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I want to hate her. I want to. But hating her would mean hating myself. I don’t want to hate myself anymore.

There are voices in my head. They scream at each other more than me, and at me more than the mistakes I make. They used to make me cry sometimes. But crying means release. I don’t want to let go of the pain again. I want to keep it inside, where I can feel it, always.

She made me breathe the air that made me gag. She grabbed my wrist and pulled. I didn’t want them to know. But really, when does knowing twist anyone’s lips into a satisfactory grin? I knew, but I didn’t want to know. She knew, but she didn’t want to tell me. Now they know, and they’ll never love me like they used to do.

I want to glue my eyes shut. Maybe then, things will make sense. The chemicals inside my brain used to harmonize. Now I can’t sleep, and there’s no escaping the truth. If I could, I would apologize to her, for shattering her reflection. She tried to fix this. She tried to make everything okay again, like it used to be.

She failed.

I miss her. We used to do everything together, in matching outfits. We painted our nails the same plethora of colors, and we laughed, and we existed. Now she’s there, I’m here, and she writes me letters. I’m sorry, she says. But I can’t write back. Once my pen hits paper, the words won’t ever stop. My letter will be a thousand pages long, and every single sentence will remind her that things could have been normal around here; perfect.

She wants to know why I’m so selfish. I have everything, she says. We have everything we could ever want. It’s not true. I tried 112 times to make them proud of me, and they still frowned at my B’s. So I worked for A’s, and they found other things to criticize. I tried to fix those things, too. I tried so hard my brain started telling me lies.

They can’t see what I see. Their eyes are broken, but they say it’s the other way around. I keep trying to tell them I was just trying—but trying for what? And she thinks she has it all figured out. She remembers how I used to obsess over things when we were seven, so I wouldn’t have to think about moving to another state. She hates my new obsession. She only hates it because she refuses to understand.

I used to think we were the same person. When we looked in the mirror, there were four of us, all smiling. But now she’s beautiful, and I’m not. She can do anything, and I forgot how to want. She goes to school with her friends and doesn’t talk about me, and they don’t ask. I sit here by myself and hope I’ll see her soon.

Sometimes I try to plan my homecoming. Everything will be perfect. We’ll have cake and ice cream and six small meals a day, and we won’t ever have to talk about this again. It never happened. I’m still the good one. They still love me.

But I can’t sleep. So the dreams don’t settle in.





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