by Tamara Anna Pawlak
Photo by Sebastián León Prado/Unsplash
You’ll pretend everything is fine. You’ll convince yourself that it’ll go away. But it won’t. It’ll keep getting worse...
If you leave it alone, soon it will fester. That wound on your neck. The swelling will build. It’ll keep getting worse. You’ll know from the smell. And the sticky, yellow pus.
You need to get it looked at. But you won’t show anyone. You’ll wear a collared shirt and scrunch your neck. You’ll pretend everything is fine. You’ll convince yourself that it’ll go away. But it won’t. It’ll keep getting worse.
You can clean it night and day. It won’t make any difference. It won’t be long until your entire neck swells. The wound—a throbbing volcano. Your blood—lava coursing beneath your skin. Fever will break. Your body—a salty river. Your tongue—a solid brick.
You can smile at everyone—but they’ll see it in your eyes, hear it in your shaky breath. They’ll know something is wrong. But they’ll still ask,
“Are you all right?”
“Do you need help?”
You’ll shake your head—just barely—work your thick tongue and tell them you’re fine. They’ll know your smile is fake. They won’t believe you for a second—but they’ll leave you alone. And that will be enough.
You can’t show anyone, because then those questions will be answered.
Better to let it fester.
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