The person from the Samaritans writes, "Are you afraid to go back?"
I read the email, then ignore it for three weeks. I sleep two days straight, pick the dirty clothes off the floor, send short vague emails and don't call my parents. Hand in late homework and go for runs in the centre of the night. Green lights gleam on the asphalt and heat pools on my skin.
I gain the weight back and can't look at full-body photographs. I sit for hours at the computer without knowing what I'm looking for and get angry when I don't find it. Coffee and medication turns my insides acidic. I feel poisonous.
When I sleep, I have confused nightmares, the neighbours breaking in to demand conversation. Fear to be around people does not feel different from fear of being alone. The fruit goes mouldy in an unopened package; I write with my mouth tasting of ash. Diary entries full of mixed metaphors, self-conscious of my overuse of "I."