“I can’t quite contain,
or explain my evil ways,
or explain why I’m not sane,
all I can say is this is your warning”
“I’m okay.” The simplest lie. People hear it and don’t think twice. Because people don’t care. You’re telling them what they want to hear. And as empathetic as they can possibly be, their pain still isn’t yours. It’s not their life, crumbling into pieces before their eyes. It’s not their struggle, not their fight. They don’t see the ghosts popping out from behind every single goddamn corner. They don’t live through all the pain, the sleepless nights, the tears, the screaming, and the wondering why. I’ve said that little phrase “I’m okay,” more times than I can count. And no one has seen through it. Not once. But I have a secret. A deep, dark secret. I’m not okay. Not okay at all.
I feel like no one knows who I am. Not my best friends, my family, anyone. I didn’t know who I was for a while. I felt like I was no one. But now I know that I'm so much more, even if the person I am is someone the old me would despise. I’m split into two parts. One part of me is the good girl. Law-abiding, straight A, got-it-all-figured-out girl. That girl can hardly stand on her own. She's weak. The other part of me is anything but. The completely evil, insane (in the bad way) me. But the scariest part of all is, I think I like that me better. And I think that she’s here to stay.
Journal Entry 17
“When I think about everything I’ve been through, I expect the tears to just rush in, but my eyes just feel dryer. It feels like I’ve got so little human left in me. No tears, none at all. No tears of sadness, no tears of joy. But what’s the difference between the two, really?”
In school I always walk on the side of the hallway. Out of everyone’s way, sight, and mind. It’s who I am. Always the person shunted sideways. Never under the spotlight. And usually I’m okay with that, but sometimes it hurts. It hurts to watch people get a standing ovation, or paint amazing pictures, or sing really, really well. Sometimes the pain is unreal in those little moments when no one laughs at your joke, even though, when he said it, a teacher had to come over from the other room because the class was in hysterics. Sometimes I wish that could be me, up there on the pedestal. But the thing that really throws me off is that I always have the knack for attracting attention when I least want it. Like, I’ll be invisible, then I make the tiniest of mistakes and suddenly everyone’s staring at me. That’s just how it is.
When I was on the bus the other day, it was just like it always was. Big, ricketty, with sizable amounts of duct tape peeling off the backs of seats. I was there hiding behind my backpack like I normally did, just wishing that I had my headphones. I started thinking about simple things; my friends, my crush, sports practice later, and like usual, my mind drifted to darker topics. What would happen today on this awful school bus? Yesterday was brutal. The day before, nothing short of terrifying. I tried to inconspicuously look over the top of my seat, to the one that was two more back, and diagonal to mine. I ducked down quickly. He was here.
I waited apprehensively, the uncomfortable dread filling up my stomach, and taking over my senses. I knew that when the people started thinning out he would turn to me for his amusement, and my torture. It wasn’t just on the bus he did this though. In school, right in front of our teachers. People would laugh. My friends would laugh. They really didn’t see how messed up it was. I was used to the situations, but when it was only the two of us, it was different. It felt scarier. More cornered. More raw.
Like I knew he would, he started on me. He made fun of my face, my stupidity, my friends. No. I told myself. I won’t just take this like I usually do. Today would be different.
“What did I ever do to you?” I screamed back at him, my voice full of pain. “Why do you hate me?” My words came out slurred and fast, so I could say them, before I lost my nerve.
“Because you’re a b****.” He said simply.
“You know nothing about me.” I cried back at him, staring at my feet. “You don’t know who I am, what happens in my life, what I’ve been through…” I chanced a look back at him, trying to appear braver than I actually was. He was smiling. Smiling, of all things. Like he enjoyed watching me try to say the things that I could never get off my tongue, and seeing my eyes gloss over with tears from hatred and fear.
“I know that you’re a sinner, and a bastard, and an all around awful person.” He paused. “And I know that anything I say to you, every insult you get from anyone. You. Deserve. It.” He strung out his words as if he was trying to prolong the time he had to say them. It sounded as though he was trying to whisper, tell me a secret. His voice had that hushed tone to it, yet he was saying it loud and proud, for the whole world to hear.
With no response of any kind I sunk back down in my seat, and tried to ignore his voice echoing behind me, hoping I wasn’t sniffing too loudly, hugging my backpack to my chest like an infant.
“I also know there’s a special place in hell for you,” he said. Aren’t I already there? “Hopefully you’ll get there sooner rather than later.”
The bus screeched to a stop and I heard shuffling from behind me. We were the only people left. As he got up from his seat to leave at his stop I made a split-second decision. I picked my head up, and turned around in my seat to face him as he trudged by. And I did such a simple thing. I stuck my foot out in front of him. It hit him in the ankle as he was going by and he tripped perfectly. I watched him stumble, arms stretched in a fruitless attempt to catch himself, and ungracefully fall. He didn’t waste any time climbing back on his feet and facing me. “B****,” he spat, and turned around, readjusting his bag, and continuing his slow walk off the bus.
