------------------------Centhia, North New Bergen, Hab complex Ceria, 24.04.2555, 07:32--------------------------
The world was gone, a black void with her and the sphere floating in harmony was all that remained. The sphere was nestled in her lap, her arms hugging around it and her face was softly nuzzled into its soft coating. The void was filled with its music, it was omnipresent….and it was perfect.
Everything bad, it simply did not matter, not when the sphere was there to take all the pain and loneliness away. It was love, fulfillment, bliss….it was everything she needed with none of the cost that the universe usually applied to such wonders. There was no reason for this to end, Rosa was content to stay right here with the sphere until time ceased to exist. Why not? What else could be better? She continued to float endlessly in the void, the music reverberating through every atom of her being.
Then the music ceased.
Some terrible force had silenced the music, its rhythm and tones were gone. The terrible force then acted upon her, tearing her away from the sphere itself. Rosa tried to hold on, but the force was as strong as it was terrible, a moment later her grip failed. The second she lost contact with the sphere it disappeared….
she was alone in the void.
The cold, the aching, the pain, all of it returned. First slowly and then with full force, all that the sphere had shielded her from came back at once. Rosa curled up, knees pressed against her face, like the position could somehow protect her from all the pain that came from within. With the relief that the sphere had offered, its absence made the pain even rawer. Like a scar long ignored, now opened into a bleeding wound. The terrible force returned and pressed her down, her mind went numb and calm as the void’s darkness became absolute.
Rosa opened her eyes slowly, yawning and stretching in the bed. She reached for her datapad….strange it wasn’t there, had she put it somewhere else last night? Her mind was still stuck in whatever her dream had been about, but for each second that passed, it became less comprehensible. The bed was quite comfortable and there was no reason to wake up, lounging around was okay.
Once her vision had become unclouded by sleep Rosa noticed that her desk was remarkably tidy, something was off. In fact, the bedsheets were also new….she had planned to change them but just not gotten the time…Either way, this was not her bed, and on closer inspection, not her room. It was far taller and a good deal larger, but it was still very similar. There was something else strange, everything was awfully quiet, perfectly quiet…Rosa reached for her ears and found a pair of headphones upon
them. They were easy to remove, and once done everything was back to normal, not that there was much to hear.
The memories of yesterday were not very pleasant or coherent, but they revealed the answer. This must be Echina’s hab, and this was her new room or prison cell, whatever one wished to call it. A rumble from her stomach proved the need for further exploration, after putting on some clothes left out for her Rosa moved towards the door. It was a good sign that the affini had found clothes from her apartment instead of trying to press on her some ridiculous companion dress.
Maybe Echina actually would keep her promise…what was she thinking? Of course, she would. There was no need to be so suspicious. The same could not be said for the door, it was far larger than the one in her apartment, one of the many telltale signs that this place was made for affini access. It opened without much issue, beyond it was a peculiar and enormous room.
It could easily fit her whole apartment times two inside of itself and still have room to spare, but that was not the most peculiar part. Every single inch of the wall was covered in bookshelves, from wall to wall, bottom to the very top of the roof. And each bookshelf was stacked with books, scrolls, documents in stacks, and strangely enough what seemed to be water containers with jellyfish. Except for the mountain of knowledge, there was a reading corner, and around the corner a standard kitchen….if five dozen cookbooks were part of the standard affini kitchen.
The size of the room and its furniture was not unexpected, but the supplementary furniture was not like she had seen in any other affini-dominated space. Next to most of the furniture, there was a human-sized equivalent, and where there was not, stairs and trap tools were supplied for human accommodation. Even the kitchen had a stepladder that could be moved along a rail without any effort. Echina was really trying….
The guilt spread deeper into her being, why had she been so repulsive towards her? To make sure Echina never saw how pathetic she really was, that was the simple truth. Her stomach rumbled again, its gnawing pain a nice distraction from the emotional one. Rosa walked up to the compiler and moved the stepladder to reach. Like most public compliers there would probably be some overly cutesy hab-ai voice “one glass of water, one portion of scrambled egg and bacon.” Here it comes…
“affirmative” the most monotone voice that Rosa had ever heard responded as her request was compiled. Her hab Ai was turned off, something that had required a long and arduous talk with an affini technical expert, not about how to turn it off, but why. Turing to this seemingly unemotional version might have been easier than convincing the affini that she never needed one in the first place.
