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The smell from her apartment permeated the air, like black magic on a velvety cool night. Her heels, hundreds of pairs are skewed on the floor. This woman, who tries so hard to hide who she is, simply cannot. Her thick accent pairs well with her eyebrows. Everything about her is thick, rich, and full of life. She pulls off a discount suit better than a celebrity in tailored Armani. Her charm is endearing, regardless of her negative intentions. She’s the one your mother warned you about; that voodoo girl, but you’re too entranced to follow your instincts and back away slowly.
Suddenly, before you can comprehend the events that just took place before your very eyes, you hear her speak,
“Downstairs, is that a bah?’
You realize this witchy woman has singled you out, and you’re in a state of panic. Your hands rush to your hair, ears, and face. In a split second you ask yourself the three most important questions your neurotic mother taught you:
“Did I wear my expensive earrings?”
“Is my makeup mussed or do I have a hair out of place?”
“Do I look as good as or better than she does?”
Because this woman has you under her spell already, and we’ve only just begun.


You started out the day by getting into the shower; a perfect 100 degrees, just how you like it. You walk through your little flat feeling superior, seeing as you live alone. You get dressed in the same way you do every day, careful not to deter from the pattern, because if you do something bad will happen. At least that’s what you think. Undergarments, pants, shirt, shoes, hair, jewelry, and then makeup; because as your mother taught you, you’re never completely dressed unless you have managed every detail. You check yourself for the thirty-second time (yes, 32 times; what a funny little thing that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is) in your flat’s bedroom mirror that extends from the floor to the ceiling, so you won’t miss any detail. Your excuse is you want to look nice, but your head tells you to have nary a wrinkle, nor a hair out of place. Frustrated regardless with your appearance, you scowl, grab your bag, and leave in a huff; your $1,120.20 Lanvin peep toe wedges leaving scuff marks on the brand new kitchen tile.


As you leave your place of residence, you notice a billboard that wasn’t there the day before, that is way too close to your scenic view. You plan to call your father later to have it removed. Within that same thought, you feel an inkling of fear. You brush it off and begin your daily trek to your favorite coffee shop. It’s your first fuel up for the day on that little b***** of a drug called caffeine, which raises your metabolism and your heart rate. The coffee shop is rated the best in the city and the most expensive. You only grace establishments that are the most expensive with your presence; and who wouldn’t when they are simply spending all of big-shot Daddy’s laundered money? Daddy’s little girl will soon get her rude awakening.


You sigh loudly; at the fact your black coffee is taking almost five minutes; since you insist on a fresh brewed Venti size every time you come in.


“Why black coffee Miss?” the cashier always asks. You never pay him/her/it any attention because they are fat, and don’t understand that even non-fat soy milk contains unwanted, and unaccounted for calories. As you step out of the café with your cup of high class coffee in hand you’re accosted by a woman that is prettier than you. She’s carrying this bag with a face you’ve seen before. That inkling of fear is back, and you reassure yourself, that black coffee has 5 calories per 8 ounce serving, and you’ve probably already burnt it off. Your attention turns back to the bag. The woman ignores you, and listens intently to her Bluetooth headset. It’s snowy white, the bag that is. The handles are like chewy, black licorice. That thought make you hungry so you move on to the next detail quickly, and brush that thought away with a piece of sugar-free peppermint gum. You’re committing these details to memory, as if they were a religious prayer, because you are determined to find out why that damn woman is prettier than you are. Your train of thought halts abruptly. You realize where the fear came from, not the coffee, but the face on the bag. It’s as if the woman is following your every move, your every thought, your every calorie. You know you’ve seen the face before in real life. Daddy’s money always afforded you front seat privileges at the hottest fashion shows. She doesn’t belong there though in those memories. Your better at names than faces, but even that ability is failing you now. This woman has a dark and full complexion, as if she was from the Middle East. It’s imperfect yet striking. Your eyes become trained on the label of the bag; “Deep Sea Cosmetics”. You instantly grab your BlackBerry, and Google Map your way to the nearest kiosk.


This attraction is like metal to a magnet. It seems like a millisecond, and BAM. You’re there. You don’t remember walking, and you wouldn’t have remembered what you were doing if the kiosk didn’t say “Deep Sea Cosmetics”. You whip out your American Express Black Card that your father gave to you and ask the dumpy cashier for one of everything. She doesn’t say a word, but she sighs, pops her gum with agitation, and slowly but surely calculates the price of every item in anticipation of your purchase. Your eye becomes trained once again on those magical bags. You fight the urge to grab all of the bags and run off. That woman on the bag is watching you. Don’t do anything foolish. You’re mind begins to run like a frightened hamster on its exercise wheel, just trying to figure out who she is. You begin to go through your mental checklist of past relationships, hookups, and affairs; but you come up empty. Then you think back to the “business trips” your father has taken to Cabo. The w****s that were with him don’t match this face either. When the woman finally has rang up every item, after what has seemed to take hours, you swipe your card, key in the code, and collect your purchases.


