XXXIII | Someone's Wrong

‘I didn’t kill them!’

I sound guilty
          even to myself.

My fingers

around the bottle of paint

are cramped,

I can’t squeeze it.

I’m a coward.

The reason I didn’t take O Levels

anyone’s fault—

not even
the voices

or the hallucinations—

it’s because

I’m a coward.


I screw the lid back
and put the bottle down.

It’ll be better

to let all this anger out
and go back to

being a vegetable.

(Or even better—die.)

every attempt at dying
just multiplies the guilt

when it fails.


And it always fails

because I can’t plan my death properly.


I’m sorry, Fifi.


I look up
and see

Tammie looking down.

she’s rubbing her eyes

with the back of her hand.

Her dark hair
is fluffy down.


I thought
it was better

to keep quiet,
stay still—
not tell anyone.

I thought

it’ll be more troublesome

if I spoke out.


She plays chopsticks with her toes,

not looking up.

The rage
that boiled

all the way

up to my throat

like cola gas.

‘Are you a masochist?’
I ask at last,

not sure what to say.

She smiles—
it’s forced

(I just know it),

her eyes peeking at me
through her mop of dark hair.


You’re the masochist.


Tammie takes my hand.
I pull away.

‘I didn’t kill them,’ I say again.

She smiles—

once more.


They died because of you.

Isn’t that the same as killing them?


The world


for a minute
(or two).


I’ve never lied to you, Fifi.
So don’t misunderstand me

on your own.


That’s right.
Even deep down

I know

I’ve killed a person.

As an honest friend
trying to protect me,

what had Tammie

in return?


The one who’s wrong
is the one

who’s always accusing others.


Tammie takes my hand again.
I let her pull me out

into the main hall.

‘How?’ I ask.

‘How did they die?’




Intense dark eyes
bore into mine,

ringed with greyish-purple bruises.

Not Tammie.

The hand
around mine

is large, rough.

Not Tammie.

He’s familiar though.

Not Tammie.


He looks down at me

like he’s just

he’s been pulling me along

by the hand.

He lets go


like a frightened rabbit.

He looks around

like a frightened rabbit.

Even his ears


he rubs the scar

that runs
from his wrist to the inside of his elbow.

His eyes stop hopping

from place to place

and come to rest
on the two nurses

that have caught up to us.

He hands me
half a peeled orange.

I sniff at it

just to make sure

he hasn’t
put poison on it.

There’s a smell of dirty dish cloth.

I peel off one segment
and bite into it.

He leans closer

to examine my face.

I’m about
to take a step back

when he whispers,

‘You want to die that bad?’




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