I heard a knock at my door. I stood up awkwardly then sat back down. “Come in,” I said resignedly.
It was my friend who was coming over to study. I didn’t know him all that well but the fear of an upcoming test brings all sorts of people together.
“How’s studying going?” he asked while he sat down at the chair by my desk. I shoved my Chemistry textbook into my backpack while I answered, “I mean, test preparation has never been my favorite thing.”
He pulled out his laptop. “I’m with you there, right along with the rest of the college students out there.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I feel like there are some people who really do like studying. Especially the one’s at the Big Fancy schools,” I responded while I pulled out the notebook for World History.
He laughed. I didn’t really know why he was laughing and so I turned a few pages in my notebook before I put my thoughts together and remembered my review sheet was in my folder.
We eventually started to study. Occasionally we had some conversation.
He seemed to start most of the conversation. “Is this your only test this week?”
“No, I have a few more. Organic Chemistry and Composition and Literature both have big tests or projects,” I replied with a sigh.
“That sucks,” he replied. I looked up to gauge his sincerity. People seemed to lose sincerity when they were worrying about themselves, which often happened during finals week.
“How about you?” I asked with little to no feeling in my voice.
“Nothing too bad, I chose an easy major for a reason.”
We went back to studying.
“You really into movies?” he asked a few minutes later, gesturing to my movie collection, which was rather extensive.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“I’m more into music, ya know, feeling the beat at the gym?”
l looked up at him with a facial expression that probably made it clear I did not feel the beat when I went to the gym. I actually really did like music but he didn’t need to know that. We just needed to study.
“Am I asking too many personal questions?” he asked of me when there was a lull in study-talk.
This got my attention. “What possibly gave you that idea?” I replied with sugary sarcasm.
He gave a sheepish smile. “Sorry, I’m going to head out. I tend to get too personal, too easily.”
I almost told him to stay but decided against it. I’d rather not get closer with someone whose mood seemed to change with the review question we were on.
He walked to the door and was reaching his hand to it when he instead went for the sink mirror and opened it. I was looking at him incredulously, “What are you-“
“I knew they’d be here. So what do you have? Schizophrenia? OCD? Depression?” He read the bottle. “Ah, depression. Had it a long time. He pointed to the empty tic tack box on the bed. “Coping thing? Having something to concentrate on? I bet you overload yourself with classes every year. Take yourself down without anyone’s help.”
He looked at me with the look of someone who has disowned his child. “Bet you had me pegged for a nice guy, huh.”
And then he left me. I sat there for a few minutes, unable to move. No one had ever seen my antidepressants besides my parents. Many of my friends, the trustworthy ones, knew I had depression.
I eventually got up and put the bottle back behind the mirror. Maybe when people saw me, they saw through what I saw in the mirror and saw the pills. Maybe everyone thought I was crazy.
His tweet later that night said it all. The signs are all the same, I can spot em from a mile away.
So I was just another depressed person for him to spot. I must have all the signs.