EXCERPT CHAPTER 4 - ANGUISH: BEN'S STORY

Hey there everybody! It is now time for the excerpt from Chapter 4 of Anguish This one touches on the depression aspect of the story...this particular excerpt touches on it in a big way. This is when his life and his disorder start to change into something that is harder to handle.  Again, if you need help with your mental health, please ask someone - family, friends, teachers, bosses, doctors. They are there to help. As someone with depression and anxiety I can tell you that taking that first step is so hard but in the end, oh my goodness it is so worth it.  Take care of yourselves my friends! I adore each and every one of you and am glad you are in my life.


Despite having just lost his best friend and potential boyfriend, the three days he was able to spend with Abby buoyed him to the point that he didn’t think of JC all day. And the suffocating moments were few and far between.
If he wasn’t wrapped up in one of Abby’s stories, he was busy drawing or creating clever programs on the computer. And after a December 27th snowstorm, the weather cleared and warmed up enough for them to go riding. As much as Abby wanted to go to the fort, Ben kept her away. He knew the memories of kissing JC would bring some of the darkness back.
 At that point, darkness was being reserved for his drawings. It seemed war and death were his new favorite themes. But now, the thought of Abby leaving in a few hours made his heart ache every minute until she left. He was definitely looking forward to summer.
“No backing out, Ben. You’re coming to Nevada to visit in June,” Abby stressed as they finally walked into the warm and inviting ranch house.
“I’ll be there. We’re going to have so much fun.”
“Are you ready, Abigail?” Ethan asked. “We need to get the rental car back before five.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” she sighed. “We really need to move here.”
Ben hugged her tight. “I’ll see you soon. Call me when you get home.”
“I will, Bennie Boy."  With a kiss to his cheek, she grabbed her bag from by the door and followed her dad to the car.
“Hey Ben, wanna come play a game with me?” Dylan asked from the kitchen doorway. “Please? You’ve been so busy with JC and Abby lately.”
“I’m sorry, brat. Not right now. Tomorrow or the next day, okay?”
“Yeah sure,” Dylan murmured softly. “You never do anything when Abby leaves.”
“Come on, little brother,” Russell said.  "Ben just misses having her here. Why don’t you, me and Logan go tune up the snowmobiles so we can use them when the big storm hits this weekend.”
Ben walked slowly up the stairs feeling like the lowest form of human. How hard would it have been for him to play a kids' game with his six-year-old little brother? But somehow he just couldn’t.  He wanted to be alone, he had to be alone.
He knew it was coming the minute he opened his bedroom door. But as hard as he tried to turn around and run out to the barnyard to join his brothers, his feet just wouldn’t cooperate. As if he had no control over them, he walked to his bed and lay down.
That suffocating, drowning, gut wrenching feeling swept over him for the first time in a week. And he welcomed it with every particle of his being. As uncomfortable as it was, the sense of normalcy brought a smile to his face – until a new feeling hit him. Anger. Steady unwavering anger settled into his chest. It was anger at himself for being so loathsome, at JC for hurting him and at Abby for leaving him. It was a rage he wanted to scream to the world but couldn’t.

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