Sciamachy by Nawar Bashir

Sci·am·a·chy noun [sahy-amuh-kee]an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.

I keep my eyes closed because I know if I open them she’ll be there. I don’t want to deal with her. For once I want to enjoy the few minutes of perfect serenity that has washed over me, bathing me with warmth and a rare sense of peace. But she’s approaching. I know because its getting dark and the warmth is leaving my body with a bone-deep chill. The pool of tranquility I was swimming in is rippling with tension. And just like always, the rippling become waves and the waves turn into aggressive rip tides. No matter how much I resist, I end up being pulled down through whirl pools of tumultuous emotions. 

Till inevitably, I fall through and end up on the floor of a dark realm. Her presence so strong I can feel it. I succumb and open my eyes. There she is, as always. Looking down at me, smug with triumph. She looks like me, She has my dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. What she doesn’t have are my flaws.

She lives her prim and proper existence down here, and expects me to live in the same immaculate way, brutally mocks me when I fail to reach HER standards. She won’t accept anything else.

Now she smiles, patronizing me. She looks like she almost pities me.

“You’re pathetic” she starts with a sneer.

The mind games start like they always do. She’s sitting on her throne, crossing her perfect legs, twirling her perfect hair around her well-manicured fingers, flawless skin glowing as she smirks at me.

“Look at you! You’re not thin enough! You’re not pretty enough! You’re not talented enough or smart enough!”

Each word hits me like a punch in the stomach.  Fighting back doesn’t work here, my voice too insignificant to be heard in her glamorous realm.

And it goes on and on… All the while i try to concentrate on tuning out the viciousness of her voice, resisting the hurricane of rage that’s forming within me.

There are times where I’m strong enough to break the invisible binds she has on me. To throw my flaws in her face, making her shrivel as my voice resonates with the power i feel every time i come to terms with one of my flaws. Her vanity can’t handle that. She backs off enough for me to be able to make it back out. I reach the surface, and fill my lungs with air, clear my mind from the turmoil, and feel the sun hitting my face. Happy in my own world of perfect imperfections, for a little bit of time at least. Dreading and waiting till the next time she pulls me in.

But the other times, most times, her voice stays trapped in my head, it branches out through me, like roots sucking water out of the ground, it sucks out my enthusiasm, my optimism, and all my confidence. And I end up passing out from pure mental exhaustion on her realm’s floor, humiliated and depressed.

It is hard to remember that these encounters, the battles that manifest between me and her, are formed within the deepest corner of the dark abyss in my mind. It’s sciamachy between me and an alter ego that my subconscious conjured in its image of perfection.

She is me. I am her. And in my deluded search for perfection… I’ve managed to create a monster.

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