Three years ago, I created a character. This character was meant to be nothing more than something to draw when I became angry with no other healthy way to release it. I was tired of tearing my room apart. I was tired of cutting my arms. I didn’t want to keep disappointing my parents. That was why I created him. I didn’t know that the side effects of the wrong dosage of Lexapro and Prozac would bring him to life in my own mind. If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have created him, but then again, who would I be now if I hadn’t?

Summer, 2008

Let’s start the story with the background of all this anger and hatred. Let’s go back to my freshman year of high school. I moved to Japan with the plan of staying for three years, which today would be four years ago, almost five. My family loved the country, constantly gushing about the beautiful skylines and city lights and the kind people, but all I wanted to do was go back to my home in Texas, where I had friends. My friends were always there for me, but now I was thousands of miles and one left turn away.

This did me no good. Phone calls just weren’t the same as their hugs. When I started going to school, an uptight private school with students of the same nature, I only missed my friends even more. I dressed like a stupid scene kid, and they all laughed at me and made fun of me for it. They assumed that I would cut myself, for only people who wore all black would do such a thing. When sophomore year rolled around and I actually started to do so, the bullying only got worse.

I told my parents about the cuts, noticing that I was beginning to do it every night and that each time I was only cutting deeper. My mom understood. My dad didn’t. After a huge fight, they sent me to a psychiatrist who sneered at me from behind his glasses and gave me a prescription for the anti-depressant, Prozac. Great. Now I was on happy pills. And as if my family’s reaction wasn’t bad enough, when my parents called the counselor to tell him what I was doing, he only made it worse.

I didn’t want everyone to know what I was doing, but they found out anyway. The whole school did. The counselor called in the ringleader of the bullies and told her that I was hurting myself due to their abuse. She denied everything, and guess what? She got away with it. They all got away with it. The word spread and people started grabbing my wrists harder than necessary, called me ‘cutter’ more now than before, and turned every potential friend I could have had against me with nasty rumors.

At that point, I just wanted to die. I attempted to end my life, but I always stopped myself from performing the selfish act. I couldn’t do that to my parents. If anyone in this world would have missed me, it would be them. They didn’t deserve to find a cold corpse where their only daughter used to be. I had to suck it up, and that was what I did until the year was over.

Summer, 2010

After that second year of hell, I was given the chance to change schools. It was miles away from my house and even further away from that wretched school, so I took that chance very quickly. I found myself waking up at 4am every morning, catching the very first train of the day, and heading all the way out to the edge of the city to walk two miles to my school. I didn’t mind the walks or train rides or even the early mornings. I was finally away from all of those people.

I finally had friends to talk to, to draw with, and to lean on when I was in trouble. I met a boy named Noah, who became my best friend and walked with me from the train station every morning. I couldn’t have been happier; I had people to talk to. I had people who understood me. I ditched the all black clothes and went for casual shirts and jeans, figuring out that I had grown out of my emo phase and I didn’t have to dress up to impress anyone. I was free.

With all of this new happiness, however, came some downsides. I was still very much scarred by the two years of hell at the old school, and I started to notice that my anti-depressants were beginning to lose their power. I doubled my dosage, finding them to numb me again eventually, but the fits of anger were not being released. I found myself bottling up the anger that would eventually grow inside, hoping that it would just dissolve. It didn’t.

That was when I decided to go home and think of a way to get my anger out in a way that didn’t involve harming myself or my room. I tried drawing someone battling an inner demon, but it wasn’t working out. That was when I thought… why not try to draw mine? I let my pencil do the work, and I came up with something that I am still not sure whether I regret or not.

On the paper before me was a character dressed in all black, with eyes meant to be blue and a ball of fire in his left hand. He wore a trench coat with one sleeve long with a hole for his thumb and the other sleeve torn off, showing off a nasty bunch of cuts where mine were on MY body. His pants were tight, his hair tied back into a long pony, and his smirk was mischievous. That was Wrath. This was before he went insane and took me down with him. I smiled at the drawing and decided then and there that he would be the one I drew when I got angry, and boy, did I need him.

Noah had begun to take drugs, a new girl with a string of self-esteem issues and a tongue made for gossiping was getting on my nerves… and I met a boy. This boy claimed to love me, and I felt the same for him, and I thought we were going to be happy together. Two weeks after our first kiss, he told me nonchalantly that he never loved me. I tried not to cry when he rolled his eyes at my reaction and told me to get over it. He had set me up to fail, and fail I did. Breaking my heart wasn’t enough, either.

