Go Away Daniel…

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My only friend in the world was in my room when I came up from dinner. “I know what happened,” he told me. “It’s not your fault.”

“Oh really?” My voice was hollow.

“They kept yelling. What did you think was going to happen?”

“Something that didn’t involve me trying to smash a plate in front of them?” He tried to speak but I didn’t give him the chance. “Daniel, normal people don’t just…snap like that. There’s something…very, very wrong with me, you know there is.”

“I can’t say there isn’t,” he admitted. “It’s not your fault though-”

“That’s a lie,” I interrupted. “If I did the work my school wanted me to, I wouldn’t be falling apart like this. I wouldn’t be such a fucking nut-”

“You couldn’t do the work!” Daniel exploded. “Cat, you’re not well. You’ve never been well. But that’s the only reason why you’re not doing the work. And you can’t control that.”

“But what if I could?” I retorted. “What if this whole thing in my head is just an excuse? I always make excuses for myself. I’m not feeling well, or I’ve missed that lesson, or Things are bad at home. I’m always ready with them. There’s literally nothing stopping me from keeping up, only my stupid fucking excuses!”

“They’re not-”

“They are Daniel.” I was shaking, but there weren’t any tears this time.

He reached for me. “No,” I told him. “Don’t.”

“Cat, please-”

“No!” My chest felt like it was about to burst. “You can’t help me…”

“But I want to.”

“But you can’t,” I croaked. “I’m sorry. But you can’t save me. I’ve already destroyed myself, and there’s nothing left of me.”

“There is,” he insisted. “You can push through this, you’re strong enough to push through this.”

“I’m not. I don’t push through it. I lie there and let it consume me. That’s the only way I survive it, if I can really call it surviving.”

“You haven’t lost to it though.”

“I have.” I looked up at him. “You seem to think that ‘losing’ is when you kill yourself. The only reason I haven’t done that is because I’m too scared to die. And now look at me. It’s almost funny.” I smiled crookedly, my stomach aching with the effort. “All I can do is lie there. My emotions have eaten away at me, and I’m just this hollow shell. I’ve still lost, Daniel. I haven’t killed myself, but I’m still dead.”

“No…”

“Please go,” I begged him. “Leave me alone.”

“I can’t…”

“Go!” I gasped. “There’s nothing for you to do. I’m already dead, why the fuck do you think that I can be saved?!”

He looked away. “That’s right. There’s no reason for you to keep counting on me. I keep saying I’ll be fine, and then I change my mind and lie there, because I’m too lazy to try and make things better for myself. Just go already!”

Daniel’s eyes were bright green and shiny with tears when he looked back at me. Were my eyes the same? “If I go, will you kill yourself?”

“No.” I meant what I said. “I don’t have the energy. Nor the courage.”

“Never say that,” he told me fiercely. “Never say that suicide involves anything like courage!”

I said nothing. “Please…” he sobbed. “I don’t want to watch you die…I don’t want to lose anyone else…”

“Then go,” I whispered.

He stared back at me as if I just stabbed him. “I’m not going to do anything. I promise. But I’m dying, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. There’s nothing left of me to save.”

Daniel gulped. For a while, it looked as if he wasn’t going to do anything, but then he turned away and went for the door. He looked back with his hand on the handle. “I know what you want me to think,” he said softly. “And this would be so much easier if I did think that. But I don’t. You’re worthy of love, worthy of living. You deserve so much more than what’s in your head. And I’ll keep believing that, no matter what.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

I could finally cry again. Because I had hurt the person I loved the most. The one thing Daniel wanted was to redeem himself, to save me, and I had thrown that away. I didn’t care anymore, about living. Nothing was worth trying to survive.

I was the most despicable human in the world.

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Tears and Why I Shed Them

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“Please tell me you know why you’re crying,” Daniel says to me.

“….”

“Okay then…what did one of your friends say now?”

I just sigh and show him. “Right.” Daniel cracks his knuckles and flexes his hands. “I’m going to kill him.”

“Don’t.”

“Why? I think Flash should apologise.”

“It’s my own fault Daniel, it’s fine.”

“NO IT IS NOT!” he yells suddenly. “It is not okay!”

