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I couldn't believe what he had just said. I started to breathe heavily and inconsistently. Every inch of my body began to vibrate with pure terror. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it. I swivelled on my heels and reached out to grab the door handle, but I was halted by his grasp. Clutching my wrist he yanked me towards to it, my palm inching nearer and nearer...
Suddenly, I made contact, I was touching the toilet seat. He counted the seconds.
1... 2... 3... 4...
I couldn't bare it. I shook free from my therapist's grasp and burst out of my bathroom. Blubbing and shrieking, I stumbled into the kitchen. Another failed therapy session, another week in hell.
Struck with panic, I shakily grabbed at the top, desperately trying to turn it on. The more I panicked, the more I sweated, making my grasp ever more clumsy and useless. Under my breathe I could feel myself panting out "p-please, just turn on please for the love of God please j-just turn on". My heart pounded out of my chest. I could hear the beat circling round my ears. It was driving me crazy. This time I screamed "PLEASE. PLEASE HELP ME"
Finally, I felt water splashing against my plague infested palm. Grinning manically, I clasped the soap and began the ritual. Fingertips and knuckles quickly became saturated with the soapy glory. I watched the dirt-filled liquid spiral down the plug. It felt good to watch it vanish. It felt... amazing. I was once again rid of the dirty feeling that ruled my life. It was like the uncleanliness mocked me. It held me by throat and watched the fear and desperation fill my pupils, never once looking away. I stared at my reflection in the mirror. It took me a while to realize it was me. It looked like me; same straggly hair, same muted white skin and same nose with the consistency of plasticine. But I didn't recognize my eyes. They used to be an electric blue shade, full of life and energy. But looking at them in the reflection they looked...ghostly. Sort of grey and lost.
A therapist had been coming to my home to conduct these obscure exercises for years. I can't remember when this cleaning obsession became such an issue for me. Ever since I could remember, I had always been a bit of a neat freak. Forever bathing, washing my food for hours on end and most importantly- the hand washing. My parents called this "the ritual" I like that name; it had a certain promise that the cleaning would be repeated again. and again. And again. I spent two hours a night dousing my extremities in lathers of soap, scrubbing every nook and cranny. Nothing could hurt me once I switched the taps on. I was safe from everything all the disease and germs and disorder and dirt. When I had the bathroom, I could have order and cleanliness at my demand... and it felt great.
As I got older, I became more and more obsessed. I can't shut doors, turn lights on or open windows without the magic numbers. I can't shut a door just once, it has to be twice. Or six times. Or twenty times. Or one hundred and four times. I can't leave it alone until it feels right-until it feels orderly and neat.
My parents worry about me. They never bring it up at the dinner table when I squirt hand sanitizer all over my cutlery or or when I awake in the early hours of the morning banging my door repeatedly shut until I hit the magic number or even I am stood at the sink exfoliating every grape to remove them to toxins. They never said a word. But I could see their faces. In the corner of my eye, I would catch them staring at me, lips quivering and eyes wide with anxiety. I know I disappoint them.
As I was drying my hands, I could hear the mumble of conversation between my parents and the therapist upstairs. It mainly consisted of exasperated sighs and blubs from my mother. They began making their way down stairs so I dived into the downstairs bathroom. I couldn't face them right them right now; I knew hoe disappointed and hurt they would all look, and I couldn't bare knowing I had caused this pain. I was never meant to hurt anyone else. I decided to wait until the therapist had left; I knew he would want to discuss certain matters with my parents before continuing the session. I looked down at my hands. I could still feel infestation, so I began the ritual for the second time.
After an hour, I turned off the tap. I grabbed a towel and began to scrub my hands until they were bone-dry. I stared at them intently. They looked clean enough, but they still didn't feel right. I could sense the germs from the contact with the toilet spreading through my palm lines, infecting my bloodstream and corroding my flesh. No amount of soap or water could rid the agonising feeling.
Out of options, I flung open the cupboards and rooted through every product; bottles and tubs soaring through the air then plummeting to the ground. The cupboard quickly became empty. I slumped down onto the cold tiles digging my nails deeply into my knees and rocking back and forth agitatedly. Surrounded by the cupboard's contents, I began to silently cry.
I couldn't stop the tears gushing. They stained my cheeks and made my eyes shoot with a stinging sensation. My vision became blurred and useless. I was a disappointing mess.
Suddenly, my sight caught the outline of something. A hazy, neon-yellow blob appeared from under the sink. I swiped away the excess fluid from my eyes and the blob became an item. It was a bottle. Scrambling towards it, I grasped it desperately and scanned it for a label. I had never been more relieved to see a singular word printed onto the plastic container bleach.
Without thinking open the lid, watching the red cap bounce across the tiles and eventually smashing into a corner. I was in disbelief at my luck. I let some of the liquid from the bottle drip onto the floor to check that it was real and not some watered down crap my dad had conducted. A dark and soulless beam striped across my face as I watched the blue fluid contact the glistening white ceramic. It was real. I had found it the product that was going to fix everything! The liquid began to gush from the bottle slapping against my palms... and then I felt it. The burning....
I felt every skin cell peeling and corroding. The bleach leaked into the newly made cracks it had created in my palm and began digging deeper and deeper into my skin... and it fucking hurt. I couldn't stop shaking and screaming. It was glowing and burning and spreading like fire. It wouldn't stop! The pain was excruciating and getting worse and worse and worse.
"What have I done" I managed to croak out before collapsing into the corner staring Misty-eyed at the scarlet claws that had replaced my hands.
All of a sudden the door flung open and my therapist raced in.
"Oh, shit" he spat.
I cried harder trying to hold back the screams. He rushed closer, kneeling next to me breathing heavily, examining my hands helplessly. He shakily tried to feed me soothing words grabbing some toilet roll and rapidly looping it around both hands. I looked in the doorway to see my parents standing over him helpless and scared.
I stopped crying. There was no use in screaming. Everything was hopeless.
My hands will never be properly cleaned again. And it's all my fault.
Hello guys. 🤗 this is ficticious article. I want to thank again my readers and upvoters out there. 😅❤ Thanks for reading, I hope you like it. Muuaaah💋❤