Dear Diary

May 29, 2013

Better than fiction!

Britney

I get asked to prom on the same day that I have a panic attack on a staircase at school.

The asking happens in social studies, while we’re supposed to be discussing whether the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary. He is sitting next to me, and we are talking, when suddenly he says, “Will you go to prom with me?” My hands freeze on the spot of my skirt that I had been absent-mindedly rubbing, and suddenly I am aware of everything I’m doing and every thought in my mind. Later on, a friend who was watching—I’d forgotten there were people around us—said that I answered without hesitating, but in my memory, a string of thoughts flew through my head. There is a twinge of excitement, but I am more or less the same Britney who overthinks everything and is stuck between calculated and completely spontaneous answers.

“Sure,” I say nonchalantly. I can’t tell if I’m intentionally trying to sound calm or if I’m so confused by what just happened that my brain is helping my mouth form words. His face lights up and he wraps his arms around me in a hug, attracting stares from the people around us. He turns to a friend of mine, who is sitting next to him. “She said yes!” he exclaims. She looks at me, her face stoic, before going back to the worksheet. He turns and begins talking to someone else, and I look up at one of my best friends, who is sitting diagonally from my desk. Her face is contorted into the oddest expression. I can’t help laughing as I ask, “What? What’s wrong?”

“You said yes!” she says, and I can’t tell if she is as confused as I am or happy. I nod, and she gives a small laugh, one that sounds like more of a cough.

“You’re a real trouper, Britney,” says the girl sitting across from me. She doesn’t like the boy who asked me to prom, and I stare uncomfortably at my hands, which are covered in small, red grooves from wringing them.

I have math class next period, and of course, one of the people who bullied me a few months ago happens to be there, grinning: “So, you’re going to the prom with Logan.*” I nod, and his smile widens, transforming him into a blonde Cheshire cat. “You must be really desperate,” he says. Some people think that my prom date is annoying and rude, but he’s not. He is one of the most comforting people that I know, and one of the only ones who genuinely likes me, even at my worst.

I want to tell him that I’m not desperate, that I actually do want to go with Logan, but there is no use, because (1) he wouldn’t believe me, and (2) he has already told his group of friends. The rest of the period is filled with endless comments, like “Why would you say yes?” or “I feel really bad for you, Britney.”

Around the 15th remark, the room seems to be closing in on me. It is odd, something I’ve never felt before: Everything in front of me begins to shrink, but the voices are still there. They follow me even as the darkness appears. “I have to go,” I blurt out, jumping up so that my chair falls to the floor. My math teacher looks up at me in surprise. “May I, uh, go to the bathroom?” I ask, pointing to the door. She nods, and I rush out of the room, ignoring her as she tells to me take a pass.

I stand in the middle of the hallway, surrounded by doors and classrooms, unsure of where to go. The bathroom is off-limits. There is the risk of having to sit in a stall listening to prolonged conversations, and I don’t want to listen to anyone right now. I don’t know how, but my brain is able to tell my legs to move, and I end up sitting on the staircase, shaking. I lean against one of the handrails and hold my head in my hands, heaving sobs erupting every second. It isn’t only because of what people are saying about me. No, it’s more than that. It feels like every bad thing that has ever happened to me is taking a serious toll. I am reminded of my friend’s death, and all the times that I felt depressed, and all the horrible names that I have ever been called. I want to be at home under my duvet, where I used to pretend that ghosts were after me and that I was safe just by being there. It is the only source of comfort for me right now.

I can barely breathe. Every time I try to inhale, it feels like something is blocking the air from entering my throat. I stare at the stairs, my brain rushing to make sense of everything. I want to throw myself down them. I want to wake up in a hospital room with people who care about me and escape all the whispers and taunting…

But I can’t. I decide not to, because I’m afraid of getting hurt, afraid of breaking my bones. I feel stupid as I walk back to my classroom, still shaking, but not as much as before. ♦

* Name has been changed

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28 Comments

  • strawberryhair May 29th, 2013 7:02 PM

    Rubyyyyyyyyyyyyyy <3

  • book_kitty May 29th, 2013 7:14 PM

    Britney: You seem vulnerable right now, and I kind of feel the same way. Hang in there, girl. We can get through this (hopefully).

    Ruby: AADJKFLS OMG I HAVE LITERALLY BEEN SEARCHING FOR YOUR KIND OF FRIENDS MY ENTIRE LIFE

  • wishfulwanderer May 29th, 2013 7:18 PM

    GAHH, Ruby! You have the best friends!

  • KatGirl May 29th, 2013 7:36 PM

    love the gilmore girls reference!

  • thelilacparadox May 29th, 2013 7:42 PM

    Ruby, your friends (and you, of course) must be some of the most amazing people in the world. I’m so glad you’ve found them and they’ve found you.

  • eremiomania May 29th, 2013 7:50 PM

    Eternally jealous of your friends, Ruby!

  • flapperhatgirl May 29th, 2013 7:58 PM

    I really liked this week’s diaries.
    Britney, stay strong… Your post was really moving.
    Also, I thought Naomi’s post was great.

