The Posy Diaries

Kennedy Morrison is an unapologetic 20-something year old in the throes of recovering from a recent breakup from Blake Henley. Blake lives thousands of miles away from her. Kennedy has chronic depression and anxiety and Blake has ADHD and depression. They're both chronically sad and lonely. Can Kennedy stop her consumption by her own worst enemy: herself? Is her relationship with Blake salvageable?

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Author's note

WARNING: This story contains strong language, graphic imagery, explicit sexual content, and possible drug use. Please read at your own discretion. You must be 18 years old or older to read this.
AA

6. VI.

VI.


 

On a Thursday afternoon, I'm seated in my therapist's office. The clock ticks quietly above us. I begin to count the number of books she has on the bookshelf, 53...maybe 54? My left foot taps restlessly, my left leg jiggles, and I blame all of this on the akathisia that I have. I Googled it about four days prior and told my baffled psychiatrist that I had it.


 

“I just can't sit still,” I found myself saying quietly. I bounced my leg for good measure and he ended up striking out Abilify from my personalized list of medications. He told me to taper down from the 15 mg I was taking once a day. He was confused because that was the smallest dose he could start me on. He was slightly annoyed because I had only been on it for about a week. I was in therapy because I couldn't sleep and I found myself holding my phone late at night, my gray and white paisley patterned cover drawn up to my chin, my pointer finger hovering anticlimactically over your contact name. I'd taken to banishing Ein to his doggy bed. He'd looked at me, an expression of distress and sadness furrowing his eyes, his tongue constantly lolling out of his stupid mouth.


 

I should have let him sleep with me, I thought, about fifteen minutes into me settling into bed. I got up and paced the length of my room. I played the entirety of a custom playlist on my SoundCloud account. All 7.3 hours of it. I saw that you'd re-posted and liked one of my recent songs. It was an electronica song. I ended up playing that about 22 times according to SoundCloud. I got up from my bed and wandered down the hallway, blindly, without my glasses because I was too lazy to grope for them on the nightstand. I thought about taking some sleeping pills. Then I realized that would probably interact with my medication. Then I realized I was being a poor mental health client by swigging wine most of the day. The Riesling was chilling in the fridge. I wrenched it open and saw a Post-It note tacked on the left door.


 

“Stop drinking my wine. Love you. Call your therapist,” was scrawled on it by a loving and doting Annalise. Bitch. I snatched the Riesling and poured the remnants of the sparkling white wine into a glass I'd gotten from the overhead cabinet. Then I tucked myself back into bed after knocking it back like it was a shot glass of bourbon. I burped and replayed the SoundCloud song and wrote two poems about you, then two more. The first two were about you sleeping with me, the last two were some pretty good attempts at haiku. I then submitted them to three poetry websites and didn't care about the fact that you weren't supposed to do that at all. One of them would accept me.


 

I attempted to call you twice and it went to voicemail once and the second time you had picked up on the third ring. I held my breath in as if I'd been spotted by a hunter in a forest like he'd leveled the barrel of a rifle with my doe eyes. As if he was going to shoot right in between them and skin me and carry me back to his cabin for dinner. Sometimes I felt like a doe, yes. Bleeding, raw, and exposed.


 

“Hello?”


 

“Hey...I...uh...I'm sorry for calling you so late. I just need to talk about...stuff,” My voice died in my throat, far away, impossibly small, like a wisp of dying smoke. The electronica song played in the background, the one that you'd re-posted on your profile and liked. I started to prattle on about nothing, childlike. Nothing was rotary, everything was disjointed and my words ran into each other, my mind racing. I was trembling and dangerously anxious. I told you I wanted more wine. I told you I wanted to sleep with you. I told you that I wished you were in bed with me. What the hell was I actually doing? Oh, yes, trying to call you to hear your voice again. You sounded so nice, I realized, half asleep. I'd forgotten how nice your voice was.


 

“Do you know what time it is? I called you to tell you not to call me anymore. Why don't you understand that it's over Kennedy? It's done. Stop fucking calling me, Jesus fucking Christ, You hissed over the line, you sighed heavily like I had weighed you down with my disaster of a mind for decades. It was like we’d been locked in an eternal war of either loving each other fiercely enough to draw blood or to hate each other so derisively as to curse our own names out of existence.

