My mother thought I was losing my mind. After 2 years of barely leaving the house who could blame me? I had only my cat for company. I was regretting being alive at this point. Whats the point? Every day I would just wake up and doom scroll the news and forums becoming increasingly anxious about the world.

She got more worried when I started taking out my frustrations on her. I would call her drunkenly at 2am and start screaming "DID ANYONE ASK ME??? DID YOU AND DAD EVER THINK ABOUT WHAT I WANTED WHILST YOU WERE FUCKING!??"

She stopped answering my calls after a while and my dad would text me from time to time to tell me to stop calling her. It wasn't just her though I would occasionally texted him too, telling him to put me back in his balls because I was fucking done with life. He would respond with a question mark... That's my dad alright, never has anything to say.

Even my cat seemed to be getting bored of my bullshit. He hated that I would drag him into the bathroom with me and lock the door whilst I bathed just so I could rant at him about how depressed I was. He would claw at the exit and meow desperate to escape my monologues. Nobody wanted anything to do with me anymore. My friends started going out again, to the pub and stuff, and I would see them post about it online but I never got an invite.

The long time I had been in this little house by myself had formed a wedge between the people I once knew and loved and myself. A moat around my existence that nobody seemed to want to cross. I might as well be dead.

So I thought, what if I was dead? Would anyone care? I started pretending to have a heart attack in front of my cat and falling over to see how he would react and he seemed genuinely concerned. Probably because he knows he's trapped in here with me and I need to feed him but still, it was nice feeling affection. Feeling needed.

I would do this quite often but he kinda caught on that I was bluffing and stopped reacting to it after a while. But by this point I was craving it, craving people doting on me like my life was important and meaningful even if it was only for a brief few minutes.

I began learning how to slow my heart rate and breathing down by studying free swimming on youtube. Thats where divers can go underwater for 10 minutes at a time with only one breath. Perfectly controlling their breathing and heart rate until it barely registered. It took a while, a few weeks, but I had time to kill.

Leaving the house was the next step, I needed to see if I could pull this off in public. I figured a department store was the best place to give it a whirl so I went to Primark and whilst pretending to browse T-shirts I feigned a heart attack, grabbing my chest and falling to the floor before laying motionless. Focusing on my heart rate slowing.

And they came... First members of the public and then staff. All to my side, all focused on me on the floor. Asking me if I was ok, a little state of panic forming when they found my weak pulse. A whole crowd just for me. I loved every second of it. I heard them go to get a defibrillator machine and that was my queue to rouse myself before I got zapped. I slowly 'came too' and asked for a glass of water. My own little minions running around, staring into my eyes with concern and care like they knew me, fetching me drinks and holding my hand.

I soaked it up for a while before saying I would make my own way to the hospital. They looked a little confused and insisted I wait for the ambulance but I knew that was rather high risk. I fake limped out of the store and the sun was shining, I felt a million dollars.

Later that day in the bath I told the cat all about it as he clawed once more at the door. I spent the rest of the evening daydreaming about places I could feign death and thinking about all the joy I brought to all those people who thought they were helping. I bet they felt like heroes and probably told their family about me.

So this is what it's like to feel important.