By Alexis Logain

I've always felt a certain amount of duty towards the people I care about. I've always had to take care of them, always look out for them, always protect them. And when push came to shove, even if I didn't want to, I always did that duty. For eighteen years, it ran my life. Even when I was little, my parents were mine to take care of. Now that I'm older, I know better. I know that they aren't mine to take care of, I know that they aren't my responsibility. But that doesn't change the fact that I have a duty towards them.

I fell in love once. I fell in love with a man where that duty didn't seem like a burden, but more like a gift, more like joy. And then it all changed somehow...and even that love - that pure, innocent, dreamy love changed into something cruel and evil. It turned into an abomination of itself. And now I have another duty. A duty towards that dull ache in my chest. A duty of sorts to be reminded of that pain whenever I'm reminded of him.

I haven't decided what's worse: the duty towards my family or the duty towards...well, society, I suppose. Have you ever had that one family member who made life hell for all those you cared about? Made things so bad that you just wanted that member to die so all the bad stuff would go away. But you love that family member too...so you feel like you have to do something to help them. Your duty towards them. And you're torn between hurting the whole to help the piece or hurting the piece to soothe the whole. What can you do...considering they're both your duty. Then there's the whole society thing - gotta be a good kid, gotta be a good role model, gotta go to a good school, get good grades, dress this way, drive this kind of car, have this kind of job, and never, ever, have the kind of family where you tear yourself into two pieces while trying to help them. Never. Looks like I'm pretty fucked, huh?

I've thought about ending it all - a lot more as of late than I would like. It would be simple, really. Drink that entire bottle of Coconut Rum that I've got and then down a bunch of random pills. I'd be so far gone that I'd pass out and suffocate to death on my own puke. What a way to go. Or maybe not. I could always drown myself in a bathtub. I hear it's a real pleasant way to die - after the initial fear of not breathing, that is. Or I could always be dramatic and slash my wrists...it's not that hard - I've tried it before. Of course it's been a while - my scars have pretty much faded - so it might be harder now. I've grown a little less accommodating towards pain.

But I don't think I would ever go through with it. I have this damned hero complex, you see, and whenever someone calls out: "Somebody please save me!" There I go, running off to save them. I may as well run around in a spandex suit done up in primary colors and have an alter ego who's disguise is a pair of glasses, boots, and a scrunchi. Although I'm not quite sure where I would put a scrunchi. Seifer...he would have a good suggestion. It's too bad we had to kill him. It's too bad my duty put me at war with the one man I loved. We won, of course. And I was left with a broken heart and the title of "The Lion of Balamb."

Duty fucking sucks. I'm teetering on the edge of wanting to be that hero, of wanting to help make life better for my friends and my family...and knowing that I can't. That I'm powerless now. That I'm being bombarded with my own personal kind of kryptonite - my mind. Don't do that, it keeps telling me even though I just have to. I can't help myself. I can't stop. Sometimes I don't want to stop. Sometimes it just feels so good to help others that I never want to stop. And then, for whatever reason, I do and it all hits me. How helpless I really am - how no matter what I do I just cannot make things better.

So why do I try? Why do I let this circle keep on going and going?

I have to. It's my duty.

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