I was also suffering from the effects on an alcohol-addled brain and what was quickly becoming debilitating sleep deprivation. Albeit needlessly and deliberately self-imposed. God, I was such a messed up person sometimes.


 

“Yeah, I, uh, I know. I just couldn't sleep,” I said apologetically.

It was true, everything that I had nonsensically admitted to you. At that moment, I was partially drunk and mostly sleep deprived and lonely. God, I was so desperately pathetic and lonely and you knew it too.

“Look...you have to stop doing this at least until you improve yourself and I know you haven’t. Fall in love with living your life the best way you know how, Kenny. I can’t be your sole reason for being. I’m fucking thousands of miles away. I have my life too. I’m doing my part. You need to get better.”

You let out a long trailing exhale wearily and I imagined you sitting up in your bed, absentmindedly petting your dog. I imagined you shirtless and only clad in Perry Ellis boxers. Gray, like the majority of your wardrobe. Most of it consisted of muted colors actually: pale taupe, pastel hues of orange, various ugly ass shades of brown, tan, heather gray, beige, and the occasional soft ocher or richer burgundy.

 

There was a long pause and I felt bile in my throat. My tongue and mouth tasted like the Riesling I had taken to drinking intermittently—after dinner, after breakfast, before and after a shower, as I channel surfed my TV, after talking to my mother on the phone, after playing League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm, while rifling through a stack of bills, while I reread your birthday card to me for the fifth time that week—the one with the pug on it, while I clutched the bottle to my chest and sobbed, spit splattering the front of my sheer black slip.

 

“I’m going to hang up now, Kennedy.”

“Blake, no, please, fucking don’t do this--” I stammered, clutching at the phone and protesting weakly. My voice broke into shaky sobs and I stuffed my knuckles into my mouth, biting down viciously.


 

“I’m going to hang up now, Kennedy,” you repeated with more finality and force. You really meant it. I knew you did. I hated your effect on me.

 

You hung up after two more seconds of silence. I collapsed into my bed and repeatedly slammed my phone down into the mattress and then screamed into the pillow, my face red, my voice raw. My everything hurt—stomach tightened, my delicately gnarled tree branch of a spine, my head, yes, especially my head. You slithered along my skin and my skull, floated beneath my eyelids, submerged in the fluid in my brain. It was like you lived in my body. You were sentient and—you made me sick...


 

I wanted to cut you out but I also wanted to get you back. I needed to. I needed you. You were more than oxygen, more than stardust flecking my skin, more than my sober moments, my bright spots of clarity, you were everything. You were everything bright and ugly, despicable, nihilistic, determined, motivated, lackadaisical, and wistful in the world. You were human and flawed. You were...everything.


 

The door opened, there was a slight creaking noise where the hinges started to show their age, their rust. I was jolted back to the present. It wasn't three nights ago anymore. It was Thursday afternoon again. My therapist smiled warmly at me and her skirt billowed around her when she moved, her multicolored bracelets clinked against each other, and then she seemed to float over to me, soundless.


She sat down and I hadn't realized she had been speaking to me until her expression changed. She looked concerned. I chewed on my nails. Nervous tic. Fiddled with my phone and ignored your messages exclaiming for me to leave you “the FUCK alone, please!” and to talk to someone else locally, anyone. You'd contacted me since that night or maybe I had just imagined that it was you instead of it being someone else. Maybe you hadn't even called me at all too.


 

Maybe I was crazy...?


 

“How are you doing today?” My therapist kindly asked. I didn’t respond. I was in some strange visceral trance, occupying a headspace that was disturbingly solely populated by you. Population: You. Only you.


 

My therapist called my name afterward. It was always the same greeting. It always began the same way. There was usually a hug at the end of every session. I always sat with my hands clasped tightly as if I was in an hour-long prayer meditation that I didn't want to be in. This time my legs shook, first my left, then my right. I kept chewing the skin off of my lips. I laced my fingers together then steepled them like they were a thin towering spire. My therapist watched me and crossed her legs, I saw a peak of a russet-colored boot beneath her teal colored skirt. She had on a white blouse with cream colored buttons. Five. My grip tightened, fingers overlapped each other.


