Paranoia Came Back

It was early morning at about 3 o'clock when you found me crouched on the kitchen floor, pushing up linoleum with a knife. You were shirtless and wearing your blue boxers, your heart tattoo with your ex-girlfriend's name glaring at me as a reminder of who you loved enough to bleed for. But it was your eyes I noticed most—your sad, tired eyes with the red rims around them—and I couldn't help feeling a little guilty.

You asked if I'd taken my medication and I lied because I didn't have the heart to tell you that I'd washed every last one of those mind-numbing pills down the kitchen sink. Watched them swirl down the drain and laughed until tears poured down my face because I finally knew what freedom felt like.

After eight goddamn years, freedom is mine. And it feels fucking great.

I know full well what you'd have said to me, but I had no choice. Paranoia came back. She never gives me a choice. She has a way of convincing me. She's been my best friend since childhood, you know. We have a love-hate relationship but I can trust her; she's had my back through thick and thin. You just don't understand. You've never been able to understand.

She told me about all your spies and informants—the fire ants under the floor, the teddy bear in your closet, the secret codes in your textbooks. You're a terrorist. I don't negotiate with terrorists. Though I have no problem telling you that I know about the neighbors—how they're conspiring to overthrow Wal-Mart. The ants are in on it. The mosquitos too, I think. It's all one big master plan.

I tell you all of this—every last piece of information—and you just sigh, shake your head, and order me to come to bed. I can't come to bed. Not yet. I'm looking for evidence. The ants must have some somewhere. Sneaky little bastards, they are. There's no way they wouldn't have answers hidden. I know they do. Paranoia told me, and I can trust paranoia.