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Chapter 16

  From Within

Part 3: For Real



You see, she had an imaginary friend before. Or, she wasn't imaginary, just invisible to everyone but her. It was a very real and true friend, a friend that always looked out for her, always supported her, and this friend was also so, so wise and so very bright. Her friend understood everything, every little thing, yes she really was that smart! And funny – hilariously funny; she could make the little girl laugh even when she was really sad or upset about something. And she was loving, oh so loving! And she gave the little girl advices on what to do and how to think. Basically, the two of them were the best of friends imaginable and they could talk about all and everything.
          When the little girl told me about her friend her face lit up in such a way it was as if she talked about a light so genuinely good-hearted and mighty it came from God Himself. And this friend was always there for her, always, she just had to say the name and she'd be there, with all her warmth, humour, love and wisdom, combined into something no words can describe. And sometimes, when the little girl was feeling really sad or angry, her friend came to her, like totally unannounced, to embrace and comfort her with all kinds of witty comments and terms of endearment.
          There were times when the little girl wished she could be more like her friend, everything would be so much easier then. Her friend had answers to all her questions and kept reminding her of the beauty and magic in life. Yes, sometimes the little girl envied her friend for that. Never once did her friend do or think anything wrong. The little girls' father didn't approve of her friend though,
nor did he like what her friend was doing and thinking, but then again, he didn't know her. But the little girl wanted her parents to get to know her so she often told them what her friend thought and did. She could say things like: "My friend showed me the most marvellous thing today, oh let me tell you about it!", or, "No, you're wrong, my friend thinks I can do that", meaning, obviously, that she could for a fact do whatever "that" referred to – her friend had told her, and as you know now, her friend was never wrong, not even once.
          One evening the girls' father had decided him and the mom should prove to the little girl that her friend wasn't what the girl thought her to be, he'd decided to prove to the girl that her friend didn't even exist. He didn't say this though, he just said they were gonna take a car trip, herself, her brother and her mom and dad. The little girl liked car trips so she was happy when they left. The father drove them to a gas station in a town nearby. This gas station was owned by a man who had a name very similar to the name the little girl had given her friend. It could even be seen as the same name, but the spelling was different, hugely so, because the gas station owner had a man's name, and it was dived into a for- and surname. When the little girl had named her friend she had, for some reason, she didn't know why – she didn't even know she'd done so – combined the two, and obviously, turned them into a girlish creation. In so doing she had given her friend a truly unique name; a name no other girl had – or boy, for that matter.
          The little girl told me about a neon sign on the roof of that gas station, a sign she couldn't read herself because she hadn't learned how to read yet, it was a few years ago you see. But her father made her older brother read it to her. And the sign spelled the name of her friend – different, of course, as it was a man's name, different, of course, as it was divided in two, but still kinda the same if you pronounced it fast, as her brother did. So she heard her brother say the name of her friend, reading it from that neon light. And as she heard it she felt like Death Himself had stretched out his hand from a world beneath Hell and ripped the living heart out of her chest. She couldn't breathe. 
          Her father asked her if she wasn't gonna go in there, go into the gas station with her friend's name on it, and say hello to "your precious friend, now when you have the chance to meet 'her' for real. Oh, you're in for a big surprise, you'll see, your friend isn't a
girl at all, T (the name of her friend) is a fat, disgusting, old man!". When he said this, he laughed, a wicked and mockingly joyful laughter, as if he really took pleasure from the fear and panic she, for once, couldn't hide. And he went on, saying a lot of stuff about the little girls' friend, things that wasn't true, things that couldn't be true, but he kept telling her that her friend was in reality this sweaty, disgusting, fat old man. Her father had pointed to the neon sign with the name in a way indicating that that sign alone was all the proof needed of him being right. And he laughed.
          By now, the little girl had gotten tremendously scared, more terrified than she'd ever been before in her life, because she believed her father told the truth, that he was right – that her friend didn't exist, that this neon sign really did prove it to be so, because, how could it not? She told me her dad had laughed even harder when he saw how immensely scared she was, and that he had kept on asking her, over and over again, if she wasn't "gonna say hello to your special friend?, c'mon, go ahead, we have driven all this way just for you, so you finally should get to meet your precious friend in person!".
          "And", she told me, "I totally lost it there, because I started to cry and scream and I crawled down on the floor of the car and grabbed hold of the seat in front of me when my dad tried to pull me out to force me to go into that gas station and meet 'my friend'. Yeah, I totally lost it, I panicked and I just shut my eyes and cried and I didn't want to see or feel anything ever again. Oh, I wish I hadn't done that, I wish I hadn't let my parents see me crying, see how scared I was and the panic I felt! It was the most humiliating thing in my life! And I wouldn't, I wouldn't have shown them anything, I would've been able to handle that, if only my friend had been with me. But she didn't exist."
          It was after she'd "found out" this way that her friend "didn't exist", she began to feel an ever stronger need to be able to prove, beyond any doubt, that, if her parents said or did anything indicating they liked her, and if she then – involuntarily, of course, but still – responded in a way indicating that she'd believed them, that she hadn't really fallen for their tricks: She could now prove it. She had evidence. Yes, she could see the horrific scenario in her minds' eye: Her parents had said or done something, pretending they liked her, and from her response they believed she'd actually interpreted what they'd said or done as a sign of love. Then, her
parents would laugh mockingly at her, saying, in a tone crammed with derision, something like "Look at you, you really believed we like you, didn't you?! Oh, you're so stupid! Wow, you're truly stupider than we thought…". Yes, she was convinced this would happen one of these days, it was just a matter of time, so she had to be prepared. She couldn't let that happen, not ever. Not ever, ever, ever. Again.

continues in Chapter Seventeen...


Author: Sister of Love

Takemehome Book Cover, Foreword and Table of Content Chapter 15
Chapter 17

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