 

“I feel horrible. I can't get him out of my head...I've been drinking a little and...,” my chest was tight. I mentioned your name more times than I said my own now. I felt like I would vomit if I said anything more, if I talked, it would come out in rivulets of my barely digested breakfast which I had struggled to eat anyway. I kept silent and instead unfolded the torn papers, two of them, and handed them, crinkled to my worried therapist. Her mouth turned down in a frown and she wordlessly read them. She was peering at my words through glasses she'd taken from a brown purse on her desk.


 

“When did you write this?” was all she asked after several minutes of silence. I'd kept saying your name over and over again in my head during this time. Your first, then your middle name, and then your last names. Your birth mother's name and then your legal one was given to you by your foster parents.


 

I thought of how it was so German or Hungarian and how your birth mother's surname was so unavoidably and unmistakably Spanish. How you hated that part of yourself, I think, or at least you hardly mentioned it. How people always questioned your ethnicity, your racial identity, solely based on your appearance. I thought of how that supposed Spanish part of you literally died when you were ten years old. How could you mourn much of it anyway? You didn't explore that aspect of yourself. You were so Eastern European and it confused me because you looked anything but Caucasian.


 

My therapist called my name and shook me out of my reverie.


 

 

“I wrote it about a week ago.”


 

“What made you decide to write this list?” My therapist scribbled in her notepad and peered at me over the rims of her cat-eye glasses.


 

“I needed to get everything out of my head,” I answered uncertainly because I truly was. I did it on an impulse. On a whim. As easily as you would breathe air or slip into restful sleep.


 

“All of the things that reminded you of him?” My therapist asked. She paused to pick up a porcelain mug with I <3 Paris on it, emblazoned with a graphic of the Eiffel Tower on the side, and took a sip of what I guessed to be coffee or tea. I spotted the string dangling out of her mug. Tea. I nodded once, and gazed at my hands, balling them into fists in my lap. My nails dug unforgiving into my palms. I suddenly felt uncomfortable and naked. I needed something to hold. I needed a purse near my hip. I'd left the over-sized one I always carried at home.


 

“I want to purchase a ticket to go see him,” I found myself mumbling to my feet. The admittance made me tip over an invisible precipice. My footing had been curled with uncertainty and doubt. Now I felt myself slipping, the instantaneous dropping of the pit of my stomach, nausea sliding up my throat, the burning in my nostrils, at the corners of my eyes, and my tear ducts. There was the impending barrage of tears falling down my face, spattering the front of my AC/DC T-shirt.


 

My therapist told me to attend a local AA meeting and have Annalise discard any alcohol in the apartment. My therapist told me that any time I had an impulse I should write it down and write about why it was irrational and document what I could do instead. She told me to record what the truths of doing that impulse were. She gave me a list of coping skills and gently suggested that I utilize them any time I felt an obsession come on. I told her I would do just that and thanked her at the end of the session. As for my thoughts regarding you? I had to acknowledge that they were there and let them pass. She suggested that I fill my time, my space of being, with activities that were more productive. I nodded my head and said yes, I would do that too.


She said, “What about volunteering?”


 

I said, “Sure, I'll look into that.”


I didn't do anything my therapist had kindly suggested once I returned home.

 

Six hours later I opted to meet a friend of Annalise's that had incidentally been on Tinder. I found myself installing the application on a hopeless need to get over you. I tried to find someone who was nothing like you at all. Annalise's friend was it. He was still an army veteran. However, he didn't have tattoos. He only had a cat. He didn't live alone. His hair was fiery red. The brightly colored strands were speckled with russet. His face was pallid, the color of clotting cream and spattered with freckles. His cheeks were tinged with rosiness.


 

“Rosacea,” he admitted to me during our fifth text conversation. By the sixth, we'd traded pictures of each other naked. He was chubbier than you. Hairier too but not by much. His chest hair was in the shape of an hourglass and he had shaved his treasure trail and around his cock. On the matter of his cock, it was the color of “raw chicken flesh” as my cousin would have said. The tip was bulbous and pink. There was pearled pre-cum sluicing out of it. I touched myself and only got off on his breathy voice and how he wanted to “fucking cum so hard” inside of me.