He made all of my new friends choose between him and me. They chose the tall boy with navy blue eyes and dark blonde hair. Who wouldn’t? I found myself alone. Noah wasn’t even my friend anymore. I had no one. I tried to get used to this idea and spent a lot of time drawing Wrath and Shadow Link, but the sadness never left. I upped my dosage again. That was when I had my first encounter with Wrath.

Spring, 2011

I was painting a picture of a giraffe for my mom for her birthday all alone during lunch. I didn’t want to see anyone, and no one was in the room to bother me, not even the teacher, who had shut herself in the back room. I was drowning in the pain that had been stabbed into me by the betrayal of my friends, but I tried not to let it show. Every second that passed was a second that I thought of the sadness and fought the tears. At least I was alone just in case I fell apart. After a few good minutes of fighting the sorrow, I heard a voice. A male voice. Right behind me. I turned quickly, but no one was there. That was when I heard it again.

“Grab the scissors,” he said to me.

Scissors? Why? I stared at my painting, thinking long and hard about what was going on. That was when it hit me. Cutting. He wanted me to cut, right? I felt my knees shake. I promised I wouldn’t do it again. I couldn’t.

“Go on… you know you want to.” There was something about this voice that seemed familiar to me. There was something so soothing and seductive about it that I found myself setting down my paintbrush and heading for my teacher’s desk.

“The black ones are the sharpest.” How did he know that? I grabbed them anyway, finding myself a puppet on a string. Nothing was going to stop me from doing this. Why would there be? I had no friends to tell me to stop, the teacher wasn’t there to see me, and my parents didn’t have to know.

I was too sad to judge for myself. I was an idiot. I didn’t even have to listen for the next set of his instructions. I headed to the restroom, locking myself in the handicapped stall. I was alone. The silence screamed in my ears, but I heard him again.

“You know what to do, pet.” I closed my eyes and saw Wrath smiling back at me. I took a deep breath, feeling hopeless. It was too late to stop now. Tears streamed down my face and I bit my lip to hold back the sobs of weakness.

I pulled down my shorts and began to slice my thighs.

I had left myself with many cuts on my ribs and thighs, one of which was so deep that I could see the layers of skin that I had cut through before they beaded up with blood. I covered my wounds with some band aids that I had kept in my bag just in case I was bitten by a dog during my volunteer work at the shelter. I used up the whole box and half of them were used for that one deep cut. It still bled through, staining my shorts a tad, but not enough for anyone to notice…not that they cared.

I tried to push the thought of Wrath out of my mind, but the regret of doing what I had just done was haunting me. My paranoia got the best of me when I saw the blood stained tissues and tiles beneath me. I had to clean it up. Who knows, they might have tested it or made a big deal out of it.

I didn’t want to take that risk no matter how ridiculous my mind was about how anyone would find out about my secret. I scrubbed the floor hard with paper towels and water, cleaning up the mess well enough for no one to notice. Still crying from my shame, I tossed the scissors in the trash can, never wanting myself or anyone to touch the wretched weapon again.

I was so ashamed by my actions that I went to the school psychiatrist and told her what I had done…minus the part about Wrath. She only told me to stop and nothing more. I thought that everything would be fine after that, but my story somehow got out. People found out that something bad had happened to me in the restroom. The accusations were plentiful, ranging from me getting raped to me killing a tiny animal. I let everyone talk until their tongues were dry, admitting nothing and trusting no one afterwards.

I stopped drawing Wrath and I stopped taking the pills. I wanted nothing to do with any of that anymore. I found other ways to vent and stopped handling blades. I isolated myself from everyone, not caring about my peers any longer, for they had betrayed me. All of them. I was done with trying to redeem myself socially and focused on my studies, counting down the days until summer. All I had to do was wait until the year was over and I moved, just as I had done a year before…

Autumn, 2011

After spending summer in Texas and reliving a life that I found myself to be grown out of, I moved to Seoul. I was in no hurry to find friends, for I was sick of them. It didn’t stop anyone from loving me anyway. I was pursued by a boy who was on the football team. Everyone admired him but me. I wasn’t interested in getting a boyfriend…at least not with him. But the boy I ended up liking doesn’t matter. Long story short, he was spellbound elsewhere. It seemed that avoiding friends was how I found the ones I am still in contact with today. They were the video game nerds who shared my love of The Legend of Zelda and got me to watch My Little Pony and choose which pony I liked best. They were honest and made me feel comfortable whenever I was with them, especially Lenette. She was and is my best friend to this day.

