heard the faint whisper in my sleep, “There you are pretty boy.” Arms around me from all sides. Hands and warmth I felt the outside world but I didn’t wake. Panic started to overtake my calm.
In those moments of panic I found myself standing in the barren waste of my mind with another man. Blood dripped from his lips. He wore a pimp hat if I’d ever seen one but I wouldn’t say that to his face. He was a big black man, the shirt he work bulged at the seams and I knew he’d break me in half. There was a sneer across his lips.
“You are strong, boy.”
I blinked at him, trying to figure out why this man was in my dream. Behind him the world shifted and things started to blink and shutter. But he didn’t notice. There was a blip of Dev standing behind him. But then he was gone. I wasn’t sure if I’d seen him.
I walked past the stranger and he growled at me. The world stuttered again, this time the man noticed and yelled, “He’s mine. Begone.”
I turned to look back at the big black man. “I’m not yours.”
“You are worthless boy. Nothing but a piece of gutter trash.”
I smirked at him. I knew he’d been in my head before. No, he wasn’t my demon. My demon… I focused on Dev. He was here. I could feel him. He was lying next to me cradling Drake in his arms and Morana was somewhere else. I didn’t know how I knew that but I did. Sage and Dee were here too. Matt and Fae. My family.
The man growled louder and charged at me. I felt a hand in mine, Dev pulled me away from the charging man. We were in nothingness…