I entered the room. It was warm and dark, as it always was. Brain was already sitting in his chair.
“Hey Brain,” I said.
“Hello.” His voice was tired, and his gaze was angry and sad at the same time.
“You look slightly better than last time.”
“I still feel like shit.”
I decided to just take my seat and wait.
All that gave a little life to the room was my breathing and the bulb hanging above us.
Then, I heard footsteps. It was here.
“Hello, O,” I answered. Brain kept quiet.
O took its seat.
It never began the conversation. I did sometimes, but it was always Brain who opened his mouth first. Not this time. The silence kept on for longer. I had a bone to pick with O; nevertheless, I wanted our talk to develop a little more before starting our routinary hell of these meetings. As the silence got louder, O’s smile bigger, and the bulb hotter, I started:
“Why are we so silent today, guys?” O’s interruption hit me just like any of its words ever did, like a hammer. I turned my gaze away from the floor and directly at it:
“You know why.”
“Of course I do, I just want to hear it and you two are too silent today. Too silent for what we are all used to.”
I paused before speaking:
“I knew you were ruthless, O. Deceitful, and a master of tricking both of us into believing every word you say. But I didn’t know you were that cruel. And that you could shape-shift so efficiently.”
“I’m full of surprises.”
“I cared for her-”
“No you didn’t,” it interrupted again.
“I liked her. She was… IS wonderful, and you destroyed all of that.”
“No I didn’t. You can’t destroy what doesn’t exist.”
My breathing was heavy now, angered. Its words were correct, nevertheless. And I hated that. My lack of a comeback pleased it, something rare in it, I could feel it. Brain was dead silent, still. His eyes were piercing the floor.
“All I did was convincing you that she was going to end up with that other dude. Every
post you saw, their interactions, her obvious lack of interest in you… You know I always base
my words on evidence. If you have your phone with you, we could check Twitter now and see if
they’ve exchanged some gifs or bullshit like that, so you can analyze each word and convince
yourself they’re ‘just friends’.”
“We know they’re not just friends. I know it.”
“Don’t you always know it?”
I tried to evade his remark, “Wait… ’All I did’? You took her shape! I became obsessed
with her! You turned some hopeful feelings into this burning need of her being with me. You did
everything! I really hate you!”
“That was not entirely me,” it turned its look at Brain. Brain felt it. I could see him
almost breaking down.
I didn’t understand. I know Brain is terribly sick, but he has never worked with O in its
exploits. Before I could gather my thoughts and come up with a question, Brain said, “I’m sorry,
man. I didn’t do it with the intention on you getting hurt as you did. It got out of my grasp.”
“What do you mean?”
“We needed something to feel better. Something that made us… happy. In the past three
years, she’s the one person you’ve met you would have had a shot with. It was worth trying.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“I can’t take it anymore!” Brain screamed, “we discovered it four months ago, and we are
still incapable of even dealing with it. Your friends aren’t enough. Your family isn’t enough. I
am not enough. And neither are you. You know that. It is kicking our asses, and we don’t even
try to fight back. She was a chance to… feel better. Have that impulse and motivation to fight. I
thought that if-” Brain was almost crying at this point, “if you got together with her, it would go
Brain had done this before. Assume that whenever my situation would change into one he
had envisioned in the future, O would be instantly kicked out.
“Is that why you recommended me asking her out?”
“Yeah. But I know you, you do care for her.” That didn’t matter now.
“How does it play into all of this? Sounds like this was your doing, Brain, not its.”
“He let me pose as her,” O said, beating Brain to the punch. I waited for it to continue,
but it didn’t. “Oh, I’m waiting for him to explain, it’s much more fun that way.”
“One day, I’ll beat that smug smile off your horrible face.”
“You love me.”
Brain took its time. It hurt, so badly. “I needed to feel better. I’m sorry. Just her image
was enough to make me feel well again, even for a while… I didn’t realize you saw her the same
way until it was too late. You know how it works.”
O turned to me and said, “I told you I only did the one thing. The one I always do. Now, I
want to leave. We’ll see each other around. Soon.”
“You got scared, didn’t you?” I told O, “when I asked her for coffee… you felt weak.”
“No I didn’t.” O got swallowed by the darkness of the room.
I remained silent for a while. We both did.
“I can’t look at her picture without feeling a thousand things in a second, and I hate most
“I know,” replied Brain.
“… I’m sorry I pushed so hard. To be well again.”
“Old habits die hard,” I proceeded with a smile, “I’ve always pushed myself to be the
best. Don’t know if it was O telling me to, but I can’t deal with us being this way. Sick; not
excelling at beating its ass, right now.”
“I see. I’m sorry, too.”
“It’s okay. You’re allowed to screw up, too.”
“What about her?”
“We’ll see what happens with her. We are more important.”
Brain and I sat there, under the hot bulb, in silence. It had been a while since we didn’t
feel alone with each other.
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