With food secured, Rosa climbed up the stairs to the human-sized chair and began to eat. The headphones were off, but it was still remarkably quiet. Affini AC did not make sound unless one wanted them to, but she had gotten used to that….no there was something else missing. Rosa tried to put a finger on it while eating but everything seemed normal.
Suddenly one of the doors out of the room opened and a mass of vines, flowers, and needles shambled out. The light-red flowers and the vine’s shade of green indicated that it was Echina, though at the moment it was an abomination of horrific proportions….even then, it was quite pretty.
The vines recoiled together, and the whole form seemed to pull into itself before finally forming Echina’s normal humanoid visage. The affini looked profusely embarrassed “hi…..did not expect you up so early…..” There was something different about her voice, it resonated in a way Rosa had never noticed before…it was….beautiful. Echina suddenly looked concerned, like she had just remembered something “how are you feeling? Are you nauseous, dizzy, headache?” The affini moved closer and inspected her closely.
A bit too closely, Rosa pushed the affini gently away “I feel fi-….good, I’m good.” The affini backed off and took a seat on the other side of the table but did not look entirely convinced. Rosa looked around the room “thanks for redecorating and all of that, but you don’t need to put that much effort into accommodating me.” Her room looking like her old one, all the furniture being accessible, and even the hab-AI was modified for her benefit.
Echina frowned “no, I am taking care of you. Accommodating your needs is part of that responsibility. If there is anything more that I need to know, I expect you to inform me so I can act accordingly.” The message was rather stern in its delivery, something Echina must have realized because a smile quickly appeared on her face “now then, I am glad to see you have made yourself some breakfast. Well done~”……….seriously?
Did she just?... “Are you complimenting me for compiling breakfast? I am not that helpless.” It was frankly a bit demeaning even if it was meant as praise…so very much a standard affini compliment.
Once again her words garnered a frown from the affini, and an even sterner voice “Rosa. You have been through a very difficult time. Even doing simple tasks can be difficult and that is understandable. Making breakfast is not an extortionary achievement but persevering when times are tough is praiseworthy. Accept the compliment.” Her words left little left ground to argue against….and she had lost a few, perhaps even a good number of meals the last month.
But still “no, I won’t accept empty compliments you give just to make me feel better. Don’t talk down to me.” Ward of not, she still had dignity, a dignity tired of being dragged through the mud.
The bark-made eyebrows furrowed further and Echina's voice became more forceful “I am not talking down to you and the compliment is not empty, such thought patterns are not healthy for….” Rosa noticed that whatever had changed with Echina’s voice was even stronger now, it sounded so beautiful, even if the affini was chewing her out at the moment. The words reverberated in her mind, they did not make sense, but they felt so comfortable to listen to.
Whatever the affini was saying, it was probably important “………………………………..” but Rosa could not bring herself to care….the voice was just so nice…..her thoughts began to slow down, almost like she was about to fall asleep after a long day….the voice was so…. “…….?” Maybe she could listen to it a bit longer “……?!” Sure, it might be disrespectful….but the voice was so…so….s- “ROSA!” What!?
Rosa snapped to awareness and her subconscious immediately reported dissatisfaction with the abrupt removal of peace. Echina was staring down at her with a great deal of concern, but the frustration still lingered on her face….Had she spaced out just by listening to the affini talk? A blush began to spread in her cheeks “I…I don’t know what came over me…maybe I am still sleepy? Sorry, what did you say?”
Echina looked at her for a long moment, weighing her options “alright…I will explain again. You are my ward, I have the privilege and responsibility to make sure that you are well taken care of, and as my ward, you also have to do as I say. Your current way of treating positive reinforcement is unacceptable. I want you to say three positive things about yourself.” What a bunch of nonsense, who did Echina think she was?
The affini looked at her, awaiting a response….Rosa crossed her arms “really?” Echina nodded “now?” another nod. This was getting nowhere, and complying would not cost her too much “Fine! I’m good at reading, pretty smart and I have a low tolerance for bullshit. Satisfied?”
Echina's mouth twitched in mild amusement “very much, good job. We will repeat this exercise whenever you say something self-deprecatory or reject a compliment, understood?” She had always viewed Echina as different from other affini after their first meeting, less condescending and authoritative….and part of that had to be true, the promise not to domesticate her proved as much.
