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Itxy Lopez
Photo by author (art by my dad)

When I was in the second grade, I reported a boy named Adrian to the bully box. I grabbed a piece of paper, wrote down the problem, and then slipped it into the box as I stared him in the eye.

What was the problem? He wasn’t actually bullying me…

Photo by author — in Mestre, Italy

The taste of fall sat on the tip of my tongue. The air was cool, and the sharp wind cut through my sweater and pricked my skin. Only my left hand was warmed by a hot cup of cocoa.

My stomach rumbled as I walked down the cobbled streets of…

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

The voices in my head were loud again.

Loser. Idiot. Failure.

I squeezed my eyes shut as if these words were real monsters standing in front of me. Stop it. It’s not true, I whispered. But I didn’t believe myself.

I thought about my girlfriend at that moment. I need…

Photo by Artūras Kokorevas from Pexels

“How about this?” I told my girlfriend. “Whenever there’s a new path, we’ll take turns choosing left, right, or straight.”

“Okay,” she said, before reaching the first crossroads. “Left.”

Hand in hand, we made a left and walked through the cobbled streets and old, cracked buildings. The streets and turns…

Photo by Jay-r Alvarez from Pexels

Nina’s eyes followed the clock’s hands. 3:03.

Seven months ago they decided they would meet every Sunday at 3:00, but Ryan was always late. Nina twisted on the barstool and tapped her nails against the counter, pretending that Ryan was just that: late. …

.Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Some days you’re going to hate your body. No matter how confident you were yesterday or how many affirmations you use in the morning, you might wake up tomorrow and wish you looked like someone else. You’ll hate your skinny legs or wide thighs or crooked teeth or dark body…

Photo by Jess Loiterton from Pexels

Your life is a tangle of vines. You open your eyes but all you can see is dark green. You try to move your arms and your legs, but you’re caught in the trap of the plant. In the darkness you try to breathe, but you only manage a few…

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

This morning, I opened my eyes underwater and screamed. The sound waves vibrated in the ocean but no one could hear a thing. Calm down. Take a deep breath, I thought. But if I inhaled, the water would seep into my lungs and I’d drown.

I looked around for help…

I grabbed the loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of strawberry preserves. I popped two pieces of bread into the toaster and just as they were about to jump out —

“Could you make me one of those?” my Abuelita asked. I turned to find…

Photo by Matt Hardy from Pexels

Sometimes I lay in bed, listen to music, and shut my eyes to daydream. An hour later, when I descend back to reality, I’m shocked when I see a cloudless blue sky staring down at me from my bedroom window. Oh yeah, I think. There’s a world out there.


Itxy Lopez

A self-help writer trying to be as honest as possible and hoping to make people feel less alone along the way.

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