I didn’t think too hard about the good, though, for the bad was still coming. The fact that I had stopped taking my pills was taking a toll, and when I tried to get used to them again…they didn’t work. That was when I asked my parents to let me try a new medicine. I was seen by a doctor, and she gave me Lexapro.

At first, the pills worked like any other anti-depressant would. I would feel numb to anger until there was too much to bottle up, I would act happier and think clearer and I wasn’t a hard person to deal with. Something happened, though, that I will never forget.

I was extremely tired after a long day of thinking and writing and decided to go to bed early one Tuesday night. I fell asleep quickly and everything was normal…or so I thought. I had a dream about my parents arguing with me, and trying to make me calm down over something I was angry about. I started yelling at them, but the voice that passed my lips was not mine. It took me a while to realize it, and I never actually realized it until I woke up, but the voice was Wrath’s. Black mist flooded the room and my parents began to scream as I approached them with clawed hands outstretched…

I woke up with a start, not used to the fact that I had just had a nightmare. I never get nightmares. I shook my head and stumbled to the kitchen, grabbing the milk carton out of the fridge and taking a long drink straight from the jug. It was only 3 am.

Wrath’s voice haunted my mind, and the hands that I had reached out with were not mine. I tried not to think too much of it and returned to bed after a long drink. I tossed and turned for a long while, afraid to fall asleep, but fatigue got to me eventually. All I remember in the dreams I had after that was Wrath’s voice calling out to me… telling me… he would have me…

My AP studio art class teacher wanted us all to draw something unique about themselves the next day in class. I shouldn’t have, but I decided to draw Wrath. I shouldn’t have provoked him after having my nightmare, but I became naïve. He couldn’t hurt me. He was just a daydream. I told no one of the dream I had, or about Wrath in general. I wanted to keep him in the dark, but that day he looked so beautiful on the paper before me. Instead of his usual cool, steady gaze, however, he looked different…he looked…insane. My stomach had started to turn and my chest tightened.

“What’s that?” Lenette asked me, smiling at my picture. I returned the grin, thankful for her getting my mind off of him for a moment.

“Oh, this is Wrath. He is supposed to be my inner demon. I created him about a year ago.” I answered. She grinned.

“An inner demon!? That’s so cool! He looks perfect for it, too!” She grinned. I looked back at the drawing, feeling proud, but something about the way I drew his eye was too perfect. He was staring right at me. Our teacher snapped at us to stop talking, and after making a face when his back was turned, I erased the iris and pupil, making him look straight ahead and not into my fearful eyes.

That night, I saw him again.

I was sitting in a room with an elderly couple: one man and one woman. They were both well into their eighties, and their house was just as ancient as they were. A fire danced in the marble fireplace, the patterns on the old Turkish rug danced, and the smells of tea and incense filled the room. I was sitting at a desk, writing a letter to an unknown person, listening to the old couple talk to each other.

They were remembering the past, how they met, what they used to do as teenagers…I turned to them to smile, but they were gone. My smile faded as I stood, looking around at the ruins I now stood in. The room…had burnt down? When? It was just a dream, so I didn’t think too much of it, but once I turned back to the desk, I flinched. The force of my body jerking should have woken me up, but something was holding me back…or someone. And that someone was right in front of me.

Wrath stood before me, grinning maliciously. He looked like he did in my drawings…but he was here. He was here now before me in my mind. His skin was pale as paper, his hair as black as night, his eyes were ice blue and menacing, glowing against the dark, and his smile…his smile was the worst sight of all. He beamed evilly, showing off his sharp, needle like teeth, hoping to scare me.

It worked. I was terrified, but this was just a dream. He couldn’t hurt me… right? I backed away only a step before he grabbed me and pulled me close with his smile growing. I wanted to scream, but something was caught in my throat, preventing me to speak. All I could do was cry.

“Hello, my love.” Wrath grinned.

“I’ve missed you terribly…” His eyes shifted to the burnt ruins around him.

“Do you like my handiwork? I must admit, appearing as a friend to the elders would have been more convenient, but where is the fun in that?”

He looked back to me, narrowing his eyes, stretching his smile even more. I trembled hard, finally finding the strength to speak.

“What do you want? Why are you here?” I asked. Wrath’s smile dropped, as did my heart.

