It had been several months since Monique had been to this place.  The sequins and strange light seemed a distant memory to her by now. Her neck tightened and her jaw clenched immediately.  She reached for something to hold on to as a sudden panic pushed her sprawling upon the floor.

And why had she come back?  Was it hope?  Hope that something would be different, more believable to those she had tried to describe this place to?  They laughed at her account on several occasions, calling the stutter that infected her mouth as soon as she began speaking of it “a nice touch”.  She had always told fantastical stories.

But this one was real.  Here she was, vulnerable again.  Silence: complete and utter silence bore its way into her skull.  She began to sweat.  Maybe this isn’t real.  Maybe she had finally bought into one of her tales so much, that it had become a recurring reality for her.  Maybe the scars from her ‘last visit’ were actually chicken pock scars as her friends had suggested.

In that case, she would be even more alone than she could ever imagine.  She would not only be without a friend, but also without herself.  A fracture in personality… blackouts… holes in the places that memory should occupy.  Her jaw clenched even more; she could taste the enamel of her teeth.

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