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I can’t remember the last time I left my room, but that doesn't matter to me. Nothing matters. Even though I locked myself in here, I know that it's her fault. She told me sweet nothings to trap me. I have always been tangled in her web of lies. I can't go back to school, and I for sure don't want to be outside. The bright sunlight and cheerful people would just make me feel worse about my situation. In here I feel safe, and at least I know everything about my room. All the little nooks, and crannies where I hide the wonderful things that I shouldn’t have like my roses and other sharp things. I never keep pictures of myself or mirrors. All my pictures excluding baby ones have her in it. I have always hated mirrors, for one I don't like looking at myself. Every time I see myself I pick and scratch at the parts I don't like. My eyes are too spaced apart, and my nose looks chubby. Why can't I look more like her? She was everything that girls are supposed to be petite, cute, and fragile. She said she liked me the way I was. She said I was perfect just the way I am, so why did she leave me? I try not to think about that as I stay in the same routine. So it was strange when a door that wasn't there appeared in my room. The door had an ornate frame, it doesn't look like it was from this time frame. I tried ignoring it and continuing with my routine, but it no matter what I was doing the door crept into my mind. I stood in front of the door. My hands were sweating. Okay, it’s just a door. I close my eyes, take a breath, and open the door. Inside the room, it’s almost like a different world. A garden of roses layout in front of me. They are varieties of color I have never seen before. They entrance me and without thinking it I reach for one. I recoil away in pain. A single strand of blood ran down the length of my hand. I look around the garden and I stare in awe when I realize the rose petals are razor blades.

   I can't feel the pain. I have been numb to physical pain for a while now. The thought of growing one of these roses for my room excited me. I turn back towards the door, I want a sample of one of these roses to grow and keep. But the door was gone. Great just great, I was stuck in a fantasy world where when you try to stop and smell the roses you get a bloody nose. With nowhere to go, I start walking on the garden path. It's long and winding and there seemed to be no end to the garden of razor roses. It's strange seeing such beauty around me and not being able to touch it. It's a struggle to try to walk straight as if every single fiber of my being is compelling me to touch the flowers. It's like I could hear her voice telling me to stop and relax for a few minutes. They’re so beautiful, wouldn’t it be ever so wonderful to run your fingers over the petals. Stop and smell the roses I’m sure they smell as great as they look. I know I shouldn’t listen, but I can almost imagine what the voice was describing. It would be nice to let the pain take over and let go of all feeling. I want to get rid of all hard to deal with emotions. The kind of emotions that stay with you and can't get rid of no matter what. I don’t give into the thoughts and push myself to continue. She always said I was stubborn as a mule. Focusing so hard on avoiding bad thoughts that I almost felt myself trip over someone. Why is he even standing in the middle of the path? Taking a better look at him, I could feel my blood go cold. The man was covered in open wounds, all of them varying in severity. He was cowering in the middle of the path because of fear.

   “What happened?” I ask. He shouldn't be here. Why isn't he at a hospital.

   “Who are you? Do you work for her? I’m sorry I’ll continue my work I swear that I was going to gather some water.” He squeaks. He started rapidly attempting to smooth out the curls in his hair.

   “Work for who?”

   “The lovely, lustrous queen.” As he said this he looked up at me. He eyes were looking me over and registered that I wasn’t who he thought I was. “You don’t look like you’re from the royal guard. Excuse my rudeness, my name is Cedric Kurstain, and I’m the royal gardener.” His manner became more open and he is more comfortable now.

   “Why are you covered with...” I asked.

   “Tis a few mere flesh wounds. It’s the natural for all the royal gardeners to covered with scars. It’s the mark of the razor roses upon our skin, and all us royal gardeners are proud to wear it.”

   “Do you enjoy having the scars?” At that moment his smile faltered, and I was able to see hesitation within himself. “Do you enjoy being the royal gardener?” I asked. He avoided looking me in the eye and said, “I always wanted to be a baker, but it was not in the cards for me. I don’t have the delicate and careful hand that a royal gardener needs to reduce the injuries they acquire. The queen, however, ruled that I become the royal gardener.”

   “Who’s the queen, and why do you listen to her?”

   “She’s the almighty power, and she cares for me ever so dearly. She lives in the castle past this garden and through the desert of memories.”

   “That’s ridiculous be whatever you want to be, someone who cares for you won’t force you to change to match themselves.” I bark. He is too hurt to gather my meaning.

