I can’t believe I did that last night. How long have I spent running from myself, running from my anger? Last year, I sent Thomas to the hospital because he pushed me too far. I reacted by just getting better at taking it. I just kept taking it.
“The universe works out.” That’s what I always tell myself. “It’s all a part of the order. It isn’t their fault. You don’t need to get angry or fight back. Just force it all down, accept it, and move on.”
I’ve been so good at it too. I don’t think I’d have lost control if things were different. Ryan was being a creep, but normally I’d have just done what I could to neutralize the problem. I wouldn’t have gotten angry. I wouldn’t have lashed out. Everything would have been quiet. No one would look at me like I’m a monster. My parents wouldn’t keep telling me how disappointed they are in my actions. I wouldn’t be the violent freak, just the quiet one. Everything would have been different, if only I wasn’t so stressed.
The Tall Man seems to follow me everywhere. I see him at least once a day. He’s always lurking somewhere in the distance. He’s watched from rooftops, from the side of the road, from over an aisle in the supermarket. His shape is always changing. His posture is always the same. He’s never quite threatening, he’s just there. He’s just wrong. He’s just slowly wearing at your mind.
I have a theory. Looking at everything I’ve read, from those old news articles to the blogs online, the Tall Man brings out the worst in people. He brings out stress. Stress weighs on the mind. It makes us more prone to make mistakes. It reveals who we truly are, underneath the calm shell.
The Tall Man is a mirror, and he only shows our dark side.
I’m sick of it, though. I’m not going to let him turn me into another one of his victims. I will not become a monster. I have my father’s gun. Perhaps this is the reason for all those years of being forced to go to the shooting range with him. I’m going out on the lake tonight. I hope to see the Tall Man there. And I hope it will be the last time.