So very tired.
It's been a long day.
It's been years.
Slowly, I straighten my back, wincing as I hear cracks and I feel aches. It's okay, I think. I've just been sitting in a chair for a few hours straight. Just grading papers, like I always do, with my nice red pen (one of those new ones, guaranteed to write on any surface, and glow in the dark – yes, so my student's failures will be glowing no matter what, and they will wish that they had actually studied like I told them to). Personally, I'd like to slack off. Really, I would. But it's not good to leave too much at one time. Not good, because when I come back, the pile of papers just seems to stare at me, almost like a friend that's angry at me. Only in this case, I don't think it's a friend, because I also don't think it likes me very much. Not really, at least. Well, I don't like it very much either, so we're even.
But well, I sorta left off on my grading for…maybe a month? I'm still not done now, but I'm tired. If I go on any longer, I'm pretty sure I'll be half-dead tomorrow. And I actually want to have my mind decently working tomorrow. With a sigh, I look up from my work.
The light casting over my desk is much dimmer than when I started. I look out the window and I gulp. The sun is starting to set, and I can stare at it without getting my eyes burned out.
It would be a good thing, had it not been morning when I started.
I'm still not done.
Groaning, my head hits the surface of the table. Not again. Not again. I knew I shouldn't have procrastinated this time. I knew it. Of course I knew it, I've been at this job for years! I just chose to… ignore…it…
I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm dead personified. Next week will be exam week, and I'll have to grade even –
Actually, no. All the exams are multiple choice, so it should be all right. So I'll have next week to catch up. So I should be fine.
Except for right now, since I haven't eaten all day, and my stomach is just now making itself heard.
My vision is blurred as I stare down the halls. I don't want to get up to get food. Yes, I'm hungry, but I'm tired. I'm just… just…
So very tired.
…The main personality is asleep. I know that because I can think now. If I tried, I could move this body of his. I could open these eyes, and walk. Walk for the first time in… days? Weeks? Years? I can't tell, but I know I could if I tried. If I tried.
But I can't try. It takes a lot out of me just to open the eyes. They're very heavy, for eyelids. I don't know why. I'm just very tired. But I'm tired all the time, so that's no big deal. That's all. I never seem to get any better, but that's okay. The main personality controls this body anyway.
The main personality. What is his name? It's hard to remember. Everything's sort of blurry.
…Calder. That's his last name. Yes, that's it. That's what all the students call him. Mr. Calder. His first name, I don't know, because he rarely says it out loud. But he writes it often. I know that. I just can't read any of the words. It's been a while since I could actually read, after all. I can still make out letters, like the a, or f, or z. But they're put in such confusing patterns. I can recognize some of the simple ones, but even then, they're really confusing. They shouldn't be. I knew how to read a while ago. Why can't I now? It's frustrating. That, just a while back, I could read and write. But now the letters are so confusing. So very confusing. I – I just can't… I can't…
…Wait, what was I thinking?
Oh, what does it matter, anyway? Nobody knows what I'm thinking, and nobody would care anyway. I'm half-insane already, aren't I? Can't remember anything. Can't move. Can't see. Just here, all alone, in the dark. Maybe, one day, I'll open my eyes – my eyes, not the main personality's – and I'll remember everything.
But right now, I can't remember anything but little flashes. Just those pathetic little flashes.
(My throat clogs itself up, and something wet is on my cheeks. Why do I feel so sad? Nobody will tell me, and my heart breaks again…)
Little…flashes? …Wait, what thought was that from?
(It's been a very long time, such a long time. I want to ask the administrator, "Do I have the job yet?" But I know I can't say that out loud. So I'll wait.)
But it doesn't matter. It probably wasn't important. Just like my name.
My name isn't important anymore. Nobody uses my name, and there's nobody to care what my name is. I guess I'm just Mr. Calder, now. I know I used to be someone else. Someone younger than Mr. Calder, someone young enough to lie down and play games. But everything just… disappeared… so now… I'm stuck here.
I don't want to be stuck here.
But I'm so very tired.
(I'm so sad, I'm crying now, I don't even know the reason why. A girl comes and holds my hand, and tells me that it will be all right. Why does she look so much like me?)
Can I have one moment of awareness that I won't forget later on?
…I suppose not. Maybe it's something I'm not allowed to have. I wonder why?
(Congratualations. You get the job. Welcome to the district.
"Thank…you." I can't believe the words that I can't even say out loud.)
Did I do something wrong…? Am I being punished for something…that I can't remember anymore.
No. Yes. Maybe. How would I know? I'm no longer anything anymore.
No longer anything.