You look around for a second as you clutch the bags to your chest and then nearly sprint for the closest exit, because suddenly the room is spinning, the world is on fire, and the floor is calling your name. You know what this is. As you get close to the door, you strain to continue. Your foot crosses the threshold of the door, and your palms hit the granite floors. Your heart is beating a million miles a minute, and it feels as if it is going to rip through your chest. Your pretty porcelain face meets the hard and unforgiving granite. You’ll have to wear thick stage makeup in order to cover the ugly little friction burn your face will have on your right cheekbone. The last thing you see is a knock off brand of the shoes that are on your very feet. You make sure they are attached to a body; but to your surprise, the body is that of the woman on the damn bag. You hear a few screams for someone to call 911, as you slip and let the blackness take you.


She’s casually filing away at her nails when your eyes flutter open. You take note of the sugar water slowly seeping into your veins. They call it nourishment for your starved body. You call it pointless caloric torture for your fat a**. You try and act as if you were still asleep, but it’s no use. She knew you were awake. She followed you here. That woman on the bag is sitting so close; you can breathe the stagnant air from her apartment. What was so marvelous about her?

“Emily? You’ve failed me again. You got caught. You promised me you wouldn’t get caught.”
Your name sounds like a tasteless catastrophe in her mouth. The way her mouth forms the vowels and consonants makes you shiver. You don’t answer to her reprimand, because your emotions are running rampant. While you are holding back tears of agitation, your hands are roaming beside you. They gave you a morphine drip with a button to push every ten minutes. You press it a million times, hoping for an overdose, but knowing the automated machine will only give you the prescribed amount. You drift off to a dreamless sleep, while silently praising your father’s amazing healthcare plan.

When you wake up, you’re clueless to the time, the date, and perhaps even the year. You know you’ve been moved to The Riverside Rehabilitation Intensive In-Patient Care Facility, because you’re in the exact same room you have been in for the past hospitalizations. She was right. In the hospital, they caught you. Those eagle eyed nurses calculated every number, even the good ones. They told you that they were repulsed by your skeletal figure, but you knew it was jealousy. Your weight? 83.2 pounds. Of course the decimals count. They say all of the usual things… “Your blood pressure is dangerously low, your heart rate is pitiful, and if we hadn’t gotten to you….” Blah. Blah. Blah. Is all you hear, because you stopped listening.
You’ve heard it all before. This is the sixth time you’ve been her in the past six years. The first time was easy, but it has gotten progressively harder. You’re now 19, and you would sign yourself out, but they have you here on a court order, unlike last time. They got wise. You try to sit up, but you’re held by leather restraints. You’re visibly frustrated, but that’s what they want, for you to show emotion. You refuse. You stay icy, calm cool, and collected. These doctors know you’re a hopeless case. You’re supposed to be dead in all reality. You’ve defied the laws of medical science, and have been to hell and back.

No matter how many degrees these doctors have, no matter how much insurance money this facility ticks away like a cracked-out speedometer, and no matter how many times they tell you that you have feelings, none of it will ever work. You’ve been screaming you abruptly realize. The therapist you’ve had since your parent’s separation that only you, your parents, she and some deity know about, is by your side. She pats your hand and tells you that everything is going to be alright. You open your eyes and begin to scream a string of obscenities, interjected with words like get and out to what your therapist says is an empty chair. You scream at the woman, who has replaced your mother throughout your crazy existence,
“No, dammit! Don’t you see? The woman from the bag! The bloody woman from that damn bag!”
Her voice resonates in your head.
“Is that a bah?”
You are sedated for the third time in two days. You drift off again to your world of starvation, schizophrenic hallucinations, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

“You’ll be back.” She says in the most sickening manner possible.
The woman on the bag is the woman who owns your existence, your mind, and your soul.
She continues,

“I will coax you back. You won’t eat. Maybe you’ll die this time, or maybe you won’t. I couldn’t care. You’ll flush the crazy seeds they give you down the toilet, or you’ll save them for an overdose, whatever I fancy for entertainment at the time. You will never quit me. I won’t let you. You’re caught in this vicious cycle, and I am never going to let you go.




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