Outside: Part Twelve

This is the twelfth part of a fiction serial, in 830 words.

There was no reply from Matt that evening. Gillian decided to eat both the Chicken Kievs in the packet, as they went out of date the next day. She checked again before bedtime, but her email list hadn’t changed. So she checked the blog, in case he had replied on there.

Amazingly she had four new followers, and sixty-three views of her one post. Only two followers had left comments.

GentlemanZorro
Okay, enjoy your sad lonely life. I didn’t fancy you anyway you fat bitch!

She felt sad about being fooled by him at first, and realised she would have to be more careful. The second comment was much kinder.

carolynsmum
Hello, I am mum to Carolyn, and my name is Audrey. My daughter started to want to stay in when she was only 14. She refused to go out, even to school. Nothing we could do would make her go outside, and she spent every minute in her bedroom. It lasted for years. We got in trouble with the authorities for her not going to school, and eventually my husband left home because he said I was spoiling her and ruining her life. Eventually, she was sectioned into a psychiatric hospital, and she is still there, refusing to see me. That was twelve years ago, and my heart breaks for her every day. So please think about what you are donng to yourself, and don’t go the same way as my daughter. This might help you.
https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/anxiety-type/agoraphobia/

Clicking on the link, Gillian read some of it, and shook her head. No, this wasn’t her situation. She didn’t feel the same things they were writing about. She was happy at home, and just didn’t need to go out. The dizzy spells would pass in time, she was sure of that.

Next morning, she was pleased to see a reply from Matt.

Hi. I don’t cope that well, to be honest. I have lost all my friends, and never see any of my family now. They used to be okay with coming to see me and me not going out, but they eventually got fed up with that. It would be nice to have a friend like you, someone who understands. In an ideal world, we would all live in rooms in the same house, and never have to go outside. (Except for those dustbins! Haha.) But you have to be careful who you meet online, as there are some nasty people out there. It’s okay if you don’t trust me, I understand that feeling. But I hope you will stay in touch, as people like us have to support each other. Matt. x

This was more like it. No links to read, no judgement, and no asking for dirty photos. He seemed to be very nice, but he was right. She had to be careful.

Dear Matt, thanks for replying. I agree that it would be great if we could all be together without going out. Those dustbin days would have to be on a rota though! How do you cope about going out to work though? I couldn’t imagine doing that again now, feeling like this. I’m happy at home, but I stil hope this feeling goes away some day. Hard to imagine never going out for the rest of my life. Take care, and keep in touch.

Gillian left off any kisses, and didn’t use her real name. It was still early days. Then she went and made herself a bacon sandwich for breakfast, adding plenty of tomato ketchup.

Despite checking back numerous times, he didn’t reply to that. And there was no other activity on the blog. So she watched her DVD of The Blues Brothers. That always cheered her up, and she knew all the lines spoken in the film off by heart.

That evening, after a dinner of chicken pie, chips, and peas, she decided to write another post on her blog.

A bit about me.

I used to work in the Unemployment Office in my town. I am single, and under thirty. I started this blog to meet other people who might feel the same as me, as in not wanting to go outside the house. I like watching films and some television programmes. I don’t drink alcohol that much, as I prefer fizzy drinks like Pepsi. My favourite food is choux buns. I love the soft pastry, and the cream inside them. I don’t think it’s bad to want to stay inside and do the things I enjoy. I know people find it strange, but that’s only because they have never felt the same way. Please don’t send me rude comments or write dirty things to me. I don’t want a boyfriend, and I will not be taking my clothes off and showing photos of that. My mum always said ‘if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all’.

It had thirty views in under an hour. She went to bed feeling excited.

35 thoughts on “Outside: Part Twelve

    1. She seems to be interested in making friends now, but only friends like her who rarely go outside. That provides Gillian with the ‘safety net’ of never actually having to meet anyone.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I my experience, anorexics are rarely shut-ins. They think they look good once they are emaciated. However, some refuse to go out when they think they are fat, even though they are not remotely overweight.
      I did encounter some people with agoraphobia who were very overweight, and most of those were women. Not exclusively though, as through my job I knew a man who never went out and had been inside for many years. He was facilitated by family members who helped him stay in his apartment.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I met women like her when I was an EMT, and also had a similar issue with a family member many years ago. But this serial is not based on any personal experience.
          (As you will discover at the end)
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) GentlemanZorro, the fancy fencer, doesn’t fancy fat females.
    (2) Bad citation: “Hello, I am mum to Carolyn. She can complain all she wants, but my lips are sealed!”
    (3) Audrey was always an odd girl, even if no one knew it at first.
    (4) Hold your horses, Gillian! Your dizzy spells will never pass in time!
    ♬ What goes up must come down
    ♬ Spinnin’ wheel, got to go round
    ♬ Talkin’ ’bout your troubles, it’s a cryin’ sin
    ♬ Ride a painted pony, let the spinnin’ wheel spin
    (5) “But I hope you will stay in touch, as people like us have to support each other.” Stay in touch? A finger doesn’t offer that much support. Might I suggest two clasped hands?
    (6) Matt has no choice but to bring home the bacon. Gillian just stays home and orders the bacon.
    (7) The Blues Brothers always cheer Gillian up. And I get the blues every time I empty a box of Cheer laundry detergent.
    (8) Overheard: “I don’t think it’s bad to want to stay inside and do the things I enjoy. But I do think it’s a bit strange that I actually prayed for a global pandemic lockdown.”

    Liked by 1 person

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