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Xehara

Call Me Stan

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I don't feel the symptoms of the concussion anymore, the pain in my thigh has subsided and the withdrawals are lessening. I'm healing physically but I feel like I'm still declining emotionally. I started to believe in people again, to try and lend my trust to others. I tried to have friends I'd want to protect like I do family. I invested in them, gave them my trust and like predicted they disappointed me. Hurt me even, with wounds that sting the flesh and the soul. 

I can only apologize for people's actions for so long before even I don't believe in the justification. Be selfish. Think of me. I tried, it kind of turned into me thinking of others again. How my relations affect others. I become just as complacent in what is going on if I do nothing. Maybe that's why I did something.

Love. Such a strong declaration. I paid closer attention from the moment it was uttered, examining actions, reading body language, judging how much of it was sincere and how much was just a word thrown out there to try and lure me in. There's anger when I am honest about my trust issues, about my disbelief, but I don't want to lie. The actions just don't line up with the words. The insincerity causes rifts that build the foundations of walls until we're no longer friends.

Now I am left with a bullet wound in my shoulder and hand, bruises on my neck, and a tightness in my chest. I loved him with all of my heart, every fiber of my being, til death... I still don't understand why he hurt me.

I'm scared you will too. 

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I said yes.

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Some days it feels like the world is fighting to put a bridge between Elliot and me, only to blow it up. Yesterday that feeling was on steroids. My trip to the fountain to get water ended in a shotgun wedding where no meant I ate the bullet. I'm thankful the pretender of a husband didn't touch me, and the sting from his 'best man's' fist is the only lasting souvenir. After the metaphorical shackles had been firmly placed, I retreated to the house where my friends resided. I sat still in the corner, looking at the AK that rested near the dresser, contemplating eating a bullet. I don't know him, I don't know his intentions, I just know that he chose to force me into a union and strip me of my name, my identity. He wanted a husk to yes man him and not a woman who could actually love him. I spent the rest of the day ignoring what had happened, placing myself in denial as I tried to process what I felt was a betrayal to Elliot. 

Somehow Elliot made it all better. He let me melt into his arms and offered me my name back. I never thought I'd get married again. I was dead set on being alone and never letting another man touch me when I left Russia, but I'm glad I broke all of my rules for him. I'd do it again every day, no matter what it costs me. Til death.

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Family. I wanted it for so long. A place to belong, to matter. People who had my back and who were worth investing my all into. I've heard the word tossed about in vain, rewarded to the undeserving and used unjustly to describe those who hold the same banner and actively work against my own ideals and morals. My every action is a representation of those who hold my banner, something I've held close to the vest and respected. I've conducted myself in a manner that would bring nothing but respect to those around me, while others have actively sought to set fire to what has been built. 

I've been shot, beaten, carved into, and my life threatened over the actions of others at times when I am not present. I'm being judged and held accountable for other's crimes, with no power to prevent the same crimes from repeating. How am I to balance those facts with the many times the same people have come to my aid, the orders given to run that have resulted in others being harmed. We're just trading flesh now to no avail, with the only end in sight being my crucifixion. 

I would die for Elliot, I've made vows to do just that, but it's becoming harder to say the same for those around me. 

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Can't say there aren't moments where I question how different things would be if I had made different choices. If I had said no to Elliot, stayed in the pub in Myshkino, fallen for the silver tongue of a Canadian or stayed put in the dam. Full circle, poetic I suppose, but here I sit in what was my home for almost two years. The dam is silent now, the walls chilled by the stillness of the water. I stood on the ledge for an hour, contemplating the same things I did before I left only in reverse. Was leaving this hole worth it? Has socializing really saved me? 

I was a pacifist with a packet of pumpkin seeds, a Keep It Simple t-shirt, and a stick. Now I'm a wife, loading a rifle to ward off the hunting party pointing their weapons in my direction because they can't find my husband. 

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The Rook, because I ran towers. Seems The Pawn would be a better fitting title at this point. Shuffled about this countryside, fighting for the right to live while the thought of being alive loses its meaning. I can't bring myself to move from the brush and leaves I now lay on. The stars and moon overhead call to me, beckoning me to float up into the void that surrounds them. It would be so easy to just lay here and never move again. Just give up... Let go. 

