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By Your Side

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Realize

Do you ever get that..."feeling?" It's an odd kind of feeling. You think that someone may be there, just at the corner of your eye, you think something....or someone may be in the same room with you, or watching you from the end of the hall. You look around and just miss it, but you see that one foreign shade of black just at the edge of your line of vision. You feel a brief shock, but you later dismiss it as a piece of your hair, or maybe a bug, or your pet. You continue on with your solitary life at home, keeping with the usual schedule. You keep things going as per the norm of your average and mundane day. Yet...there are those times you catch yourself out of line. You catch yourself doing something unusual, something that doesn't seem to be anything "you" would do normally.

When does this happen? This happens when you feel that "feeling." When you catch that "thing" at the edge of your eye. Nothing seems to go out of place though, the world still moves in its clockwork fashion. Nobody has seen or noticed you, or the thing that has been trailing you. You keep moving, dismissing the follower with the usual excuses. You do your work, but it happens again, you're sure you can see it again at the exact moment you slightly turn your head to the right. Your heart jumps just a bit, and you start to get a bit afraid. You carry on and keep with the pace.

You return home, empty as usual, save for the cat laying on the couch. You unload your satchel and go to your room. You proceed to go onto the internet and indulge yourself with the popular culture going through the web. You just finish up a Skype call with whoever, and you turn around before you get up. There it is again, only this time, the figure looked more human. You swear that someone was following you! You jerk your head away, and then slowly turned it around again, just to see that the figure wasn't there anymore. You silently gulp down held back saliva as you get up, hesitant, but something nags at your mind to investigate. You aimlessly wander yourself into the living room, only to notice how silent it is. Moving about slowly, petting the cat, and looking out windows, searching the rooms and closets, only to find everything there as it was and always is.

You brush off your moment of paranoia as you decide to head back to your room to resume your late night web browsing. You wish to continue, but then a shiver goes up your spine, and you truly feel frightened as a voice, some voice that isn't your own orders upon you. "Go to bed." It says in a hushed voice. You are too afraid to deny the voice its orders, so you set the computer off and change for bed. Prior to getting into bed, you signal the cat to come in and make sure that the door gets thoroughly shut. "Lock it." You heed the voice and lock the door. "Now, get to sleep." You calm down and shut your eyes, drifting off into the world of sleep. 

The next day begins, and the world is still as rainy and cloudy as you remember it. This is normal for late winter/early spring time. You get dressed and prepare for work. "It's the weekend you dumbass!" The voice in your head snaps at you viciously. Starting to doubt the voice, you make way to the desk calendar with daily word puzzles, and...it was right. You turn around and see that "thing" again. Your fear starts to turn into frustration, confused frustration. It wasn't as if it was a supposing of a trespasser, but more like an annoying mosquito that won't leave you alone. You don't put much of the figure into thought anymore. If your vision was going to be such a damn coward, let it be that way.

You decide that the weekend would be as dull as the week, but it tells you it won't. You would start a schedule for the day, it objects. "It's the weekend, treat yourself." You put on your coat and head to the coffee shop at the corner of the street. It starts to control your voice now, it orders your coffee, even though it wasn't the one you wanted. It still tastes good to you, so you let it pass. Later on, your movements are subjected to it as it guides you to the local shops in your city. It makes your calls, arranges your visits, chooses your music to listen to, it does everything you wouldn't normally do. You notice this soon enough, and your stomach warms with the yearning for nostalgia, and you order it to leave you alone. Before you can demand it, the figure appears again to your blindside, and you stop yourself. You let it continue on with you. 

The day ends as you return home. You feed the cat, watch television, and go online. You come across pornography. "Turn that filth away!" You read the latest updates of your favorite webcomic. "Why do you like this so much?" You take a shower. "You'll never get that filth off!!!" You get absolutely frustrated now, as you punch the wall. You leave a small crack in the shower wall, and  you can't believe you would do that. You watch your wet and dripping hand fixed on the indent of the wall...and it starts talking again. "This is why you need me. You desire control." You begin to feel exhausted and fatigued by the steam of the shower, and you lazily get out of the shower, but the "thing" stands at the corner of the shower curtain. You shut it quickly, and yell "Would you just GO AWAY!?" You wait for a moment, and then get out, this time checking all the corners slowly. You dry off, change, bring the cat in, and go to bed. 

The next day starts. You go to the coffee shop, return home, and eat your breakfast. "You're masking yourself behind these indulgences, but you will soon find how much of an impact it leaves. You think your solitary life keeps you happy, but it will never be! You think you are the center of the goddamn universe, but you're merely a worthless speck of dust!" You clamp your hands at your head as it begins to ache. You rush to the medicine cabinet and take out the aspirin. "DON'T YOU DARE!" You, or rather it, whacks the pill bottle off the counter. You start to grunt and shout, you feel like your body is being crushed by a large rock, and you begin to feel dizzy. Kneeling at the floor, you look up. The "thing" stands before you. You quiver and sob at its feet, and you feel a shock of power rise to your chest. You feel as if you're going to vomit, there is an intense stinging at your tongue, your legs feel like liquid, everything is going so fast. 

Suddenly...everything stops. You find yourself at the end of a street. You are in a pair of gym shorts, and a grey t-shirt soaked in sweat. Did...you just go out on a run? You consult to the voice in your head...no answer. You stand there, bewildered. Finally, you return home and shower. No voice. You open the curtain. No "thing" in sight. You go watch TV. No voice. No "thing." You go online. No voice. No "thing." You go to bed. Nothing. You feel like you have achieved something special, like you have been rewarded. You shut your eyes. And you start dreaming soon after. In your dream, the figure appears, just a shadowed human figure. "Hello." It speaks in the voice you have been burned with throughout the week. You start to shake and back up. "Don't be afraid of me. Heh, you should be thanking me if anything." You stare at the figure, it's dark and red eyes starting to come into view. You choke out your questions.

"Th-thanking you!? You've been giving me pain and misery for the whole week! Why the hell do I deserve to thank you!?" You yell in a nervous, shaken voice. It stares at you, and kneels down to your crouched level. "I have helped you to move on for your own greater good. I represent your inner struggle. I am the mask that has covered your inner most misery from your monotonous lifestyle. I pushed you to the point of breaking your comfort zone." It grows a loving, almost maternal smile. "You are in a position where you aren't happy with what you do. You need to find out what you can do to make life enjoyable." You sit and ponder for a second. "It was going to be this Wednesday wasn't it." It asks, concerned. You stare at it, confused, but nodding. It wraps its long, thin, black arms around you. "Nobody should ever resort to that." It whispers. "Do what you enjoy, put that into effect, and make it a living. Do you understand?" You nod, and it nods with you. The figure reaches its right hand to its face, and...takes it off. It removes its face, as if it were a mask. You get to see its newly uncovered face to see...to see...you.

You wake up, and the morning is just behind the horizon. You sit and look around at your dark room, barely lit by the morning blue of the sky. You wipe the sweat from your forehead, and you see the cat curled up at the foot of your bed. You feel comfort, freedom, and satisfaction. You lay back into bed and shut your eyes. You crack a small smile and hunker down into the plushy lull of the sheets and pillows.


"And remember, I will always be by your side."

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