“Calm down,” I plead.

“No, I will not. You know why?” He refuses to wait for an answer. “Tell me, when was the last time you spoke back to someone?”

“…”

“Precisely Cat Madigan. So…we should do something about it.”

I already feel a pit of dread growing in my stomach. “No…”

“Stop being a chicken.”

“I’m not a chicken! I just don’t want to lose a good friend.”

“You can do without him, you silly girl.”

“He’s my friend!”

“Cat, what is that falling down your face?”

“Evidence of severe emotional instability.”

“That reminds me….” With that, Daniel disappears.

“Daniel?” I look around my bedroom. “Daniel where are-”

And that’s when everything changed.

My arms hurt, but I couldn’t move them. They were held behind my head by chains attached to the ceiling. I hate them… Struggling hurts more. “LET ME OUT!” I scream. “LET. ME. OUT!”

I could feel him behind me. It wasn’t Daniel, Daniel was warm, you could feel the heat radiating from his body from a couple of steps away; this stranger was cold. Daniel smelt of rain and smoke. The stranger smelt of death.

And I knew him.

“It’s not her,” I tell him. “It’s Cat, my name is Cat, not Kaya, do you understand? Please.” I know what happens next, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen it happen to her. Then I realise. “It doesn’t make a difference does it? You would’ve known it wasn’t me, just like I immediately knew you weren’t Daniel…”

I hear him walking, and I finally see him out the corner of my eye. He’s only two steps away from me, but even then I can’t make him out clearly. I just see dark mangy hair.

Then he speaks. “Freak,” he growls.

My head is on fire, and my body slumps. I hang by my arms, only wanting it to stop. “Freakish girl, girl with two faces,” he hisses at me.

“I know what I am,” I croak out, and a wave of pain surges through. Don’t you scream, Cat.

Do you really?” he muses. There’s silence, and I don’t know what he’s thinking, but the pain stops.

And the light vanishes.

Oh no… Focusing, I manage to keep my breathing steady, he will not see me afraid. Kaya might be proud, I think.

All that changes when his nails are digging into my stomach, his mouth snarling down my ear, his icy skin absorbing any heat from my body. I can’t help it, I scream. And his hands, with impossible fingernails as long as knives, dig deeper.

I see blood again. Red, not black, I note. How?

Just before he rips out my organs, I wake up, and I’m coughing and spluttering. More than that, I’m sobbing. I now know why I’m crying, I think, my internal words twisted and bitter. Happy now Daniel?

I can move my hands, and they touch where the monster’s claws were. It hurts when I touch it, but the skin is unbroken.

“Stay with me,” I whisper out loud, to no one.

I go to bed alone, and I pretend to be asleep when I hear him. He curses himself and he eventually climbs in after about ten minutes of panicking. “Forgive…” His voice pleads.

Mercy…the one act separating humanity from becoming monsters. I roll over and look at Daniel; for once, he needs comfort instead of me. “Shhhh,” I tell him, like he often tells me. “Shhhh.”

Tears and Why I Shed Them

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“Please tell me you know why you’re crying,” Daniel says to me.

“….”

“Okay then…what did one of your friends say now?”

I just sigh and show him. “Right.” Daniel cracks his knuckles and flexes his hands. “I’m going to kill him.”

“Don’t.”

“Why? I think Flash should apologise.”

“It’s my own fault Daniel, it’s fine.”

“NO IT IS NOT!” he yells suddenly. “It is not okay!”

“Calm down,” I plead.

“No, I will not. You know why?” He refuses to wait for an answer. “Tell me, when was the last time you spoke back to someone?”

“…”

“Precisely Cat Madigan. So…we should do something about it.”

I already feel a pit of dread growing in my stomach. “No…”

“Stop being a chicken.”

“I’m not a chicken! I just don’t want to lose a good friend.”

“You can do without him, you silly girl.”

“He’s my friend!”

“Cat, what is that falling down your face?”

“Evidence of severe emotional instability.”

“That reminds me….” With that, Daniel disappears.

“Daniel?” I look around my bedroom. “Daniel where are-”

And that’s when everything changed.

