multiple-faces-706985[1]By Paco Garcia Jaen

She has told me I should write a letter to myself. But there is no “myself” anymore. It’s “us” now. It’s been us for a long time and we don’t want to hide it anymore. We understand each other better than anyone else. We know us. The real us, not the me that I’ve put up for the world to like me. So we’ll write to you instead because writing to myself is stupid. We already know about me. About us!

And we know things. We know secrets. And they are real.

And they have warned me about you. Yes. Any you. All of you.

The Plebeian says I’m saying too much already. The Queen agrees.

We shouldn’t be telling you much about what the rest say, but they are happy for this one to tell you about them. The four of them. Even The Shade doesn’t mind this one saying some things as long as I don’t tell what secrets It reveals.

We are five in total and that includes the physical shape that is writing these words. The people in this institution have tried to separate us, but there is no ice filled pool, or electro-shock or sound “therapy” that can do that to us. We are too strong. She thinks that giving this physical shell opium will null its senses enough to tell our secrets, but that won’t work. We are not alone and they are always there, they are always talking and listening. Carefully. So you listen carefully too.

The Plebeian is the youngest. Can’t tell you his age. But he arrived the last, only 3 months ago. We think it was three months ago. Not sure how long we’ve been here. And we mean “here” not the other *here* we won’t tell you about. We won’t tell anyone. We’ve said too much already. The Shade is stirring.

Yes, of Couse we are lucid. You thought that this body is one of those poor wrecks in this place? How wrong could you be? But then, they warned us about that too. The Priest was the first one to talk about it. About how everyone would think this shell has lost its mind, specially after we came back from that trip to Jordan. Oh yes..  the Priest was there then.

The one we didn’t know, the one that came to us and spoke softly and showed us secrets no man can or should know, the one who proved that we are not losing my mind, that is the rest of the world that hasn’t found its own mind yet.

Remember the time you told us about the day you met Clara? How the heat was sweltering and your dress was hot enough to bake cakes inside. How the constant dribble from Professor Digsby was making you dizzy and the wine was so terrible that letting it touch your lips was torture?

Remember how you told me when you met Clara’s gaze the heat stopped. The professors dribble faded and became nothing. The wine simply tasted of nothing. Everything was clear. Nothing mattered and you *knew* you and Clara were made for each other. That you’d be together forever no matter what.

That was meeting The Shade.

Remember how later you gathered the strength to tell me about her? How you gathered the bravery to be true to yourself and confess your feelings. You weren’t scared you’d find out and lose your place at the university. You didn’t cowl at the thought that I’d betray you in a bigoted and mean-spirited outburst of self-righteousness. You knew you had to tell me. You knew it wouldn’t matter even if I had behaved like the rest of them.

This is how knowing the Shade makes us feel.

No matter if you think we are crazy. No matter if you tell everyone. No matter if we love you, but we have It. And we have his secrets and when we get out of here we will find out more and show the world. But until then, until our moment has arrived, I will play along with her and make her believe I care about her sound therapy or about plunging me in ice.

We will not let her drill me. If she does we’ll lose It. We will lose ourselves and we will lose everything. We can’t lose the secrets! We must not!

But she *wants* the secrets. I know she does because she asks about them. And the Whore has said it too and he is always right. Wish him and the Priest stopped arguing. The bickering is too much but they are both there and they are me and I am them. They must coexist.

If only I could trust you again. But the Shade will not let us and we trust the Shadow. It has revealed things to us that she wants to know. Like were to find the next one. We won’t tell you either. We know she’ll read this letter anyway, and we don’t mind if she knows that we know.

Please tell Jonas we are sorry. We should have never got him involved in this. But we didn’t know when we started. And yet, we don’t want to get out either. The things we’ve seen. The smells, the colours, the sounds. That place is incredible and The Shade wants to share it with the rest of this Earth.

Can’t you see? This is what God had in mind from the very beginning. We have always wondered where Heaven was and we always looked up, to the Sky. That is only a small part of Heaven and we can’t possibly know what it looks like. But we do. We have been there and we want to share.

But we won’t share with her. She wants everything for herself and now she knows that we know.

I don’t know what happens now. Probably you won’t hear from us for a while. She’ll try to make us believe again that I am alone. That the rest of us are just illusions, that they are not real. But if they weren’t real I wouldn’t know what I know. And what I know is real, even if she wants me to believe it is not.

I won’t continue.