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Smile, he's watching. Six AM, time to wake up. Don't jostle the bed, keep bare feet soft against the hardwood. Breakfast must be on the table by seven. Do not eat until he is done, or has invited you to join him. Dishes washed up immediately following breakfast, laundry done by nine, dust and sweep before eleven. Lunch by noon on the dot, plan for guests - there are always guests. Be present but not visible. Be charming but don't speak unless spoken to. Pray business goes his way, affection is soon to follow. It's not personal when he's angry, he needs an outlet and you're strong enough to endure. No one will ever love you but him. You're lucky he puts up with you. Look at all he's given to you, done for you, you should be grateful. This is what you deserve. 

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For a few hours, the world lifted itself from my shoulders and I no longer needed the masks to smile. I stood for me, I moved of my own accord, and for the first time, I fell in love with who I am. I could feel the breath tickling at my throat, the swelling of my chest to make way for growing lungs, and every caress of the wind against my skin. I was silent and the world quieted with me. I was at peace. 

The pinpricks underskin are starting to return and home looks uninviting. We've fought for so long only for nothing to change. I'm worn down and broken.

How is it you see my pain when no one else does?

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The more I long for something to be true, the more I feel it's a lie. You get close and I stand frozen, unable to move and looking subconsciously for my escape. I've rewound and switched up the ending many times over, examining every twist and turn. Can you tell the storm raging inside? The destruction wrought by doubt and uncertainty? The pain of broken promises and bruises that hide below the skin? I deal out forgiveness before the wounds have had time to heal, carrying the weight as you claim to. You know what it is I want, what I long for. It's not hard to see if anyone were to just pay attention. If I don't plot my course soon, I am sure to get swept under the riptides. 

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This is getting redundant. Everyone wants to compete for who gives the most shits about me, but it's all so self-serving that none of it holds any weight. Protecting me means tearing me down and attempting to prove how little I matter to those who matter the most to me. I had rules. I use to follow them but then I got worn down again and started seeing bits of myself in those around me. I listened because I wanted to be heard, I protected because I wanted to be protected. I followed the golden rule and all it's gotten me is diminishing returns. 

She offers comfort.
You treated me like a person.
There's this aura about you.

I'm just a person. 

 

 

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Like the shedding of old skin, I feel I'm dying and becoming something new. Whoever I was two months ago is gone. I see everything more vividly and the fear of shame and disappointment is making less sense. All these bindings are pointless, boring even. What am I working so hard to prove? I do the right thing and I still get punished for the actions of those around me. I'm held to high standards that the ones ordering me wont even hold themselves to. I'm angry, ravenous, and I don't want to do this anymore. Fuck traditions. Fuck being scared of losing him, he's already gone. 

Hedonism is looking more and more appealing. Wonder if I'd actually have the balls to let go of everything I've known and just give into that mindset. Be selfish.

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You knew what you were doing before I did. The shedding of the mask, the burial of the bear... Then telling me you didn't need those things because you had me. You had me. Did you connect the same dots? Come to the same conclusions? Did you see the way I indulged in the information offered innocently around that beaten up car? Just trading one meaningless sense of loyalty for another and to what end. Just a vessel to carry out the tasks of other's, no real change. Everything stays the same and I could have forced a change if it hadn't been for you needing me. Why did you have to need me? Why couldn't you just let me go too? 

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She doesn’t understand when you call her beautiful
 because the world has taught her to see what she must fix
  what makeup, clothes, and hairstyles she must wear
   that she is too skinny, too fat, her skin is too light or too dark
    how to accentuate her assets and hide her problem areas.

She doesn’t understand when you tell her you love her
 because she was taught that men only want one thing
  and it’s not okay to love another woman
 that the word no only counts if you are fully covered, sober,
  and haven’t so much as smiled at your “suitor”
   and if you dare be touched outside of wedlock, even against your will
    you are tainted and a whore

She doesn’t understand that she is…
 strong, beautiful, intelligent, powerful, perfectly flawed
  because she was taught her worth is dependent not on herself
   but on the opinions of those around her.

She doesn’t understand that it’s abuse
 because she was taught to serve her significant other
  that her emotions are irrational and her being upset is hormonal
   that she provoked him with her nagging
    that he’s a good provider and she should try to make it work
     that the only real abuse is physical and it’s all in her head…

She doesn’t understand why it feels wrong,
 and she questions herself over and over
  until she’s lost years on a mistake her brain justified,
   but her heart cautioned against,
because she was taught to think with her head.

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The journal was lost with the disappearance of Kevin Shock. If found dead, the journal will be found on Kevin Shock's person.

This journal was returned to her and can now be found on her person again.

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