  • Sophie ❤ May 29th, 2013 8:00 PM

    OH GOSH, rookie, why do I always have to live your posts so much?! I totally ADORE each entry this time, which is kind of usual for me, actually. I loved Ruby’s especially, though. Thanks, guys!

    -Sophie :)

    Drop by my blog:

    http://plainlysophie.com

  • Christi May 29th, 2013 8:00 PM

    Katherine:

    I 100% understand your entry! I often feel the same way that you do. Hang in there!

  • Abby May 29th, 2013 8:37 PM

    RUUUUBYYY… I wish boys would text me beautiful quotes from E. E. Cummings poems… :(

    And Katherine I totally feel you. I sometimes feel terrible for complaining… like, there are kids starving in the world and I’m whining about how I feel lonely?? But I’m trying to get myself to remember lately… just because someone has it worse doesn’t make our trials any less difficult. We have to give legitimacy to our problems, or they’ll consume us.

  • angusyoung4eva May 29th, 2013 8:40 PM

    Ruby, that sounds like such a great experience! And that poem!!!! :D

  • tasmia May 29th, 2013 8:57 PM

    :( Britney I feel for you. One of my favourite quotes that helps me when I’m feel like perpetual crap is from avatar. It goes like, “Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place.”

  • Kourtney May 29th, 2013 9:00 PM

    Ruby: You have THE most wonderful friends!! They’re the kind of people I dream of having in my life every day. So happy for you! :)

    Britney: Hang in there! I hope you go to prom and have an amazing time. Feel better <3

    Katherine: I've dealt with something similar. I hated when people pitied me, or asked me if I was okay a million times, but I began to wonder how if my sour facial expression was more visible than I thought.

  • loonylizzy May 29th, 2013 9:32 PM

    love these diaries. this is honestly one of my favorite rookie features!

    ruby – your friends sound like mine! i’m so glad that you have them to help you discover the awesomeness of cuddling :)

    katherine – i love your diaries, never change them. you’re brilliant.

    britney – i can relate. panic attacks suck royally, especially when they ambush you in the middle of a public place. i’m so sorry you had to go through that. i hope you feel better soon and have tons of fun at prom!

    http://www.theflightoftheflamingo.blogspot.com

  • momobaby May 29th, 2013 11:37 PM

    Katherine – I know what you mean about how your written persona doesn’t truly reflect who you are. I think it’s really hard to write a true reflection yourself because you will always be biased in one way or the other, either positive or negative, and I think really impressive that you realize this and are making an effort to convey your personality as truthfully as possible.

    Ruby – I adore you and am so glad that you have found somewhere that you feel truly happy and at peace. I miss your blog, but am so happy I still get the chance of looking into your head every week. Friends are the best aren’t they?

    http://www.littlerebellia.blogspot.com

  • rachelsea May 30th, 2013 3:13 AM

    KATHERINE! I wish you had been a writer for Gilmore Girls. That whole “housewife” episode would have been way better with your alternate ending. PS: Dean was the woooooooorrrrrrrrrssst

  • Zoe May 30th, 2013 7:08 AM

    Oh Ruby, I want your friends.
    But Britney, that sounds awful )-: I hope you feel better. You deserve to feel good.

  • AidaA May 30th, 2013 7:43 AM

    Naomi – I’m an english student too; I know exactly what you mean about trying to make your own life as poetic as the things you read x

    http://sunshinesuperwoman.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Tara A. May 30th, 2013 9:20 AM

    Wow, I loved all of these diary entries. Britney, your post was really moving and I hope you feel better too x

    https://www.unlockingpandorasbox.blogspot.com

  • Tara May 30th, 2013 10:48 AM

    gosh these weeks diaries are so so good.
    Britney-I am so sorry. That is terrible that people have made you feel like that. To be honest-I relate. In tenth grade friends of mine made fun of me for liking a geeky guy and I really, really liked him.
    Naomi-YOU ROCK BEAUTY QUEEN. AND YOU KNOW IT.
    Ruby-your diary was so lovely. cuddling is so nice.
    Katherine-perfect diary. yes.
    (also hi other Tara!)

    • Anaheed May 30th, 2013 11:31 AM

      Now do Caitlin’s!

      • Tara May 30th, 2013 12:16 PM

        oh yes WHY DIDN’T I DO CAITLIN’S I love Caitlin! she is always marvelous :) Caitlin all I can say is don’t be nervous! if you have clothes you want to wear WEAR THEM don’t worry about what other people think of you! your drawing is beautiful.

  • snow white May 30th, 2013 1:59 PM

    You have amazing friends! That’s all that matters and I hope that every girl in school can have such a great group of friends or even one friend like that.

    xoxo

    princerepeller.blogspot.com

  • GlitterKitty May 30th, 2013 3:28 PM

    Caitlin just summed up all my clothing problems in one picture.

  • abby111039 May 30th, 2013 4:27 PM

    Caitlin, I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM. Seriously. And Ruby, your friends sound absolutely fantastic. <3