Chapter 1. Part 2
An annoying countdown had started in my head, warning me I had only three days left until New Years Eve. Three days before I can legally call myself an adult. Not that it matters, at the moment I feel closer to forty then eighteen. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve dreaded the arrival of such a mammoth event. However, far greater issues hold my thoughts hostage.
I had turned my brain inside out, trying to make sense of that night before Christmas, but nothing materialised. No explanations on how I had escaped, so I gave up.
Jane, my therapist, tried reassuring me it had more to do with my over-active imagination. Mild hallucinations and lapses in time I should pass for late night studying and early mornings. Her flimsy, yet well-intended attempt might have succeeded, if not for the fact they’d disrupted my life since I can remember.
But something—even beyond my line of reasoning—has changed the dynamics of these events. Now that Sophie has gone, I endure the vivid dreams and horrific nightmares plaguing not only my nights, but now my days too.
The craziness had finally broken through the labyrinth of boxes I‘ve taken years to construct, crumpling my warehouse of memories in its wake. And the freaky shit worsens with each passing day. One massive problem with this new arrangement, I’ve no clue how much longer I can keep it contained before it consumes me forever. What petrifies me more though, the thought of Jane coming to my room late in the night, dragging me from my bed and locking away until everyone forgets I ever existed. If my parents could do it—abandon me as a baby without a second thought—then what hope do I have.
“Maybe they knew about it from the start.” My mumbled words echo through the silence, invisible restraints shackling me to the past. Imprisoned in a lifetime of hell predetermined by my birth.
A waft of cold air blew across the back of my neck; it’s happened a lot since Sophie’s desertion. I shiver and peer up from the screen of my laptop, blinded for a moment by the darkness. Not even wanting to look behind, I grab the cardigan from the backrest and put it on, then swivel my chair round to face Jodie’s side of the room. The light from my desk lamp barely reaches her bed. Any other time I wouldn’t have minded not seeing the mess of her discarded clothes and overflowing bin, but I want to now.
My eyes freeze on the black mass leaning against her headboard. Tiny disembodied hands and feet protruding out of the emptiness, reaching out to me, haunting glass eyes glinting in the sepia glow. God how I hated dolls, shuddering I look away.
“Do it, now.” With one big push of my feet, the chair spins round.
The immediate rush hits my head and in those brief seconds of weightlessness as it floats away, I see the room creep tighter in. The light flickers and my heart responds as the dull, khaki paint forms dark shadows ready to ensnare me. Not giving myself time to think, I stumble to the light-switch by the door and flick it on, and then watch as the shadow people disappear from sight.
No more, I need to talk to someone, and quick.
I pace the room for what seem like ages, comforted by the illuminating glare of the overhead light. Everything appears normal now, well, except the coven of evil dolls staring back at me. Picking Jodie’s blanket off the floor I throw it over them, blocking them from my sight, and then flop on my bed exhausted. My findings look dead in the water.
Option one: Jane. My champion of rational thinking. Guru of all things pertaining to mental health. No, she had left for the holidays and I couldn’t hold out for another five days.
Option two: Sam. My best friend; my only real friend. Beautiful, talented, quick-witted, and above all, modest. Almost everyone in the home loves her. Hell, I love her, who wouldn’t.
One of the best thing about our friendship, she knows of my eccentric ways and still accepts me despite our differences. But she has no idea what all of it entails. I haven’t fallen that far yet to risk losing everything. Besides, her idea of an emergency involves a chipped nail, or wearing the wrong colour for your skin-tone. My type of emergency would stretch the boundaries of our friendship.
I push deeper to think of someone else. No one comes to mind. Am I that much of a loner?
Strike three. You’re out.
What a pathetic existence I’d chosen.
The tears breach the dam of my tear-ducts, burning a trail down my cheeks in their hurry to get away. No point in fighting, no one was around to witness my demise. So I let it go, crying until the tank runs empty and no more tears stain the pillowcase. Until every muscle in my body aches for someone to hold me—sooth away the pain.
The last indulgent tremor ripples into nothingness.
Had I lost it altogether? This self-inflicted pity party has to stop. No way can I allow it to take hold, remove every trace that makes me different, whether that means a lifetime of loneliness or not.
“Get up you idiot.” My body responds without question. I couldn’t let this thing win. I had to try.Copyright © by Sarah Neeve
Waiting…, may not be copied, shared or unlawfully used without the prior consent of the author.