The pressure was becoming unbearable. If at any moment a single breath could tear open her flesh, allowing a stream of black to flood onto the floor. Every cell pulled and strained against each other trying to stay together and break apart. The fact that there was no need to be panicking should have made it easier not to panic, but that’s never really the case. There was always a need to panic. There was always the noise – the noise and the pressure. She felt the tightness in her chest swallow up her heart. Her eyesight faltered as her breath caught in her throat. Her thoughts raced around her mind like raindrops in a monsoon. There was no way to stop the force of nerves that coursed through her body. She was too far gone to hear the rationality of life settled into the background of noise and confusion. There was no calm and no rational. There was only the fear of continuing to live like this.

*beep, beep, beep*

Amiella reached over and picked up her phone. Along the edge she found the switch for silence. Usually her phone stayed on silent. There was enough noise running through her mind that the constant invasive buzz or beep of a phone was excessive. However, Amiella had been waiting for a call from her pharmacy. There had been a problem refilling her prescription and was waiting for confirmation from the pharmacist that it had been rectified. It seemed to be an exercise in futility. There would be no help for her. There never was. Amiella forced her right eye open, squeezing the left so tight she felt her contact squish in between her eyelid and actual eyeball. Across the screen her shitty best friend’s name flashed – eight new messages. She must have forgotten to open the ones from yesterday. Amiella rolled on to her back. Falling asleep on the couch always left her body as twisted as her mind seemed to be. Placing her phone face down against her stomach, she stretched her arms back behind her head and tried to remember how and when she ended up there. She was wearing her black tank top – the one with the tear in between the lace and the cotton in the front, not the one with the hole above her bellybutton with the blue flecks of paint stained on the side – and her winter boxers. They smelled faintly of cigarette smoke, oatmeal coriander soap, and sleep. She wasn’t wearing a bra or underwear. Her hair was knotted in a bun – her hair tie was on her wrist. Taking a deep breath, Amiella pulled her knees up and slid herself further into the cushions of her ratty couch forcing herself to sit up a little. Enough that her phone slid down to her lap. In total she had 28 unread text messages, 33 missed calls, 14 voicemails, and none of them were from a doctor or pharmacist. She didn’t check her social media notifications or her emails. The date on her phone read Wednesday, October 17th. Amiella had gotten home from the pharmacy on Sunday. She remembered because she had wanted to stop at the liquor store on the way home, which required her to drive 20 minutes out of her way over state lines to find a liquor store opened on a Sunday. She walked in her door carrying a brown paper bag filled with glass bottles, one bag of limes and lemons, two packs of cigarettes, and a bag of beef jerky. You never knew when it would start to snow. At least that’s what she had told herself as she peeled off her wet clothes and threw them into the tub and she put on her pajamas from the night before. She told work she had come down with a terrible cold and wouldn’t be making it into the store. She had settled down into her couch – window fan running full force, a candle burning – with her anxiety and a cooler filled with her purchases. At some point she had fallen asleep. At some point she had fallen away from reality.

Looking at her phone, Amiella blinked. Her phone said it was Friday. She must have read it wrong before. She reached for her cigarettes – she had one left. She must have left the other pack on the table. What if she hadn’t? What if she had only bought one? What if she had to go back out? She couldn’t use her credit card for one purchase. That was silly. She was planning on waiting until her prescription had been refilled. This way she could make all her purchases at once. What if she had planned it all wrong? What if the pharmacy never straightened it out. Amiella’s phone lit up. Incoming call – she squinted to read the name. By the time her right eye focused, the light died and the ringing stopped. Amiella dropped her phone on the table and reached for her last cigarette. Lighting it with her baby blue lighter, she stood from the couch and shuffled into the kitchen. There were no cigarettes on the counter. She would have to back to the store.

Amiella finished her cigarette in the bathroom, using the toilet as an ashtray. She removed her boxers, and grabbed a sweatshirt from the back of the door. It felt cool – almost damp over her tank top. On the floor Amiella found a pair of grey leggings, she pulled them up her legs struggling against the fabric’s resistance. Her bathroom smelled of wet dog and smoke. Tossing her cigarette into the toilet, she reached into the medicine cabinet grabbing an orange bottle with the label half peeled off. Daily doses, she thought to herself.

Amiella reached over and picked up her phone. Along the edge she found the switch for silence. Usually her phone stayed on silent. There was enough noise running through her mind that the constant invasive buzz or beep of a phone was excessive. However, Amiella had been waiting for a call from her pharmacy. There had been a problem refilling her prescription and was waiting for confirmation from the pharmacist that it had been rectified. It seemed to be an exercise in futility. There would be no help for her. There never was. Amiella forced her right eye open, squeezing the left so tight she felt her contact squish in between her eyelid and actual eyeball Monday, October 22nd. Placing her phone face down against her stomach, she stretched her arms back behind her head and tried to remember how and when she ended up there. She was wearing her black tank top – the one with the tear in between the lace and the cotton in the front, not the one with the hole above her bellybutton with the blue flecks of paint stained on the side – and her winter boxers. They smelled of cigarette smoke and sleep. She wasn’t wearing a bra or underwear. Her hair was knotted in a bun – her hair tie was on her wrist. Taking a deep breath, Amiella pulled her knees up and slid herself further into the cushions of her ratty couch forcing herself to sit up a little. Enough that her phone slid down to her lap. In total she had 42 unread text messages, 62 missed calls, 14 voicemails, and none of them were from a doctor or pharmacist.

The pressure was becoming unbearable. If at any moment a single breath could tear open her flesh, allowing a stream of black to flood onto the floor. Every cell pulled and strained against each other trying to stay together and break apart. The fact that there was no need to be panicking should have made it easier not to panic, but that’s never really the case. There was always a need to panic. There was always the noise – the noise and the pressure. She felt the tightness in her chest swallow up her heart. Her eyesight faltered as her breath caught in her throat. Her thoughts raced around her mind like raindrops in a monsoon. There was no way to stop the force of nerves that coursed through her body. There was one, Amiella grabbed her prescription bottle from off the coffee table – daily doses and emergencies she thought. She shook out the last two pills and swallowed them with the last bit of warm white wine. Amiella shuddered. There was more wine in the fridge that was cold. She pushed herself from the couch and shuffled into the kitchen. From the fridge she grabbed a half bottle of white wine and a pack of cigarettes. Amiella returned to the couch with the wine and her cigarettes. Her prescription bottle was on the table and empty. The pressure was traveling up her spine – she had forgotten to get her meds from the bathroom. Amiella turned around and made her way around her couch, down the hall to the bathroom. Her bathroom smelled, but she was at a loss as to what. Grabbing her pill case, Amiella returned to her couch. She had forgotten to take her pills the past three days according to her case. She could be so useless sometimes – the noise amplified in her head. Grabbing a bottle of wine from the countertop Amiella twisted off the sealed cap and took her pills.

*beep, beep, beep*

Amiella’s mom reached over and picked up her phone. She had hoped it was her daughter – instead it was number she didn’t recognize.

“Mrs. Montgomery? This is Officer…” Alice’s hearing stopped with her heart, “your daughter, ma’am. It’s your daughter, Amiella. We’re contacting you as her next of kin…”

2 Replies to “Amiella”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.