(I don’t seem to be taking this very well.)

It must not agree with me. Maybe I’m allergic. Or intolerant. There is a difference, you know. Maybe I should just surrender to it and let it swallow me whole. The best way out is through, as the mysterious “they” say.

(Who are “they”? Hey! Can you give me the answers? Where can I find you?)

Really, though? Who has the energy for it? How are we supposed to get through over and over and over and over and… Well. You get the idea. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Or is it just me? Maybe. Maybe it is and I’m just weak. No surprise there, but I seemed to get on fine so far. I made it so far. So why now?

(Can’t I just lay here among the pillars holding me up?)

They’re cracking. I can see that, yes. There, and there, and there, too. Hmmm. Seem to be growing bigger. I can hear things inside them. They’re… No. I can’t tell. It’s too tumultuous. Muffled, but no less chaotic, no less… loud. I can see thin hands no less fierce for their look of frailty reaching out. Biding their time.

(I don’t want to look. They scare me.They’re waiting. Waiting to escape. Can’t I just lay here and not move? If I don’t move, they won’t be able to get out… Can I, please?)

Oh no. I can’t breathe again. It’s happening again. It’s been happening a lot. My lungs will contract again. I’ll choke in my effort to get oxygen into them again. My heart will beat unpleasantly faster again. My throat.. Oh god, what’s in there? Knives? Must be. In my core, too. Somewhere that’s not my gut, but not my heart, but everywhere at once. Knives. Daggers, sabers, scythes, short swords, long swords.

(Inhale. Exhale. Come on now, it’ll pass soon. Focus. Breathe. No. Don’t sob. Tears go back. BACK. There we go. It’s over.)

I know. I know you’re waiting inside me. I know you want to explode. I know you’re getting impatient. I don’t care. You won’t. I won’t let you. I won’t let you, you hear? You can destroy me if you want. But until you make very clear what will happen if I set you free, I will not. I will not risk you destroying everything dear to me. Because I know that’s what you may well do. Tear everything apart without a care. Go on a rampage.

(Then who will be left to clean up the mess? Make amends? Pick up the shattered pieces of not just myself, but everyone caught in the blast? No. You will never be free.)

Growl all you want. Make your threats. I will not break. I may be wavering now, may be growing a bit tired, but I will not break. You can’t make me. I won’t let you. I won’t let me.

(I’ll get my strength back. You’ll see… I won’t let you hurt them. They’ve done nothing to you. They don’t deserve it. I just need a little time… That’s all. Just a little time…)

You’re rattling your chains. I can hear them. You’re trying to set yourself and your minions free. I see them. I see you. Don’t you see? You can’t. Never. Ever.

(You’ll never be free. Even if it means that nor will I.)

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