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The Choice

The Choice

By Nelly Levytska

“How are you feeling today?”

Bella and Dr. Menell were sitting in a small, sad, stuffy room in a small, sad, stuffy building. Same place, same time, 3 times a week.
Dr Menell was a nice woman around 30 who decided to dedicate her life to working in that sad, stuffy, building on the edge of the road trying to fix the undoubtedly broken while her boyfriend was a lazy cheater around the same age, working at some boring 9 to 5 finance office job. It wasn’t a match made in heaven, very far from it but she still stuck around. Dani biked to work every day, with her awfully dyed ginger hair flying around in the wind from under her childish helmet. That was her favourite time. Freedom. It was just her and nothing else mattered, not even her beloved job or shitty boyfriend. She tried her best; and sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t.

Bella was a pretty 13 year old girl. Her life was perfect on paper; the side that she let people read. The family was together, wealthy enough to afford more than normal people could, she was bright and gifted, lots of friends and for what it mattered, she had plenty of boys after her. Something was wrong with her though, something that wasn't plainly obvious, something that wasn’t on paper; some called it attention-seeking or a phase in life that she’ll grow out of before she turns 15, as if the problem was her style or something minor and irrelevant like that.

“You’re getting so much better. Well done Bella!”

Bella was staring out the window uninterestedly watching the pigeons poking at the ground around her driver’s car and the same faces she sees every time she’s there, walking in and out. She wasn’t keen on getting better. Dani hoped that maybe somewhere deep down Bella wanted to recover and hoped that she was actually trying but being one fucked up mess and that empty feeling no one could describe was all Bella knew.
She let out the biggest sigh and rolled her eyes so far back.

“Meh, sure.”

Let’s define “Meh, sure”. As previously mentioned, Bella’s life was perfect on paper. The other side though, the truth, was so far from perfect. She grew up in a beautiful house, in a nice expensive area of town. Her dad stuck around but he wasn’t present. He left money in her mum’s hands so everything got paid for while her mum made sure Bella had everything and more than she did growing up. She loved him though. Her mum was anorexic in denial, abusive, and treated her kids like projects but boy did she work hard on her little projects.

Bella was the failed and disappointing one. She was smart and pretty but one day she got addicted. Addicted to drawing on herself with a silver blade leaving red droplets on her porcelain skin. Addicted to getting on her knees next to the toilet after every meal. Addicted to doing anything in hope that it wouldn’t leave her waking up in the hospital but instead in the crammed graveyard just outside town. She was addicted to the feeling, the numbingly empty feeling that filled her up more and more as days went by and the pain she used to get her through it. She desperately wanted to know why she was like this while others she knew were normal - whatever normal supposed to mean. She just wanted to know why she didn’t have a choice but to deal with it.
Her mum was convinced Bella was just a stupid, bored teenager trying to prove a point that no one cares about because whoever came up with mental illness, and the rest of it, was full of shit. The painful irony. So there she was fooling Dani and even herself into thinking she’s all better. Pathetic.

“Sorry we’re out of time; we’ll carry this on next time. We’ll get you all better soon. Nearly there.” Bella lazily pulled herself up off the chair and walked straight out through the heavy wooden door. “Fuck off.”
That was the only thought in her head, now more than ever.

She knew the second she came home, her mum, sitting on her favourite white sofa, wearing a towel dressing gown, would do nothing other than mock Bella. She always did that. Bella used to start fights, lots of shouting and flying objects, but now a year later, she just walks away, wondering why can’t her mum just give her a hug.

“How was the loony bin? Are you still not done with your act? Ha childish girl”

Bella sighed, rolled her eyes and walked straight upstairs, slamming and locking the door behind her. Nearly mum. Nearly. She opened the top drawer in her dresser, shuffled through it to pull out a small, white, handcrafted wooden box. She bought it in Italy from an old, sweet Italian man who smiled at her and called her “Bella Ragazza”. She twiddled with the box, pulled a key out and opened it. Such a pretty jewellery box but such a heart-rending scene once you opened it. A couple of small pills and an old blade fell out and rolled under the dresser.


Bella pulled herself up and stared in the mirror.

“You should go ahead and do it. Nobody knows who you are, you aren’t going to be missed. Nobody even likes you. You pulled the box out on purpose. You know it. Do it. Do it. DO IT!”

She slid back down on the floor hugging her knees while little salty tears ran down her face taking the overpriced mascara with them. She looked to the side, staring at the little white box overflowing with pills, a bottle of Smirnoff under her bed and shakily reached for a handful. And another. And another. Until there was nothing left.

“Bella, dinner! Not like you keep it down anyway. What's the point of eating if you’ll throw it all up. Just don’t eat. Oh whatever, Bella! Of course, the door is locked. God, you’re so childish.”

Bella’s mum pulled out a set of keys and slowly unlocked the door to be greeted by her daughter's fragile body, cold on the floor next to an empty bottle of Smirnoff that went missing from the bar ages ago and a beautiful wooden jewellery box.

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About The Author
Nelly Levytska
About This Story
4 Sep, 2021
Read Time
5 mins
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