“Why not?” He laughed right into my face, sending shots of adrenaline through me. Oh my god…he was insane. He was truly insane! Why? How did he become like this!? The room was ablaze at that moment. I looked around at the fire with wide eyes. No, he couldn’t hurt me. He couldn’t hurt me. No, this was just a dream. Wrath cackled psychotically and threw me to the ground. I still couldn’t scream as he loomed over me.

“Maybe I cannot hurt you, and maybe this IS just a dream.” He said, reading my thoughts as he looked over to the armchair with a sly smile.

“But that doesn’t mean I cannot make you watch.”

I turned to the chair. The old woman was there. She didn’t have a clue that Wrath was reaching out for her with a sick plan in his head. I tried calling out to her, much my mouth filled with dark muck and I began to choke.

“Don’t spoil the surprise, my love.” Wrath purred.

My eyes went wide with panic as his eyes did the same…but out of sick insanity. He grabbed the old woman, who screamed loud and fearfully, and performed acts that I will not repeat here. I gagged and choked and tried pulling the muck out of my mouth to scream, but nothing helped. I couldn’t even move. I couldn’t close my eyes or look away, for I still saw what he did to her. I cried helplessly until he had finished pleasuring his sick self and grinned at me maliciously.

“Still think this is a dream, pet?”

I shot out of bed, gasping and sweating and my alarm clock blared ‘Fade Away’ Breaking Benjamin, telling me that it was time to face another school day. It was the song I had always listened to while drawing Wrath. I curled up, hugging my knees, and cried. I cried for a long time before pulling myself together and getting ready for school. No one could know about this.

I went through the day flinching at the very sound of my name being spoken. No one truly noticed my behavior besides Lenette, who I told as nonchalantly as I could that I had just had a bad dream. She bought it, but going to my art class was something else entirely. I saw my drawing of Wrath and shook violently. I decided to drop the project, though it would most likely anger Wrath even more. I couldn’t stand to see his face after what I had seen last night.

“Why are you throwing that away?” My teacher demanded as I tossed Wrath’s wicked smile into the trash. He glared behind his ugly horn rimmed glasses and I returned the look, not in the mood for any bullshit.

“I didn’t like it.” I snapped, grabbing another large piece of paper. “I never did.”

I didn’t see Wrath for three nights, but as a price, I didn’t even dream. I woke up with blank thoughts and an aching head, which comforted me. As long as I didn’t see Wrath again. Boy, was I naïve. Just because I wasn’t dreaming about him didn’t mean he wasn’t there.

There were moments in class where I would get so mad that I would imagine gruesome murders of the people I was only slightly pissed at with a smile. I found extreme pleasure in imagining their deaths. I found this as an issue and decided to take two pills in the morning instead of one. Things only got worse from there, for that was the night I saw him again.

The city was dark and empty, and the rain felt good on my face. The lights sparkled off of the wet pavement and set me at ease, all until I heard a small voice calling from an alley. I turned, frowning, to see a small boy with a red superhero shirt and ripped jeans. He smiled at me, missing a few teeth. He could have only been five years old at the most. I walked towards him slowly, kneeling down with a smile as he handed me a yellow flower.

“Pretty,” He said softly. I thanked him, smelling the flower. It smelled like my perfume.

“Pretty, pretty, pretty,” he said again, but this time, he was becoming fearful. I looked at him in confusion.

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you,” I said, but a chilly voice interrupted my once pleasant dream.

“Pretty is right, young one.” Wrath grinned, appearing out of the boy’s shadow.

He kneeled behind the boy, stroking his rosy cheek with a long, chipped fingernail. “She is something to admire, is she not? If only God existed…if only he was that beautiful. Creators nowadays do not think us lower beings important enough to gift us with the sight of their faces.”

“What do you want!?” I snapped. The boy became scared, backing away into Wrath’s embrace. The demon smirked at me, slowly wagging his finger with a growing smile.

“Tsk, tsk, now now, my love, we mustn’t scare the child.” His fingers stroked the boy’s tiny pink lips next. “How do you expect him to be happy when he sees Mommy and Daddy fighting all the time?” I snarled angrily at him, ignoring the cries of the child.

“I would NEVER have a child with the likes of you!” I snapped. Wrath laughed slowly, letting the darkness stir around him like a thick fog.

“Oh, but darling…” His fingers trailed through the child’s hair. The boy began to panic even more. “Do you not remember all those nights in the bath…the crimson of your blood…and the feeling of the blade? I seduced you then, just as I did in that stall. You liked it, didn’t you?”

