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Together – Part 4

My dreams are confused and exhausting. It feels like I am watching two 3-d movies, played over each other and I can’t always tell which is which. Most of the time I can’t even tell if I am awake or still dreaming; either way I don’t feel rested when I eventually stumble out of bed and into the bathroom. I lean heavily on the sink to catch my breath before looking at my reflection. My first reaction is to scream. I just about manage to hold the noise down, clamping my hand desperately over my mouth as though that will stop it. I stand as still as possible for ages, straining to work out if my flatmates heard. Slowly I calm down enough to realise that I have absolutely no idea why I reacted like that. The second movie is still playing in my head; I can hear noises and even feel things that have nothing to do with where I am right now. A man is talking constantly in the back of my mind although I can’t quite work out what he is saying. It sounds like he is gibbering in a corner somewhere at the moment. I force myself to ignore him and return to my reflection.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I could remember what it was that had scared me. I try, but there just doesn’t seem to have been anything at all. Of course, I don’t look good. Actually I look like I’ve just gone 10 rounds with Tyson after running a marathon, but I expected that. Cautiously I look myself square in the eye.
“That’s not me!” The man in my head is both incredulous and wrong. Of course it’s me. Who else would it be? He won’t listen though, just keeps gibbering. Eventually I hear him decide to check himself out. A face suddenly flashed behind my eyes. This time he is right, it isn’t me. But I feel like it should be. I try to tune the voice out, but I can’t. The noise he is making is threatening to force my own thoughts clean out of my skull. He is shouting at himself now, I can hear him: repeating his thoughts and yelling at the reflected face in my head.
I stand there, staring, for a long time. There are tears streaming down my face but I ignore them. I ignore everything. I feel like I am drowning, unable to keep the water out of my mouth and nose as I watch the boat sail away; riding safely over waves that are consuming me. Eventually I can’t avoid the truth anymore; I have gone crazy. What do they call it? Schizophrenic? Is that what this is? But I thought those voices were supposed to tell me to do things, not to treat me like an impostor! I drop my gaze in despair. I could do with some instruction right now, even if it was just from the imaginary man in my head. What will I do? I can’t tell anyone, how could I? The shame would be far too much to bear.

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