The dinner table

We all sit around the dinner table.
Some placid, some temperamental, some simply lost in thought.

Pessimism smirks at me, ”I told you so”, he spits arrogantly from across the table, peering over at the vulnerable.
Anxiety fidgets at the edge of her seat as she agrees, ”I knew it, he’s always right”. Slowly she slips away into a trance of destructive overthinking and self blame.
Anger’s eyes pierce through me, his silence dangerous.
I sink into my seat as sadness continues to gnaw away at me.
Hope gently places her warm, wrinkled hand on mine as she leans in beside me, ”You did your best beloved”.
Anger and Pessimism erupt into laughter, Anxiety frantically shakes her head ”No you didn’t!”.
Love stares blankly at the plate in front of her, reminiscing on the endless endearments she whispered and fond kisses she gifted generously. She turns to give me a faint smile to reassure me.
Depression quietly picks at her plate, slouched in her chair at the end of the table. Terrified at the sight of her I turn away.

That’s enough for tonight.
I blow out the candle and call it a night.

– S.Alaa


The curves of my body sink into the springs of the mattress. Before I can close my eyes she starts to tug my hair. I try to nudge her off with my shoulder but she’s persistent. With all her force she pulls for my attention, I can feel each strand of hair latching onto their roots. I cave in. I turn to lay on my back and her whispering starts. Her warm breath tickles my ear as she whispers, filling the canals of my ear with worries and doubts. They make their way inside my skull and carelessly papier-mâché provocative scenarios that evoke nothing but a sense of foreboding and unshakeable angst.

I push her off the bed and nestle under the blanket. She tugs off the blanket with all her force and gently wraps me in a thick blanket of insecurity, I’m suffocating. She’s clasped their bony fingers around my throat and I can feel the air escape my trachea. My chest tightens as her weight pushes down on me and I can feel it slowly crushing me. I plead with her to stop, she rolls off and lays beside me, I gasp for air and I face her.

And there she lays, my anxiety. I try to sooth her but running my fingers gently through her hair doesnt stop her eyes from tearing up with fear. She implores me to try find an answer for every question, every worry, every doubt she has. I cup her face in my hands and try to reassure her the best that I can. But she still asks the same questions and seeks reassurance for the same doubts.

We lay there, both petrified for hours, until the sun starts to rise and she’s done for the night. – S.Alaa