Peroxide

Pete is rationing his pills. Patrick is cleansing himself with peroxide. Both are in danger of themselves.

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2. you think I fucking asked for this responsibility

Your home seems to be a mile away when you're lacking in hydrogen peroxide. Or time to use it. When Mikey's around, there's a certain itch that materializes in front of you, because he's still here, and he shouldn't be.

But I have the item to pour on myself.

The substance is a series of chemicals used to disinfect the skin, to treat wounds. So far, it's not working for me yet, seeing as I continue to experience the burns of my attacker's touch seeping into my pores, poisoning me.

The doctors say it's obsessive to worry about a sense that lingers for years, to possess the touch at all. I don't think it is.

Yes, maybe it isn't normal to maintain a growing supply of peroxide bottles in your bedroom, replacing the fantasy literature that previously stocked the shelves of the bookcase. Yes, maybe it isn't normal to take extended showers until your mother yells at you to get out, or you'll go bankrupt from paying for the water bill. Yes, maybe it's not normal to pour that hydrogen peroxide over your arm again and again where your assaulter grabbed you and never have it seem just right, but normal is boring.

But I suppose there's justice in saying that compulsions are too dangerous to stand for doing away with boredom. I ignore that justice every time my skin dries up from the chemicals.

Finally, Mikey's chatter draws to a close as the screen door on the porch bangs against the frame, as he steps inside after waving emphatically to me, but being wrapped up in my own thoughts, that event occurred almost ten minutes ago, and I have reached my home by instinct; my legs tend to do that for me, aware that I never pay attention to my surroundings.

My feet elevate to accommodate the height of the crumbling brick stairs, only coming into contact with the middle rectangle of each step to settle my raging mind, and I twist the knob — once left, once right — to greet the cordial aroma of lilac rushing around to tell me a story, almost like bubbly fairies in a film too laden with special effects.

It isn't time for this, Patrick. Get to the shower. Remove the touch.

"Right," I affirm to no one in particular — just sort of an indication to tug me back to reality — setting myself into motion to ascend the stairs, this time carpeted with faded white material.

The wood, hidden beneath a soft texture, creaks with even the minimal pressure of my toes, and I almost pause to apologize to it, but Dr. Saporta would disapprove, and I've had lots of people remind me that I've offended him far too many times for our relationship to be productive.

It seems like he's taking over my thoughts.

Don't say that. You hate paranoia, don't you?

Don't harbinger new ideas. Don't allow the compulsions to evolve. Don't corrupt your mind.

When I reach my door, I push it open with languid force — let's skip describing the ritual with the knob; I hate to think about it, and my friends have told me I've been getting better at keeping it under control — staring once again at the bookshelf of hydrogen peroxide across from my frozen body.

I almost forgot that one of the bottles was removed earlier, transported to the bathroom after the previous one dwindled, but it simply won't do. I can't allow it, at least not in its current pose.

Anxiously, I sprint over to the case, falling to my knees and adjusting the peroxide so that the division is straight down the center, like it should be if there's no immediate replacement.

"Fuck," I sigh, tilting back on my haunches. "Maybe I'm not getting better."

Yeah, you dimwit. You're planning to take a shower, aren't you?

"Leave me the hell alone."

Arresting a perfectly clear towel from its spot on my unpainted dresser — left that way so that it wouldn't be subject to any imperfections in the dye — I snap, "Shut up. You're not helping."

And neither are you.

"You're a hypocrite." I slide out of my charcoal trousers and fold them neatly to situate them in the square-shaped hamper, then proceeding with my crimson cardigan and grey t-shirt.

For once, I neglect the icky feeling of my shifting clothes.

"See? I am improving," I counter the voices in my head, but they don't answer. I earn a victory, and they suddenly become dismissive. Great.

Summarily after the last piece of ostensibly rough fabric has left my body, the towel fashions a mask for my skin to protect it from the acumen of the outside world.

"No one's watching you, Patrick," everyone says, but the voices beg to differ, and they do so with great theatricality, ensuring that I won't threaten them ever again.

With my head swiveling around in every direction to detect anyone's possibly prying eyes, I stalk to the bathroom parallel to my chambers, rounding the corner in a swinging motion as my remaining hand clutches the ends of the towel to construct a cylinder around me.

Instead of turning on the shower and acquiescing the water to beat down on my back like the drumming of rain on a rooftop, I delay to gaze intently into the mirror.