   “That’s not true! She cares for me, she said she did. She wouldn’t lie to me would she?” Cedric seemed to ponder this question as he walked away from me deeper into the garden. I almost want to follow him but it's obvious he doesn't want help. Stubborn as a mule is what he is. The queen is using him just like how she used me. I turn and continue along the path.

   As I continue on the soil began to shift to sand. Standing in front of me was the desert of memories. The sand shone almost a ghostly white and pillars of crystal stock out of it. As I walked around the crystals I realized they showed multiple of my reflections. I shivered, I hated seeing myself. She made me hate myself. Even now I can almost hear her voice trying to deter me.  You’re so worthless. Isn’t it ever so hard to continue? Wouldn’t it be nice to rest your tired feet? I don't have to look at the crystals to know they are reflecting me. I could feel my nails start to dig into the between my eyes. I know other things are reflected in it.

   One showed us laughing as we drew an image of a beautiful pink castle.  The next one she's dressed in a lacy dress and me in a tux as she calls me her prince. It morphed to ignored texts, passive remarks, and degrading names. Stop, I want it to stop. I know she's in the mirror. I could feel her hot gaze on my skin. Ugly, fat, mannish were just a few of the things she said. Soon after that she stopped wearing our friendship bracelet and started avoiding me. I knew what was about to come. I don't want to see it again. I fail to avert my eyes and there reflected in the pillar was her sneering face as she laughed and said the three words that could never be erased. I hate you. I could feel the reflections trying to drive me insane. Echoing throughout my brain are the horrible things she said. I don't want to feel this, and I don't want to see her. I need something, something to make the pain go away. Lying on the ground was a sharp rock, it's perfect. I grabbed the rock and smashed the surface of the pillar until I felt the tightness in my chest start to leave. I continue this pattern as I walk towards the castle in the distance. I don’t want to remember the old me. The, me that she used to puppet around like a marionette.  Don't think about her just keep moving.  I feel nothing, I am nothing. I just walk mechanically towards the castle.

   The castle was huge and pink, her favorite color. It was identical to the one we first drew. I walk through the gates which were decorated with ribbons and glitter. She was the girliest between us. She would always say that I'm her prince and that she was my princess. Stuffed animals lined the halls. I looked at each one of them in detail; they were the ones we used to play with together. There was Fluffy, Jade, and Little Jim. Jade was her favorite. Remember, don't think just keep moving. As I get closer to where the throne room is the tapestry in the grand hall are every single drawing we have ever made. I could feel myself starting to tear up. Why did she leave me? I am I that useless? Didn't we promise to be together forever? It takes all of my strength to not curl up in a ball and cry.

   I keep moving, just forget about her. When I reach the throne room, I suck in my breath. There she is standing in front of me.

   "I was starting to think you weren’t coming." She grins at me. I look back at her silently. "I care ever so much for you. Who do you think was trying to get you to stay here. Sometimes you can be thick headed. Stay here with me, and you can be my prince again. Then everything will be as it should be." She smiles wide and opens her arms in an invitation. I want to hug and put everything behind us, but I know the truth.

   "You're not real are you?" I ask. She gazes back at me sadly as she explodes into a puff of smoke. As the smoke starts to clear, I see in front of me is a lone mirror. I could feel my chest get tight, and I held the rock in my pocket tightly. I need to destroy it. She caused me to do this, I need to destroy all memories of her. Then I can be free. I ready the rock in my hand, but before I could break the horrid thing sobbing emulated from it. Something I can't let myself feel welled up inside me. I cautiously walk towards the mirror and for the first time in years gaze into it. And there gazing back at me was a young girl lying in a ball. I know her as I know myself.

   "Why did you do this? Why bring me here?" I speak gently. I don't want to cause her any more pain then she is already feeling. She stops and gazes at me sadly.

   "I'm sorry, I just don't want to be alone. I want to see her. I thought if I could pretend she was with me then maybe I can still be strong. She completes me. I thought that she felt the same. Without her who am I?" she cried. I held my hand out, "Let's find out together. If she doesn't care about us then let's find us." She's hesitant. She stares at my hand before slowly reaching out a shaking hand to grab mine.

   I wake up back in my bed. There's no mysterious door to a fantasy world. It was just my everyday room, yet it still felt different. It's a lot more cramped in here than I remember. Were there always shadows in here. I need air and this room wasn't giving me any. I walk towards the door. I freeze when my hand lay on the doorknob. Do I destroy what we had? I gripped the doorknob fiercely. What we had is gone, and I need to focus on finding who I am without her. I open the door.


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