My arms hurt, but I couldn’t move them. They were held behind my head by chains attached to the ceiling. I hate them… Struggling hurts more. “LET ME OUT!” I scream. “LET. ME. OUT!”

I could feel him behind me. It wasn’t Daniel, Daniel was warm, you could feel the heat radiating from his body from a couple of steps away; this stranger was cold. Daniel smelt of rain and smoke. The stranger smelt of death.

And I knew him.

“It’s not her,” I tell him. “It’s Cat, my name is Cat, not Kaya, do you understand? Please.” I know what happens next, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen it happen to her. Then I realise. “It doesn’t make a difference does it? You would’ve known it wasn’t me, just like I immediately knew you weren’t Daniel…”

I hear him walking, and I finally see him out the corner of my eye. He’s only two steps away from me, but even then I can’t make him out clearly. I just see dark mangy hair.

Then he speaks. “Freak,” he growls.

My head is on fire, and my body slumps. I hang by my arms, only wanting it to stop. “Freakish girl, girl with two faces,” he hisses at me.

“I know what I am,” I croak out, and a wave of pain surges through. Don’t you scream, Cat.

Do you really?” he muses. There’s silence, and I don’t know what he’s thinking, but the pain stops.

And the light vanishes.

Oh no… Focusing, I manage to keep my breathing steady, he will not see me afraid. Kaya might be proud, I think.

All that changes when his nails are digging into my stomach, his mouth snarling down my ear, his icy skin absorbing any heat from my body. I can’t help it, I scream. And his hands, with impossible fingernails as long as knives, dig deeper.

I see blood again. Red, not black, I note. How?

Just before he rips out my organs, I wake up, and I’m coughing and spluttering. More than that, I’m sobbing. I now know why I’m crying, I think, my internal words twisted and bitter. Happy now Daniel?

I can move my hands, and they touch where the monster’s claws were. It hurts when I touch it, but the skin is unbroken.

“Stay with me,” I whisper out loud, to no one.

I go to bed alone, and I pretend to be asleep when I hear him. He curses himself and he eventually climbs in after about ten minutes of panicking. “Forgive…” His voice pleads.

Mercy…the one act separating humanity from becoming monsters. I roll over and look at Daniel; for once, he needs comfort instead of me. “Shhhh,” I tell him, like he often tells me. “Shhhh.”

Attached

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I have found another part about myself that I hate. Yes, it turns out that it is possible. After discovering millions of flaws in myself, I thought there couldn’t have been anymore.

I have a feeling that whenever I say things like ‘What could be worse than this,’ or ‘I’ve hit rock bottom’, my brain seems to determine this as a challenge.

THIS IS NOT A GAME BRAIN! I DON’T WANT TO FEEL EVEN MORE INSECURE ABOUT MYSELF, I’M A NUTJOB ALREADY!!

So I’ve figured out something else about myself.

I develop attachments to the simplest, stupidest things.

About a few months ago, I nearly had a panic attack when I was deciding to change my radio from 92.9 to 99.3, more commonly known as Triple J. You see, my radio is difficult to change stations on, and if I chose to change my radio station, it would probably stay on that station for the rest of that radio’s existence. And I was freaking out about it. And it was a radio station!

And for all you imaginary 92.9 fans who are asking, I got sick of Nicki Minaj and songs with horrible meanings. Yes, I’m looking at you Miley Cyrus, and you Robin Thicke.

I also tend to be frightened when something happens to Daniel. Yes, the same Daniel who teases and picks on me whenever he has the chance. Because I’ve also gotten attached to him. He’s a friend, and he protects me.

And I shouldn’t get attached to him because he’s a part of my head which isn’t real, and my doctors are splitting hairs over getting rid of him.

I can imagine what you’re thinking, nonexistent reader. Why am I only just noticing this behaviour of mine?

I believe it happened because of a painting I had done. Well, it brought about the realisation.

A few months ago, we were painting abstract self portraits in Art, and mine actually won a prize, much to my astonishment. I was a better drawer than a painter, and the fact that I had won something for that painting was surprising in itself.

So today, I found out from my art teacher that someone wanted to buy my painting, and to think about if I wanted to sell it.

As I am incapable of expressing emotion properly, my only reaction was, “Oh, wow, okay.” On the inside, I felt everything spinning out of whack.

