I had just finished unpacking when my mom called me downstairs to meet our new neighbors.
We'd gone through the whole routine of introducing ourselves a few days before, when we'd first moved in. The house next door had been vacant at the time, but according to my mom, a moving van had just pulled up. I guess they wanted to take advantage of the nice weather like we did.
"Very nice to meet you!" the woman said. "And what's your name?"
Before my mom could give my full name, I responded with the initial I preferred to go by. "T. Just call me T, if you don't mind."
"Oh? T, is it? How unique. You know, my daughter also goes by one of her initials." She turned to the staircase. "A, could you come down here?"
As soon as the girl stepped into view, I knew something was wrong. Her body was shaking, and she had a look of pure horror on her face. Neither of our moms seemed to notice.
"T here is around your age, A. Why don't you two get acquainted while the two of us talk?"
I stood and approached her, tuning our parents' babbling out. The girllooked at me as if crying out for help. I knew that look. I knew the feeling. Cautiously, I reached a hand out toward her shoulder. "You hear them, don't you?"
She recoiled and headed back upstairs, no doubt to wander aimlessly around her room. The same thing had happened to me when we first arrived, but it had only lasted a few minutes. Afterward, my mom had had no idea what I was talking about. She still insists I hadn't been acting unusual in the slightest. But I know the truth. I'd heard voices, clear as day, telling me what to do. Controlling me. Even if it only lasted a few minutes, it was pure hell. And assuming this girl also began hearing the voices the moment she got to Littleroot, they'd been controlling her for at least an hour now.
A. Why haven't they let you go yet? Are you not able to shake them off? What difference is there between you and I that they would hold on to you for this long? I don't know, but I'll do everything I can to help you. It has to be subtlebut I won't let them control you forever.
Just hang in there a little bit longer.