We pick up the prescription and then go to McDonald's and get fries.
I haven't eaten anything in days so it's safe to say I'm starving.
Isaac orders a large fry and it's gone before we get halfway home.
My brother looks at me licking the salt off my fingers, his face contorting into an expression of pity.
"Elina, you can't keep doing this to yourself. Don't starve yourself." He tells me, looking between me and the road.
I stare at my lap, wiping my fingers on my jeans.
"Isaac you don't understand....it's not me. I'll only throw it up again." I tell him quietly.
"You've been eating fine all your life. It's probably just stress and it won't last forever. But if you don't eat at all you'll keep throwing up whatever is left in your stomach. You're losing a lot of things your body needs. You have to eat Ella."
I close my eyes.
I've been throwing up everything I eat for a month now.
Two years ago all of this started.
At first it was just a light fluttering feeling in my chest.
A quick spark of electricity.
Then a stab of pain.
A quick buzz, then nothing.
It got worse.
The pain, fluttering and sparks became episodes.
The episodes became frequent throughout the week. I vomited after each episode.
The pain got worse.
Nausea and headaches.
Then the dreams.
At first just a burst of pain, then I would wake up.
Then the light, searing pain.
After these dreams I would throw up more.
After the dreams, the hallucinations.
I've always felt watched.
Always felt uneasy.
My parents home schooled me so I didn't socialize much either.
They always told me people had germs and to avoid skin contact at all costs.
I found out later it wasn't because of germs.
People who touched me got hurt.
Sometimes they screamed in pain.
I hurt people.
People couldn't touch me.
My therapist thought I wore gloves because I had Mysophobia.
The fear of germs.
No one knew except my parents and Isaac.
Around 4 months ago the hallucinations started.
I would see small glimpses, flashes of light. Translucent shapes of luminescent bluish white.
One blink and they were gone.
Usually I would see them outside in public places.
I didn't know why this was happening to me.
I'm not usually a depressed person.
As a kid I was way too energetic.
Even diagnosed with ADHD.
Eventually I learned to calm down, control myself and focus. Pay attention to things and people.
But it's still there.
I feel it in my veins.
Wanting to be let out.
I'm always restless.
Sometimes I think it's how I'm able to go so long without eating.
It all seems so long ago.
It's only been two years since all of this madness started and I already feel like it's been an eternity.
I just want it to stop.
"Hey, we're here." Isaac taps my shoulder gently, turning the car off.
My eyes peel open, blinking rapidly in my seemingly bright surroundings.
As we make our way into the large three story house ahead of us my eyes adjust to the dim world once more.
It's even darker inside.
Half of me wishes I had a dog to run up and greet me, but I can't have pets.
Kicking off my shoes by the door I look up and see my mother has appeared in the hallway and is leaning against the wall watching me with a fond look on her face.
"Hey mum." I greet as she comes forward, smiling.
"How's my baby girl? How was therapy?" She asks, squeezing Isaac in a hug and turning to me.
She doesn't hug me.
Even my own parents can't touch me.
My heart sinks a little.
No matter how many times I walk through this door...I'll always wish I could be greeted with the kind of hug my mum gives my brother and father.
"Fine. It was fine." I tell her, Sighing.
Isaac, who's also taking his shoes off by the door hands my mother her keys as she looks to him for a report.
"I called Dr. Newmark while she was in the pharmacy. Ella was great. No trouble. We had McDonald's and picked up her pills. " I shoot my brother a grateful look. Thankful that he'd vouched in my favor.
Even if I had been just a bit difficult at therapy.
My mother nods and smiles, looking at me.
"How do you feel today? Has the therapy helped you at all?"
I shrug at this.
"I feel the same mum. Dr.Newmark just always asks the same things. He's not really helping and I don't think I need to go anymore. I'm sick maybe, not psychotic."
My mother frowns, brows knitting.
"Honey I didn't say you were psychotic. Don't think that that's why I sent you to him. "
"I know mum, I just...I don't want to go anymore okay? Please?"
My mother looks at me hard for a moment before replying.
"No one else has been able to tell us what's going on...what this ...sickness you have is." She states.
I've gone through countless x-rays, checkups, physicals, psychiatrists- no one has been able to explain why all of a sudden I feel like I'm dying.
If this is what dying feels like...
Like going insane?
An aching in your chest.
Feeling like you lost someone you never knew.
A hollow, all consuming emptiness.
Is that what death feels like?
I've always felt this way...but it's gotten so strong since the dreams started.
Is death the pain? Or the absence thereof.
Do we see things when we die? Things possibly living people cannot see?
They say dying people see things.
Maybe I'm dying.
I don't want to die...but if I am I don't want to spend my days trying to find out if I'm crazy or not.
I want to live.
No more staying inside for my own safety, no more avoiding public places for fear of getting hurt or discovered.
The cowering behind the four familiar walls of my bedroom in silent horror and anticipation of the episodes ends now.
If my last days are now, I want to remember them no matter where I end up once I'm gone.
"Mum, please just let it go. I've been to so many therapists. If they couldn't figure out what was wrong I don't think Dr.Newmark will be any different." I sigh tiredly, my eyes pleading with the woman.
She meets my gaze for a long moment before biting her lip.
"We'll see." Is all she says.