I haven't done this in a while, taken a look at myself, and the product is stupendous. How thoroughly my eyes droop into a pool of purple, into a bruise inflicted by none other than myself by postponing sleep and conceding the buildup of stress. How sharply my cheekbones model, throwing shadows onto the lower portion of the surface from their throne of elevation in regards to my face. How pale my skin has become, vampiric and reminiscent of Gerard's pallid complexion, as if a dot of red ink landing on it could be mistaken for blood running through snow.

And not once did anyone comment on it, but I now realize that they sure as hell must have been worried.

Am I dead? Is this why I look so harrowed, so gaunt? Did I die two years ago, when the concept of death was only metaphorical after my assault? Have I been living a life in hell, and is that why I contracted such a plethora of issues? Am. I. Dead.

"Leave it," I instruct, snapping my focus away the mirror as quickly as I formerly snapped a rubber band on my wrist to shoo away obsessions.

Twirling the handle of the shower in an action that reminds me of wrenches in a dingy handyman shop, water pours down in minuscule pellets that merge together to create a flowing stream perceived only by an outsider.

I abandon my towel by my ankles, hastily leaping inside the bathtub and closing the curtain behind me as a shield. As usual, my eyes scan the corners for any hidden cameras that may have been installed while I was running errands — you can never know, can never be safe.

As I explore new areas of the bathtub, the concoction of hydrogen and oxygen completely dampens my hair, infiltrates my skin, and this formula and the peroxide are the only two things of whom I enjoy the touch, so I permit their entrance.

Instantaneously, the grasp of the children fades away, swirling down the drain, through the sewers, soon on its journey into the ocean — or, in any case, gone from me.

By now, I've grown accustomed to the permanent kiss of fingertips on my arm, the sole junction that doesn't wash out and is only layered with the collision of other humans, though every time it shrieks, I am brought back to that one day...stop.

The shower is the most dangerous place for panic attacks.

Get the hydrogen peroxide, psycho.

I scowl. "I wish you would stop calling me that. It's incredibly ableist and damaging to one's soul."

Your fault, buddy.

"It's not my fault, though!" I lash out, but my hands extend to seize the peroxide anyway as my tone lowers. "It's not, okay?"

It's actually amusing, as I see it. You say that it's not your fault, but you still have to sit through psychologist appointments to mend yourself. Hah!

"Dr. Saporta is fine," I mutter, unscrewing the cap to the clear liquid, dribbling it onto a washcloth, and holding it away from the spray of water. "Sometimes."

Are you so sure about that, kid?

"Why do you address me as 'kid' all the time?" I begin to scrub my arm with the solution, the vigor of my deed reddening the skin, but I don't halt for something as petty as that; after all, I do this almost every day. "You're me, and I'm almost an adult."

If I were you, then you'd be able to control me.

Imposing a scarlet streak upon my body's textile, I retaliate, "Screw you, asshole. What if I don't want to control you, huh? Did you ever consider that?"

I consider everything that you consider, because I live inside your brain, but that doesn't mean that I am you. I get the advantage without the tragedy. Now isn't that a nice little package?

"Hardly," I deadpan. "I end up getting screwed over twice. Once by you, once by the inequity of this situation."

I've just avowed the water to hail down upon my back, too frustrated by the voice in my head's rambling, its brilliant counterattacks, but as soon as the rumbling sound waves of the garage door opening seek refuge in my ears, my fingers protrude from my by side to switch off the water.

Run fast, little boy.

I bend over to snatch my towel, tying it to my chest like a girl — though I'm a noticeably self-conscious boy — and sliding my hand over the light to rid the bathroom of luminescence.

My room seems like a mile away, when it is only about ten feet in actuality, but with a bound overestimated by my faulty impression, my feet plant themselves in front of my door, pausing to license my hands authority to perform its tedious ritual upon the circular knob.

At the very moment at which I enter my bedroom, a voice echoes from downstairs. "Patrick, are you all right? I heard a noise," it says, to which I scream, "Yeah, I'm good, Mum. A book just fell off of my dresser, is all."

Maybe you should take another shower to repent for your lie.

I consent.

This is by far the most time-consumingcompulsion yet.

~~~~~

A/N: when you're using your school google account and have to write shit like "sure as heck"

sorry about the use of "psycho" I really hate that word :/

I was trying to live up to my 3k word chapter, so I kept expanding this but only got to 1.8k i cri

the next one is going to be happier I promise uwu

current vibe: when matty healy and jesse rutherford did an interview together

~Dicknoodle

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