“Hey, you.” It sits down on the edge of the bathtub.
“If you told me when I was little that I’d have an imaginary friend now, I wouldn’t have believed you,” I say, laughing nervously at the end.
“I’m not your friend,” it says.
I look at my legs then feel them. They are a little prickly, it’s been a few days since I’ve shaved them. I run a single finger up and down my right shin, “Yeah, I know. I wish things were different though.” It says nothing in response. This entity, I have chosen to name it Francisco, sits on the edge of the tub presumptuously, judging my very existence with its soulless, white eyes. It looks at its hand, completely made out of black ink; made of the black ooze of my depression.
“So ovulation, huh?”
“You know,” I say, “you used to not talk.”
“I evolve. Just like you. I am you.”
“Is it ovulation?”
I feel my legs again. I should shave, but what’s the point really? There isn’t one. Ovulation. “What if it’s not.”
Francisco shrugs, “It probably is. It usually is.”
I feel my stomach. I’ve gained thirty pounds in the past few months. I am overweight for the first time in my life, according to the doctor. I must not have problems right now. “Must be it then.”
“Another mystery solved in the world of manic-depression.” It stares off into the distance, the short distance to the shelf on the wall.
I look at it, “Then why are you still here?”
It shrugs again, “Must still need me, I suppose.”
I sit on the floor of the tub, letting the shower rain down on me. I lean forward and let the porcelain touch the front of my body. The tub’s embrace is cold with warm water. Why am I here, the tub asks me, why am I like this.
“Why are you like this,” Francisco asks me. He lifts my head up, wrapping his fingers around my chin and throat. It makes me stare into its eyes, the loveliest voids the world has ever seen. Francisco’s eyes may even possess the truth about me that I have been looking for, the truth I cannot decipher. It will never tell me the answer though, why would it. I can’t blame my parents. I can only blame myself for being like this.
“Yes, you can blame them. But will that really solve your problems?” It asks me.
I can’t blame it on love.
“Kinda,” it says while shrugging.
I can’t says it’s stress. I feel like I don’t even work that much, let alone be stressed about it.
“The stress of hating yourself.”
That’s what people say.
I nod back. I stare at the floor of the tub, water wrapping around me. “I know.” My eyes are tired. It stares me, slowly blinking. It pats my head. “Ovulation. We go through this every month.”
I lay on my side, always thinking it’s something else. Right now, I know it’s not. I look up. It is gone. I still tell it that I know it’s ovulation, but my brain will always tell me that it’s my fault that I am like this.
About the Author
Lucy Loo Wales is a freelance medical illustrator, graphic designer, and comic book artist. She works for a local chiropractor’s office in her home town, Endicott, NY, as the social media and patient outreach director. Outside of work she writes and illustrates own comics, creates artwork for clients, and is preparing for her upcoming gallery show in September 2020. When she is not doing that, she loves to visit her cat, Rorschach, and roller skate.