After the bashing that could’ve ended a lot worse than it ended up doing, I saw a therapist a few times a month. She wanted to put me on antidepressants—and so I also had to see a psychiatrist. 

I was more than willing to try it out, to see if they could be of any help. Because I needed help—I wasn’t dumb enough to deny that. 

Just because I had a new boyfriend and a new place to live didn’t mean my depression and suicidal thoughts up and disappeared. 

However, the list of side effects was gruesome.

‘You don’t have to, you know. Just because she recommended it doesn’t mean you have to do it.’ Andreas’s arm wrapped around my waist. ‘If you feel you manage fine without help, then skip it.’

‘I do… sometimes. Other times, not.’ I’d been doing fine mostly since I met him, but I didn’t know what would happen in the future, so acclimating to antidepressants could be a good thing if things went to shit again. ‘Besides, it’s not like all of this is going to happen to me.’ I waved the sheet in front of us. ‘The common side effects aren’t so bad, and it’s extremely rare that the worse side effects happen.’

Still, it was frightening. Because what if I was the unlucky one who got the worst kind of side effects?

‘No matter what you choose…’ He nuzzled the back of my neck. I’ll be here for you. The words hung in the air. He had not been advised to take antidepressants by his therapist, but then he was a more stable person than I’d ever been.

He’d stopped seeing her by now too. He wasn’t big on talking about his feelings, after all, whereas I really should talk to someone about mine. 

Most of all, I didn’t want the all-consuming feeling of wanting to die to come back. It was gone because of him, because he’d shown me kindness and comfort. And good sex. 

But it could come back. 

Depression… it came in cycles, or so my therapist said, even when life was good.

I put the sheet of side effects and other important information down and squeezed one pill out of the tray. It wasn’t that big, really. It lay alone and vulnerable in the middle of my palm.

Andreas’s arms wrapped tighter around me.

I tipped my palm to my mouth so the pill fell on my tongue, then quickly grabbed the glass of water I’d put on the sink to help me swallow it. 

Dry-swallowing pills wasn’t a skill I’d ever acquired. The only pills I ever took, before now, were painkillers, anyway.

Andreas kissed the side of my neck, lips lingering against my skin.

‘Can you drink on them?’ he asked suddenly, like it had only occurred to him. It probably had. ‘Or are you staying sober on holiday?’

‘I can drink. It’s not recommended, but I can.’ I’d asked about that. Our upcoming winter holiday was nearing, and I hadn’t wanted to be the only one sober. 

As long as I didn’t take it too far, the psychiatrist had assured me it would be okay. As long as it didn’t happen all that often, which it didn’t. 

I wasn’t that fond of drinking.

‘Are you looking forward to the holiday?’ His lips were back on my neck, his breath ghosting over my skin as he spoke.

‘Yeah. I am.’ I was. Nervous about it, obviously, what with being cooped up in a cabin with my brother and Andreas’s friends for a whole week. 

With Glenn and all, who didn’t like me. 

But yeah, getting away, doing something other than work or studying, would be fun.

I wriggled until he got the hint and loosened his grip, then turned in his arms. I slid my hand over his face, thumb tapping lightly on his lower lip. 

His eyes darkened in response, and I knew what was on his mind before I even pressed closer. 

I felt something hardening.

A chuckle burst free. ‘Again?’ We’d only just had sex. Morning sex. The best kind of sex. 

‘What can I say, I’m young. I recover quickly.’

I removed my hand from his face and instead leant in to kiss him. ‘Lucky for you, I do, too.’

He grabbed me close and somehow we managed to get from the bathroom and back to his bedroom all pressed together. 

We fell in a heap onto his bed, which bounced a bit at the abrupt connection with both our weights to the mattress.

The antidepressants, along with the long list of side effects, were blown from my mind. 

Even later, when it came back, I didn’t feel anything. But then again, it had only been the first dosage. There’d be many more to come.

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