Cover Photo: There's A Weight In Her Bag by Lauren Suval

There's A Weight In Her Bag

There is a weight in her bag. A weight that pulls at her shoulder blades and squeezes the muscles in her neck.

Why don’t you take that goddamn weight out of your bag? her friends say.

She shrugs. I don’t know. It keeps me at the ready. It’ll ultimately make me stronger.

There is a weight in her bag. A weight that walks with her 5 blocks down to her job and 5 blocks back home.

How about removing the weight from your bag? her boss remarks. You’re looking kinda strained.

Her posture worsens. She’s 28 going on 70.

There is a weight in her bag. A weight that’s with her on the phone with her boyfriend. A weight that’s molding her bones to siren anything that warrants attention.

Do you want to take the weight out? her boyfriend asks. I don’t see the necessity anymore.

There is a weight in her bag. A weight she brings with her to parties where anxieties may pop up like unexpected visitors. 

What’s with that weight? they say. That’s probably why you’re not feeling well.

She downs a dose of Advil with a glass of warm sprite.  

I don’t know, it’s really not so bad, she persists. I think it’ll help me in the long run. 

But nobody saw the tears forming in the corners of her eyes on her way to the bathroom. 

There is a weight in her bag. A weight that knocks her down one day while she's lugging her tired body up the stairs.

She lies on the floor. Defeated. 

Her black bag has a shiny silver buckle. She peers at it, fingering its edges, cautiously. She breathes in deeply, as if she is sucking up all the air before letting it out, letting it go.

She opens up her bag and removes the weight.

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Psych Central, Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval and on Facebook @LaurenSuvalWriting.