Timelines became blurred as her confusion mounted. Kris had suggested she read Alice I Have Been a few months ago, and her world now felt exactly like Wonderland. She knew how Alice must have felt in her rabbit hole. In her mind, it did not matter when anything occurred, because her memories were so vivid, she could not tell the difference any longer.
After the meditation where she had heard Kris, the skeletons came to life. Her world became repressed emotions as landmines surrounding every step she took. In all of it, she missed Kris. It had been months since he spoke to her, but she messaged him still. She hated herself for doing it, she hated herself for losing him, and she hated herself for not being able to let go. In her mind, he was the puppet master, and she was dangling on his strings. Though she had no evidence to support any of this. A voice in her mind, and weird messages on Linked In. The crazier she felt; the crazier life became. Every time things made sense or she found peace, her memories would snatch it away.
She kept begging herself to stop the madness, as she found herself increasingly confused by him. His frustration with her mounted, and she had always felt that he was waiting for her to understand something. She always felt he was testing her, and she rarely passed the test. To this day, the understanding seems just outside of her grasp. As her emotions began surging from the dam of her mind, she became convinced that, if she could figure out his test, he would come back. The illogic made her feel worse. She KNEW this made no sense, yet she could not shake it. She remained convinced that everything with Kris were walls to protect him. For all of his exteriors, she felt a very hurt child hidden in a very hurt man. Nothing he did hurt her as much as cutting her out.
After Kris stopped speaking with her, she spent most of her free time losing herself to meditation in an attempt to escape the crushing confusion and pain. Her meditation became hallucinogenic. She would close her eyes and feel as though she stepped into a kaleidoscope. Anna suddenly began feeling as though she was being called to do more with her life, and in her mind, it became inextricably linked with why Kris had stopped speaking to her. Her journal, dreams, and meditation became centered around the concept of Twin Flame. Fear began eating at her that she had lost her Twin. She stayed with the meditation seeking answers. On the day she believed he had spoken to her in her mind, Anna also believed she had levitated in the stars.
The hope of seeing him again combined with the barrage of terrifying emotions made for a Molotov cocktail in Anna’s life. Her mind and emotions were akin to an out of control fire hose. As her anxiety became overwhelming, her mind changed. She no longer had to close her eyes to see the kaleidoscope. She could both see and manipulate colors and images with her eyes open. People began contacting her pleading with her to calm herself. This worsened her anxiety, as she became convinced that her personal struggles were affecting others. Her phone seemed to be instructing her. When she managed to control the flow of obsessive thoughts, her phone thanked her for listening via pop up. When she attempted to read to escape her mind, everything seemed to be about her situation or mocking her. She knew she had lost her mind, she knew she was crazy, but she wasn’t sure. People WERE contacting her. She started to believe that a man who loved her was trying to reach her. The twin flame. She could not stop thinking about Kris, though. One woman reached out and told her to forget Kris, and find “The other woman”. As her mind became split and began arguing with itself, she noticed her phone autocorrecting in weird ways.
Her phone began popping up names of people she had hurt, names of relatives, and disorders. Schizophrenia kept popping up, though she was not typing a word like it. Kris’ name became popping up, though she wasn’t typing anything like it. Anna was confused by the other woman comment, and began wondering if she was schizophrenic, or if she was screwing everything up, because her twin flame was a woman. She felt equally convinced Kris was behind this and The One as she was convinced someone else was behind this and punishing her for still loving Kris.
She kept meditating, desperate to find peace or some kind of an answer. In her meditation, she felt and saw light emanating from her crown. She felt as though information was somehow downloading into her, while she simultaneously broadcast it. Sleep became impossible. Every time Anna closed her eyes, things would happen. She’d find herself wandering around her house, eventually, she began wandering the street at night. Visuals and blurry, confusing memories began regardless of her state of consciousness. She was terrified. Between thinking everyone was angry with her inability to calm herself, and constantly fearing someone was coming, Anna was frozen in perpetual motion. One night, she found herself on the floor of her living room, sucking her thumb with no recollection as to how she got there. She stopped being able to eat. People were noticing her behavior; she couldn’t hide it. Her grip on reality confused her at best.
She was contacted by a new man who said he could help. He asked her to verify her identity, which she did. The man told her he was from “The Abundance Factor”, which she had watched maybe 2 hours prior. She had just completed the guided meditation, and her phone rang. She spoke to this man about everything, desperate to have someone understand. He seemed to. He made references to some things she had written, and he said he wanted to help her focus on her talent and make her life easier so she could. As she began paying attention, she realized he was double-speaking. He would literally contradict himself in a single sentence, and she became confused and scared. Now, she became convinced her identity was stolen, computer, and phone were hacked. How could he have known she watched The Abundance Factor?
