It Was Safer in My Head Chapter 1: Pelt

Disclaimer: This was something i wrote 3 years ago that i’m touching up and putting here, as a part of my collection.

“Not a single word. I can’t write one fricken thing.” I fumed, smacking my defenseless bottle off its rightful place on my desk. I screamed, throwing my large forehead into the table, folding my hands on top of my head, “What good am I if I can’t get this done?” I muttered against the table. School was in a week and I needed to write a romantic novel and a romantic play and I haven’t been able to write either.

I sighed. I remember once I was so stressed out about something during school my professor once stopped a lesson to ask me if there was something wrong because I kept sighing. She thought I was depressed. I might have been. Who really knows if they’re depressed? Am I depressed? Is that why I can’t write? That’s not the point. This isn’t the point of anything. I still haven’t written anything.

I threw myself out of my chair and lay on my back, staring up at the ceiling of my room. I sighed again. Phillip, my trusty water bottle who’d just taken a good whollop to the side for the good of the team, stared up at me. I picked him up, holding him to the light.

“I’m sorry Phillip. You’ve always been my wingman in this dark cruel world. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.” I whispered to him. I sat up, un-capped him, and took a few gulps, “If I wrote a love story about you. No one would read it. Sorry. It’s the fact that you can’t speak, Phillip. It’s not a racist thing. It’s—let me finish. Don’t—fine go ahead.” I paused, listening quietly to the inanimate object, “You done now? You gonna listen to me? Okay. You don’t have a voice outside of my head. How could I possibly stage that? Or write that?” I threw him on the ground again, “Don’t talk to me that way.”

I got up and walked back to the empty screen.  Phillip hadn’t been much help and he started to cop an attitude with me. What am I even talking about? He’s a bottle of water. Not even fresh water. I got it from the sink. I just like having him around. My doctor said i shouldn’t encourage  these thought, but i just can’t help it. I just find myself feeling alone sometimes.

“You probably can’t write a love story because you’ve never really been in a relationship Kim.” A voice spoke evenly over all the screaming and fires of my mind.

I turned sharply in my chair

“No.” I turned away from my desk, to the couch in front of my television. He sat there, one leg over the other, in a light cobalt suit, cigarette in his mouth, “You’re not supposed to be here.” I tried to speak calmly.

He grinned. His devious eyes were glowing a bright shade of green in one eye and blue in the other, “Just because you want to forget me doesn’t mean I just… die.” He spoke, the cig held precariously at the edge of his mouth.

“You can’t be here.” I turned around nervously to face my computer screen again.

“Aren’t you going to tell them all about me?” He inquired, switching his right leg over his left.

“Tell who? Why? You’re not real.” I muttered to myself putting the headphones to my computer on my head.

“Alrighty then!” He jumped up from the terrible material of my old, over used couch, “I am Harrington Van Pelt!” He announced tapping his black cane on my shoulder. I could hear him in the ears of my headphones like he was broadcasting through them.

“Jesus…” I pleaded, getting up, and walking to the door. His cane was against it before I could get through. I pressed my head against it, as he leaned over and turned the latch, “He told you that it might be hard at first.” I muttered to myself as he took me by the shoulders and sat me down in my own couch.

“Hello ladies and Gentlemen! How are you all doing tonight?! GOOD?! That’s what I thought!” He bellowed to an audience that was only me and also Phillip because Harry put him down next to me. I just have to make it through, “You’ve probably heard tons about me!” he paused, his face draining of giddy jubilance, “Oh well that isn’t nice, Kimmy. I was your best friend once.”

Just hold on a bit more. Just –you knew that this experiment would have resulted in relapses–He’s not real. You know that. You can’t encourage him. Ignore him.

“Let me walk you through it. Kim Masters is a 23 year old recovering from paranoia schizophrenia. She generated me on her senior year of high school. I was her ideal man.” He took such sick pleasure in his own creation, “Exciting, funny, snippy, and very well dressed. Give a hand to Kimmy!” He then clapped his white gloved hands at me. The room erupted into whoops and applause. I pulled my knees up to my face and laid my forehead on them

“Calm down. Calm down. She’s very shy. Kim was a writer at school with a very “hyperactive imagination.” She was unable to make friends properly and never realizing when she’d made one. She became distant about the important thing but very brash and outlandishly loud about the things that didn’t matter.” There was “awwws” in the room, “aint that sad?”

Remember what Wheeler said. I wasn’t allowed to talk to him. If I acknowledged him then he’d become real again. If he became real again he would never leave. I could feel his gloved hand on my chin as he pulled me to look at him. His face was as beautiful as I remembered. He smiled at me.

I hated this. Why did I have to learn to function off of the medicine? Why was Wheeler experimenting with my doses. Why did it all matter if he got to come back and do what he wanted all over again? I knew this was going to happen. Harry was cunning. He’d wait until my defenses were down and when I wasn’t on any medication. Now… He’s here.

He took a step back from me, a grin on his lips

“That’s why she created me! Harrington Van Pelt!” He bowed as the audience cheered. He held up his hands, catering to the audience as always, “She couldn’t find anyone for herself. Not to toot my own horn but she’ll vouch for me being more than enough.” He winked at me and my heart stopped.

