Who the hell thought I'd be good at this?
It's not such a bad job, I suppose. It pays well. It's certainly safer than what I'm used to. No Malboros, Ruby Dragons, or Iron Giants to slash at, just a desk, a secretary, and plush wall-to-wall carpeting. Hmm, and a jar of lemon gumdrops that Cid kept stashed in his bottom left-hand drawer, just for emergencies. He told me so, right before he took off.
I hate lemon gumdrops.
He probably thought of it all as a reward. I can see it now, "Yeah, give the kid a rest, he's earned it. Besides, I wanted to retire anyway."
I should be grateful. But I'm not.
Instead, I'm filling out forms, approving transfers, and ordering textbooks, magic supplies, weapon upgrades, and 3,462 more hot dogs annually. The last was Zell's idea, and don't ask me how he came up with the number, I don't know.
10,000 rolls of toilet paper, for God's sake. What the hell is going on in the bathrooms of Balamb Garden? And do I really want to know?
A note. Hmm, what's it say? "To Cid, Don't forget to send in Student Life Insurance policies-Cid" If he's writing the note to himself, why on earth is he signing it? Or addressing it, for that matter? I guess I should get those off if I can find them, and that's a big if considering the state of Cid's desk... hmm, this pile over here or that pile over there? Student life insurance policies, student life insurance policies, gotta be here somewhere…. Ah-ha, let's hear it for this pile over here, and now I need envelopes, envelopes, where the hell does he keep the envelopes, Centra?
Make it one for the secretary. Good thing I know where the buzzer is…
"Um, yes. I have some Student Life Insurance policies here that need to go out…"
I'm not an idiot. Really I'm not.
"Well, could you mail them for me?"
She's sighing at me-I go into Compressed Time, fight sorceress after sorceress, and come back alive for this-and now she's saying in that snide tone of voice, "I'll be there in a few moments, sir, I'm busy with a student right now." Click.
Breathe, just breathe, in and out. In and out, and try to pretend it's not 100 god-damned degrees in here because you can't find the thermostat and you won't take off your coat because then someone might see-
-so many lines running down my arms now, crisscrossing over and over, that I have to look hard to find a blank patch of skin I need to be able to see the cuts once I'm done, have to see marks-
No, don't go there, please don't-
-one twist on the bathroom door your own private space where you can do anything you want, open up the medicine cabinet for the razor blade-
-start shallow, just a thin white line, deeper, harder, again, come on make it last, make the game last until you hit that point where you split and the hurting fades to the background and the part that's left is completely focused on where to cut, how much, how deep, so removed and clinical and unfeeling such a FUCKING RELIEF-
I said don't-
-until you bleed, until it stings and you won't Cure it because you want to feel it and you'll have the mark, the-
-the emotional battle scars, c'mon you know that's what they are-
-admit it you're proud of them, cause-
In a strange, masochistic kind of way.
-they mean you're still here, you've made it this far-
But how long until there's nowhere left to cut, till the day I look at myself and I'm just one big scar? Don't have an answer for that, do you? I should talk to her, God knows she wants me to, but I just can't-
-how do you describe the dark to someone who's never seen it-
I want someone so much, sometimes, just someone who can say, "Yes, I know, I understand" and mean it, instead of-
There's a knock at the door before the secretary comes in without even so much as a by-your-leave. She's holding out her hand now, and she's not even looking at me, she's looking down at a coffee stain in the carpet, at the crumpled pieces of paper that I threw at the garbage pail and missed, at the potted plant…
I give her the papers. "The envelopes are in the third drawer of the filing cabinet," she says, turning around with a faint swish, walking out again as fast as she came in.
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