A Conversation

“Hey”

“Hi. Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“Relax. I am a friend. My name is Amy.”

“Hi, Amy. I am Zubaida, but everyone calls me Zee.”

“I know, Zee. I have always been around you.”

“What do you mean, Amy? What are you doing here?”

“I was born here. I have always been here.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know. Forget about me. You tell me what are you doing here? You don’t seem like you belong here.”

“What do you mean by that Amy?”

“Look at you. You are young, so beautiful, you look so full of life. This is not a place where you should be.”

“You won’t understand. Nobody does.”

“Try me.”

“اضطراب”

“What?”

“اضطراب”

“What does that even mean, Zee? I don’t understand. Is that gibberish?”

“This. This is exactly why I won’t talk about it. Nobody wants to understand. It seems like I am speaking in a language they can’t comprehend. And then they start judging me and say hurtful things. Look where it has landed me.”

“You can talk to me. I won’t judge you, promise.”

“اضطراب means anxiety and that’s what’s got me here.”

“Anxiety? I am sorry I don’t understand. What is anxiety like?”

“Underwater.”

“Underwater?”

“Yeah. It is like living underwater.”

“Like SpongeBob?”

“Yeah, like SpongeBob except it is not as much fun.”

“So what is it like then?”

“Have you ever tried walking through a swimming pool with your head below the surface?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, living with anxiety is like that. Everything you do seems to take a lot of effort. Smallest of the things tire you out. You can’t speak, you can’t breathe. You are constantly drowning, except it isn’t water but emotions that you have been bottling up within you. You are living inside the sea of your emotions. But nobody can see that.”

*knock**kock*

“Who are you talking to, Zee?”

“No one, Sister.”

“Okay. It’s way past the bed time. Your meds should have kicked in by now. You should try and sleep now. You want to be well rested for your evaluation, don’t you?”

“Yes, Sister. Good night, Sister.”

“Good night.”

“What eval-“

“Shhh.”