 

After the sixth phone conversation, I opted to meet him in person. I told Annalise via a Post-It note that I left on the fridge. Whenever we were in a haste to do something: go to a doctor's appointment, a job interview, were on our way to work, the gym, or to screw a guy we just met—that was the method we resorted to for communication. We also would text each other and at worst leave a voicemail on the other person's phone if we started to worry about each other. We were mothering at times without meaning to be.


 

I slipped on black flats, dabbed on sheer pink lip gloss, patted some blush on my cheeks, rubbed in a creamy foundation, and lined my eyes with kohl eyeliner. I prettied myself up and then took out the rollers I had left in my hair overnight, tossing and turning as they stabbed viciously into the back of my head. The stupid things had left it throbbing. No beauty without torture. Some of us really did make the choice to endure suffering to become “beautiful” or “prettier” just to climb into a guy's bed or be pushed against a wall and fucked or to give him head in the back of a movie theater.


 

I met the guy about two blocks away from my apartment and tried not to think of you as we walked to a Japanese restaurant a few blocks down from where we lived. I thought about you anyway. We dined on sushi and he poured one of the packets of soy sauce onto his finger. While he chatted away I forgot his name and swallowed heavily before asking him to repeat it.

 

“I'm terrible with names,” I said and shoved sashimi into my mouth, clumsily holding a pair of chopsticks. When you had come to Winchester about a year ago, we had gone to a Japanese restaurant and you had tried to teach me how to hold them once.


“Like this,” you'd said, holding your chopstick expertly, first similar to how a student would hold their pencil, then holding the second one against your ring finger. I remember your voice being gentle, a rolling vocal wave, undulating softly, your lips curling into a close-mouthed smile, your eyes crinkling. I remembered wondering if they always crinkled. I remember having to attempt holding my own pair over several times before I finally halfway mastered it.


 

“Oh, it's fine, I can be too. I'm pretty forgetful and clumsy actually. The last girl I dated couldn't stand that,” Devon's voice ripped me violently from my daydreams and then he went on a spiel I could care less about in regards to every trait that his ex-girlfriend broke up with him over. She sounded intolerable and like a stuck up bitch and I just wanted to have sex because I could. It was also because I knew I could charm this guy by the end of the night. For women, for us, for girls, it was so easy. You had said that to me once and you had been so right. I missed you so much that night.


 

I cringed inwardly but outwardly smiled and laughed whenever it was appropriate at his jokes.

 

He told me that he had an action figure collection and rattled off facts about different comic book characters when I mentioned that I had recently seen Deadpool and idolized Batman as a kid without having ever read any of the comics. I just liked the TV shows. Somehow he was more than okay with that.


 

I did find myself genuinely listening to him but then I also started ruminating over you again—what were you doing? Probably working and going out more—socializing and being more productive overall. Were you seeing anyone? I could see you talking to a few girls. You were attractive enough, hot enough. Had you settled into your new condo comfortably? You probably had. Were you rock climbing again? You most likely were. Were you sleeping with a chick without the promise of commitment? Maybe you had. It was definitely possible.


 

The guy ate sushi with chopsticks. He told me his name was Devon but that it wasn't his actual name and that he'd changed it when he was fifteen. I suppressed the urge to tell him how stupid of a decision that was because supposed he would end up hating the name in the future?


 

Devon rambled on animatedly about his life—how his mother had died from cancer a few years back and he'd just lost his father, how he'd spent most of his childhood caring for his younger siblings, how he was working as a security guard now but wanted to earn more money. I thought that he sounded similar to you, how every guy I attracted were ones who were fundamentally broken and messed up human beings. They spilled all of their issues on dining room tables, in bedrooms, across computer screens, and in hotel bathrooms, or after they were done spilling their semen on my back, spent and exhausted from ramming repeatedly into me, moaning unintelligibly into my hairline.


