She needed to scream. All at once, and seemingly out of nowhere, everything piled on top of her; it was getting too much. How did life become so unknown? she thought. One day she had it all planned out, everything was going smoothly and running to her schedule, the next… Well, it was just hurdle after hurdle.
At work, bewildered management piled on ever-multiplying tasks, with little regard for their already dwindling staff. Their own jobs kept them busy enough that they ran over each day, but now… Now they were given the work of their peers; each person doing the work of three. It was getting too much.
“It’ll be ok!” they all said, “You’re leaving soon!” But secretly that stressed her even more. Her brave smile, and talk of greener pastures, was an elaborate disguise attempting to mask the fear she felt in the pit of her stomach; the uncertainty of change. Work was busy now, yes, but she understood it. It stressed her no end, but she fit in. Neither of those factors were guaranteed when she moved… And there was that word again; “move”.
The house move meant she got no respite at home either. When long days, of long hours, finally came to a close she found no solace at home. Instead, more tasks awaited her, more things to take on board. There were boxes, and family, and pets to sort out. Things needed specific packaging, furniture needed deconstructing, her house was no longer a home, it was an unwelcoming, organised chaos that constantly permeated her thoughts. It was getting too much.
“It’ll be OK!” They all said, with ignorant smiles. “You’ll move house soon! You’ll have a new job, a new life, a new beginning. It. Will. Be. Ok!” Well what if it wasn’t OK? she thought, what if it wasn’t fucking OK?. She knew that if she took a breath now, she’d drown. The stress would fill her lungs, and she would suffocate from it. It’s just too much, she kept thinking, as each possible scenario played out within her mind. So much could go wrong, so much had gone wrong. There were high tensions and arguments, there were nightmares and fearful thoughts. She just wanted to get away from it all, or at least to have a nights rest, and the more she thought about it, the more it piled on top of her. The more the people told her how easy it would all be, how she’d look back on this time and laugh, the more she wanted to just scream. She felt it, building up inside her, swelling within her like a primal instinct needing release, and yet at the same time she felt it on top her, holding her down and smothering her till she could breathe no more. Her body walked a fine line between explosion and implosion and it was getting to much…
When she came too was on the floor, the old, well trodden carpet at her eye level; the strands uprooted and messy where the cat had pulled it to shreds with its anxious scratching. It’s just too much, she thought when she realised she had fainted; that it had overwhelmed her to the point of physical collapse. She then became aware that she wasn’t alone. To her side, she saw her partner, lying on the floor next to her with his arms behind his head.
“You looked peaceful down here,” He said softly. “I thought I’d join you”. He reached across and took her hand; holding it tightly. “The ceiling is lovely this time of year, don’t you think?”
They lay there together for awhile, watching the patterns in the ceiling like clouds passing over head. The boxes of household goods she once felt smothering her, now literally surrounded her, but ironically they seemed a lot less intimidating. He knew full well why she was down there, but he hadn’t said a word. Instead his casual attitude and nonsensical words somehow made it clear he understood her perfectly. His presence was all she could ask for right now and, for the first time in a long time, she thought that maybe, just maybe, it was going to be OK.