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Champaign Central Chronicle

Her Mental Demons: Chapter 1

Nyx looked out the window of her car as her brother talked about the game he was playing. 

“Nyx, what sword should I use? Wind or bone?”

“Wind,” Nyx replied with a neutral tone. She couldn’t help but think about what her day was going to be like. It was Monday and Nyx loved Mondays because that meant she got to go to therapy. Not that she didn’t like her World History class; she did. She loved it even. But she also loved to talk to her therapist about her life and how she was doing. 

“Alright, have a good day bud,” Nyx’s father stated as she blinked, realizing they were at her brother’s school.

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“Bye! Love you too, dad!” He ran to the door of his school. Nyx watched with a sigh, looking in the mirror, her hair hidden under her hat. 

When they got to her school, she walked out of the car, waving goodbye to her dad as she smiled.

“See you in a few hours.” Nyx smiled, closing the door as her father replied.

“See you in a few hours.” 

Nyx had heavy thoughts on her mind. She walked past the bag check. She showed them her ID. 

“Hi Ani.” Nyx smiled, putting her backpack down next to her. 

“Hi Nyx!” Ani smiled, sitting at the round table with her freshman friends in front of her. She turned to face Nyx. “How are you doing?”

Nyx smiled. Her eyes drifted off of Ani to Pyrite, her heart sinking as she saw him.

“Oh?” Ani looked in the same direction as Nyx. “Are you going to get your Pyrite hug?”

“Yeah,” Nyx said proudly. But deep down, she didn’t know if it was worth it.

Walking over to Pyrite, she smiled… as he opened his arms and gave her a very poor hug. Nyx felt frustrated by this response but played it cool, keeping her emotions sealed away in her mental library.

“Not the greatest hug, but it was still a hug!” Nyx smiled, looking to Ani.

The two girls talked for a bit before Nyx left to see the rest of her friends in another part of the school. Nyx counted down in her head the minutes till leaving for therapy. She kept getting distracted in class till it was time. She got the gold sheet of paper, or the “Get out of Jail Free” card as her Bio teacher from last year once said. 

Nyx thought about her freshman year, thinking of how far she had grown from that. Her grades were better now. But she still felt lost and broken. She had been fighting with her mother again. But to her that was nothing new. Nyx shook her head as her dad drove her to therapy.

I forgot my wallet…..welp no lunch for me Nyx thought as she got out of the car.

“See you in an hour.” Nyx smiled at her father as he said that.

Nyx sat in the waiting room. She closed her eyes as she entered what she liked to call the mindscape, her safe place. She looked at the big tree in front of her.

“Royo? Where are you?” Nyx walked to the tree. A gentle breeze filled her hair as the green grass swayed with the wind, and the sky was as blue as it could be. 

A boy with long brown hair with yellow ends poked his head around the huge apple tree Nyx stood in front of. His light brown eyes glittered as he smiled.

“Hi Nyxy!!” He ran to her, hugging her with a smile.

“Hi brother.” She hugged him back, feeling happy. She felt calm in the mindscape, safe even. “We’re at Carrie’s office now. Wanna talk?”

Royo sighed, playing with Nyx’s hoodie. “No, I’ll just sit here for a bit. Don’t mind me!” He smiled at his sister. 

“Hey Nyx, ready kiddo?” Carrie pulled Nyx out of her mindscape as she turned to face her.

“Yeah…I’m ready.” Nyx gave a weak smile, looking to her therapist and going into the room with a sigh. 

“So how have things been at school and home?” Nyx loved her therapist’s gentle voice. She took a deep breath before replying.

“For school it’s fine. I guess not too much drama with my friends, but home…” Nyx paused; thinking about home made her feel agitated.

Nyx really never thought she was the greatest daughter. She was the only girl in her family, which made her different from everyone else in her household. She fiddled with her lanyard, looking down. She told Carrie about her school and how she was doing with that. After a while, she had to bring up home.

“It hasn’t been the greatest. I’m still fighting with mom. I wish she would listen to me! It feels like she never does! It’s frustrating. She tells me all the time, ‘Your best is good enough’ and ‘All you ever do is give fake apologies’!” Nyx couldn’t stop the tears forming in her eyes.

“I understand you and your mom are both dealing with a lot. And it feels that way for both of you.”

“Yeah…it really does…” Nyx looked at her hands, which were clenched in fists. Her tears slowly descended from her eyes to her chin, staining her once smiling face.

“Is there anything else, hun?” 

“I just wish we could get along. I know that I’m part of the problem. I have always known that. It just hurts when she says I don’t take responsibility for my actions and don’t use the skills I learn here. Because every time I do, it feels like she pushes them aside.” Nyx looked up to her therapist. Her chest filled with sadness and frustration, her mind spinning. The once blue sky of her mindscape now dark with storm clouds.

“That’s understandable and I understand it’s hard. You both just want to be heard and you do try hard. I’m not against you just because I’m both yours’ therapist. I am a neutral party.” Carrie looked to Nyx with a gentle smile. This made her feel much better.

I know…I just wish I could believe that…it feels like the whole world is against me…and no one can help…Nyx hugged Carrie at the end of the section, really to return to school. 

I wish that I didn’t think the world was against me…that I was ok…that I could be that perfect daughter…the responsible one…the one my parents can count on. …But the truth is…I’m alone…scared of asking for help…and no one ever really sees that…


Author’s Note

I didn’t go into much detail about Pyrite, but he plays an important role in Nyx’s life. He has been her crush for a long time and she is starting to question if she should give up on him or not. Also Royo, you could say he’s Nyx’s imaginary friend, but in Nyx’s mind he is the side of her that she wanted to be and wants to protect. Royo is a year younger than her and reminds her of the child she once was before the trauma in her life. I hope you enjoyed Chapter 1 of Her Mental Demons! And I hope you come back and read Chapter 2!

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