While still feeling the very prominent wet tears crawling down my chin to my neck, it was my turn to smile. This smile was different from my normal ones. It wasn't a happy smile, or a sad smile, or a fake smile. It was a sick, warped smile. An evil smile. My evil smile. I felt it pushing up at the sides of my cheeks, trying to stretch itself off of my face entirely. You finally stuck up for yourself, a new voice in the back of my head said to me. I liked doing that, it continued. I want to do it again.
And thus, a new part of me was born.
Journal Entry 19
I broke down crying in class the other day, and since then, the people who have always been there to make fun of me have been treating me like glass. What a nice wake-up-call for them. I guess none of them ever realized that I was human before.
When you feel like the whole world is against you, eventually you go over to their side. You believe what they say, do what they tell you to. I went to their side, and I hated myself so much, and everyone hated me so much that just leaving seemed like the best option. It would save me a lot of pain, and I’m sure it would’ve saved many others a lot of pain too. So why not? Because I couldn’t let the world know they’d won. I couldn’t die without having gotten the last word. But all of it was chipping away at me day after day. It felt like I was in one of those old silent movies that my dad made me watch. I was hanging off a ledge, no sound able to come out of me to alert anyone of my helpless position. Everyone on the street was conveniently refraining from looking up, and I was hanging on by one finger. The people in the audience wouldn’t and couldn’t help me. And no one was wondering how I was still staying on, but yet no one was worried that I would fall off, simply because in movies people never lose. They always bounce back from the impossible. But what if they didn’t?
Journal Entry 25
I think I’m insane. I keep hearing these - voices. I mean, I’ve always heard voices - but I didn't know that most people didn't. I thought I was normal, how stupid that was. Nothing about me is ever normal. I'm different. Not unique-different, freak-different. I know that most people say it's good to be different, but they're wrong. Being different sucks, because you can't understand most people, and they can’t understand you, and hitting me with a s***ty re-written-hundreds-of-times-quote isn't going to change that. These voices - they don’t sound like me. Well, sometimes they do, but I can hear them all the time. They’re ALWAYS talking. Usually the one would only show up a few times a day. Now they're there nonstop. It's terrifying. I’ll be doing something completely normal, and they’ll just be there. Arguing in the back of my mind. Someone constantly talking in my ear. I have no idea what it is or why it’s there. They control what I do and say sometimes. Am I crazy? But crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, right? Where did these things come from? I can’t get one moment of peace. My insomnia is worse than ever, and I can’t handle any of this. I need help.
I ate dinner in full tilt again, just so I could race myself back to my bedroom and shove headphones in my ears at full volume to drown out the creatures living in my brain. I had brought my mom to tears because I never came out of my room anymore. But I couldn’t. I’m a psychopath, I’m sure of it, and I can't focus on anything right. My grades are going down, and it had become daily practice for me to always wear my hair down and have an earbud wire running up my sleeve. My eyes were typically glassy as I listened to the conversations going on in my head and ignored the rest of the world.
I never slept, barely ate, and hardly ever willfully hung out around other people. It took all of my control to not go ballistic and scream at everyone. The only way I could refrain from doing so was by doing the opposite: never talking to anybody. I didn't know if I should tell somebody. My mom would probably just send me to a shrink. Again. I went to one in second grade to help with my “feelings” about my parents divorce. I didn't even know or care what a divorce was. At the mention of something like this, I'd probably be locked up in a cell with around the clock counselling. Just the thought of it made me shiver. Not that it would help anyway, I'm sure of it. I'm permanently damaged. These voices would only go away after they drove me off the edge of a ten-story building.
Journal Entry 28
“I don’t want to be strong anymore. I don’t want the experiences, I don’t want to hurt like this anymore. I want it to end. I am going to die, if I haven’t already. I can’t wait it out anymore. I used to pride myself on being strong, I know I’m strong. How would I still be here if I wasn’t? But I don’t want to be strong anymore. I can’t keep going on like this. What I’m doing, it’s not life. It’s just surviving. Surviving all the noises, the fights, all these f***ing feelings. And inflicting the pain. I just don’t think I can do it anymore.”
The cold air whipped around my exposed skin as I plunged outside into the winter wind. I looked around wildly, my hair blowing back and forth across my face as I looked back at my house, then jumped off my doorsteps into the darkness. There were no streetlights on my road, leaving me only the moon to illuminate my surroundings. I could make out the shadowy figures of trees in the forest across the street. I ran out over my front lawn, the crystal-like snow crunching underneath my bare feet.
I paused in the center of the road, frantically searching around for something. Anything.
But the sleeping neighborhood was barren. Not knowing what else to do, I ran. I ran as fast as I could. I didn't care that it was past midnight, or that it was below freezing and I only donned shorts and a t-shirt. All I cared about was getting as far as I could from everything else.
