t w e n t y - t w o

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   Catalina stared at the ceiling, her head rested on her frilly pillow as she held a plush fox between her arms. The weight in her chest bore a hole, deeper and deeper. Her breathing shortened with every passing day, her heart overwhelmingly heavy. She was restless and tired, a thread of anxiety coiled deep in her gut. She couldn't get her mind off Jae. It just wasn't possible these days.

   Her mind was plagued by images of him, when he'd scoff in order to mask his laugh, how he'd flush pink when he'd do something impulsive, when he'd finally let a smile slip, or when he held her hand to get her away from Philip.

   The bed groaned under her as she sat up and hugged her knees. The thoughts tormented her, just as they did every night when she hadn't felt so good about herself. Just like every time that she would remotely feel saddened of afflicted.

   Why did Jae like her?

   What the hell did he see in her cold, insecure, pitiful self? She wasn't pretty. She wasn't fun. She wasn't good.

   Jae was too innocent, he deserved much better than her. She was mediocre, unworthy, and just...emotionally not right.

  Jae wasn't. Jae was as perfect as a human could ever get. Sure, he had trouble smiling, but he'd gotten the hang of it lately.

   He was perfect.

   The mistakes she'd made, they were much too great to be erased. Catalina wasn't what Jae thought her to be; she was poisonous. If he knew everything about her, everything she'd done, everything that plagued her; he wouldn't want to be with her, and he would've dropped her ages ago.

   He could never really love her.

   Catalina's hand tangled itself in her hair. "Oh, god," she groaned, her nose stinging, "I fucking hate myself."

   The anxiety twisted her stomach and bubbled up her throat. She hated the nauseousness that came every time she would think deeply about herself, about how broken she was.

   She tried to take a deep breath.

   Inhale.

   Exhale.

   Inhale.

   Exhale.

   The feeling loomed over her. She could feel the anxiety coursing through her veins, her breath shortening, her mind spiralling.

   Her phone buzzed and she couldn't bring herself to look over at it. The white glow of the screen temporarily illuminated up the room. Within a few seconds, the room was once again shrouded in darkness.

   It buzzed once more, light flickering on.

   She sighed.

   A third time.

   Catalina groaned, snapping her head towards the nightstand. She reached out of it, glancing over the notifications.

   Philip                         now

   Hey babe ❤❤❤

   Philip                         now

   Wanted to know if

   you're free friday

   Philip                         now

   Wanted to invite you to

   Sunny's for breakfast ❤

   Catalina dropped the phone back on the table.

   Why the hell had she gone back to Philip? Why the bloody hell had she thought it was a great idea getting back with her ex? She hadn't even let Philip hold her hand, let alone kiss her and it'd been a week. She felt guilt in her gut every time he'd lean in. She'd just felt awful that entire week.

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