Like every morning, Joe woke up with a headache and a blurred vision. Due to doing homework all night, he was bereft of energy and could barely stay awake for no more than a minute. For a while now Joe has been hearing many voices, but thought nothing of it, and left for school. In class, Joe was reminded that he had to present that day, and he began to worry.
...What do you mean?
When the teacher called on him to present, Joe's mind went blank and he started to breathe heavily. Stuttering on is words, Joe could barely say anything before he felt tears waiting to fall. When the bell rang in the middle of his presentation, Joe left right away. Rushing through the halls, he felt eyes piercing through his back, and the sound of voices started to grow louder and louder, and went into an empty room.
When his heart slowed, Joe heard a voice calling him. He turned over and saw a few girls he didn't know. Joe never really had friends as he preferred to be alone, and found it hard to talk to others. The girls started to laugh at him an imitate his stutter like he was during presentation. Joe felt his tears starting to build up again, and his heart went back to beating faster.
One of the girls, he realized he saw in his class earlier, named Presley, mimicked a worry mother's vice asking their child if they're okay. Joe started to feel dizzy as the laughs increased in volume. Presley noticed this and asked, "What's wrong? What are you so afraid of? We're not even real. It's your imaginations." Then, the girls disappeared. That was the last thing he heard before blacking out.
We're not even real people. It's your imaginations.
As he opened his eyes , he noticed how unfamiliar everything felt. Joe began to worry and the sound of a machine was blaring. A woman dressed in a medical coat ran over to him warily to make sure he doesn't freak out. When he calmed down, Joe was confused about why he was at a hospital. When he asked the doctor if there was anything wrong with him, she told him something that he never expected, and changed his life.
You have schizophrenia.
It has been a few years since the incident. Joe has been takings his medicines regularly, and he was starting to feel better again. Although he will never be the same as before, he couldn't wish for anything better. Now, he is cautious to make sure nothing similar will happen again. Joe's life got better, but it is still not the best, and he is okay with that.