by Anne Varez
Katagma Chapter 5
Denial is the second stage. Anyone observing me recognizes my mental state as the natural process of grief. They shoot me sympathetic looks perhaps shaking their heads in a twisted sense of pity. They whisper shallow words to each other stealing glances at the car wreck locked in a padded prison cell. But it’s OK, because denial is a stage and all stages pass in due time.
To me it is not a stage. In fact, it is not denial. It is a test. None of this is real. It can not be. It is all a sinister lie, and I will not be fooled. They can test me and probe me and torture me, but I will not break. I will not swallow the toxin that they relentlessly shove down my throat and call truth. I spit out their deceit with all the disgust that I can muster. I know the truth, and it is not the fabrications that they are imprinting on me.
I rise off of my knees and hobble to one of the white walls. I stare at it commanding it to transform into anything but what it is - white, flat, endless, an infuriating obstacle to my sanity. Lies. It is all lies. It has to be.
I think about him. When is he going to tell me the truth? Why does he masquerade as one of them? Why does he lie to me?
I place my forehead against the wall. I expect it to be hard and cool, but it is warm and soft. It adds to my madness. My breathing quickens to frustration, fear, and rage. I raise my arms above my head clenching my hands into fists. I do not want their pity. I pound on the wall with all the force that I can muster. I scream until my chest hurts and I can not breathe.
I don’t want their pity. I don’t want their lies. I want their regret. I want their repentance, and I want revenge.