When I came to the end of the street, I turned and jumped through a space in a long metal gate, leading to a bumpy road completely surrounded by woodland. I surrendered myself to the noise of the steady beat of my feet hitting the ground. I wouldn't stop when I ran out of breath, and I could hardly feel the dozens of sharp rocks sticking into my heels.
I ran until I couldn't possibly run anymore. When no part of me could give anything else, my knees buckled and my legs tripped over each other, sending me crashing down face first onto the rocky pavement. I rolled clumsily over myself, as blood spurted down onto my face from a sizable laceration on the top of my head. I lay on the freezing ground in the fetal position, as tears started slipping down off my cheeks to leave small marks in the snow.
Before I could contemplate what I was doing, I screamed. I screamed as loud as I could, so that my voice went hoarse. Then I screamed again. I banged my fists against the pavement until they turned bluish from the cold, and small beads of red dotted my knuckles.
Pick yourself up, said the dark, faint voice in the back of my head. Get up off of this icy ground. They don't deserve your tears.
But it could all be over. Said the other voice. This voice sounded whiny and concerned. None of the pain is going to end. Why live through it?
There is nothing as human as pain. It means you're still alive. Now get up. I forced myself to stand on my wobbly legs, only now fully appreciating the feeling of the cold in the air that surrounded me. By the time I'm done with you, you're going to love the pain. You're going to ache for it, said the darker voice, more pronounced now. It was just too bad that I still couldn’t hear them.
I took one painful step forward. Tracing my first set of footprints back, I started at a steady pace. I had blood caked in my hair, and more snaking down my fingers. There was snow matted on my knees and elbows. I walked as slowly as I could, because I was in no hurry to get back to where I was going.
Have you ever looked from the bad guy’s point of view? I mean, they don’t just wake up and think, ‘Feels like death today.’ No. Those people only exist in fairytales. Where fictional villains kill and steal and trick for no reason. In the real world it's much more complex. Maybe it's for revenge, for leverage, or for hatred. It could be because someone just downright deserved it, for justice. Or it could be for fun. Hey, I'm not crazy, I'm just realistic. They're the people that have been royally screwed with by the world, and the people that live there. And they can see that all these ‘innocent’ people really aren’t innocent at all. We’ve all done some bad things, or will do bad things. Some worse than others, but nevertheless. So what separates the evil from the good? Power. Power, and how it’s handled. But are the evil as bad as they’re painted? There’s always a reason that people turn out like that. The worst part is that no one ever sees that they’re breaking someone, until their remains break them in return. It’s called karma. You may have heard that it’s a b****.
“Why do you think this way?” I asked, peering at the strange version of me that I was standing in front of.
Was I looking into a mirror? Was I in a dream? I saw myself, but I was different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was something so strange about the me I was looking at. I reached out, but all I could touch was the delicate glass separating us. It was so vivid, so real. And then she spoke.
“Because it makes sense.” The strange me said.
“What makes sense?" I chucked, “The delusions in your sick mind?”
“Oh, I'm not sick. There is nothing diagnosably wrong with me. I'm just twisted. But as to why I am, is simple. You.”
“Me?” I questioned, startled, and as I did, she began to laugh.
“You.” She repeated. How did I make her like this? “Without me as I am you would be dead. Worse than dead. You would be dead without a legacy. I became like this for you.”
She was speaking the truth, and that was scary. “What do you mean?"
“You have to leave,” she said. “We're both better off without you.”
“I can't just leave,” I responded. “You don't know you're own strength. You could do something serious…”
“I'll be fine. I know how to control myself.” She urged. “I'm the stronger part of us. I'll win in the end, you know it's true.”
I thought about her words for a minute. She was, I knew that for sure. Stronger, quicker, and smarter, definitely. But what about saner? Kinder? No, that was all me. “I need this.” She continued, “I need to live, really live. Not just force you to keep living. You wouldn't be here without me. You wouldn't have all your friends, all the laughs, all the fun. It's me everyone likes, not you. You wouldn't have anything without me. Can't I get some sort of repayment?”
Right again, I thought. “But I balance you out. We wouldn't be who we are without me.”
“No, we wouldn't be who we are. I would be who I am. Who I should be. You have lived your life for thirteen years. Isn't it my turn now?”
I was so negligible next to her. A giant nothing in comparison to who she was. I needed her, not the other way around. And she was going to make sure I knew I that.
I gulped. I wouldn’t leave, I couldn’t. She was hard to trick, but I knew I could do it. We would switch roles. I would let her live, I owe her that, but I would save her if she needed me to. Like she had done for me. She wouldn’t even know that I was still here “Okay.” I said, and her mouth immediately split into a closed grin so wide, I was surprised her face didn’t crack in two.
“Oh, this is going to be fun.”