I wish I was an anything. I know I was an anything. I want to remember which anything I was, though. I keep trying to piece together what I remember, but it's no use. Every time I get far enough, I miss pieces that I put earlier. Still, I want to know my story, even if bits of it aren't there anymore.
I know that I was a boy. I was playing a game. It was a nice game. There was… someone familiar that was there with me. A girl. Was she someone I knew very well? I don't know. She was speaking in soft words that I fell asleep to. Soft words that I can't remember, but wish I did.
("It'll be okay, it'll be okay. I'm sorry, but it'll be okay…" And to herself, she says, "I hope it will.")
And I woke up here. Using someone else's body like a parasite.
It used to be so easy. It used to be easy. A while ago, I could get up and open eyes and see the world. But I'm too tired to do anything anymore. I'm just so tired.
…What did…Can I remember what I just…?
(It's been years, I'm happy teaching. But I wish I can remember all of those names…)
..No. I guess not.
(There is a girl with pink hair sitting in her desk, with a faraway look in her eyes. I-we-he, he looks at her asks her what is wrong. He knows that she doesn't normally stare out of the window like that. He knows that she is normally sitting up straight, paying attention, but now, she's just in a little world of her own.
He notices the circles under eyes, the unkempt state of her hair, and the way that she is sprawled across her textbooks, and asks her what is wrong.
Without missing a beat, she tells him there's no problem, no problem, that there's no problem at all. She's just tired. So very tired, would you please leave me alone?
So, no problem no problem no problem. Just no problem at all.
"See you tomorrow, Claire.")
(A girl comes walking up to us –him. Another girl with pink hair… )
Does the world look brighter? Maybe it does, and the sun's risen…
Already? Have I took really all that much time?
Maybe, of course I have.
I'm getting weaker as the main personality wakes up. I'm starting to get even more tired, so very tired…
Hey, where am I? Why is it so dark? Why can't I move?
No use. I can't see, I can't hear, I can't even touch anything.
(It's always worse, those times when I forget everything. The moment of horror I get when I realize and remember what happened… it's worse than everything…)
(Nothing – forget and remember)
(Nothing – forget and remember)
(Nothing – forget and remember)
(Nothing) –evacuate (nothing)(nothing)(nothing) walled in (nothing - forget) (nothing-forget) – collapse – how –
…Weird. I can actually " – think now?"
I open my eyes for the first time.
There are so many things I don't have names for anymore, but I'm glad I can see them. I realize that I'm inside of a house. But the house has collapsed, leaving me with chunks of ceiling and roof weighing down on me. I swallow (I'm so happy, I can actually swallow) and do my best to move through.
And then so suddenly, I'm tired once again. So tired that I can barely move.
Not fair not fair, not fair I can move now, but now it's gone again? Not fair not fair NOT FAIR!
I do my best to drag myself out of the rubble, and lie on the ground. Maybe it's just me, but it's getting colder and harder by the minute. There's screaming, I can hear it, it's loud, but everything's blurred, so that the footsteps that are pounding near me are muffled, so that the crashes of buildings are muffled, so that that high screech of a siren is muffled.
I don't care. I can actually feel the cold now, I can actually feel the ground, I can actually hear.
I'm so happy.
Someone trips over me and lands with a crack. I'm curious, so I try to lift my head higher. It's a girl who's broken on the ground. With a familiar voice, she mutters something soft…
…She stops moving…
Why do I feel so sad?
I wonder as something draws me to look up.
Everything's fragmented… My vision's blurry, but I see sharp angles of light that shouldn't be there, blue green something shiny –
And then I remember something.
Something that I haven't thought about for…so long. But is it really? Or is it something that I've made up?
I attempt to review memories that I didn't know I had, and realize it's the correct time.
I take a deep breath.
"Happy birthday to me."
That's right. It's my birthday, isn't it.
What can I remember? And suddenly the memories are THERE, suddenly I can access them, and I remember years laughing over cake and ice cream, years of presents and friends and -
I'm just so happy.
I feel myself smiling. It's sort of... funny, I guess. I don't know why, but... "Happy birthday to me…" I just want to sing this song. It's been so long...
I never get to finish. Suddenly, I'm more tired than I've ever been before. But I can close my eyes, and feel peace. Feel like I can have true sleep. It's been a while since I've had true sleep instead of a shutdown.
I'm vaguely aware that the world around me is going up in flames, but I don't care. I'm just so happy…
But why am I so sad?
So. It's been a while, huh?
I don't know if this one is any good - like I said, it's been a while. I'm rusty with the process of injecting angst into a work. I don't think I put enough Final Fantasy XIII references, either.
Oh well. Tell me what you think. I can always edit...
And one more thing. I'm sort of curious, now. Why do you read this story? It's just something that I'd like to know.