Her thoughts raced as her fear mounted. She was convinced people were stalking her and also terrified that life is imitating art. Another person contacted her. “Anna, please, you have to control your mind. You are hurting the women you love!” Anna began sobbing, “I’m not trying to hurt or do anything! I don’t know what is happening!” The woman told her to take a bath, and drink some orange juice after. Anna attempted to comply. She filled the tub full of hot water, put Portishead on Spotify, and melted into the water. She began feeling better, taking gulps of air while tightening and flexing her aching muscles.
The song changed. Passenger, by Deftones came on unbidden, untouched. Goosebumps popped on her warm skin. As she leaned over to inspect her phone, which indicated Portishead was playing. Anna heard her front door open. Her heart began racing. She heard footsteps starting up the steps. “Hello??” she called out, cracking her voice in fear. No response but further footsteps, growing closer. “HELLO!!!” she yelled, naked and shivering in the hot bath. She didn’t know what to do, so she decided to stay there. She closed her eyes and tried to breathe. The footsteps stopped, and she heard the door to her bedroom open. She thought maybe Kris was finally coming back, and she tried to calm herself with hope. She heard a belt being unbuckled. The jingling metal was distinctly outside her bathroom door.
She launched herself from the bathtub, adrenaline surge from terror, and shoved through the door into an empty bedroom. There was no one there, but she swore she saw an indent from a shoe that was not hers. She flew naked down the steps, almost falling. She searched her house, but the only evidence she could find was her door was not closed entirely. She collapsed naked and soaking wet onto her carpet and sobbed. Her phone rang again. Another Unknown caller.
This pulled the rubber band of her mind beyond it’s capacity, and she snapped. She was now completely convinced Eric Berkmoes (or whoever was actually behind this) hacked her phone, she had ruined her life by her obsession with Kris, and she was in danger. In her meditation, she plead for mercy. She had believed that she was supposed to make a choice, she was supposed to find her twin flame, and without doing either, she would suffer. She believed the people who had contacted her were right – she was hurting people, and now she began believing she was actually breaking the universe. Alice had fallen very far down the rabbit hole.
She found herself driving hopelessly, shaking in terror. Her phone had become equal parts conspirator and compass. Between seemingly benevolent direction and advice from strangers, changing music, she also found no end of stories, posts, articles that all seemed related to her. Her life became 10,000 mirrors. She read an article about people getting sick all over, and she swore she saw a remark “My friends are obsessed with Stephen King and metaphors, so I guess we get to live through The Stand because someone has a crush.” It sounded like nonsense, except it fed her flames. She and Kris had shared a love of Stephen King. It was a random reference to her favorite novel that made her interested in him in the first place. She saw a poem about twin flames being frozen in a digital age, and as she drove, she worried that all of this was caused by him blocking her. She became so confused with everything seemingly related to her – is she some kind of narcissist? But then, why do people keep contacting her?
She went to see her kids, hoping she would settle down. Her daughter, talking like she was in a trance, said, “Mommy, you are making everyone work harder. You keep giving power to the bad guy, and that makes the good guys work more.” Later, her daughter said, “Mommy, be careful what you say and do on your phone. They’re listening to you.” Anna was already teetering on the edge. Her daughter’s advice was another shove into chaos, Anna believed now her family was in grave danger. She became convinced that her meditation had tapped into something more than her, but she was not welcome. Or, perhaps, this was another test to see how strong she was. A few weeks ago, Anna resolved she was going to protect her children, no matter what, so she began being paranoid of them being out of her sight. They’d sleep with her every night, and wake up relaying dreams that sounded eerily familiar to Anna, who slept maybe 15 minutes a night at this point.
More people contacted Anna with knowledge about her thoughts that she had not shared. Suggestions were given to calm herself, to release the energy stored up, or to regain the strength she was losing. At their suggestion, she attempted to go to her favorite bar to escape her troubles. Several strangers had suggested she go dancing, and she thought it would help. Coincidentally, two poems she had read as well as an astrology reading gave her the impression she could meet a stranger that would change her fate. Driving, she watched clouds roll in, rain pour down, and every car in front of her had hazards on for no reason. She became afraid of going to the bar, and resumed driving around in hopeless circles. Kris had been silent to all her pleas for contact and assistance.
