Your Friend

(By Echidna-Hazard)

How are you feeling right now?

Good, huh? Happy, and nice?

Oh, don't give me that. I know how you feel. You're sad, alone, and tired of your life. I should know, you see. I'm your friend.

Yes, I'm your confidant, your only friend, in fact.

I will give you attention when you feel ignored. I will give you compassion when you feel discontented. Empathy when you are not understood. Soothing words when your soul is uneasy. Companionship when you are lonely. I'll give you anything you ask of me.

Yes, I'm the only friend for you. I may ask a couple...small...things in return, yes, just a few petty favors here and there. Is that too much to ask for hours and hours of devotion and caring?

Like one of those sympathizers, psychiatrists or therapists, I'm always there for you when you ask. I've always got an answer for whatever problem you could present to me. I'm confident and attentive.

I'll never fail you; I'm a true friend who can take anything you throw at me. I'll weather your abuse, your anger, and your frustrations. I'll never argue and I'll never complain. I'll be very good to you, I promise.

I'm not even really real, you see. I don't need food or water or air. I don't need anything from you but to spend time with you, your thoughts... and to have you listen to my suggestions.

To do what I say sometimes, without question.

Is this such a big thing? Of course it isn't. Not when you're lonely or frightened, in need of a friend. And I'll come to you and be that companion, that friend, that listening ear, and shoulder to lean on.

I'll wipe your tears away when you cry. I'll comfort you when you're depressed. Make you smile when you're angry. All your negative emotions I will soothe away. You won't be mad, or upset anymore. Like a tree in a downpour, a pet to hug, a kindred spirit: I will shelter you, offer you what I have, and speak the words you hold within.

There's venom in you: I can see it. I will help you rid yourself of it. I will take it in myself, and shield you from it; I will be your armor against the world.

Yes. Your bad thoughts, your rages, your spiraling depressions, I will take them all away from you. I will carry this pain far from you, make you feel at peace again.

But I need your anger. I need you to do a few things for me. Oh, odd little favors, nothing much. Nothing at all compared to the gifts I'll bring to you.

I'll be like a brother, like a father, the only person you can rely on. You can whisper to me your fears and sadness, and I won't laugh or turn away. I will help you get through your darkest days and your loneliest nights, your deepest depression and your most humiliating embarrassment.

I've had ungrateful wretches before in my life who didn't take my gifts for what they were, who thought the tiny price to pay was too high.

One of them was a black haired lunatic named Johnny, who listened to the advice of those around him, ignored my sense... hmm? You know of him. I can see it in your eyes.

He lives nearby, doesn't he? Ohh, yes. He rejected me. Passed on his essence to make me real and ducked out of it before I was complete...he ripped my chance to shreds before my eyes. Like tearing a mother's child apart, I felt that anger and terrible sadness.

But I can rebuild, you see. I'm strong. I don't give in so easily. I rise above, from my ashes. That's where you come in, now, understand?

It's nothing, I swear. Absolutely nothing. Well, nothing major, anyway, little boy. I want to take that negative emotion from you; I want to make you feel good inside. Would you like that?

Ahh. I can see you smiling. I knew you'd like it. Some specific reason comes into play here, dire events in your life, maybe. No matter, the circumstances of your neediness are unimportant. Only that you do have need. I will supply the end to your means. I will be loyal and true, honest and brave. I will frighten off that which would hurt you. I will feed that want, that hole in you.

I need your negativity, though, and I need you to do favors for me. Those are the only catches in this particular deal.

I'm not strong enough to do things for myself. I can be a true buddy to you, but I can't do other, necessary things, to make myself better. I was weakened so much when I lost my earlier...friend... so much so that I find it hard to move now. But if I can feed off your bad thoughts and your bad deeds, I will be able to walk. I will be able to help you even more. Offer you hugs and affection.

Here's where the bad bit happens. I would need these favors... not often, once every three or four days, perhaps? First of all tell me if you're willing to accept what I'm offering.

Yes? Good. Very good. You've made me happy already.

Ahh...already I can feel my joints beginning to loosen again. Wonderful. Now, for the favors... What? You want me to be specific. I understand.

Well, you certainly seem lonely and sad. And sadness all too often translates to violence and anger. Since we don't want this anger to build up inside, it's proper sometimes to let it go in a burst. My favors require these bursts of violence, they're healthy, ask anyone. They improve you.

You see, little boy... this violence is somewhat permanent to the recipient...I guess what I'm trying to say to you is that, well, to put it bluntly:

I need you to kill for me.

So... What do you say? You can think of it as payback for all that the world has done to you, put you through. All that the people did to you. That's how my last friend thought of it.

Come on, tell me! Yes or no? All the pain you suffered, and how dare they not feel it too? How is that fair? Hmm? You look all forlorn, your other friend is just a ball of fluff, your parents hate you, and your neighbor is trying to kill you. You need -someone- here to help you! God owes you that much, doesn't he? That's why he sent me. I'm your guardian angel. I'll help you where nobody else will. And is it such a high price?

You've made a very good choice, Squee. I'm so glad.

And, if you don't mind me saying so, this looks like the beginning of a very, very beautiful friendship.