Book of Self

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Its cold in here, dark, dank, but familiar.

Images of three young children playing repeats itself on the walls of TV screens, two boys one little girl, blowing bubbles together. The screens flicker and hum, a silhouette stands out amongst them, someone in a chair. I know that person, I always have; wires, of all colors and sizes straps her to her seat. The mechanical snakes wriggling under her skin, keeping her contained; stopping her from lashing out.

But this is no prison, it's not house arrest.

It's.....

"What do you want kid? Come to complain to me again or is it the monthly binding?"

I'm no kid, she knows this, I know this. I feel so much older than seventeen.

"No, it's a visit."

"Hurray.." She snarls and pauses the tape, stopping the frolicking of my two foster brothers and myself. That was, what? Fourteen years ago.

She turns in the chair, twisting the wires around that hung from the ceiling. "So what is it?"

"Nothing.."

"L.you're lying."

"So what if I am? You're more cynical than usual today."

"Not my fault."

I walk up to one of the walls, looking at the paused picture. I miss those two, no matter how abusive the other one was to his brother.

"They were fucked up from the beginning." She sighed and rested her cheek on her hand, staring at my back with dulled blue eyes. "You couldn't do anything."

"I was too young.I know.I know. Mom was so busy then..and this had to be one of the days Dad was actually home." My fingers caressed the screen in front of me. I barely remember that day out in the backyard, Dad wore his old cranberry colored baseball T-shirt.

"It's was always lonely then." She murmured.

"You were there."

"I don't count."

"Of course you do.I'm not gonna let them sedate you.." I turned my head around to look over my shoulder at her.

"Of course..that's your job." Her face twisted into a sneer, that hurt. That cut deep, I have to do it, I don't want to. People deserve to feel her vehemence, but it's wrong, if this woman has taught me anything it's my morality.

"If you do break free, what will happen to me? To us? All hell breaks loose,"

"Maybe, maybe not. Take a chance."

I stood over her in her chair, that smug look on her face. "Don't try and trick me, I know what you're up to."

"Of course, you are me and I am and you."

"Or is it the other way around?" I grumbled and leaned on the arms of the seat, pushing it down slightly.

She frowned, "Probably is."

She's always been here, always near, always listening whether she liked it or not.

"I've been wondering L, why do you keep me anyway, I'm nothing but depression to you. Why won't you let them take me away?

How can she ask that, after all she's been through with me. My true childhood friend, my inner demons, hopes, dreams and evils. "How can you ask that? After everything!?!"

"It's simple, you don't need me here, you'd be so much better!"

I'm upset, yes, fuming, no. "If you're gone, what do I have? Nothing!"

She is, simply, my other half. The one who takes all this rage, hate, loneliness and locks it inside of her. She's a shaken soda can waiting to be opened, that's why I bind her here. I hate her as I hate myself and I love her as I love myself. That simple, we barely touch. Barely touch.

"What are you pondering now?"

"you of course."

"Ah.of course. Well.I'm sorry to hear that you have to leave so soon.." She shrugged nonchalantly.

"I never said that." I sighed, she's knows my mind, I sometimes think I said something but I never did.

"But you want to.soon."

That was true, I stay in here too long. I'm gonna need to get out, but.

"But what L?"

"I do want to stay here, forever."

She's confused, yet pleasantly surprised, I can tell. "You need to get back, you've got work to do."

"I know." I leaned forward and lightly brushed my lips against hers. "but I never really leave, Zara." One of her own wires snakes out from under her skin and tries to get under mine, we've befuddled it. It withers from not being attached to a living thing.

Her hand strokes my cheek and she kissed me this time. "I know, I know, love."

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Ah, the room inside my head where she and I sleep.

And I love the manga Chicago.