MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



“Do you like this on me?”

Raya was holding a black jumpsuit up against her petit frame.

“Yes, but you’ll need heels.”

Gemma tells her and Kylee nods in agreement.

“So, why aren’t you coming out again?”

Raya walks over to the shoe section.

Gemma and Kylee follow along, browsing here and there.

“Because,” Gemma said,

“I don’t want to drink.”



She tried but for the life of her,

could not think of what to say other than the truth.

“I can’t.”

“Oh my god. Are you fucking pregnant?”

Raya turns around dramatically to look Gemma in the eyes.

“No, what? No. ”

“Well what the fuck Gem,

why can’t you drink?”

Her eyes widen suddenly and she opens her mouth wide,

“Oh,” She says, “Are you on antidepressants?”

Gemma didn’t answer.

It wasn’t something that she wanted anyone to know about. In fact she kept most things about herself private, even from her closest friends.

“Yea, I, ugh experience really bad anxiety

and it makes me go to a really bad place.

It’s just been so much worse than usual lately.”

“Awe Gem,

you know that stuff’s all in your head right?

You totally don’t need anything, your life is fine, you will be fine.”

“I don’t think it works like that.” Kylee intervenes.

Gemma feels instantly reminded and validated in her reasoning not to open up to people. She has never felt understood by anyone except maybe Kylee.

It was a

l o n e l y e x i s t e n c e .

And yet something hopeful inside of her wanted to reach out to anyone and everyone.

To c o n n e c t .

To find commonalities and genuinely engage in soulful discussion

about passion and curiosities.

But failure and disappointment fast follow introductions--

And while she can never link herself to another, she somehow sensed it was her fault.

That while the people around her often disappointed her, she was a disappointment herself.

She could not keep up with all that was expected and assumed of her since she was a child...

there was too much they wanted her to be and none of it was real.


she would no longer reach out.

A lonely existence was better than a corrupt self.

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