I. Self Reflection
This book contains depictions of violence, abuse, and other sensitive topics which may be triggering to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.
It’s a warm night and I’m sweating cold. I’m alone again in this room. I’m seated on the floor, facing the over-sized mirror on the wall, looking at my reflection and contemplating life. I looked around and remembered her. Tristyne. She’s a teacher and this is her house. She’s been keeping me here. Alone. Away from people. Why?
Because she’s crazy.
She has a simple one-bedroom apartment. Too bland, but it’s spacious. The walls are white and the over-sized mirror in the living room made the unit look bigger. The first thing you’ll see when you enter the unit would be a gray, velvety sofa. It’s the perfect view for someone who just got home from work. On the right side of the living room is a home entertainment system. It’s complete with a plasma TV, a DVD player, speakers, and a PlayStation 3. There’s a cute round center table too. On the left is an L-shaped kitchen. She likes cooking and baking. The kitchen is her haven. There’s also an island counter and a big basket of fresh fruits.
The unit is basically very cozy. It looks normal. The toilet is always clean; the fridge, always full of a variety of snacks. Who would’ve thought the person living here is a crazy bitch who’s trying to imprison me?
I met Tristyne years ago, in university. We used to be friends. She was my source of comfort until Jordan came. I never saw her again after Jordan and I got together. She didn’t like him and she kept on bad-mouthing him so I started to hate her. She left but from time to time, she visits. She’s like a terrible typhoon. She doesn’t come often but when she does, she destroys almost everything. She leaves a big scar that’s going to take a long time to heal. She makes sure that she’s always coming back. She always tells me that Jordan won’t stay forever.
She was right. He left me right after he graduated. No phone call. No goodbyes. Just him suddenly becoming nonexistent in my life.
Tristyne would always show up when I feel down. Again, she became my source of comfort. She was constantly there until we had a big fight. Our opinions kept on clashing and she would always oppose me. That’s the time when we ended our friendship. Or so I thought.
Last March, I met her again. She’s calmer and more quiet than before. She changed. She’s not that aggressive anymore. She looked empty. We became friends again. We confided in each other until we’re inseparable once again. I embraced her and she consumed me.
Jordan came back to the country last May. He found me and we made amends. It was refreshing to see Jordan. He’s gotten more handsome, more successful, more everything. I fell in love with him again. Or I never really fell out of love. He explained the reason why he left. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one suffering at that time. He was suffering too. I thought everything would already turn out fine but Tristyne wasn’t happy about it.
After a few months, she changed. She became too clingy. I think she had gotten obsessed with me. She said she’s afraid that I’d get tired of her and that I’d push her away again, especially because Jordan’s back. I told her I would never do that. I told her that without her, I’m incomplete. After that, our boat started sailing smoothly again for some time.
Tristyne was persistent in trying to destroy my relationship with my boyfriend. She doesn’t like him for me and because she knows I would never think negatively of Jordan, she hurt me instead. She called me names. She said I’m useless and that my boyfriend doesn’t actually love me. She said he’s just dating me out of pity and guilt. She said I’m not worthy of his love. I’m not worthy of anyone’s love. I didn’t believe her, of course. Then, I found out that my boyfriend was going out with another woman. I was heartbroken. I knew I should’ve trusted Tristyne. She’s always right, and she cares for me. Maybe I was really undeserving of anything good.
Tristyne went to my house that night. I cried to her. I told her everything. She’s the only one who always listens. She’s the only one I can trust. She’s the only one who always stays.
Tristyne is crazy, yes. She’s blunt. She makes me feel bad. She hurts me. She doesn’t fail in making me feel useless. However, she’s consistent. She always watches over me. She reminds me of my limit. She never leaves. She lives with me. She stays. And I guess I’m crazy too. I’m crazy because I like how she hurts me. I like how she makes me realize how weak I am. And I don’t want her to stop. I’m afraid she will stop. I’m afraid she will leave.
Tristyne suddenly came. I’m facing her while seated on the carpeted floor. I start to cry. I knew from the very start that she’s the only one I can count on. She might be evil, but I have to accept the fact that I have no one but her. She embraced me. I feel tired. I close my eyes and start to feel her skin against mine. I leaned my forehead against hers. It’s time to let go, Tris. She whispered. She looked at me through the mirror and handed me a kitchen knife. I remember she hated blunt kitchen tools. I looked at her again. It’s time to sleep. That’s right. It’s the most reassuring thing I’ve ever heard in a long time.
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