Cassia came over today. I haven’t spoken to her in weeks. Ever since the Tall Man began stalking me, I’ve let myself grow distant from her. I can’t let her get involved. She doesn’t need or deserve to be brought into any of this. Still, she’s been texting me and e-mailing me, trying to get back in touch. I’ve been ignoring them.
Even as she begged me to speak with her, I pushed her away. Even as she wondered where I’ve been the past two youth group meetings, I kept my silence. Even as she raged or cried, I remained distant.
Then she’s here, at my doorstep, in tears asking what she did wrong. I nearly couldn’t take it. I nearly dropped my guard and let her back in. Looking into her eyes, seeing the pain of her loneliness that was so much like my own, I almost brought her right back into my life. Then I realized it’d only be so much worse for her if I did.
I told her that my parents thought she was a bad influence on me and I shouldn’t associate with her anymore. They thought she was goading my violent side back up into being. They accused us of sneaking around behind their back. All of them lies, and I saw the pain they brought her. She begged me to circumvent their demands, that she needed me to help get her through her problems. I told her I couldn’t.
I can still hear the sounds of her crying.
Maybe I deserve this.
Still, it’s better that she feel this pain now, and not when I disappear or they find my body.