Aftermath Guardian’s War 7: Tower of Pain

Two things happened simultaneously in me and Job’s relationship. First was his hate for Siren began to overcome him. He would watch her working us and watch her turning us against the others and he loathed her. Wanted nothing to do with her. When she was at the house and he was there, he would go into his room and refuse to come out. The only bathroom was his master bath, so it came right off his room. He did not need to come out for anything. Chanel would bring him all his meals and he was self-exiled to his bedroom out of sheer hate of Siren.

The second big one was that it was announced he was about to have a baby. It would turn out to be a son. Chanel and Job pulled in together and to bring each other closer, and this began to shove me out. This is of course expected. They had a new responsibility and they needed to embrace it. They also had a new priority and they needed to rise to that challenge. They had no time for a damaged roommate who needed them for everything.

The best news of all is that when these two things happened, I got accepted for government housing. I was put on a waiting list, and within two days my number was up. Bekah rented me a small moving truck, and within a few hours I was out of Job’s house and moved into my Tower of Pain.

South Towers is about twelve floors of concrete rooms, all sort of small and all pretty soundproof. This is where retired men and women come when they can’t afford housing of their own anymore. This is where homeless people come to try to get back on their feet. And this is where the disabled come to live whatever life they can. It is a perfect place to live for the most part. There are rules that are easy to live with. There is an elevator and a rec room. There is a lobby filled with chairs where a group of people can watch the comings and goings and gossip about them. There is a laundry room on every floor and it is a very nice place to live.

However, the years I lived there were filled with pain and horror. This was where I lived while I put together the worst of my shattered pieces. The place where I lost my mind and the place where I fixed what was broken for the last time. All I remember of the Tower is soaked in pain and struggle. It was a hole to climb into and hide. A place to work out all my frustrations. A haven for me to be safe in and a place of solitude and loss. This apartment would be my home for three years. They are the worst three years of my life. I would face horrors in this apartment that should have overcome me. Looked at evil so dark and twisted that it should have seared me into a hateful person. It was home. It was a prison. It was a place to set my back to.

South Towers was the battleground where I would fight my most horrific of battles. And it would be the place where I would finally win. We will get to that, I promise. But for now, let’s look at Job. He is about to be amazing one last time before I go. Watch here.

When I moved in to South Towers, I was lacking in so many things. I had no trash can. No silverware. No towels and no toilet paper. I had no cleaning supplies. No blankets. No sheets and no pillows. I literally had nothing but furniture, a few books, but not many, and nothing else. Within a few hours I had food because of my food stamps, but I was getting 75 dollars a month. I think 23% of that had to go to rent and utilities. So, my rent I think was 13 dollars a month. That sounds right but I can’t be sure. Check my math. I know it was 13 a month, my percentages might be off. With half a home and no money, Job took me to Walmart to buy me the necessities. He promised me 200 dollars. I was so grateful.

Siren, Bekah, Chanel, and I walked through and started throwing things into the cart, Job walking along behind watching the cart fill up. They piled it with so many things big and small that soon they had to run to get a second cart. Job said nothing. He simply walked along behind us quiet and watching.

We filled both carts and when we were done, I stopped at the toilet paper.

I’m not sure why, but Guardian has a thing with toilet paper. He is obsessed with the idea that he might one day run out and the worst will happen. Now what that “worst” scenario looks like, I am not sure. Paper towels? Probably not. We didn’t really use paper towels until me and Bekah moved in together. Maybe napkins? Again, that is a luxury item. We don’t even use them now. Hand? Now I think we are getting there. Anyway, he bought over fifty rolls of toilet paper. Then the check-out line.

The total came to just under 400 dollars. When I saw the total, I wept. I looked at what we had gotten, thought about what I might have to put back, and I did not know what to do. The toilet paper would have to be cut down but that was not the issue. The real issue was that I did not have anything for my Tower.

Job never blinked. If he was upset about it, he never let on. Chanel took his hand and he looked at her and they had a silent conversation. He pulled out his credit card and paid for all of it.

Now he will quick out of our telling for now. He has a part to play later, but for now he has pulled back. Chanel, too, has other responsibilities and we can’t expect them to try to put me back together when a baby is coming to them. The truth was told to me to by Steven.

How could I expect them to make everything about me? No, they are out for now. But they will never be forgotten. I love them both dearly. I would not have survived without them.

I got into my Tower of Pain and didn’t sleep for three days. Guardian was sitting in government housing. Government. He was sure that his house was bugged, sure that he was being watched. He was being assessed. It was not okay and he was freaking out. Sunshine told us she knew better. We had to accept her at her word. No one was bugging us. We were not being recorded. And of course, she was right. Without doubt she was right.

Shadow knew that. Servant. Adam and Pain knew they were not in any danger. But convincing Guardian of his safety was impossible. So he sat up in his apartment staring at the walls until visitors showed up. Playing nice, and when they left, sitting and listening to the darkness and the nothing as he waited in the dark for sleep that never came.

When we talked to Steven, he listened very carefully before leaning forward with a grim expression.

“I can tell you all day that you are not being bugged, but with your background and your trust issues, there is no way you could buy that. Why would you? I would never ask you to.” He stared me in the eye and nodded. “For this one time, let’s indulge Guardian’s obsessions. Get some tools and tear the place apart. Vents, shower heads. You name it. Take it off and search it. Pull up anything you need to. Search your furniture, the light fixtures, all of it. Go over all of it. And when you are done and you are sure there is nothing in that apartment that is watching you or listening to you, then set this aside forever. This one time I will let you go crazy. Tell Sunshine, tell her I said she can let you do it, and then you make an agreement with me and her that it goes no further. If you find nothing, then we never look again.”

Guardian nodded. “And if I find something? If I find a wire or bug, what do we do then?”

“We make a plan. But that is for next time. If you find a listening device or a video recorder, then go immediately to Bekah’s house and call me in the morning. We will go from there. For now though, tear that place to pieces.”

And he did. Guardian took that entire place apart. He even ripped the plastic floor laminate off the baseboards. He bought a few tubes of epoxy and replaced them when he was done, but for two days, he tore that place apart.

When he was done and he was convinced, he had to acknowledge we were safe. He stashed a knife in every spot that he could hide one. Took a tape measure and found out that no matter where he was in his apartment, he was never more than five feet away from a blade. When all of this was done, we had a home.

We had our Tower of Pain. The only thing left to do was to burn in it for a few years.


This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.

Vol. 1: Teardrop Road is available now on Amazon.

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