To most of the questions you ask me, I will do my best to give a proper response; if you prefer it, I will even write a story about it. However, I don’t believe in biographies that are accompanied by the prefix auto-. Therefore, the best you’ll get from me is this anti-biography.
I’ve often wondered if my life is just a really long dream. I wished it were. It didn’t help that, for years now, I’ve been incapable of staying asleep longer than three to four hours per sleep session. 233, 234, 235; 233, 234, 235; 233, 234, 235; I closed the book, got up, got ready, did my routines, and just as I was about to finish locking the door, I heard him.
“Stop tugging at it, it’s so annoying.”
I ignored him until I was done. He stayed quiet, eerily so, as though he had muffled his existence in those few moments when my eyes hadn’t been on him. I hated that.
“What’s it to you how I lock my door?” I said as I turned to face his condescending smirk.
“I comment because I care.”
His reply was a sharp laugh showing off his almost perfect teeth – they were wolf-like, too sharp to be… normal, but then again, who was I to speak?
We walked side by side, with him just half a step in front of me, as we always did. What was at first a conscious effort on my part had turned into a habit over the years.
“Feeling exceptionally anxious today?”
I knew he’d notice, he always did. How could he not, considering how meticulously he followed my every move. It used to send shivers down my spine, but I’d managed to overcome it. I had to. He was the only one that stuck around, even when I didn’t want him to. At first, the mere fact that I wasn’t completely alone gave me comfort, but as time passed, I started to realize that there were worse things.
We walked to the store where I lugged boxes all day, and he, well, he walked around with his clipboard, jotting things down. If anyone had ever bothered to direct a few words my way and ask me if I knew what hid behind that board, I would’ve had to stay true to my reputation as a provider of perpetual disappointment.
The day had passed as they all did, with me stacking boxes in the back of the store while everyone else did their best to try and avoid me. Everyone but him, that is. As comforting as it may have been several years ago, it had turned into everything but that. Knowing that he was always somewhere near, creeping in the back, had gradually turned from gratitude to aggravation, and I had come to realize that was his intention. He found it amusing.
An ordinary, no, a sane person might’ve grown suspicious of such behavior, but such a person could afford it, whereas I could not, or at least that’s what I had always told myself. Something was better than nothing.
“You’re taking those again? Didn’t you say you disliked how numb they made you feel?” he said, as we slowly made our way back to my street, trying hard to seem as nonchalant as possible.
“Yeah, thought I’d try them again. Besides, numb doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.”
“You know I disagree with that.”
“You made that extremely clear the last time.”
Just as he was about to grab my arm, his sentence was cut short by a couple of kids that tried to run straight through us. I couldn’t react fast enough, so the taller one slammed right into me, yet he managed to avoid the collision with the slightest of motions – it was almost as if the kid did pass through him. Almost.