I wake up to a dull throb creeping up my neck and into my head, a splitting static sound overtakes me. I roll over to face my mother, her face is frailer than yesterday, the dark circles around her eyes are growing. My face twitches as I try to calm my breathing. The radio in the corner of our room lets out a shriek of static before jumping into life. “Viligans” the sweet American voice coo’s, “a step towards protecting your young one for life. Visit your local practice today and only pay $15000”. You’re one chip away from a safer tomorrow.” Stumbling across the confined bedroom, I begin to fill a small bag. I’ve been telling myself that I am leaving, but really, this is an escape. An emancipation.

I draw back the curtains, my head becoming heavy with the sudden movement. In the half-light of the morning, the street is eerie. The sky is empty, no birds nor clouds. Even the silver line of sunlight feels cold against my skin. The houses sit identical, rot and mould crawling up their paint flecking walls. My mother lulls in her sleep behind me. Useless. She has taken my life away from me. The day my Vigilan was implanted, she took me for ice cream while my head was still throbbing. She beamed proudly at me like she was some sacred protector. I shake the memory off. Oblivious bitch, she still has no clue the pain she has caused me. Her love for me was a lethal mix of ambition and fear, to produce the perfect daughter. In the space that should be filled with her love- at my foundations, keeping me aloft- there is a void so black no light can penetrate it. Yesterday, she told me that my bitterness towards her is an extension of my vanity. So, I decided that I have had enough of her feeble obliviousness.

 I began to feel out of body, out of character. It is as if I am in a constant hazy dream. Then comes the pain. 6 am every morning. On the dot. It starts off as a shallow unpleasantness. But when the migraines strike, I am the prisoner, quite and helpless in my cage of pain. Blinded by flashing colourful spots I crave darkness, quiet and stillness. Nausea overwhelms me and I lunge for the bathroom. Hunched over the toilet with pain throbbing so violently around my skull, I wonder why it won’t just crack open.

Something is terribly wrong. Why doesn’t anybody see it. Steadying myself against the bannister, I peer out of the yellow-brown stained glass.

I’d heard stories of kids that try to gouge their chips out, found bled to death by their parents. And sometimes, I consider it. When I look towards the mirror, my complexion ashen, I truly consider it.

I can feel the throbbing of my own eyes, in time with my pounding heartbeat. They say “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” but in a world, as twisted as ours this is simply not true. I want answers. I want solutions. I want to rebel. To hell with my mother, I am not going to live like this. I splash water over my face and storm out of the bathroom. Hoisting my bag over my shoulder, I pad softly across the bedroom and out the door. Never to turn back again.

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