“What’s wrong?” she asks, hesitantly, not really wanting to hear the answer she expects around the corner of his voice.

“Nothing,” he grimaces, “honestly, it’s fine,” he replied with a scowl. He always hated himself when he lied. “It’s fine. Just the same shit,” he finishes his half-thought, more so out of resentment rather than satisfaction. (He’s been lying a lot lately.)

“Alright,” she responds, vacant, in resignation, wanting something to change; wanting it to be ‘better’, but having no idea what ‘better’ is. It’s hard to use superlatives when everything is a consistently leveled field of unhappiness.

He begins again: “It’s…” and just as quickly and as randomly as he started, he stopped. A moment passed, speech in-utero. “It’s just…” he tried to continue, holding onto everything, shoving into himself and his throat everything he wanted to say, but he can’t swallow it. He took another moment. “It was easy to get into my mind; that shit only took a second…”

She hesitates: “Yeah?”

“It’s jus the ‘getting out’ that’s killing me.”

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