“That isn’t the same, you sick FUCK!” I screamed. Wrath snarled and gripped the boy’s hair hard, pulling his head back, glaring at me so hard that I felt my knees shake. I saw the boy begin to cry and lurched forward, but hands grabbed my ankles and wrists, holding me back and pulling me against the wall of the alley.

“What did I say about scaring the child, pet!?” Wrath roared. The sounds of the boy screaming made me panic. “Look at how SCARED he is! Look at how BADLY he wants to DIE BECAUSE OF YOU!”

“MOMMY!” The boy screamed. I struggled against the wall, fighting to get to the two before me.

“Wrath! Stop it! PLEASE!” I cried, writhing uncontrollably. Wrath smiled and shoved his fingers in the boy’s mouth, beginning to open his mouth. I screamed alongside the child, feeling tears stream down my face. “Wrath please don’t hurt him!”

“Or what!? You’ll stop drawing me as a part of your pathetic projects!? You’ll take more pills!? That won’t stop me, pet! IT NEVER HAS!” His grip on the boy’s jaws tightened and the screaming got worse. “You tried so hard to forget about me, but you see,” He pried the child’s mouth open a tad, stretching the corners of his lips and worsening the sobs. “I can never be forgotten. I refuse to be forgotten. I will not rot in the dark corners of your mind while you shut out the one thing you do best…” He grinned. “Hate.”

“Please, Wrath!” I begged, sobbing hard and struggling to speak through the shaking of my voice and the powerful heaving of my cries.

“Stop doing this! I promise I won’t forget you, okay? I promise I won’t shut you out anymore! I will do whatever you want me to do! Just please stop!” Wrath’s smile began to fade and a look of understanding passed his eyes.

Everything felt calmer; even the boy’s sobs were beginning to calm themselves. Silence overtook us and everything between the demon and I became still. He loosened his smile, looking at me like a friend, not a demon. He took a deep breath, and I felt myself relax.

This was it…he forgave me. He would stop the nightmares. All I had to do was keep drawing him, remembering him…not shut him out. I stopped crying, smiling at him when he looked me in the eyes. His smile suddenly dropped.

“Nah,” He quipped, cackling like a maniac and pulling the child’s mouth further apart. I screamed again, begging for the demon to stop, but it was too late for that. He laughed harder as the boy’s screams got louder and more intense. The corners of his mouth ripped like paper, blood dripped down the neck of the child and onto his clothes. The superhero on his shirt looked sad and distraught and had begun to cry. I sobbed loudly, trying to close my eyes, but no matter what I did, I still saw what Wrath was doing, just as I had when he had murdered that old woman.

“STOP! PLEASE!” I sobbed, but it was too late. Wrath had ripped the boy’s head clean off, letting the corpse fall in the pool of blood with a psychotic smile. The demon licked the blood of the violated head, grinning and approaching me. The hands released me and I fell to the ground sobbing. Wrath’s clawed hand yanked me to my feet, forcing me to face him. Tossing the head to the side, he shoved his blood soaked fingers in my mouth, laughing harder than ever when I struggled in disgust.

“Want a taste, my love?” He asked. I shot out of bed with his laughing still echoing in my mind. I ran to the restroom and turned the light on, staring at my sweaty reflection. What was I supposed to do? He knew how to overcome the pills. He knew how to get my attention. I cried as I stared at myself. I was going insane… wasn’t I?

“What’s wrong, honey?” I flinched and gasped at my mother’s voice. I wiped my tears and tried to straighten my face with no luck.

“Bad dream,” I said shortly.

Winter, 2011-2012

With no one to turn to, I kept silent about Wrath’s haunting. I stopped taking pills. They were no use. I had stopped sleeping regularly, eating regularly, and talking. I barely spoke now and isolated myself. Everything around me was falling apart, anyhow. I stopped caring about school and church groups and anything that didn’t have to do with drawing my new best friend. He still haunted my dreams at night, letting me know that he was always watching me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to stop it all. For good.

That was the night I tried ending my life for the last time. I took a knife to my wrist, cutting deep and crying harder and harder. I didn’t bother leaving a note, a warning, or anything that would prepare anyone for the main event. I took one final breath, getting ready to cut the artery and end it all…

’Hey! Listen! Hey! Listen!’ My phone had begun to ring and I saw the face of the boy I was crushing on appear on the screen. What did he want? Why was he calling? I picked up the phone slowly, sliding the icon to answer and put the phone to my ear. “Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Brandon,” He said softly to me. I felt my heart pound hard in my chest. “I have been meaning to ask you this for a while, but… are you okay?”

