I walk in, stripped down to my true self.

I turn on the shower, and the water that touches me is warm.

I allow it to run over my wounds, to soothe them.

Every once in a while, water

(so salty it burns these wounds)

starts to flow from my eyes.

But I don’t understand it.

How does one cry while feeling nothing?

I cleanse myself with a soap that also smells like nothing and hence has no effect. It doesn’t cover anything up.

Then, a voice speaks.

“Stop it”, it begs.

“STOP IT”, it commands.

“End it. Finish it now. Let. go.”

“There’s no need to fight it, and you know you don’t want to.”

The voice speaks the truth.

I do not wish to resist,

So, I stop.


The world starts to spin for a brief moment.

I fall to the floor, unconscious, so it seems, but I’m not gone.

A deep and intense sorrow runs through my body.

It is pain, but not regret.

I deem it rootless, in denial.

I know where it comes from.

The water turns cold.

I feel myself not feel.

The cold water continues to flow.

It’s like it’ll flow forever,

Like no one will ever bother to come and turn the tap off.

And I lay there,

Waiting for someone to notice my absence.

-Zainab Fatima 10 ICSE

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