I’m not who they think. I never have been. For over forty years I have been living a lie and I think maybe it’s about time I come clean.
He knows who I am. He’s the only one who does. I was there, you know. The day they attacked him. Beat him. Stripped our clothes. I heard his screams. I felt his tears. And when they raped me I felt our rendered soul as he left.
He found someone safe within and I ran. Far and hard and long, until I was nowhere near the place where it happened.
He is still there, in his shelter. That place which has become a prison – a tomb for such a young boy. And me? I’ve “grown up” to be this respectable, straight, intelligent man. Capable of handling any tasks I’m given. Level headed. Caring but distant. And I hear his cries for help daily.
I know where he is. I just don’t know how to get there anymore. See, when I ran, I destroyed the bridges, walkways, and paths between me and where I was. Which is where he is.
And now there’s a young boy frightened and alone. And an old guy, scared and lonely. Both incompletely complete within themselves. Both so tired.
So here I am. Capable and strong. Right. Independent. Well, that much is true I suppose. To a point. A fake. Charlatan. Phony. Not who anyone believes me to be. And it’s been so long now I almost believe the act myself. Almost. If it weren’t for hearing his voice I might be able to completely move into the role.
His voice grows weaker every day. Someday it might cease all together.
And on that day I will surely die.
Because I am not who you see. I am him. He is all the good that was ever in me. I am the result of our abuse. Together we are one hurt boy.
But I am not a boy anymore, and am too old to go back.
Forevermore an actor in a role of his own design.