Your Own Worst Enemy

Miranda is the daughter of one of the most famous actresses in the world, but her life is far from fabulous. The girls at school bully her mercilessly. Yet that is not her worst problem. Adnarim, a malevolent spirit, follows her around, and embodies the people who put her down. But who is Adnarim? And how will Miranda ever learn to stand up to the real bullies when she can't even battle her worst enemy: herself. EDIT: In case anyone is wondering, Witzelsucht is a rare illness where a patient makes inappropriate puns or jokes at bad times. The sufferers finds these jokes amusing despite this.

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3. Worst

I run up to my room and shut the door, locking it. Of course, that doesn’t stop Adnarim, who glides through the wood, but I feel safer, knowing no one can get at me but her. My room is my safe haven, my protection against the world. The bread knife I am trying to draw for art lies on the floor, my clothes are strewn all over the place. Safe. Familiar.

            I sit on my bed, in front of the mirror that covers the entire opposite wall. My room used to be Mum’s closet, but Adnarim doesn’t like it. I think it’s because she doesn’t show up in mirrors. Either way, it unnerves her, and that’s good enough for me.

            “You will never get anywhere in life,” Adnarim says conversationally, with her back to the mirror. “There’s no point of you living.”

            Tears prick at my eyes, but I’m determined not to cry in front of her. In primary school, that’s what they teach you: don’t let the bully know they’ve hurt you. After you’ve, you know, told a teacher, or a parent, or an adult that you trust. But I can’t. Tell someone I mean. The shame of them knowing how badly I’ve been bullied stops me. This is my problem, my fault. No one else’s.

             “It is,” Adnarim says. “It is all you fault.”

            “Who are you?” I whisper, and again her features become sharper, clearer to me. A long nose, high cheekbones, straight fringe to cover the eyes. Like me. She looks like me.

            Adnarim’s lip curls, and I break my gaze away from her.

            “What were you just thinking?” she says.

            “I –” I can’t remember, is what I mean to say, but I stop. She looks…unsettled. She sucks in her cheeks, and as I stare at her, I realise it. Why she looks so familiar, why I seem to forget what I’ve discovered the moment I turn away from her.

            She is me. Adnarim is me.

            I don’t know how that works. How can I be sitting on this bed, and be there, shooting me daggers from across the room?

            “You’ve figured it out then, huh?” Adnarim is smiling now, though she still looks nervous. “That’s the reason why I can hear what you’re thinking, why I know exactly what those girls do to you at school.”

            “Why though? Why would I bully myself?” I say, determined to keep my eyes locked on hers. Something about what I’ve discovered is frightening her, and she’s terrified I’ll figure it out.

            “You don’t trust yourself. Those bullies have damaged you. Everything they say, you believe it. I am…” she pauses, eyes screwed up, as if she is concentrating. “I am the embodiment of that part of your personality which truly believes those things.”

            Still, I keep my eyes locked on her. I will not forget what she is saying. There is no way I am letting her out of my sight.

            “Why me though? Why am I the only one who has you following me around? What about all the other kids who are bullied?”

            “Oh, their mind creates things like me too. You are a more visual person than most, so you see me as a person. Others, they just have that nagging voice in their head, telling them how worthless they are. Besides, even if there are more of me around, would anyone ever say anything? Would you tell anyone about me?”

            I’m not listening, not really. Now that I know what she is, who she is, I know what I must do.

            I must kill her, the part of myself that believes what those bullies say. But how?

           Out of the corner of my eye, something glints in the morning sunshine. The bread knife I am drawing for art.

            I am about to reach for it, but a voice quiet in my head stops me. If I kill her, and she is a part of me, will I kill myself?

            But a louder, more insistent voice asks: do I care if I kill myself, as long as Adnarim is gone forever?

            My hand flexes over the knife, and I make up my mind.

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