I was carrying my canvas outside when I saw Daniel waiting for me. He was pumped. “That,” he told me, “is wicked. Someone wanted to buy your work, that’s incredible!”

I just smiled tiredly.

Then Daniel noticed I hadn’t said anything. “Are you going to sell it?”

“I’m not sure,” I admitted.

There was a story behind the painting. It probably wouldn’t make much sense without seeing it, but I’m a bit reluctant about letting it out on the Internet, especially when I’m considering selling it. But I’ll describe it as best as I can.

Anyway.

I am not in a good state of mind. In the slightest. Nor was I when I was painting my picture. I don’t know if I ever will be again, (yes, that’s right, I used to be sane). But I can’t let people know that, otherwise I can’t be anything more than the ‘mental girl’. So I appear calm on the outside. I had used green in the background, and for my eyes, and I painted my hair a pretty blue. Calm colours, nice colours, they remind me of a meadow by a lake. I’ve also painted my clothing red, not bright red, just a muted, pretty colour. It doesn’t get much attention.

My face on the other hand, is bright yellow and orange, like a flame. I always feel like I’m burning up on the inside, the pain is bright and vibrant, and it hurts.

It’s not a good feeling.

I ask Daniel now. “Do you see what I’m getting at?”

“Somewhat. But do you?”

I frown, and shake my head at his logic. “I feel like it’s too emotional,” I said slowly. “And too personal. I mean, it means something to me, about myself, and it’s not a very nice part about myself. It’s like giving away a secret, and for someone else to have that secret?”

“What do you know about secrets?”

I make a face. “Enough to know that it’s a bitch.”

He chuckles. “Silly Cat. A person only has a secret if they understand it completely. This person won’t know the truth unless you give it to them.”

“Then I’m selling a lie.”

He cracks up. “You are an idiot.”

“I believe that’s been established.”

He sighs. “What are you upset about? You could sell a painting, what’s wrong with that?”

I shake my head. “It just feels almost like I’m telling them about what’s really happening in my head.”

“Cat Louise Madigan,” Daniel says. “Will you remember this painting for the rest of your life?”

“I’m not sure,” I said slowly. “I could feel differently tomorrow about it, and I might want to sell the painting. On the other hand, what if I sell it and I’ll always want it?”

“Now you’re overthinking this,” Daniel said. Then he starts calling out “RED ALERT, RED ALERT! OVERTHINKING IN PROGRESS! INITIATE DISTRACTION!”

I hit him over his head with a book. “Better?” he asked.

“Much, thank you.”

Daniel lies back. “Ask your teacher more about it,” he says. “Don’t give it away practically for free, if it’s so precious. How much would you sell a secret?”

I actually don’t know. Here I am, writing up our conversation for millions of nonexistent readers to see, and I’m worrying about an implied message in a painting. “You’re right, I am an idiot,” I said.

He rolls his eyes. When I look back up, he’s gone. And I feel sad.

Damn you Daniel.

Cat’s Run Away, Part Two: Emotionless

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Last time, on Cat’s Run Away.

A culmination of events, beginning with the homeless man on the bus, and ending in my mother’s plan to put me in chains, resulted in me running away.

So one hour into my runaway plan, this is a general overview of my situation.

To prevent my mother and brother getting their paws on my iPad, I had taken it with me, along with two books I had been reading at the time.

I had been locked out of the house at the time, so I was unable to get a jacket, or anything warm.

The cat brush, which I had used to attack my brother with, was now in my pocket. For some reason I cannot contribute to anything but absentmindedness and potential insanity.

I had $0 in my possession. Meaning the only way to get to the city was on foot.

Speaking of which…

As I said before, the only things I had with me were the ones I had taken with me in the morning. And…I sort of didn’t put on shoes this morning.

So I was kind of barefoot.

I am so intelligent. And Daniel had the grace to point it out to me.

“Why, the HELL didn’t you put on shoes, you DENSE Mother-”

WHACK!

A lot of people gave me weird looks from that. After all, I just punched what was probably thin air. But I felt better. It’s all the satisfaction of punching a normal person, without the complications of a sore hand.

