Once upon a time, I was crazy.
I was powerful. I was fearless. But I was out of my mind.
Now, I'm scared of everything. Everything. I'm scared of the rustlings I hear at night, even though I know it's just the leaves on the tree by the window. I'm scared of the people I live with. I just can't look in their eyes, because when I do, I see how much they hate me.
And I'm not surprised they do. I've tried to kidnap them; I've tried to kill them. Only—it wasn't me. I didn't mean to do it—I had no idea what I was doing. But I can't say it was someone else, because it wasn't. It was me.
I did it, but not on purpose.
I can't explain that to her, though. All I do is walk into a room, and there she is, glaring at me, hating me. And I want to cry. I did nothing, nothing, that horrified her any more than it horrified me! Does she think I'm proud of the things I've done? Does she think I look back on it all and laugh? She's not the one who has to live with a hundred years of guilt—she's not the one who wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming from the nightmares!
I think these thoughts with the very depths of my mind, but I don't even consider telling her. I'm scared, much too scared. I'm scared to even think this. And I always try to reason with myself, to tell myself that she has a right to hate me, because I've done so much to her—I stole away her baby brother. I almost killed that fairy boy she loves.
Her little sister, though—sometimes I look up and I see the little girl smiling at me. It almost makes me feels safe… but just almost. Because I never feel safe. There is no safety for me, the little girl who everybody hates.
I have nothing left. Nothing left of my old life. And that's good. Why would I want to remember how I used to be? I'm sane now, I'm normal, and that's how I'll stay.
Except… am I normal? This fear that's always with me, is that normal? Nobody should be afraid like this, terrified like this all the time. It makes me wonder. Should I go back to the asylum? No, never. It's not craziness; it's just an inferiority complex. At least, that's what I tell myself.
Once upon a time, I was loved. I had a Granny, and she loved me when nobody else did. She loved me despite my insane make-believe games and my frequent outbursts. I have another Granny now, but she's not my Granny. She's their Granny. Do these girls know how lucky they are to have a granny? It seems to me they take her for granted, even get angry at her. They shouldn't. Someday, they might be as crazy as I once was, and they'll need someone to love them, someone to cook strange foods for them, someone to sew them their very own cloaks.
I still have my cloak. Their Granny bought me new clothes, but I still have my cloak. On nights when I'm feeling especially scared, I hug it and squeeze it to my chest like a stuffed animal. I stroke the threadbare shoulders, the frayed drawstring, and each lovingly cast hand stitch. It's so old that the red color is almost pink in some places. I try to never bring it out, to keep it in the dark so it doesn't fade any more. I can't bear the thought of that lovely red color seeping away.
I love the color red. I loved it in my craziness, and I love it still. It's such a strong color. It's bold, it's daring, and it cares what no one thinks. Back when I was born, the color red was thought unseemly in a world of browns and grays. It was considered crazy by the townspeople—just like me.
But the red is fading now, slipping away, turning to pink. I'm not crazy anymore, I'm shy—more than shy—I'm terrified. I'm pink. I'm pale, ugly, disgusting, fearful pink.
Why am I so scared of everything? I hate this feeling! I want to be brave again, to be able to speak my mind. I want to be me—and if that me is crazy, so be it.
The thought itself makes me tremble. I scare myself. How can I think this, when I know all the harm it's caused people, all the harm it's caused me? And yet, deep within my heart, so deep that only in the dark of night do I catch its glimmer, I dream of being red again.
Sometimes, I wish I was still crazy.