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by Ivy Jane 2 months ago in social commentary
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zero was better

Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash

at age 15 i got good at math

a subject i had never enjoyed became my escape- my salvation

the numbers were the only things i could control

300 plus 50. 350 plus 100. 200 remaining

numbers saved me , surrounded me, became all that i saw

a night out with friends equals 500

a day at the pool equals 200

zero was better

isolation was zero

skipping school could be zero

calling in sick could be zero

zero zero zero

then, the numbers didn't save me anymore

they haunted me like ghosts

calling my name in the middle of the night

keeping me awake, condemning my hunger

telling me i would always be nothing

i would always be too much

diet coke , fiona apple, and the pride of emptiness

the numbers couldn't hurt me if i was empty

insomnia and dark circles made me beautiful

a thin haired , frail boned beauty queen

at age 16 i got bad at math

my brain was cloudy, my mouth dry

my arm too weak to raise my hand

to ask a question

to say i didn't understand the problem

but failing classes didn't scare me

college denials weren't a threat

because i was empty; weightless

a slave to no one but the numbers

and at least they were kind to me

they told me i was beautiful

they told me i was strong

so strong, so determined, so special

i wasn't like the other girls

but the numbers could be cruel too

spitting insults at me as entertainment

a fun past time

a tool to keep me well behaved

when i didn't behave, the numbers weren't there for me

i didn't hear their words of comfort anymore

i was no longer special

i was no longer strong

so i'd wipe my mouth and dry my tears

take one last glance in the mirror

full of failure and food and disgust

and wait to hear them again

most people leave

things rarely last

but the numbers were always there for me

i could always count on them to return

social commentary

About the author

Ivy Jane

a girl that loves to write in her spare time

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