I don't know which one of us is real anymore.
They call it Schizophrenia.
I call it reality.
I need to do this.
It’s getting worse, I must distract myself.
I feel helpless, insignificant.
Are you real?
Do I exist?
We’ve all asked ourselves this, right?
But are we?
How do we know?
Are we who we think we are? Say we are?
Feel we are.
I was seven when it happened. My first experience. My first taste of what was real, of what I was, of what I could do.
Of what I did do.
I can still remember the look on his face, those piercing green eyes, the mouth open wide, throat raw from screaming.
And the blood. All the blood.
My parents found me, smashed mirror aside me, clutching a shard of broken glass In one hand. The makeshift weapon dug deep in to my hand, but there was no sign of me having felt it. In my other hand I grasped my pillow, one I had slept with for my whole life. Treasured it. Loved it. Protected it.
Feathers littered the floor, some still in the air, twirling as they descended to the floor. My beloved pillow bore multiple holes, evidence of the violent encounter.
My parents rushed to me, pushing the shard out of my hand and tossing the pillow away to safety. Only then did they see my face. A grin, a sparkle in my eye.
So many scratches, some deep, others shallow, covering my body. My fingernails were shredded, blood drying beneath what remained of them.
Why had I done this they asked? What could have made me maliciously slaughter a pillow. An inanimate object, something which does not live.
It wouldn’t shut up, is all I would say.
That’s what I said, that’s what I knew. It had been something else. Someone else.
Neil, he called himself. I could never see his face, but he was always there.
Ever since I could remember.
And then the screaming happened.
Neil wouldn’t shut up.
Neil wouldn’t stop his screaming.
I did what I had to do, I couldn’t live with Neil any longer.
I broke down before my parents, I told them everything, I told them about Neil.
And about the others.
They took me to my
Neil wasn’t the only one that would scream.
Every night, I was confronted with the incessant auditory assaults, Ton, Ytilaer, Ekaf, they all screamed. Never stopping.
But then there was another.
He wouldn’t scream.
He would ignore me, every time we met.
“You’re not real” He would say.
“You’re just a hallucination” He would say.
Do you know how that feels? To be told day in and out that you weren’t real. That nobody you knew was real. That you were alone.
Of course, I didn’t believe him at first, why would I? I knew that my hallucinations would lie to me all the time. Would you believe something that you had been told was a construct of your mind?
I wouldn’t and didn’t. But as the days ticked by I noticed things.
I would ask myself the question every day, how do I know that I am here? Where is my proof? Sure, I can feel myself, but that doesn’t mean anything, does it?
Laer would talk to me every day. Sometimes I would walk in to a room and he would be standing there, sometimes the other way around. But he would always without fail attempt to convince me that I didn’t exist.
How can I go on with this constantly hanging over me? What can I do?
I can see him now, on the other side of the room to me. He’s typing something.
Now he looks up at me.
What can I do?
Please, help me.
I don’t know which one of us is real anymore.
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