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What would it be like when your own body is a prison in which your soul is being held? When you no longer can be sure to be the one you think you’ve always been?
Many people keep asking me what it is like not to be able to touch someone, never being able to hug another person. How can I walk through the day without touching someone?.
The answer I always give them is the same every time they ask, that it is quite simple and they just had to try it sometimes.
How easy it is to walk through the streets without someone touching you, that nobody comes near you. And though it is only my gift to take their powers and memories when touching them they seem also to shun the contact to other people in public. In the streets they are nothing more than faceless individuals. They walk by, always in a hurry and look strictly for that they don’t touch another person. If they did, it seems that they are embarrassed somehow. If that was the case with me, that someone would want to shake my bare hand, I’d have them full or a good excuse for avoiding the touch just like having recovered from an illness or still having one. These I always have in mind and it is astounding just how many of the normal people react the same way. It must be a lot more simple than it seems to live though the day without human contact.
The others never ask further, because they don’t really want to know it. Secretly they are glad not to be in my place and to be able to touch their beloved, to be able to kiss them.
Because just as simple as it might sound now it is not. Truthfully it is just the opposite, ‘cause it is harder than anyone can imagine.
Touch is something that makes a deep bond between people. The first sense baby’s develop and that soothes them is the touch of their mothers. The soft warm hands that hold them tenderly in their arms makes them feel safe and secure, protected. That is something, I will never be able to know, the feeling of a child at my breast, to feel it under my heart. It hurts me deeply when I see others enjoying that pleasure, but I’ve learned not to show that even when the pain can clearly be seen in my eyes; I can always see it in the mirror.
The first kiss between lovers is something very special and something you’ll remember for your whole life. I remember my first kiss as well, because it cost my boyfriend’s life, the first man I’ve ever touched that way. I didn’t know what that would do to him, I didn’t know about my powers then. His life and all that he had been is forever burned into my mind but he is gone. I took his life an even if he probably doesn’t blame me for that, I cannot forgive myself. And I did it again when I’ve put the man I love with a single kiss into a deep coma, with a kiss we had believed would be our last and only one. What I’ve seen in his thoughts was something I didn’t want to learn that way. That moment of unification changed our whole relationship, maybe destroyed it in a certain way. I am now able to control it but I’ll always know exactly what he had hidden from me and the others. Never again will I be able to trust him unconditionally like I did before, because I’ll always know what kind of man he truly is. Oh, I know exactly what his feelings for me are, how strong they are, I’ve absorbed them too, and I’ll know that I will be his only true love but these are things I’d rather found out the conventional way. These things should not be told and be known that way. I wished I hadn’t met him like that but I cannot make it undone. His thoughts are like all the others before him stored for ever in my memory. I’ll never see him like before; I can’t see him like I’ve seen him before, no matter how hard I tried to forget the things I’ve taken with our kiss.
I am not able to touch somebody with my bare hands without taking his life, well at least a part of it. I take of everyone who touches my skin his or her memories and sometimes I don’t even know who I really am, who my real me is. It takes constant concentration to keep the many personalities under control and apart of me. I fear everyday to lose my self in the maelstrom of foreign memories and experiences. Do I still exist or has my soul already been overwritten by the other personalities? Are my likings and preferences really mine or those I’ve stolen from another. Can I truly say that my memories are those I’ve collected in my life or come from another life I’ve destroyed through my powers? At some days I am not sure and that frightens me deeply. What if I’ve been lost already? But if I’d start to think about that I too had to ask myself who it is, asking that question, me or just one of the absorbed personalities?
My friends are giving me an anchor in that wild ocean of strange thoughts and feelings, they help me to cope with the prison that my body means for me. My powers hold me prisoner in some kind of way. They condemn me to lead a life in complete isolation for not risking to hurt someone. I cannot risk touching somebody because I would steal his or her life, his or her most personal memories, feelings and experiences that should be kept only for him or her. I don’t want to do that to another person and the others don’t know how carefree they truly can live and how I envy them for that. They can touch each other and kiss, things I won’t be able to do. They don’t know how much it hurts me deep in my soul to see them while knowing well, that this would be denied to me forever, knowing that I won’t ever be that free. In certain way my gift is also my curse, it condemns me to loneliness. Every man needs the touch of others, the touch of skin against skin that allows him to feel safety, love and tenderness . What I am able to feel is just that what comes thought my gloves or clothes, if there comes anything through.
I know that the others accept me like I am but in the end I’ll stay alone, and even if my beloved Remy loves me for what I really am I am afraid that he’ll seek and wish one day the touch of skin and that is something I cannot give him. The others send me feelings that make me feel more attached to them like any touch would ever allow me to, they are my family.
And even if I have touched them all deeper than my hands will ever do on their skin, I will always stay a prisoner of my body and my powers, a prison there is no escape from.