I ended up sleeping with him. My eyes were squeezed shut the entire time. I clawed his back, dragged my freshly clipped nails down the straight rigid length and tore skin open. His muscles tensed deliciously but everything about him felt different. His stomach was softer, his skin rolled over on each other, he had love handles drooping from his arms and the sides of his belly bunched together in his jeans. Devon kept bemoaning how fat he was and asking if I was okay with it. I wasn't. I just pretended to be. Everything that dripped out of my mouth was dulcet-toned, syrupy, abhorrently saccharine, and false.


 

“Are you sure it's fine? I'm 225 now but I want to get down to 185. I used to be when I was in the military, never had a six pack though,” he admitted nervously. I kissed him hard on the mouth, almost painfully, because I just wanted him to shut up. He annoyed me more than anyone I had ever laid down with. I kept insisting that, no his body was fine that way, and it was okay that he was a little soft, and there was more to hold, and he would be cuddlier. In reality, I wanted the hardness of your stomach that was softening from your neglect. You hadn't exercised in so long. You had been self-conscious too but you actually liked being active and looked forward to crafting a custom workout plan for yourself. You even had wanted to get me involved.


 

I thought of water pearling and sluicing down your back, your corded muscles rippling over that beautiful back, your powerful thighs defined from years of swimming, backpacking, and rock-climbing, your broad shoulders, and then beads of water drifting down to your navel. I pictured your hands gripping my hips and pulling me tightly against your heated body, the spray of hot water beating down on our reddened and raw skin. I wanted to have sex with you. I didn't want anyone else to. I was at once being possessive while selfishly pursuing a man's body purely to feel something, anything, in my hollowed body, in my skeletal shell. I was clearly screwed up and being manipulative but I was reeling in a fervent and consistent sadness, an awareness that I was now alone, an emotional malaise, and I wouldn't come home to your nightly phone calls or you video chatting with me on Skype.


 

It was when I began to cry as he came that I realized I had been staring up at the model airplanes dangling from the white ceiling of his bedroom. I counted eight of them. I thought of how you'd said once that parachuting from an airplane had been something that hadn't scared you shitless because it was just part of what you'd needed to endure during your training.


“It was something I needed to learn. Love is like that,” I imagined you saying, your hands delicately gripping one of your little plastic alien men for your war board game. You would move one hand while talking to me, your gaze directed at the small alien plastic creature, and that hand would momentarily disappear from my view during our video chat. Your fingers would be poised around one of the thinner paintbrushes, your mouth set in a thin line of concentration. The paintbrush would be a number 2, denoting its size. Then you would begin to paint methodically, as if in a trance, almost unaware of my presence, my eyes flitting over your every minute movement in your chair.


 

It was when I imagined you holding my face in the inky darkness of your room, palms caressing my cheeks, you gazing intently into my eyes with your own, the softened bluish light filtered through your bedroom curtains, that I began to cry. It was a conjured memory that didn't exist yet. At first, the sound was a small pitiful mewl like the noise of a dying small creature—a rabbit or fawn, and then I bit down on Devon's shoulder, my teeth clamping desperately, marking him with incisor and canine. He'd thought I was crying because of how amazing he was when I was sobbing, muffling my cries, burying my nose against his shoulder because I was desperately trying to find you even in him.


 

I tried to find you in everything—my morning coffee, tried to feel the fading ghostly imprints of your fingers trailing over the continent of my body, flat plane of my stomach, twisted spine-spire...and in men. I tried to find you mostly in men. I discovered that you were everywhere else but inside of Devon. I realized that he could not replace you and that’s why I suppressed every strangled cry tearing out of my throat.


 

I left the morning after, stepping over Devon's discarded clothing. There was his black Wolverine t-shirt and over-sized faded jeans that he'd slung carelessly over his office chair in an attempt to get back to sloppily kissing me the night before. The house was quiet, eerily dark with muted gray light. Dull sunlight and dust motes gave an ethereal look to the otherwise drab space. No one was home, it was just Devon upstairs in his bedroom. If I was supposed to feel guilty or bad about using him—his body that I didn't care for or admire, then I didn't. I ended up calling for an Uber and texted Annalise that I would be back in a little bit. I didn't return any of Devon's phone calls or text messages. Instead, I immediately looked up flights to Delaney and began to compose a message on Curse.


 

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