She attempted to go home, but when she got there, every light was on and she could not get her key to work. She knew she left her house dark, and she checked to ensure she was actually at her house. She was. Anna began shaking and sobbing in her car, lost and confused. Anna stopped being able to make logical conclusions, because everything was beyond logic. How could people know these things? How does everyone seem to know of her? She saw a poem as she was sitting in her parking lot trying to make sense of this, that said “It’s time to leave, don’t delay, get out of town, no reason to stay!” With that, she sped out of her parking lot, sobbing.
She tried to ignore her phone and think. Anna was convinced that somehow everything was actually happening for a reason. Life had become like a Stephen King novel, and she began wondering about metaphors. She had been obsessed with metaphors for months. Writing/blogging/poetry had taken over her life, as Anna was attempting to make sense of herself. Driving around, Anna began to wonder if novelists were not actually creating stories. Her obsession with The Dark Tower had Anna thinking that everything she was experiencing was meant to be, even though she knew that made no sense. She begged the universe, as she saw it, to spare her and her family. After not sleeping for weeks, she began seeing and hearing more things. “Life imitates art” began echoing eerily in her ears, as she realized she had written a piece of fiction very similar to her experience with her phone.
She looked down at her phone and saw a new message waiting for her. A friend had told her to come see her at a diner. She raced to find her, desperate for company, desperate not to be alone with her mind. The GPS kept changing directions, driving her around in circles. The music seemed to ominously tell her not to go, with songs like “We Don’t Need to Talk Now”. In her panicked state, she felt light emanating from the crown of her head again. She felt like a beacon. She realized, the weather was changing. Anna recalled her phone giving her a notification once to pay attention to people’s weather. Her phone had said that some people can actually modify the weather with their mood. Anna became fascinated at her ability to stop the rain. The skies would change from clouds and rain to clear skies bursting with stars if she would close her eyes, breathe, and allow the light in and out. In the clear skies, she noticed the full moon staring at her. She remembered the meditation where she heard Kris’ voice was under a full moon. She heard him call her a lunatic again, and she wondered how a month had passed in this state.
She had to rely on her memory to get to the diner, frustrated with the GPS taking her anywhere but her destination. Her GPS squawked to make U’turns as she neared the diner. She arrived and saw her friend surrounded by other women. She walked up and hugged her, and her friend was shocked to see her. “How did you know I was here?!” she exclaimed, hugging her again. Anna looked confused, “You messaged me?” Anna paused, and thought again. The message was sent on Facebook Messenger, and when she had called her friend to confirm she was still there, a man answered the phone. At the time, Anna wasn’t focusing on the man or that it was odd he answered her. She remembered the man had said, “But I am here, you know.” The voice had sounded like Kris, she realized. Her friend said she didn’t message her. Anna’s heart began racing, and she got confused again.
She tried to have fun. It was karaoke, but her paranoia was out of control. She was convinced people were talking about her, and even her friend seemed to be avoiding her. Her friend told her she had to sing, so she picked out a song and tried. The lyrics on the karaoke screen weren’t right, though, as a matter of fact, they were making fun of her. Instead of “So What?” by Pink, she saw garbled text and occasional “Why are you here?” “You don’t belong here.” and “You are pissing him off.” She couldn’t follow with the song without the lyrics and made a fool of herself, making everything worse.
Her friend started scaring her. She began shouting about it being everyone’s birthday, and then looked directly at Anna and said, “except yours.” Anna swore she saw the DJ talking to people and asking them to pretend they were having fun, because that is what they were being paid to do. A guy began talking to her, and Anna felt slightly calmer. They were talking about music, and she began gushing. Her friend introduced him to her, and disappeared. Anna noticed he seemed to be referencing his iPad, which looked like it had a notepad document full of text.
He asked if she wanted to leave the bar and hang out, she nervously agreed. She wasn’t even sure if she could get back into her house, and she liked the idea of not being alone. She could not find her friend to say goodbye, nor could she shake the feeling that the other women were trying to keep her from talking to her. The man told her he thought she had left for the night, and Anna felt hurt she didn’t say goodbye. She was confused, exhausted, and not thinking clearly, anyway. They went to her house, and continued talking. She had talked a bit about her job, and he replied, “I know.” Anna’s heart began racing, he should not know. What does that mean? She began stuttering and twitching, her body and mind finally giving out from anxiety. He offered to do impressions to cheer her up, and as he was doing them, she felt like he was making fun of her. The things he was saying reminded her of Kris, and she felt scared somehow Kris was involved in all of this. She shooed him out of her house and locked the door. She sat rocking back and forth on her carpet for the rest of the night.
Just then, Puscifer came on – The Rapture – and Maynard’s haunting voice echoed, “You ` better hope he takes you, before I do.” Anna went outside and stared at the moon, not sure if she would wake up, once she fell asleep.