The Girl in Black

June 24, 2024

Trigger warning: suggestion of suicide/self-harm.


The girl in black was dressed in red today. 

Red dress and a red bow tying back her light curls. As always, she smiles at everyone she walks past on the street on her trek back from work. When she finally makes it back to her apartment, she sighs in relief that no one saw the frown behind her smile. No one saw the tears behind the crinkle of her smiling eyes. No one saw the darkness behind her synthetic light. 

The girl in black was dressed in pink today. 

It was harder for her to get out of bed this morning. Even though life had been this way for months, she hadn’t experienced that feeling before. That heavy weight on her chest. The invisible chains holding her to her bed, willing her to stay in it until her body rotted into the mattress. But still, she pulled herself up, laced up her pink dress, and tied her pink bow. 

The girl in black was dressed in yellow today. The sun was out now, the first sign of spring. She ogled at the fact that even though everything was drenched in sheets of gold, it all looked gray to her. 

The girl in black was dressed in white today. The prospect of wearing bright colors like she normally did exhausted her this morning, so she went for the absence of color instead. She didn’t bother tying her bow into her hair. 

The girl in black was dressed in gray today. She decided she didn’t care to mask her pain anymore. People at work stared at her, concern clouding their gazes. They asked if she was okay. They asked if there was something they could do. They told her to feel free to reach out to them if she needed it. Perhaps months ago, their words would have meant something to her. But nothing seems to mean anything anymore. 

The girl in black was dressed in black today. She didn’t go to work. She didn’t make breakfast. She didn’t feed her cat, Muffin. None of it mattered. It all felt so meaningless. So purposeless. A part of her half-expected someone from work to stop by her apartment and check on her. But the motion-sensitive porch light remained off. The doorbell remained still and quiet. Why does she bother, she wondered? Why does she bother to get up at all? Why does she bother ever to get dressed, ever leave her apartment? Why does she bother to keep breathing when every breath draws shards of glass into her lungs? 

She laid out six cans of cat food for Muffin that night. She texted her mom and her sister that she loved them. She packed up every small room of her apartment into boxes so it would be easier for them to clean things out. She left a detailed twelve page letter that she wrote by candlelight on her dresser. She drew a bath, the water tepid and still, and laid in it, resting her head against the edge of the clawfoot tub. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before doing what she had to do. For the first time in a long time, she felt peace. 

The girl in black did not get dressed today.


Danielle Koziol has been an avid writer since she could hold a pencil. Currently, she’s 20 years old and aiming to traditionally publish her work in progress, a new adult romantasy novel, Wings of Ash and Ember. In addition, she’s presently pursuing a public relations and creative writing degree at university. When Danielle isn’t writing, she’s drinking chai, attending classes, reading fantasy or romance books, or spending time with her dog Ruby. To follow her writing and publishing journey, and to learn more about her book, follow her on Instagram and TikTok at @AuthorDanielleKoziol.


Featured image by Henry Co.