Teabox Tales - Taken In Vain
Another antique for you folks. This one is also about three years old, though I do think the writing is marginally better than the last one. Or, at the very least, I distinctly remember making this kinda bad on purpose. I'm very busy at university at the moment, hence the amateurish shlock I'm posting from my backlog.
Anyway, I can remember exactly what I was trying to parody in this one; a Tumblr meme about 'booty shorts' with "Do not resuscitate" written on them, and a jokey debate over whether or not medical professionals would consider them valid instruction. I've got to give a vague trigger warning for discussion of mental illness and tragic accidents in this one, though to be honest the tone of the story is light enough that I don't think anyone will take any real issue with it.
“Perhaps your problem is that you keep pushing people away. You put on that jokey, uncaring front but really you just want to be supported. You need to be emotionally available, Morgan. You need a support network, just tell people how you feel.”
The teen girl sighed. Six months in therapy and here was the breakthrough she’d been praying for.
“You know what Susan, I think you’re right. I’m gonna go home and tell my Mum exactly how much I love her, and we’re gonna work out exactly how to best support me together.”
The therapist chuckled warmly as a soft bell chimed to mark the end of the session.
“That’s the spirit!” She said. “Same time next week?”
“You know what? I think I’ll be alright from now on.” Morgan said. The revelation had been a big one, and perhaps at last she had all she needed to fit all the puzzle pieces of her life together.
“Very well. Call me if you need anything.”
And so, Morgan left her final therapist appointment with pep in her step. Finally things were coming together. It was the dog days of summer, T-shirt and shorts weather, and there was still time left in the day to have a little fun. Heck it, Morgan thought. Home could wait. She had time to buy a coffee and go for a nice walk in the park. This was the new, emotionally healthy self-caring Morgan, and this meant treating herself.
So that is exactly what she did!
The coffee shop was first on the agenda, but she was in for a surprise when she entered the café.
The staff of the shop were stood all around in party hats, cheering and setting off party poppers. It was a confusing, yet delightful, sight and Morgan wondered what the hell it was all about.
“Congratulations! You are our millionth customer! And for this momentous achievement you get your entire order for free!”
Morgan grinned. First a breakthrough in therapy, and then a free coffee? It must be her lucky day!
“Oh... um...” She fumbled. “I’ll have a vanilla soy latte and... and a doughnut... and... you got any ice cream?”
“We have as much ice cream as you want.”
“Oh, so I’ll have an ice cream as well then.”
Morgan watched in delight as the staff prepared her order, and all for free! It was almost unbelievable. And as she sat down to enjoy her feast, her lucky streak continued, this time in the form of a buzzing from her purse. Her phone!
Morgan’s heart skipped a beat. It was Chad! From school! She’d been crushing on him since primary, but where on earth did he get her number? Right. She had to be cool. Coooool.
“Hey, Chad! What do you need?”
Noooo, that was a stupid line! That’d never work!
“Hey. Uh. You’re super hot and I’d like to go on a date with you. Y’like bowling?”
“Bowling? Yes! I love bowling.”
“Good. How ‘bout Friday? Seven, at the bowling place by the cinema.”
Morgan blushed. Chad Taylor, going on a date with her! She was truly the luckiest girl in the whole world.
“I’d love to!”
He hung up! Oh well. He was always the mysterious type, that was what made him so attractive. Sigh. What a charmer. But before Morgan put her phone away, she had one last thing to do. Something more serious. Morgan had suffered from depression for quite a few months, and in that time she’d made numerous poor decisions. Sadmemes4sadteenz.com was one of them.
It was a tacky meme website, only it had a rather morbid theme. Each and every member was a fellow mentally ill-teen, and instead of uplifting and supporting each other they saw fit to pull their peers into deeper pits of depression, like pigs wallowing in mud.
It was funny at first, that was how they lured you in, but the deeper you went the darker it got. It was like a digital version of the crab bucket theory, if crabs could wear black eyeliner and listen to My Chemical Romance. At one time Morgan had been quite obsessed with the site. She posted near daily, checked for new memes on the hour, and had even bought the site’s merchandise.
It was a tacky pair of dark blue shorts with some macabre quote across the back. They’d faded something horrid after just a couple of washes, but Morgan still wore them a lot. She’d even worn them to her therapy sessions, if only for something to talk about.
She was wearing them there, in the coffee shop, after her highly productive therapy session that day. It’d struck up the usual conversation: did she really want to die, and was it appropriate to joke about those feelings? No, she didn’t and no, she shouldn’t were her answers, and she thought it finally time to delete her account on that horrid site.
She took a deep breath as her finger hovered above the fateful red button on her phone screen.
Do you really want to delete your account? This action can not be undone.
Morgan sighed and tapped the screen. It was like the yoke had been lifted from around her neck. Finally this torrid time of her life had come to an end, and she could focus on more positive coping strategies. She took a deep sip of her sweet soy latte and gazed gently out of the cafe’s window. It was almost as if the whole world was a little brighter today. It was truly the first day of the rest of her life, and it was time for her to make it count.
And she’d start by making the most of it.
Ice cream in one hand, doughnut in the other, Morgan left the coffee shop. Her favourite tunes were blaring in her ears, and it was time for a walk in the park.
She turned right at the end of the street, past the market, past her grandma’s house and to the road that lead to the park. It was a big road, and cars often drove past at tremendous speed, but Morgan had crossed it enough times. She didn’t even bother taking off her headphones.
Suddenly something came barrelling towards her, death and fury on sixteen wheels. It was a lorry!
Morgan sprawled face-down across the road, in a pool of blood and viscera. She was just about alive, but critical. Sirens rang out as ambulances arrived at the scene on record time to save her. But as paramedics swarmed the wounded girl, they made a discovery.
The first thing they saw were a pair of bright blue booty shorts with “Do not resuscitate” written across the butt.
“Well.” A paramedic said, turning to his colleagues. “Her injuries are potentially treatable, but she’s made her wishes clear. I’m afraid all we can do is make her comfortable.”
“Big oof.” Said another paramedic, followed by a chorus of “F” from everyone in the vicinity.
It had been the best, but also the last day of Morgan’s life. And all because she’d taken her words in vain.