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AMY: The Safe Place

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Amy is...not David’s sister. Not even his adopted sister. Maybe she was once, but she’s different now. 

David remembers a childhood that’s more like a dream; a fragment of a dream really. A remote country home surrounded by vast fields and empty wilderness, yet he remembers going trick or treating in a typical suburban neighborhood among crowds of kids. 

Amy is always his closest childhood friend in his memory. He remembers riding bikes and hiking through the woods with Amy. Only Amy. He never seemed to need anyone else. They were both always such happy children.

Amy always wears a lot of green. He’s not sure if it’s because Amy likes that color or because he likes it. In any case, green is calming and pleasing to him, and she seems to know this. Or maybe he just imagines that and the reason that it’s so pleasing to him is because she wears it.

They love each other. Just saying that doesn’t begin to describe what they share, though. They have a very special connection that goes beyond family and siblings. It’s the spiritual connection that people share when they’ve been through everything together and are the only ones to remember it, now that their parents are gone. The fact that they aren’t actually related has made no difference whatsoever to him. She always knew but it didn’t matter a bit to her, either.

but why but why didn’t she ever tell him she said it was never the right time but come on at some point she could’ve just fucking mentioned 

Amahl Farouk did the thing that he did and then had the balls to tell David that he was only fulfilling David’s desire. That David hated his sister. He doesn’t remember that because it’s a lie. The Shadow King always lies and twists and distorts everything. Maybe it wasn’t always perfect like in his memory but

he’s at the children’s table and Amy is laughing and laughing and laughing like some kind of demented toy doll from a horror movie and he tells her to stop it but she doesn’t stop she acts like she doesn’t hear him or maybe she’s doing it on purpose and he’s shouting it but she keeps laughing and then he growls NOW

He doesn’t like - he doesn’t think about the past like he used to. It’s confusing. When you’re lost in the haze of drugs, prescribed or otherwise, it can be comforting to retreat into the warm confines of memory, fuzzy and soft as blanket. Not a hospital blanket, though, one of those perfectly snuggle-able blankets that once was tucked around him in his twin sized bed with the sheets that had...Star Wars? Spaceships? Cowboys? Spaceships, probably. He loved the stars.

It’s malleable, memory. Unlike the hospital, which had cold floors, cold chairs, and a cold smell to go with the cold, solid immovability of it all. But after he left, the hospital transformed into something else: it was suddenly warm as a childhood blanket; a pleasant, dreamlike refuge. No danger, no strangers. Just the same familiar, harmless faces. Klonopin and yogurt. Why do places always change like that once you leave them? Why can’t they be like that always?

David’s mind is vast. Sometimes he thinks that it’s too vast, that other people aren’t like that. Well he knows they aren’t, now. Anyway, there are lots of spaces to go to inside, so many that he feels bigger than an entire planet sometimes. Like he’s Jupiter, a goliath covered in swirling clouds and massive storms that obscure everything underneath, and yet still somehow standing here on this tiny blue marble.

He’s so big on the inside that there are places that he’s never gone to. They’re like storage closets, huge ones. He knows they’re there, but he doesn’t look in them. Sometimes he gets curious and puts his ear to the door

laughing and laughing and laughing and pounding her fists because she knows that he hates it and it’s making him crazy and if she keeps doing it he’ll start screaming and grabbing his head and then her parents will come and make him leave her and her friends alone go away she’s thinking I hate you then everything breaks and the screams

NO.

Then Lenny was Amy and he hated that. Hated it so, so much because Lenny was another Shadow King lie. Don’t get him wrong, though, he had liked Lenny when she was a real, live person and had fond memories of when they’d been fake friends. She made him feel good. He wasn’t alone with her. Amy was too good for him to be with sometimes, and at those times there was Lenny (okay or sometimes Benny, who he doesn’t really remember). He had a special connection with Lenny, too. She knew things without him saying them, like Amy. They could never be the same person though. Ever. And yet bits of Amy were inside Lenny now. Unforgivable.

Amy is not his sister. It’s not just the Lenny-stealing-her-body thing, either. He’s no longer sure what she is, what she was. There’s so much he’s unsure about. Memory is so malleable. It’s too malleable. It’s a dark, swirling storm bigger than a planet.

He remembers the other timelines. Why did they all have to be so horrible? Even the ones that looked good from the outside felt bad once he was in them. He thinks about the one where he was rich and powerful and not himself and how Amy was so dissatisfied all the time, so spoiled. It felt familiar. He didn’t understand why Amy was never happy in the ones where they were together. Why weren’t there any happy endings to be found for the two of them when they were made to be happy together?

He’d liked the one with the wife and kids, but he felt very alone there. Like he was smiling at the picture that comes with the picture frame. Singing “Happy Birthday” to himself in other people’s voices. Laughing 

and laughing and laughing

too loudly. Screaming “WAFFLES!” with (at) his children. It made him feel sick for some reason.

Farouk had said that reality was what he made of it, quite literally. He’d called him (them) the sun, the moon.

Amy is not his sister. She’s not even his adopted sister. Not anymore. She’s just a memory, so she can be changed as much as he wants. In his memory she always wears green and she makes him waffles and she cares about his feelings and when she laughs, she laughs with him, not at him. But she’s always been like that, of course, so it’s okay if he fudges it a bit and makes her nicer, better. She deserves it.