by Charlotte Amelia

“I think you like it, you know,” I said, throwing it back in her face.

“How could I possibly like this, being this way?” She asked, furious.

“I think you get off on it. The poor, misunderstood little girl, who never has to grow up, never has to face the real world. Everyone dances around you, makes allowances for you, don’t they? And you let them. You never stand up for yourself, you always have someone to do it for you. It’s ridiculous. Nobody sees it, but I do. You treat them like puppets, these slaves you have to your lifestyle. All because you can’t face the big bad world. Well, guess what, Sophia, one of these days they’re going to realise what you’ve done to them, all the lies you’ve told, and you’ll be left with nothing, nobody. And I hope you’ll remember today, remember this. And I hope you’ll remember that I told you so,” I ranted. Her face changed, closed down in front of my very eyes. She went from seeming soft at the edges, to suddenly very hard.

“Fuck you,” she bit out. “Fuck. You. You think I want this, for a second? You think I enjoy living this way? I hate it. Every minute of it. I wish I had the courage to step off a bridge and into the swirling tide, I really do. But I’m a coward. I don’t use people, don’t you see? You treat me like I’m using you because you can’t face the truth – that you allow yourself to be used. From the day you met me, you’ve chased me, fallen at my heels, desperate for my attention. Because I’m an idea to you, this unobtainable, magical girl, who, through her quirks, can cure your own ailments. Well, I’m sorry, but real life isn’t like that. Real life is me having to take my medication every day or risk losing the fragile grip I have. Real life is watching the world go by from my window on the days I can’t bear to leave the house. Real life is pretending to smile when all I want to do is cry. Real life is you, screaming at me, because you can’t bear that my illness is more of me than you would like. I’m sorry, no, that’s wrong, I’m not sorry that I’m not your dream girl, not in the least bit. I can’t imagine anything worse than having to live up to your standards twenty four hours of the day, fearing what you might say if I stepped out of line. You’ve built me up in your head for so long you don’t even see me anymore. I’m an idea to you, nothing more.”

“You’re wrong,” I said, certain.

“The thing is though, is that I’m not. I’ve met you before, dozens of times. And each one of you thought you could mould me into this perfect girl. And none of you saw the truth of it – I am me, already, not perfect, perhaps, but me, unconditionally and unapologetically. And believe me, I apologise for nothing.”

 

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