LXXIX | Someone Important

Tammie rubs my head,

tangling up my hair.

Her voice
is full of affection.


This is why you’re here, Fifi.


And she leaves.

Goes back to practice.

Leaves me


is trembling.

Even the thoughts in my head.

I don’t



It’s hard to stand.
My legs

are numb

from all that

is still


I stagger to the main hall.

the people there.

Gavin turns abruptly to face the window.
Pretends to be lost in thought.

Xavier eats a mountain of food in front of him.

David whispers to himself.

Zuraida and Siti are in the bathroom—
I can hear their echoing voices.

Oman sits, head down,
curled in a ball on his armchair.

Except for Gavin,

I’ve only known

for a short while.

The ones I used to know,
I don’t remember anymore.

It’s the same

with Tammie.

I can’t remember
the past,

that’s why

I forgot I knew her.

It’s not because
she’s not

my most important person.

Tammie’s final move
on the metal pole
comes to mind now

and I shudder.

I walk across the tilted main hall.

I’ll show her
again and again

until she accepts it.

She’s definitely
my most important person.




I plant myself

in front of

the studio protectively,

watching Tammie dance
to her dissonant music.


heat rises in
my chest

and I look out into
the empty corridor

until I’m bored.

then I search Tammie’s face
for some trace of knowing.

We’ve recently

I don’t want
to her to be

          distant again.


but that.
          That kind of


was worse

a thousand injections.

But how can I
not get frustrated

          when she thinks

I’ll hurt her?

How can I convince her otherwise?

How can I prove it?

In the first place,
what does she

really think about me?

What did I do

to lose her trust like this?

(and this frustrates me the most)


can’t I remember?


The hurt I caused her
back in secondary school.

The hurt I—
for the life of me—can’t remember.


She’s smiling

even though
her muscles


under her skin.


Can I change her mind?
Without becoming

her enemy?

Is there any chance

she’ll ever truly
forgive me?

A frustrated sigh.

doesn’t ever look at me

standing there,
watching her.

I wonder

why is she’s so important to me.


I have family,
don’t I?

Why don’t I think about them?

They’re afraid of me—
I remember
          that much.

I’ve hurt them too. But surely,

they’re important to me too?

Who is Tammie
that I care this much

about losing her?

Maybe I love my family

this much too,

but I lost them
the same way I’m about to lose Tammie:

by killing someone.

Is this what
Tammie suspects?

It sends me

The fact that

she considers it a possibility

that I’m a murderer.

That I can,
          and I will,

          hurt her again.


Is that why,
meeting me again,

she talked to me?

She’s just befriending me,
reminding me of who she is

so I’d let her live?

Or maybe

she doesn’t want
to live anymore.

She wants me to remember,
she wants me to kill her,

so when she’s
          she’ll be with whoever it is I killed.

If she’s right,
If I did

something like that,
now what?


My vision blurs.

She’s wrong,

I think triumphantly,
It’s because of them!

There were nurses. Doctors.

When I met her,
I was already monitored


let me.

And I know she doesn’t trust
them either.

Even back then.




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