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This is a piece of cathartic (therapy) writing. It's nothing fit for publishing, it probably won't be fixed up no matter what errors you find, and my cathartic writing is usually depressing and sometimes a little on the creepy side. This was written for me to get out of a funk, so that's just how my mind works.
My name is Katie, and when I was growing up, I didn't have any 'real' friends. My brothers were all at least ten years older than me, the next door neighbors were all elderly, and the children at school used me like a scapegoat for all their problems. So, I grew up with my nose in a book all the time, escaping into the worlds that the authors dreamed of. Sometimes, I made my own.
My parents thought it was a normal phase, for me to be playing pretend all the time in our backyard, going into the trees and building forts with imaginary friends. Sure, they wanted me to make 'real' friends, but it was hard. I didn't like playing the games they did at recess, so I went into this old tractor tire they put partly into the ground for the other kids to climb on. No one ever bothered me there, and I could imagine that I was hiding in a cave from the horrible screeching harpies that waited for me outside.
Grade school came and went, and I still played pretend, even partway into high school. So many people still picked on me that I sat alone at lunch time, never even bothering to go and meet someone new. My parents were starting to get worried, but my grades were okay and the teachers never said anything other than how 'bright' I was, so they let it be.
Once I was finally out of school, my grades weren't quite good enough to get me any of the really good scholarships, and my parents didn't have enough money left over from sending my brothers to college. They said I should try getting a job for a year and start back with school later. I didn't really like it, but it was the best option I had. I wound up with a stocking job at the local bookstore. It was a job, and I kind of liked it. I spent more time with books than I did with people - it was a situation I was familiar and comfortable with, but I did still get the nagging feeling that I was missing out on something.
A man just a few years older than me came into the store one day, and asked me if we had any books on role-playing. Our section on it was pretty small and out of the way, so I showed him where it was myself. We had the book he was looking for, and he smiled at me and asked if I'd like to play with him sometime. The group met up at the coffee shop across the street a couple times a week, and I was free to join them. That smile just made me ache so hard, so I nodded and said I'd see what I could do. But really, my mind was already made up. I wanted to see him smile at me that way again.
His name was Jacob, and the other players were Rachel, Eddie, and Andy. Rachel was pretty, with long brown hair and a fashion sense just a few years out of date. Eddie and Andy were nice boys, laughing and trying to get me to tell them the stories I'd dreamed up when I was a kid. Jacob had that perfect blond hair that he was growing out, and the clearest gray eyes. When he was talking to you, he really looked right at you and made you feel all warm and happy. I could see it in the way he treated the others, too. He made us all happy.
Jacob showed us the game. At first, it was fun. But then me and Rachel started noticing things in real life that seemed too much like the game. We talked about it with Eddie and Andy, who mentioned it to Jacob. He just smiled and told us to relax, there was nothing to worry about. He'd keep us safe.
Eventually, we were kicked out of the coffee shop because they got a new manager, and Jacob moved the games to his house. Every so often, after everyone else left, he held me behind and we talked. Jacob told me the secrets, that the managers at the coffee shop didn't want us playing there because we were getting too close to the truth. When I asked him what truth, he shrugged and said I wasn't ready for that just yet. None of us were. But he smiled and said we were close. We all - me, especially - had been making better progress than he'd thought, and soon we'd be ready for the real test.
I believed him. I believed him because Jacob had never lied to me, or the others, and because he was proud of me. He kissed me, and I didn't want him to stop. I clung to him even when he took me to the bed and started taking my clothes off. Jacob wanted ME. He chose me, over Rachel, over any of the popular and much much prettier women he could have had his choice of, and it was everything I wanted.
I'm laying next to him in bed right now, thinking of what he told us all earlier that night. Next time, we'd be ready for the big secret. Over a year of working up towards it, and we're finally ready. We all know that some of the things we saw in the dark and feared as little children are real. That was the first truth we learned. But now... this thing? This will be big. But as long as Jacob's there, he can keep us all safe.
And I know that he loves me over the others. If something happens and only one of us can be under his protection, it's going to be me.
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