PG-13 Instability


Your Self Doubt Lingers
“What is love to you?”

J taps a finger against his chin as the question was asked. The couch he sat on was plain, covered in fake leather, nothing to look at, like the specimen sitting on it. “Love? Easy. When you look at someone and can’t help but smile. When you get excited at the thought of their very being, and you want to spend every moment of every day with that one person. When all you want to do is make that person happy, know that someone cares. When you do everything in your power to make sure they know you love them.” He crossed his legs casually, blonde hair falling in his eyes.

“Is that what you did?”

J froze. This was getting personal. He didn’t like people trying to pick his brain and figure him out. His whole ‘tough guy’ character was why people didn’t dare take another look at him, and if someone found out it was fake, that was the end of his protection. He bowed and shook his head sadly. “I-I don’t know. I tried my best, but looking back, I don’t think it was enough.” He looked up, face going from hurt to completely normal once again. Creating the illusion that he was okay was going to get him out of this awkward moment.

“You doubt him, don’t you?”

“Doubt?” J was taken aback. Whose business was this to be asking him? He shook his head but found the words hard to come by. “I- no. I don’t doubt him. I’m just rightfully worried.”

“You blame yourself.”

J slammed a fist into the couch's armrest, tear welding in his eyes. “Because it’s my fault! If I wasn’t there, nothing would have happened! This is what I get for being. For existing. I don’t regret living, but I regret being who I am. I didn’t change enough, and now I’m facing the consequences.” He smoothly wiped the tears from his eyes, ready to resume the questions.

“The consequences being you sitting alone, and him off somewhere. You don’t know what he’s doing, or thinking, or feeling.”

“Is there a question?” He spat out. J was in no mood for games, and it seemed he was being toyed with.

“Does it hurt?”

J stood abruptly, fists clenched tight enough to turn his knuckles white and fingernails to dig into the skin on his palm. “Of course, it hurts!” He shouted and looked at the ground, down at his miss-matched socks, a memory coming to mind. Tears again flooded to his eyes, and he could no longer keep them from spilling over. “If it weren't for me, he would still be here! I could still hold him and tell him he’s loved. Remind him of how amazing he is! It’s my fault he got caught!” He fell to his knees. He couldn’t hold himself up anymore. He couldn't see through the tears, but he could hear the questions through his sobs.

“You miss him.”

J nodded, unable to bring himself to say it. He wanted the questions to stop. He wanted to pain to stop. He wanted everything to stop. To just freeze and not come out of it. He wanted to go back in time and warn him. Warn them both.

“Did he make a big imprint? Did he change you?”

J nodded and after a few moments, brought himself to speak through the tears. “He changed me in more ways than one. He helped me get over anorexia, helped me sleep at night. He supported me through everything, with my parents, my pain from school. My anxiety. He helped with everything. He taught me what being loved feels like.”

“You did nothing, you know that?”

J pauses. The tears stopped the rush of blame and hurt stopped. He stood defiantly, “That’s a lie!” He punched the wall defiantly, his fist going through the drywall with more ease than should have been realistic. “He said it. He said I helped. I changed him! You're a piece of shit, you know I did!”

He turned away from the wall, his fist throbbing, and grumbled, “You will stop with the questions. No one can help me through this. Just give up with the stupid as fuck questions. Just STOP!”

It took J a second to catch his breath and calm down. The odd thing about this entire interaction? J was the only person in the room. No one else was there to ask the questions, to torment J both mentally and physically. He was alone, hurting himself and defying himself to try and cope with the bad luck that followed him. He could have known that this was going to happen. J looked around, a pained smiled on his face, and turned to the blank wall, “Thank you.” He thanked himself before blacking out.
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