I woke up and I had a few things to do before going to Bekah’s house and helping her move into her new place.
I took my shower. I was out the door with Sunshine to get to therapy. Siren was supposed to come pick me up, but she had a meeting at work. I got done with my therapy appointment, and I got a ride from Sunshine back to my apartment.
It took me about twenty minutes to get myself under control before I called Siren’s house to get her to come pick me up. I needed a ride to Bekah’s house. It was already two, and I was supposed to get there at noon.
Bekah had told me that she needed help and I was going to give her that help. I loved moving people, was damn good at packing a truck, and I wanted to get there. A few of our other friends were supposed to be there, and I was looking forward to a day of laughing and joking and loading before unpacking Bekah’s stuff.
I called Siren and got nothing.
I waited for a while. She was supposed to come to my house when she got done with her meeting. It was a Saturday. Her meetings were normally on Wednesdays, but her boss had called this one on this day and she said it would only be an hour.
I wanted to call her work but there was a problem with that. She worked at a half-way house for women. Those coming out of rehab facilities and other such places. They were young, most of them, and they had stiff rules about Siren having visitors at work and her getting phone calls. I had been told that the meeting was a sensitive one so not to call to check up on her. She would get out as soon as she could and it would only take an hour, maybe two.
I called Bekah but her phone had already been cut off. She only had a land line and she didn’t have a cell phone back then, because almost no one did. I called Red but he didn’t answer. I called Lean and he didn’t answer either. When I called Lean a second time, I got his girlfriend Fish.
Red, Lean, and Fish were all friends of Siren that I had been hanging out with for years. They were as close to real friends as I had, especially Red, who was like a brother to me.
He was a quiet guy, kind and funny, with a fierce intelligence and a lot of confidence. He was a second-degree black belt and no one messed with him.
I was just going to gloss over this, but I’m going to take a minute here and back up to show you what was happening in our little group.
Red, Lean, Fish, and one other girl all rented a massive house outside of town together. It was the kind of house that middle class families live in. Big with five rooms, a huge living room, big kitchen, three car garage and a basement. They had a huge back yard and a fire pit. The rent was steep, but when divided between four people it was manageable, and it became the place to hang out.
Every weekend we bought booze and we had a party.
We would go over there on Saturday night around six and start drinking slow. We were in no hurry. And we began to let things grow at a light pace.
There are a lot of things to remember about those nights. Most of which is already playing out in this book.
The war was coming to a head. Siren and Bekah were getting to the end of their great battle and things were starting to get heated.
We would all drink for a while before Siren would call me over to the dark edge of the yard and start talking to me about our relationship. This was the only time that I got drunk anymore. I was never drunk at South Towers and I didn’t drink at clubs or in the street anymore. This was the only time I was inebriated, and she needed to take advantage of it.
She would grab me, pull me in, and whisper in my ear. “Do I get to keep you? Are you with me? Do I get to keep you?”
I usually ended up pushing her back and stumbling away. But this was while I was drunk. If she caught me before I was drunk, I would tell her the fact that I was telling her more and more often. “I am not ready for a relationship. I am not going to be forced into a relationship. I am concentrating on me right now and it is not healthy for you to be trying to get me into anything else. I warn you, Siren, I don’t want to hurt you. Get out of my life as soon as you can. You are going to get hurt.”
I would walk away and she would grab my hand and pull me back. “I don’t want to leave. I am not going to leave until you’re done with your therapy. If there is any chance that we can make this work, then I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”
And this is the thing. I still thought I needed her. I still thought that I was trapped. My alters were at each other’s throats all the time. We were not getting better. We were making great strides in therapy. We were walking out stronger every day, but still the alters hated each other. Still they struggled and fought, and there were constant misunderstandings. The threat of suicide still loomed, and I was sure that if I was left to myself, I would end up embracing it.
But these tiny wars playing out between my alters were being created by her. Every time they slipped out, they were being told some terrible thing, or reminded of some slight. It was not until I got away from Siren that I saw that manipulation in everything she said and did. She kept us at war. And it was that war that made us believe I needed as many people around me as I could get. Enough people to stop me from suicide should it come for me.
