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Sometimes I feel something growing inside of me. A parasite, I think. It sits firmly within my throat and grows whenever I'm angry, which seems to be all the time lately. Whenever my friends make me laugh, it disappears for a while. In a way, I'm forced to be happy all the time. Now I can say that I'm cured, albeit in the most morbid sense of the word.

People really like to joke about sadness. I think it's because they don't know what to do with it. I guess it's better than not talking about it. I guess that's why I have a stupid parasite in my throat.

I named her Shea, and I've learned that it's best to befriend her.

Everyone has a Shea. I'm not completely sure that's true, but I like to convince myself that it is. Maybe I'm just scared to admit that I'm the only one. I've never asked anyone about her, but I sense she's more of an unspoken agreement than an elephant in the room.

How embarrassing would it be to talk about Shea.

Sometimes I hate myself. I have a lisp and that makes me stumble over my words when I talk fast, and my body freezes when someone compliments me. I think I would fit in and have a lot of friends if Shea stopped locking my throat up.

I’ve learned to live with her. I don’t know when this continency will end, but when it does, I'll be left in ruin. But until then, I guess I just need a good laugh to stay alive.

Editors: Alisha B., Uzayer M., Luna Y.


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