Breaking Point

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By Alyssa Murphy

I’ve been curled up in a ball on my couch for three hours, a position I don’t intend to leave anytime soon. It’s just that kind of day — no point in pretending I actually want to exist, and I cope as I can. And so what if it’s a little self-destructive? At least I don’t take my pain out on myself with sharp objects anymore. Wallowing in my misery isn’t ideal, but it’s a step in the right direction.

After a little while longer, I hear a key in the lock. Great, just what I don’t need. A while ago, I gave certain trusted people spare keys in case I had another spiral, but I didn’t think that today counted as such. Guess I was wrong. “Who is it?” I yell as the door opens, not bothering to turn my head and look because right now I do not care.

“Bad day, huh?”

“Get out of here, Devon. You have that key for emergencies, and me hiding inside my shell is…”

“An emergency as far as Liz is concerned,” he finishes, walking around and sitting next to me. “I know, invasion of privacy, but I’m only here so she isn’t.”

“Shuddup. You are not that much of a good human being.”

“I can try, can’t I?” he laughs. “Seriously, Ivy. You have so little faith in people, sometimes I wonder how you dare call yourself a human.”

“I stay alive out of spite,” I mutter, only half screwing with him on that front. “We all have our vices, Dev. That’s mine.”

“Bit more than a vice last time I checked. More like your life.”

I respond with the first voluntary movement I’ve made in three hours, jabbing my pointy elbow into his stomach.

“See, not human,” he mutters, trying to mask the pain. “Anyone with a heart would’ve known that there are knives less sharp than your elbows and that I don’t deserve that kind of punishment.”

“You basically broke into my house.”

“It’s not breaking in if I have a key that you gave me.”

“For emergencies!” I exclaim.

“And this is an emergency. C’mon, Ivy. You cannot possibly think your current behavior is actually going to fix anything.”

“It won’t, but on the other hand, it won’t make things any worse.”

“Good point.” Then, after a few minutes of silence — “There’s a Star Wars marathon on TV today. Want to watch that?”

I’d rather have teeth pulled without anesthesia, but I know better than to actually say that. “Not my thing, Dev. You know that.”

“Fine. Any better distractions you have in mind?”

I rest my head on his shoulder, closing my eyes. “Nope. Just staying here would be nice.”

“Fine by me, Ivy. Fine by me.”

Alyssa Murphy is a shopgirl, writer, and general creative type. Her work has previously been published in The Storyteller, The Tower Journal, and This Zine Will Change Your Life. She can be found online at and is currently based in southeast Indiana.

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