Its weird. When I'm there its so real. Its so plain and clear to me that she is my daughter but I can't justify that sensation when I'm here where things are actually real. I never had to question what it was like to start being stalked by the slender man for a regular runner before because when I got inducted Fracture was there. He introduced us and explained every little thing I could ever want to know about the eldritch abomination before me to the best of his ability and after listening to him talk about it so much in that one hour much less for the dozen or so years I've know him since Father has never been alien to me. Hes always been a thing I've known and understood for as long as I've known its existed and I really took for granted what a gift that was for Fracture to give me because I don't understand whats happening to me now and I feel like I'm maybe going crazy.
I've never heard of a fear or any phenomenon that haunts or hunts like this. Sure the lost child plays on your need to protect and makes you love it and steals your life and that's sort of similar some aspects but this thing, my unborn daughter if my thoughts in those moments are to be trusted, doesn't want your love. It wants your guilt.
Its not always so unbearable to be around it. When I'm around her it feels right. Like I should be there. Like she should be there. But that doesn't last. She always ruins it. Or... reminds me that I ruined this. That this could have been, but because of me it never was. And that feeling of loss for something I most assuredly have never had becomes so unbearable. I didn't even mourn her the first time I lost her, when I apparently make sure she would never be, but god do I mourn her in those moments each and every time she reminds me of what I've done now.
Shes like a ghost haunting me for the sins I've committed. A loved one lost at my hands who won't let me let them go. But that's the really fucked up part. Never did.
From the way we interact, the words we use and the feelings I get when I see her, its as if shes supposed to be a daughter I've aborted making my dreams into some weird pro-life fueled nightmare I can't escape. But that's odd twice because for one thing I'm pro-choice and couldn't give to shits about an aborted life. As far as I'm concerned a child isn't even a person until its five. For another thing, the only thing I've fucked in my 20 something years of living is my hand and I would have noticed if I managed to have knocked that up.
So whatever this thing is, I have to conclude that /She/ is not real. She is just a thing /It/ is making me see. But that leaves me know loser to know what It is but I refuse to call It by Her name! So uh... gonna call it the unborn. Because that's all I know about from what It has been pretending to be. That It is not alive and It blames me for that.
But I've rambled long enough about something I can honestly say I don't actually know anything about. So I'm gonna leave you here with my account of our last exchange because that part is the objectively true part. Whatever It actually is and whatever It actually wants, all I can say for absolutely certain is this was our last conversation. Existence is the purest truth.
I was walking down the hall when it happened this time. I wasn't even truly asleep. Nor do I feel I was day dreaming. I never stopped walking but I looked over and she was there in her plain little white dress walking along side me as if she had been there the whole time. And I felt as if she had. As if she was supposed to be there. I didn't skip a beat or flinch or hesitate. I smiled at her and she smiled back up at me. Her smile man, it filled me with hope. Hope I can honestly say I don't normally have in the waking world. I spend a lot of time worrying about he might cross me and how to be ready for that eventuality and how to deal with it when it comes but I see that genuine joy on her face my sudden but inevitable betrayal is the furthest thing from my mind.
And we walked like that for a ways enjoying each others company before she finally broke our mutual silence with a sudden question.
"Daddy, who do you think god believes in?" she asked thoughtfully. I looked down at her and saw she was deep in thought contemplating her own question. Whenever she thinks about something its like shes gone. She stares off into nothing and its like the whole world around her has faded away from her and shes staring off into the cosmos looking for knowledge that should be well beyond the grasp of a child her age. When she stares at nothing like that I can't help but stare into her eyes. They're just so intense I can't help but wonder what they might be thinking.
Where does a child that young even dig up such a question to ask? How am I even supposed to address that? So many possibilities for something I don't know. For something I can't know because nobody knows. No one even knows for sure if hes even real. I'm told thats the point but thats never sat well with me. I remember dreading that her mother even took her to church. It felt so cruel in my mind to tell a child what it believes in. Shouldn't that be up to the child? But now here I was trying to dictate something to her about something I knew nothing about because someone else dictated something else they knew nothing about to her.
But then I thought about the core structure of all catholic belief. That there is a Father and he begot man, his children, in his image. If there's one thing I as a Father had faith in, it was her. All parents do. They have to don't they? That despite what little she was and what little she was capable of now, that one day with my guidance she would become a fully capable individual able to function and act on her own and shape the world and it's future to her will. And so I told her that in not so many words. "I like to believe he believes in us, sweety," I told with a confident reassuring grin.
I watched as my words snapped her out of her deep thought so she could look up at me and take in my answer with her full attention. Sometimes it scares me to think how I might be affecting her. How I might be ruining her. Shes takes in everything I tell her with such certainty as if it were all a fact when here I was just kind of guessing. Guessing half jokingly at that. Worries me.
After I said that she nodded and I watched her stare through me, no long looking at me anymore but viewing the cosmos behind me as she shifted back into her deep thoughts. I did not have to wait long for her to come back to me this time but I felt my fears realized when she did and started staring at me properly again because she looked upset this time. Perturbed I think is the word. I could see something was wrong. I was worried I was gonna need to take this to her mother to try to smooth ever whatever way my words had upset her.
With a confused upset tone she spoke once more to ask me yet another question. "I guess... if he has so much faith in us, then why does he keep testing me like this!" she yelled out me in a suddenly furious tone. I knew suddenly what she was talking about. She was talking about me. About what I had done to her. She glared up at me with a cold, furious, dead stare and I had to look away. I couldn't face her.
I took a deep breath and steeled my nerves. I clenched my hand and grit my teeth as I made myself turn to meet her eyes once again. But she wasn't there anymore. She never had been. And it was my fault she never would be.