Either way, he shut up afterwards. Well, until I came to the park.

“Now what are you going to do?” he asked me. “It’s either prickles or gravel. Take your pick Cat.”

“Wait,” I stopped him. “Where are we, first off?”

Daniel stopped walking. “That Cat,” he said slowly. “Is a very good question.”

“Thanks for the compliment, now where are we?

“…I wouldn’t know.”

“GODDAMMIT!”

The following consisted of a long course of swear words. Ones which are too creative for little eyes to see. Yes I’m referring to you Batman. You are classified as ‘little’.

But back to the story! 127 creative curse words later…

“Why didn’t we just follow the bus route that you take to school?” Daniel asked.

“Because if my parents drove down that way, they’d see me walking,” I said. “The plan was to walk a street down from the bus route. The same basic path to the city, just… sans recognisable landmarks.”

“Ask someone where Wonderland road is,” he suggested.

(And yes, I’m changing the streets and names of cities and stuff. Because I need to be more creative and discreet with the places I mention. Plus I love Alice in Wonderland, so this is where I’m going to live.)

So I went up to a car and asked the person in it.

And things turned out better than expected.

The guy, who I’m going to call Frankie, worked with runaways, and offered to drop me off in the city. Of course, he only did that after I told him I was going to stay with friends.

Truth was, I had no idea what I was going to do.

But anyway, Frankie dropped me off in the city. And gave me $5 so I could catch the train to wherever I needed to go.

So I got to Gumboot Station. And I trekked to where I could use the WiFi.

I managed to get in contact with members of my ‘family’, and let them know where I was. Sadly, I wasn’t able to stay with any of them.

So, I prepared myself for the possibility that I was going to sleep on the street.

Surprisingly, this did not terrify me. Were my emotions really that messed up?

I was almost shocked to feel that the normal fears that people talked about when they ran away didn’t come to me. Rape? I didn’t care. Murder? Go ahead. Torture? Meh. None of these potential scenarios made me feel anything.

But I soon discovered that I could still feel other things.

For example, when I came across a gentleman who directed me to the police station, I was suddenly filled with hope. And I realised that I really didn’t want to sleep on the street. But I still had no intention of going back home.

Thus began my journey to the police station.

About an hour later…

“Caaaaat.”

“What.”

“The Snug Street police station’s closed…”

“I realised that, Daniel.”

“Now whaaaaat?”

WHACK!

It was about half an hour before Daniel showed up again. In that time, I met up with a taxi driver, who decided to drive me to the police station. Eventually I realised he thought I had been raped, and I needed to report it. I must’ve looked worse than I thought… He was visibly relieved when I told him, and he gave me his card in case I needed him again.

He dropped me off about a street from the police station, and drove off. It was then that I realised something.

This was the police station on Snug Street.

Fuuuuuuuuuuudge.

So I focused on finding a landmark, like a hotel or somewhere. A place I could get directions.

Then someone showed up. Not Daniel, but something worse.

Creepy Stalker Guy.

A man who was walking far too close to me, and kept calling me ‘Baby’.

Ohhhhh shiiiiiiiiiiii-

I walked along about a hundred metres, Creepy Stalker Guy close on my heels. As I sped up my pace, I just kept thinking the same thing over and over again.

Shit. I’m going to be raped. Then I’ll be murdered. And then my friends will kill me. Somehow.

Then I saw the light of an open building. And my pessimistic monologue was replaced with one word.

RUUUUUUUUUUUUN!

I dived inside the building, not caring what the Creepy Stalker Guy thought. I hid in a corner, surrounded by people, until I found it safe to come out.

And I ran into Daniel.

And I just burst into tears.

Daniel just stood there and put his arms around me. He didn’t need to say anything.

Then everyone came and surrounded me, asking for my permission to help me.

No one could drive me to the police station. It was late, and all the winos were out on Snug Street. But there was another police station at Mallymkum Road. One that was certainly open.

I was then escorted through the maze of winos to a safer place. I saw no sign of Creepy Stalker Man, and when I reached the somewhat civilised city life, I let myself believe I wasn’t going to see him again.

My escort left, and Daniel and I were left to navigate the rest of the city by ourselves.