I am very new at this and 18 years old.... So just stick with me guys haha! Here it is... "Split"
She awoke in a daze and found that the duvet, which had been fresh and crisp the evening before, had become twisted and bunched up around her legs. She blinked a few times before fumbling for her glasses which always sat perfectly on her bedside table. After propping herself up into a more upright position, she reached for the glass of water and brought it up to her lips.
Her alarm sounded - pointless now - but it cried out all the same as it begged for her to switch it off. In doing so, something caught her attention.
There was a letter which had seemed to have rudely invaded her space; almost as if it had pushed its way in front of the other objects which called her bedside table home. No, this was not her usual letter which waited for her on the kitchen table each day; this was something different. Something unnerving.
Confused and afraid, she picked it up and brought it up close enough for her to read. It was handwritten and scruffy. It was signed by a ‘Rick.’ The unfamiliarity panicked her previously sleepy mind.
You do not know me. But I know everything about you. Do not be alarmed. You will remain untouched as long as you follow my instructions. If you fail to do so, let’s just say there will be consequences involving your beloved Michael…
Michael arrived home and immediately loosened his tie. He thought about dinner and came to the conclusion that another microwave meal was the only thing on the menu tonight. Not that he minded particularly, even if they did have a hint of cardboard in them. It was convenient. Whatever.
He moved into the kitchen and recognised the familiar envelope on the table. He smiled. Half-heartedly, he chose a pre-packed meal from the fridge, stabbed the packaging with a fork and shoved it in the microwave before sitting in front of Charlene’s letter.
How he loved her. He loved her attentiveness, her kindness, her intelligence. Every day they wrote and received letters to and from one another, often with nothing new to say, but in a way it was their method of enjoying each other’s distant company.
I write in such haste and panic. Firstly, you must know that I love you. I love you to the bottom of my heart. You make me so, so happy and although I’m not there, I know you love me too. Please remember this.
We can’t be together anymore and I can’t say why. But what I can say is do not write back. Do not try to contact me. Please know that I do this for your own safety. I don’t want you to get hurt.
My love, I’m sorry this is hard for you to understand. I do not understand completely myself. Fear has hazed my vision.
A tear fell from the bottom of his chin and marked a permanent stain beneath her name.
You told me not to write back. But I cannot ignore these past three years. I struggle to gather my thoughts and I am unsure quite how to write this. Firstly, I am afraid. What is this talk of safety, fear and pain? Is it something I can fix? I worry for you now, Charlene; my eyes have been red and stinging for days at the thought of your absence. Please tell me what I can do to make this right again.
Clearly my last letter has not hit home. My heart aches for me to write to you -to be with you- but I simply just can’t. This is beyond my control, Michael.
She faced her reflection in the mirror which sat at an angle above the kitchen sink. She was hardly recognisable to herself. Her hair had become limp and damp, her shoulders bony and her eyes dead. She had done this, but in fear. The letters from ‘Rick’ had since arrived in the form of short notes, then drawings and now actions. The scars on her arms were evidence of this. The lamp flickered.
Blood now dribbles from my arms. How is this betrayal of yours so brutally vivid? I come to the conclusion that there is somebody else. Your sudden change in mood and tone suggests that I no longer fulfil your high expectations. I deserve a proper reason. I deserve at least clarity amongst this mess.
No more letters.
The pain is almost unbearable. I am hardly capable of writing this. The pen is so difficult to grip. The agony I must have inflicted on myself is blood on your hands…
Now it was not just tears which stained the paper beneath her name.
Rick limply picked up the old leaflets which sat in front of him beneath the pile of failed letters. Sweat dripped from his brow and met the blood running from his forearms. He felt as if he had just awoken from general anaesthetic, but this was reality and nothing terrified him more. The lamp flickered.
He had once been given these leaflets by his Doctor. Now, he struggles not to mark the pages with blood. Rick knew that if his plan failed, as it had, he no longer wanted to be a part of himself or even this world of his. The constant war he fought with himself every day of his life for the past three years haunted him and now he was tired, exhausted.
Glancing up at the mirror he no longer had the need to straighten, he took a deep breath and read the first sentences of the leaflets again, possibly for the hundredth time.
“'Dissociative Identity Disorder' is a mental disorder previously known as 'Multiple Personality Disorder' or 'Split Personality'. Symptoms are said to vary over time, however some of the most common include; loss of memory, distress and intrusive thoughts.”