I closed my eyes and put my head down again. He’s doing all of this. I just needed to sit through it. He’d be gone as fast as he’d come.

“Harry became a little too real, though. She started to get a bit confused. She went and got herself admitted into a mental hospital. a little drugs and now she’s a real person again. Forgot all about little ol me. I was the one that made her through the first years of her adult life. Now it’s some drug” He’s paused, thinking up what button to push next, “She still wears those gloves all the time. Freakish it is? Not wanting to touch people with your bare hands?” He was fuming at this point. He sat down in the couch next to me, and gripped my shoulder as he shook me up. Just wait, Kim. Just wait. I tightened the gloves on my hands almost instinctively at his jab.

“You think I deserve this? After so many of your successful books came from me?!” He screamed. I kept my eyes away from him, “You can’t write a single thing now!” He screamed, his beauty spilling off his face and burning up into a gas. I could see it out of the corner of my eyes

“Look at me! Please…. What did you do to me? You took my soul. Kim. Please.” His voice was soft and wobbly like someone on the brink of crying. I felt the tears well up in my chest.

I blinked and he was gone.

“Oh god.” I finally spoke. Tears fell down my face. I got up and opened the door of my room and walked to the bathroom. I sat in the tub, crying.

That happened  the week after I’d stopped taken my anti-psychotics. I saw Wheeler the day after and told him all about it. He recommended that I continue on without it. It was my choice he said, but it sounded more like it wasn’t. He believed that at some point I will be able to restrain Harrington to the point that he would no longer bother me as often. He was right for the most part. A few days past without Harry turning up again.

Approximately a week later I was walking to a bagel shop a block from my apartment. I had my head phones in, eating a raisin cinnamon bagel. I was scribbling in my notebook some ideas, anything really for material on those assignments.  They looked pretty good from this point of view, but they needed to past the two page limit. I had to write at least three pages of each to consider it worthy enough to becoming an actual story. If I cannot past 2 then it usually never works out. Great idea or not.

Harrington was right, i found myself thinking. My best stories had been about his hero adventures, but as a part of my therapy I’d promised to not include Harrington as my central character. I couldn’t write about him and now it’s become a bit difficult.

I got a text message from my roommate, Danielle. I checked it and put it down on the table. She’d had a “titfer” as she put it in her text message, with her boyfriend Ste. I could never understand British couples. wasn’t British couples. It was more couples in general. Was there a deep difference between couples in britain and America? Is this something i should know?

I looked up from my table to signal a waiter to fill my cup with some more tea. Dani had given me the nasty habit of drinking tea all the time. I can’t stand coffee now. Tea is more relaxing I guess, and coffee makes me bounce off the walls. Maybe it wasn’t Dani that got me hooked. Maybe it was me trying to to have a sugar high every time i smelled coffee beans.

That was when a man sat down across from me in my booth. He had large glasses on, a scarf, and a big hat. He was like those women who get beat by their husbands. I frowned, but smirked at the same time. He had better not try to hit on me. I laughed at myself for the thought.  Not that it ever happened to me. Not when Danielle was around at least.

I didn’t pull out my headphones. He pulled off his glasses, the scarf, then hat.



He shouldn’t be able to change clothes. He couldn’t. He– He’s not–Real.

He looked right into my eyes and then began to speak. I didn’t hear a word, but I got up as quickly as I could, watching him as I walked backwards trying to get to the door. My sudden movement made an earphone fall out of my ear.

“Hey. I’m beggin you. I don’t beg a soul.” His voice was different. Deeper. It sounded Foreign. This couldn’t… They said that he couldn’t evolve if I didn’t talk to him. If I didn’t excite him or… “It’s a favor. Just let me get your number. I need someone in the country.” He went on, putting the scarf and hat back on, “I can tell you know who I am by your reaction. Not exactly the reaction I was expecting…. I was more expecting you to beg me to give you an autograph but this is good too…I suppose.”

“No. You’re not real. You’re…you can’t” I started to to feel my face get hot. I could feel it. I hated tearing up in public. I couldn’t let myself do that here

“Hey. Calm down. Of course I’m real. Are you okay?” He asked, getting up from his seat. I shuffled back some more. He couldn’t really be here like this could he? I looked around and the entire store was staring at me. They only stared at  me. There wasn’t anyone there. I was alone.

I turned and ran out of the store. I rushed down the block to my home. It wasn’t until I was at the steps did I realize that I left my cell phone and my notebook. I couldn’t go back now. I walked up the stairs.

Danielle was home again. She’d been with her boyfriend for a week or so. I am guessing by her text that they were at each other’s throats again. I couldn’t really think about that at the moment. I was too confused.

“You home?” She peeked her brow haired and tanned skin out from the living room, “You are not gonna believe what this fucker said to me—Kim?” She walked up to me, realizing my disorientation, and grabbed my shoulder. She’d been with me for the last two years. She knew I was recovering. She was a part of my therapy really. She was the friend I had to make to let go of the imaginary one, “Did you see him again?” I just put my forehead on the crook of her neck and just sobbed a little.

She was real. She was real.