Quarantine2
Quarantine
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Lost Time

Student

Swollen bags drag down my tired eyes, raw beneath my trembling fingers. I slowly retreat from my wooden desk to my bed, crunching myself into a tight fetal position and searching for some false comfort. My room shimmers from the never ending sunshine; it is my sanctuary and my prison, stained by bright pink tones I now despise. Where’s the rain? Why can’t quarantine end? Why can’t I end?

“Breathe,” I whisper, “breathe.” 

3 seconds in.

4 seconds hold.

5 seconds out.

Repeat.

It’s difficult to keep the pattern, to settle myself. My troubled mind dives into the dark cycles of my faults, mistakes, and self-hatred. A glance at my phone reveals that 20 minutes passed me by like a gust of wind; time has never felt like more of a lie.

Quarantine was not always a nightmare. Yes, it had its constant problems. I desperately missed the hustle of a college day and all the wonderful, social activities. I would tear up at the memory of eating brunch under the glass roof of Benson on Thursdays while squishing into a packed booth. I felt lonely remembering the time spent with my roommate watching anime and distracting each other when we needed to do homework. But at the beginning I had a refuge: my friends. They were still there for me. We would go out to drink boba or watch TV together and, yes, we did social distance, but they were just a text away.

Time, though, is cruel. My two closest friends have begun to leave me behind. One started dating the other friend we would hang out with, making me nothing but a third wheel. My heart swells and it tears my chest apart when I see them post on social media, visiting some place beautiful without me. This alone I could take, but my other closest friend’s relentless anger devours my waking mind. The source of her anger is both rational and irrational. An exaggerated anger built on reality, but fueled by a delusion of my abandonment. My apologies fall on deaf ears as she only responds with the short line “you hurt me” so I will curse my texts and continue crying because her punishment feels like a never ending hell.

Time during quarantine is criminal. As toxic as these relationships have become, if I could just see my friends once—talk to them—I would surely escape this prison, relieving my deteriorating mental state in a snap. I would no longer cry on every Zoom call with my SCU counselor. I would no longer be an emotional wreck, hyperventilating on my bed with no one to text. I wish that I could show them this side of me, this wish. I wish they would reach out to me. But I know they won’t and I will never return to that time when my confidence was built on their undying support.

Because it died. And the person I was died too.

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