What she wanted was a display of affection. Get me drunk at a party that Bekah is at. Get me drunk and get me to say to her that I was hers. She wanted me to walk out of that dark corner of the yard she had pulled me to with my arm around her and kissing her. She wanted me on her in this setting so she could tell Bekah once and for all that she had won the war.
We set things on fire and we drank and we had a blast. And every weekend she fought to mark me as her own. One day when we were done drinking, she got Red to give up his bed and she told me he said that me and her could sleep in it together.
“He has a king size bed, you don’t even have to touch me. Just lets the two of us go in there and talk and crash, and then in the morning I will take you home,” Siren said.
Bekah was on the couch that night, so I slept on the floor in the half room up in the rafters. Siren begged me to come to Red’s bed with her. She told me I could do anything to her I wanted, that no one would know. But I was not walking into that room with her. Was not going to let Bekah see me stay in a room with Siren. I slept on the floor and had dreams about Eric Bana’s Hulk movie, and the scene where he rips the sink off the wall in a spout of rage.
When Bekah got up, she gave me a ride home. Siren had driven home the night before in a huff.
When I called Red and Lean, I got Fish, and she told me that Lean was at work and Red was helping Bekah move. That brought up a spout of jealousy.
Bekah had made it very clear that Red was a friend. She was sure he had been a brother to her in a previous life. They were close but never affectionate, except for one time at the beginning of one of these backyard parties where, when no seats were available, she had sat on Red’s lap. To her it was an expression of platonic love. To him it was just a girl sitting in his lap. A friend he would never allow himself to get involved with. But seeing her sitting on his lap was burned into my mind, and the idea of him helping her move did not enrage me, but it gave me a sinking feeling. And it made me aware that it was slipping. I was going to lose her if I didn’t get it all straightened out soon.
Siren was at that meeting for six more hours, then she went home. She did not come to my house. She did not pick me up and take me to Bekah’s so I could help her move. She went from work to her house.
I called her house at eight and she answered. I told her I needed to be at Bekah’s house and where had she been. She said she would come pick me up but she had been busy and did not know she was supposed to drive me. All of it was bullshit.
I think we can see already that there was no meeting. I think we can see already that she had not gotten home at eight. I think it is plain that Siren did not want me at that house helping Bekah. She wanted Red there. She wanted Red packing up Bekah’s things and loading them into that truck. She wanted Red to be Bekah’s hero and she wanted me to be the asshole who was not there for the girl who never let me down.
She finally picked me up and I got there at about nine. Red and Bekah had been at it all day and her great uncles had been there with her great aunts. Her family hated me by this point, and they wanted to do anything they could to get me out of her life. Her great uncle used this as an opportunity.
He complimented Red as much as he could. He told Bekah over and over again how great a guy Red was. How hard a worker. Man, he is the kind of guy that would never let you down. He is the kind of guy you need in your life. Everyone would be better off if they had a Red in their life. Look at him go. He is a great guy.
When I got there, her uncle waited until me and Bekah and Red were all standing together in front of a packed truck before he said, “Well Bekah, you couldn’t do any better than a guy like Red.” He patted Red on the back and wrapped an arm around Red’s shoulders.
I walked away. I had failed Bekah right in front of her family. This only added to the story they were building about me. This only added a brick to the wall they were working on. Her uncle would go off and tell everyone in the family about me letting Bekah down, and this boy named Red and how amazing he was.
Let me be very clear. He is right on that one. Red is amazing. I am friends with him to this day. I would do anything for that guy. He was there countless times when I needed him. He played countless Dungeons and Dragons games with me and helped me build themes and characters that healed my mind and soothed my heart.
But let me also say that he would have been terrible for Bekah. I am specifically built to make this one woman happy. I am the only person in the world who truly understands her. I make her feel loved and respected and appreciated every day of my life. Red is as great of a guy as you will ever find in this world, but he is not Bekah’s soulmate.
This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.