My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong

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Book: Read My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong for Free Online
Authors: Tristan Bancks
wanted to throw him in the deep end.’
    You read my thoughts? I wonder.
    â€˜Of course,’ it says in response. ‘I think what you think. I feel what you feel. We are one and the same.’
    Not anymore , I think to myself.
    â€˜I heard that,’ he says.
    I try not to think anything.
    â€˜Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I’m watching your back, okay? Hug?’ It stands on tippy-toes and holds out its little Fig arms, but I so don’t want to hug it.
    I run my fingers over the smooth skin of my back again and it feels so good. I know what I have to do.
    I unlatch the door behind me.

    â€˜Where are you going?’ The Fig asks, its sad little mouth turning down at the edges.
    I hear footsteps and kids’ voices coming, so I lock the door again.
    â€˜Please, don’t leave me!’ it cries. ‘You weren’t going to abandon me, were you?I was only trying to help. I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ll die. I need food.’
    â€˜Quiet,’ I whisper. ‘What do you eat, anyway?’
    â€˜Whatever you eat,’ it says. ‘And on that note, if you could steer clear of bread, that would be marvellous. I’m thinking of going gluten-free.’
    â€˜Who are you talking to in there?’ a voice asks from the other side of the toilet door. It’s Jack. There are lots of other voices in the change room now, too.
    â€˜No-one,’ I say. ‘Leave us alone.’
    â€˜Who’s “us”?’ Jack asks.
    I look at The Fig, my lifelong shame. I could unlock that door and walk away now, but I need to make sure it never finds me. I won’t sleep at night knowing that The Fig is out there. And if it can read my thoughts, it’ll know where I am.
    â€˜Are you okay?’ Jack asks. ‘That was prettybrutal out there, but no-one’s talking about it anymore. It’s the last race. Just come out. Wear a T-shirt.’
    â€˜Give me a minute,’ I say, reaching around to grab the toilet brush. I poke The Fig with it and it dances out of the way. I stab again and it hops to the side, hiding behind the half-flush button. You might think a Fig would be frail or sluggish, but this thing is agile and quick, in peak physical condition. I swing the toilet brush sideways, determined to whack him, but he leaps over it easily, doing a forward somersault and landing on his feet again.
    â€˜Help!’ The Fig shouts.
    â€˜Help who? What are you doing in there?’ Jack asks.
    I look The Fig right in the eye. He is standing on top of the flush button. There is no way that thing is ever touching me again. I will finish him now. I move in with the brush raised like a lightsaber. I bring it downhard and fast, but The Fig dodges out of the way. I take another swipe but he ducks. Then I go chop-chop-chop with three fast little whacks, but he weaves. He pauses in a half-crouch, reading my next move before I even make it.
    I try not to think. My gut takes over. I take one last swipe at The Fig and I make contact. It overbalances and falls into the toilet, just managing to hang on to the edge of the seat with one tiny hand. It’s looking up at me, scared out of its mind.
    â€˜Help. Please!’ it begs.
    I rest one finger on the button.
    â€˜Please,’ The Fig pleads. ‘Don’t flush.’
    All I have to do is poke his tiny Fig-fingers with the brush, press that button and it will be gone. My shame will be no more. As I press down lightly on the button and the water begins to churn he looks into me, and I can’t help feeling a connection. I can feel the panic inside him. It’s like I’m looking into my owneyes, like I’m flushing myself.

    His fingers start to slip from the toilet seat and, without thinking, I reach for his hand … but it’s too late. He goes under the water and I panic.
    His head emerges and he takes an almighty breath. ‘Can’t … swim, Old Chap!’ he

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