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I know what this is, 2 am, with her sitting in her old chair in front of a 2 year old laptop covered in kitten stickers and glitter unicorns. Nonchalant, a bottle of coke next to her, still cold. Earlier that evening she baked ordinary buns with sugar, she’s satisfied now. Sometimes the radio’s on, but not right now, as right now she’s wearing the earphones connected to her computer. She might be concentrating.

When I ask her about how she lives, she makes subtle and heavy anecdotes about how important it is to feel oneself breathe and the veins bobbing slightly under skin, as hers is too thin. I know she sleeps fidgety at night, having problems breathing. She will wake during morning, only moving her eyelids a little, her body a stiff inhibiting castle, still with a secretive tomb. She has stopped fearing this. It might be because of the new meds.

People say she makes funny jokes about her situation, any other aspect of it, just not her heart. She’ll never laugh and tell you that she’s a broken feather, a burnt child or an abandoned soul. Her eyes are too sharp, like her fondness of knives and swords. Once back in the day, she thought she was a weapon, shaped by cold hands, once so tender holding her little body. Now she knows better. Everything about her can be terrible, but also sweet. People think she’s cute, and so she hides her truest nature in a heavy box with seven locks and chains and has it sunk into the ocean of her memories. She lets the wild tides guard her secrets, feels like having gained control. Nightmares reside, fears of boogie men under her bed, behind her closet and in all other corners simply vanish.

She is in control. Now she knows.

But she can laugh about bleeding at the hands of doctors and nurses, she can laugh about having problems standing on her own two feet without falling over, and she can laugh about the ignorance of any whom she’d never allow access into a body all hollow sores and oozing wounds inside.

For years, she has tended to her face the best she can to repair the scarring that will no less spring forth. A friend for whom she felt well told her harshly that she couldn’t go and be beautiful with all those obvious signs shaming her, no matter how wonderful her eyes were. Later, he would want back into her heart, he asked soft spoken. She reminded him of his words. He had forgotten and her face had healed.

She knows what people say about her behind her back. She could always hear the truth spoken beneath breath and whispered lusciously. They just all made the mistake of thinking she would not break the mute silence, the vow of keeping rigid in the face of fault. She knows this, and she doesn’t care. She has broken any norm seen fit to keep her in place. Having been warned to stop, to hold in, and to never disobey, she now sees her opportunity to betray all their fickle little lies.
Sometimes, when she loses control somewhat, she savours the dark taste of the truth, of all their misgivings. But mostly she takes realization deep into her, burns it all to ashes being spread over her wide open ocean.

She is hoping for peace of mind.

It’s still 2 am. She is having her last glass of coke, hugging the bottle with her hand. A half eaten bun rests near bills, notes, a pen awaiting usage and all her pretty trinkets lined up in front of her staring. She takes off her earphones, rests finally. Prepares for sleep to take her.

In the back of her mind, a well known and loved voice chimes. It’s his. Dad.

Don’t let them take you down.