The Patient

The Patient

Sometimes I want to actually talk to my mother, and tell her she was wrong. I’ve seen her cry quite a few times since I left, but I couldn’t really do anything. Sometimes I try to make my presence known, but I’m fairly new to this and I have no idea how to talk to the living. And my family doesn’t believe in ghosts.

What a sad life, eh?

Nobody believed in me when I was alive and nobody believes in me now either.

It’s been two weeks since I died.

I grew up in a family of doctors, and my dad, who’s now fifty, is the snappiest person I’ve known. My mum is the loudest woman I’ve ever met. She can scream loud enough to give any random banshee a run for her money. But my parents have only been this way with me. With other people, they’re nice as eff. And it’s weird to me.

I was supposed to be married in a few months, and every morning my Dad would body-shame me by way of morning greeting.

“You look like a skeletal vulture,” he’d say, “So ugly and malnourished.”

I wasn’t allowed out of the house and nobody took my symptoms seriously. See, mental health issues are always overlooked in Indian households. And when you’re unable to fall asleep, or eat properly and when the whole cycle of body-shaming and abuse becomes super intense, you end up dead.

Which is what happened to me.

I blacked out and fell down the stairs one morning. No one was home and I watched my body lie there for six hours before anyone found me. My mum screamed like a banshee but this time I wasn’t going to wake up, despite all the slapping.

It’s funny how they ignore the living, but try to revive the dead instead.

“Tattoo”

“Tattoo”

Madison had just moved into a new apartment with her boyfriend Jonah, a tattoo-artist.

Maddie dressed up as as a vampire on Halloween. Jonah said he loved it, at least a million times, while they were going down to their friend Pete’s, for one of those epic Halloween parties. It was tradition practically. They’d all get drunk and eat too much and just have a good time, and catch up with old friends.

“I wish you’d do your makeup like that everyday,” Jonah kept saying.

Maddie just smiled and looked happy. He’d never complimented her so much before.

The party got wild. Maddie couldn’t remember when or how she went to bed: she was completely wasted.

While brushing her teeth after having overslept, she felt a sharp pain in the face and noticed she’d forgotten to take off her makeup. It was only after she’d gone through two bottles of makeup remover that she realized that Jonah had tattooed on the dark cranberry lipstick on her lips.