By: Jennifer Hickman
Jack and I used to be the best of friends. We were brother and sister; we were two halves of a whole. We were even born connected together, but the doctor said that wasn't good so they cut us apart. We even have the same blotchy birthmark in the same place.
Don't get me wrong though, Jacks still here… but he's not HERE, if you understand.
Something bad happened to Jack and I a while ago. Our foster parent's sent us to fetch some water from the well on the cliff. And well, Jack being Jack, wanted to make if a bit more fun.
"A race I say!" he shouted.
And he ran, pail in hand, up the hill with me on his heels.
But we both forgot that it had rained the night before, and the ground was slick with mud. When he got to the top, his feet slipped up and almost fell off the side of the cliff. If it wasn't for me, BOTH of us wouldn't have fallen. But I didn't know and I ran right into him and we both fell.
They said I had a broken leg and arm, some broken ribs, and sever head trauma... jack didn't have any. 'Cause Jack died.
The doctors also said that my insides were all hurt, no I needed new ones. Then they told me that jack had the good ones that I didn't have, so… they cut us both open and fixed me right up and Jack right down.
Jack's always with me now.
But not because of that... He also talks to me now.
-6 years later-
I was 10 when Jack died, and I can still remember every detail of that day.
The crunch of bones breaking, the sound of our breathless screams, and it doesn't help when he reminds me of it everyday.
Six years… six long years, and he's still reminding me. Making sure that I don't forget him
How could I forget my other half?
We always told each other that we couldn't live without each other, and now it's true. Ever since Jack… died, I felt partially empty. Just because Jacks here in my mind doesn't mean he's actually here. No matter how much he talks to me, I will never be whole again
There are times when he gets mad at me for ignoring him, for trying to be normal. He makes me scream in pain as he squeezes my brain, re-breaking my bones, forcing me to see him.
The doctors are baffled. They notice the small fractures in my arms and legs, my ribs too. They see how damaged my brain is. They think that I do it to myself, to remind myself of Jack.
I tell them… no I yell at them that-
"It's not me! It's Jack!"
But they don't believe me. They never do.
That's why I'm in this horrid place, a home for the Insane because the sane doesn't know what to do with us.
But I don't belong here.
The longer I stay, the more they try to get rid of jack. And the more they try to get rid of him, the angrier he get.
Then he takes it out on me.
They can't figure out why my eye color changed from my green to Jacks blue.
"Because of Jack."
They don't believe me.
They wonder why I'm afraid of heights, or even to go down the stairs.
"Because Jack tries to push me."
They think I'm just trying to kill myself.
They keep provoking him. Calling him a liar and that he's not really there… until he comes out.
He sighs in my voice and leans forward in my chair, and put his head in my hands.
"You really should listen to Jill." He says in his own voice. The doctor is taken back as Jack uses my body to look up at her with his own pale, dead blue eyes.
"You could learn a lot from her."
Then he leaves and I'm escorted out and taken to my room where they lock the door from the outside.
I feel like a child that had just been sent to her room for doing something bad.
"But it was Jack…" I say in my own hoarse voice as hot tears fall from my eyes.
It was a group therapy session. We have these about once a week.
There are a few different people every week. Some come, some o, but no one stays forever… except for me.
You see I've never really spoken at these meetings. Why? Because I'm afraid of what jack might say.
I know the overall stories of these people, so I tune them out when they start talking about their life and feelings. But as soon as one person is done speaking, Jack speaks up.
Common Jill, It'll be fun.
"No, you'll make me say something stupid…" I say quietly to him.
"Jill?" The lady said from across the circle. "Would you like to go next?"
Damn it Jack.
His laugh rings in my ears.
She glared at me.
"But Jill, you never tell us anything. Why don't you take a turn?" She said in her sweet chiming voice.
Sounds more like acid to me.
"Well there's not much to tell. My dead brother still talks to me. That's all."
The rest of the group turned to me.
I was a mystery to them.
But I know everything about them.
Blondie was attacked my bears when she was younger, so now she afraid to even go outside.
The girl with the red coat, I can never remember her name, She says that she always being followed by wolves ever since she found out her grandmother was mauled by wolves.
Then there's this girl named Alice. She used to do so many drugs and now she stuck in a permanent trip. She claims that she's in this place called wonderland and that the queen wants to chop off her head.
Then there's this guy who is afraid to lie because he thinks that if he does, people are going to get him and chop him up.
And now there's me.
I didn't want to say anymore, but they kept pushing me… kept pushing Jack, wanting to know more.
So we told them. How it felt to fall from a 40 ft cliff. How we were both Siamese twins that were split apart at birth. We told them about how we are children of rape and that our mother hated us so much that she abandoned us.
We told them our story, and at the end of it they all stared wide eyed.
I stood to walk away until I heard the boy's voice quietly.
Jack took over and spun around, staring at the boy with his dead blue eyes.
"Oh I concur little LIAR. But it's not just us. We're all a bit MAD here, now aren't we?
-3 weeks later-
It hurts. Everything hurts now. Now that Jack is finally deciding that he 'wants a turn.'
This is all just a game to him. But for me… it's torture.
I keep forgetting the simplest things about my self. I've even called myself jack too.
Every mirror in my room is now broken because when I look in it… all I see is Jack.
I don't even feel like Jill anymore.
He says that he misses me, that he wants to see me again, to be together like we used to.
But I don't want to go yet.
I wince as I grab the handrail of the staircase.
I just want to be with you again Jill. You're tearing us apart.
My vision becomes hazy as he tries to break through me.
But I'm growing weaker…
Then everything appears to be in slow motion.
My sweaty palm slipped from the banister.
His soft giggle rang in my ears.
I knew I was going to be seeing him soon enough.
My feet slipped from the stair, and soon I was rolling down the tall staircase. I could feel my bones crack on every step as I cried out. It came sooner than I expected.
The finishing blow was to the back of my head from the bottom floor.
I could feel the warm blood pooling out of my head as my body went limp against the steps.
There was suddenly no pain.
Then jack appeared in front of me with an out stretched hand, smiling at me.
I smiled back and grabbed his hand as he helped me off the floor.
"And Jill came tumbling after."