Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience

Karla buried her head in her hands and let out a sigh of defeat. Her frustration now flowing gently, from weary eyes, down her sunken cheeks, and onto her lap. She had never been to a broadway show but her life was slowly resembling one.  Her breathing, very short and now gasping for air, her heart rapidly beating out of her chest, her anxiety attack was just beginning.

“Hello,” Stacey answered.

“Do you really think I’m a bad friend?” Karla asked trying to hold back her tears.

“No, of course not! I was just frustrated with the whole trip.”

“Well Ava is blaming me for everyone being upset, I’m trying to understand what I did wrong?”

“Nothing I promise I just was mad about the whole trip.”

“Okay I got to go.”

“Wait, let’s talk …”

She hung up the phone and turned it off, she didn’t want anyone to call and make her change her mind.

Slowly she reached for the bottle of Seroquel that sat untouched for months when her doctor took her off of it. Staring at the bottle using her tank top to wipe the tears from her eyes. Squeezing the bottle while slowly turning it as she contemplated her last few moments. Hesitantly she twisted off the cap, shaking out each pill one by one until she had 10 of the 300mg tablets in the palm of her frail hands. A very familiar scene, her first attempt at taking her life consisted of swallowing 10 Advil’s at age 11. She was an amateur then, the sleeping pills were a different ball game. She always imagined her death as being catastrophic, dying from a faulty parachute while sky diving or maybe a plane crash. Dying in your sleep was for when you were older and  had done everything, it was more peaceful. The thought of just falling asleep and not waking up was comforting, you would wake up but in a different world or another place. It wasn’t really dying, it was transitioning.



  1. Lorna's Voice · September 23, 2014

    Haunting character portrait. The detail makes it seem so real.

  2. laurenudoh · September 23, 2014

    Thanks Lorna!

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