“What do you mean?” I said with a shaking voice. I heard his sigh from the other end of the line.

“You have been isolating yourself…you haven’t been acting right, and we are all concerned about it.” He said to me. Hearing those words made me tear up. No one had cared before. It felt… nice. “Do you need to talk to anyone? My parents are going to a soccer game if you need to come over.” I looked back to the knife, feeling something rise in me, screaming to ignore him. Something told me to hang up and end my life. No… not this time. I made it this far without friends, and now that I had some that cared, I wasn’t going to let that go.

“I’ll be right over.”

I spent hours at his house, crying, laughing, and telling him everything. I decided to let him know what was really going on with me, and he understood. He saw the cuts on my wrist and hugged me, promising he would never leave me alone. I cried harder than ever, happy that I could finally have someone to lean on in this time of trouble. I was given a ride back to my house by his mother, and once she was driving away, Brandon called again, telling me that he would stay on the phone with me until I fell asleep, and that was what he did.

“HOW DARE YOU!?” Wrath roared the moment I fell to sleep. “I give you ONE simple task and you IGNORE ME!” He was angrier than I have ever seen him. This time, oddly, I wasn’t afraid. I could still hear Brandon’s voice telling me that he would never leave me alone, and that alone kept me looking Wrath in the eye without fear. “You think this is over, pet!? Is that what you think?

That some boy who will never love you back calls you at the nick of time and you suddenly have the strength to overcome ME!?” He grabbed me, pulling me close with a snarl.

“YOU. CREATED. ME.” he hissed.

“I have more power than you will ever imagine thanks to you. I fear NOTHING. I can NEVER DIE!” He threw me to the ground.

“This isn’t over. You just made things worse for yourself, my love! I swear to you that I will get my revenge!” He smiled again.

“In fact…why don’t I show you how serious I am being!?”

He threw himself on top of me, carving deep lines in my torso. I screamed in agony, not being able to comfort myself with the sound of Brandon’s voice anymore. Wrath began to laugh above me.

“You stupid bitch! You STUPID, COCKY BITCH!”

He raised his hand to strike me once more, but he suddenly began to scream in agony. I looked up to the demon roaring at a dagger that was pierced right through his hand. I watched him disappear before me, and the dark scene was replaced by a soft forest floor.

A deep breath passed my lips and I turned, looking at the wielder of the dagger. A man stood before me in a dark tunic, cloak, and a bird mask that covered his head and face, apart from his mouth and jaw. I found myself staring for a long while, before standing. The man outstretched his hand, never smiling or frowning.

“It’s alright, you’re safe now.” He said. I hesitated before grabbing his hand. He held it softly, hypnotizing me with the light blue eyes of the bird mask.

“Who are you?” I asked. The man kneeled before me.

“I am The Guardian.”

Spring 2012

After the arrival of the mystery man in the bird mask, I saw less and less of Wrath, but I could still feel him. I had thought that I could finally leave him behind, but I was wrong. Months went by without seeing either of them again besides in my sketchbook. I had begun seeing a psychiatrist regularly and told him all about the incidents involving the two characters, but he didn’t have any advice.

I decided not to let that bother me, for psychiatrists never had any advice for me before. All he was able to say was that Guardian was most likely just my brain’s creation to shut out the nightmares. I believed him, but not too much. I knew there was more to it than that, but the answers were not going to be reached, so I dropped it. I was finally able to move on with my schoolwork and social life, forgetting about the two made up characters and the way they had invaded my dreams. I was finally… normal.

I was able to pick myself up after all the chaos and enjoy my family as well. My brother was getting engaged to an amazing girl whose company I enjoyed, my mom and dad were going to Hawaii soon for vacation, and my friends were moving on to college while I stayed behind to take classes on base. I felt normal for a while… but then something changed.

I had a boyfriend at the time who was moving to Arizona. He left and we broke up on mutual terms, but the cut was still deep. I didn’t eat for two days, and my brother knew, but it didn’t stop him from saying the things he did. We had gotten into a fight over something so simple and he ended up cutting me down really bad. I saw red as he strutted around the house, acting high and mighty and in charge.

He wasn’t apologetic in the slightest. I ran to my room, fighting the urge to hurt him. I knew this feeling… I knew this hot fire that burned in my stomach. I shut myself in my room, grabbing my knife and looked at my mirror. It wasn’t my reflection that I saw, but the smile matched perfectly.

“It’s been a long time, my love…”