“Don’t you ever get tired of it? You’ve got your own problems. In fact, why are you even trying to help other people when you can’t even help yourself? If you’re not even going to be able to handle your own life, what’s to stop you from screwing up someone else’s when you try to help them?”
I want to reply, really. I really wish I had an answer. But even though my mouth opens to instinctively give her one, my mind doesn’t move at the same speed. To be honest, it’s probably more like it doesn’t even move at all. A sigh comes out instead, and I close my eyes as I lower my head. She isn’t wrong, and I can’t think of anything to say back to her. I breathe deeply in and out, hoping that it’ll help me to relax somehow.
“Look, I’m not trying to tell you to stop helping other people. But if you can’t even deal with your own issues, you’re probably going to do more harm than good.” She looks at me seriously, her eyes boring into my own as I lift my head at her words. For a few moments, we simply sit like that, an awkward silence hanging over us. Then she sighs and looked away, her gaze darting around the room, searching for a distraction. “You don’t have to try to do everything on your own, you know. There are other people around you that care about you and want to help you, so instead of always denying the fact that something’s wrong with you when you clearly need help, you should listen and try to face your own problems first. If people didn’t care about you, they wouldn’t try to help you. We wouldn’t stick around with you all the time if we didn’t care about you. In fact, the two of us probably wouldn’t even be here talking to each other right now.”
“What I’m trying to say is that if you try to bear everyone else’s burdens, then who’s going to be left to bear yours for you?”
I draw in a breath and hold it while I try to think. While I really hate to admit it, she’s right about a lot of things. But I’m a bit of a cynic. Sure, she’s being nice and making it seem like she’s only doing this out of friendship, but is that really everything? Even I don’t help people just because it’s something I’m supposed to do. I do it because it helps me take my mind of my own problems, like she said. So what does she want by trying to help me?
That’s what I want to know. Though, it’s not exactly something I can just say outright, obviously. I need to put this… more delicately. I have to ask her in a way that isn’t so upfront; otherwise she might take it the wrong way.
Yeah. I can’t really do that. I’ve never been particularly good with words. But damn it, I really want to know. Just what does she want? What’s her aim? If she helps me, what does she get out of it other than proving her friendship?
“There’s no way you’re doing this just because you care about me.” Almost immediately after I say it, I want to shoot myself. But it’s too late, I’ve already said it. “No one does anything out of selflessness or duty alone. People in this world aren’t that great. You know it’s true.”
Oh, this is wonderful. This is just great. She’s looking at me like I’ve said something ridiculous, maybe even offensive. Those eyes aren’t friendly at all. No, they’re… I don’t know how to describe them. It’s like she’s studying me intensely, scrutinizing me for something. She probably thinks there’s something wrong with my head. Then she sighs, shaking her head as she looks away. Her brow is furrowed and her lips are turned into a frown, the look of someone handling an exceptionally frustrating task.
“Yes. There’s something I want. You’re right. But the way you are right now, I don’t know if you could ever give it to me. For a while, I thought you could. For a while, I thought you were someone who could change me and show me something I hadn’t seen before. I thought you were different from other people. I… I thought you were someone I could give my heart to.
“But right now, I don’t know anymore. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the one who was blind, who couldn’t think right. Because right now, you’re not the same person as when I first met you. You’re something else. You’re someone different. You’re… You’re not even a shadow of who you were when I first met you. I don’t know what happened in between then and now, but you changed. The brazenness and the confidence that you had before is gone. You had hope, you had dreams, ambitions. But now? All you ever do is belittle yourself, talk about how much you hate yourself, and how you’ll never succeed. What the hell is wrong with you? What the hell could have possibly happened to change you so much?”
Wait, what? I’m not sure. I can feel the tremors running through my arms and all the way to my hands. I know what just happened. And I’m left speechless, confused, and I just can’t help but stare straight forward with my mouth open, unable to come up with any kind of response. This is worse than my usual speechlessness, because right now, I’m left unable to speak not because I’m bad at it but because of what she just said.
There’s too much truth in her words. It’s painful to hear, and now, I just want to leave. Before I was patiently sitting here, wondering what she had to say. But right now, I can’t do this. I can’t. My entire body screams with an instinct to get the hell out of here. Forget about her confession that she might have liked me at some point; the part that hurts right now is how true everything else that she said is. I know. I know that it’s all true. But, what am I supposed to do about it?
I want to run. But I can’t. I clench my fists again and squeeze my eyes shut to calm myself, but that doesn’t do much to help because it never did; it’s not supposed to.
I swallow. I’m not nervous now. I’m calm. I’m completely fine. Just breathe in and out, and I’ll be all good.
Bullshit. I know that I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I always am.
Just let me run. Please, just get me out of here, goddamn it. Please, I’m begging you now.
I can’t do this anymore.
The world’s spinning all around me, my breathing is way too fast, and my heart is racing like an out of control Veyron when you shoot the driver and his foot is pressed down on the pedal, all the way. It won’t stop. It can’t stop. I can’t stop.
I don’t know where I am anymore. I don’t know how far I’ve run. I don’t care anymore. Near misses with cars, strangers trying to slow me down, ramming into people, tripping over things, I don’t know how much time has passed or how much shit has happened. It doesn’t matter.
I’m a coward, right? I can’t help it though. This is just the way I am right now, always running from the things that happen to me. It’s just like she said, I can’t handle the problems in my life. Forget about other people. I’ve got enough to deal with myself. The rest of the world can just go burn for all I care.
I open my eyes again. She’s still sitting there, looking at me. There’s something different though. Concern, fear, uncertainty. That’s what I see in her now.
Well. I’m really not surprised, to be honest. I did just black out for a moment, after all.
Even though there’s cold sweat covering my forehead and my hands are shaking and my entire body can’t keep still, I can’t help but smile grimly and laugh softly to myself while I close my eyes.
This is reality. This is who I am. Twisted, broken, completely and utterly unpredictable. Other people don’t know who I am anymore. Well, neither do I.