Rosa jumped down from the chair and threw her hands up “thank the stars! Any more pointless ‘exercises’ you would like to force upon me?” She gave the plant a sideways glance.
A vine moved forward it was coiled around a small container “yes, in fact, there is. According to your blood levels, you have forgotten several doses of your class-G regiment over the last few weeks.” Another tiny vine opened the container and curled around a single pill, Rosa reluctantly and with some shame opened her palm to receive it. The pill had a sweet cherry flavor compared to her normal tasteless ones.
Echina stood up and suddenly looked a smite bashful “one more thing” there was some clear hesitation “I would like to…pet you.” ………..had she heard that correctly?
The audacity of the statement slowed her reaction only by a few seconds “here you do all this stuff to make me feel accommodated and then you still want to treat me like some floret? Why?” What on Terra had possessed her to ask such a thing?
The affini chose her words carefully “humans, well…all sophonts generally, need physical affection to maintain good mental health...from the psych evaluation it was revealed that you have been starved for such affection for an unhealthy amount of time.” Part of her wanted to be offended but it was not like the analysis was inaccurate.
She gave her warden a long suspicious stare “so you want to pet me…for my own mental health?” The fact that the compact had seemingly conquered galaxies, including the accord, simply for petting other sophonts made the proposal suspect.
There was another short moment of hesitation “yes, we can try to accommodate your need in another way, but due to your social anxiety and gene-” She was not letting Echina spend more unnecessary time on her stubborn self.
“Fine! Okay, let’s just get this over with” Even if Echina got something out of it, who cared? Echina smiled enthusiastically and moved over to the couch. She sat down and patted the spot next to her with a vine. Rosa gave her a minor glare before walking up the stairs and sitting down, a sizeable distance away “I am not going to be nuzzling into your side like some class-A doped up floret, you have five minutes.” After crossing her arms, Rosa leaned back and closed her eyes, a determined frown on her face.
The presence of a massive hand could be felt just above her head “All right, but don’t hesitate to tell me to stop.” Rosa doubted she would get anything out of this, head pats were probably severely overrated. The hand descended and landed on her head, long warm fingers moving gently through her hair. It felt…nice, no doubt about that. But it was not like….like….what the…fuck? The fingers had begun to gently scratch her scalp, sending tingles of warmth and comfort down her spine.
Rosa felt her shoulders automatically relax, and as the tingles continued every muscle in her body followed suit. How….mhhhmh…how was this….so nice? It made no sense, or maybe….or maybe it did. Her thoughts were monetarily interrupted by a combined set of scratches along the back of her head, fuck….Echina was good at this. It had to be the result of the affini’s main pastime being such activities, they probably….probably….even had classes, or maybe even full mandatory education dedicated to this.
The hand easily enveloped the entire top of her head, it moved, and Rosa moved with it. It was more than just the nice sensation…there was something….something else. A warmth and vibration her mind could not help but want more of. It was becoming easier and easier to lean into the hand and wasn’t that part…of what the affini wanted…something about this impr…hmhmh…improving her mental health somehow….
Not that Echina was right….this was just nice, it was not like she needed this…..but maybe it wasn’t so bad. Rosa shuffled a bit closer, just to make it easier for the hand and the vibrations got stronger…a good amount of her focus was to not fall over to the side….and she couldn’t do that, because…because? Because it would look pathetic, she wasn’t desperate for this….she was just giving the affini what she wanted so she would be left alone….alone…..
The hand suddenly began to move away, Echina sounded very far away “oh, looks like I got a bit carried aw-” Rosa pulled the hand back onto her head, not that her arm had the strength to enforce its demand. There was a hint of surprise in the distant voice “Rosa? It has been over ten min-“
Could she not be silent for a few more minutes? “Shut up…..” Rosa could hear that her voice was slurred and slow but the rhythm that had only grown stronger and stronger drowned out any concern. She leaned closer and met resistance, something warm, smooth, and alive. There was a nice sweet and earthy smell….. and the source of the rhythm, music…..comfort was so close…and the head pats were….admittedly pretty nice. Maybe the floret obsession with them was not without some merit….not that she would ever sell her political rights and become a burden upon someone else just to receive them.
A vine moved around her wrist and pressed, not enough to hurt or even be uncomfortable, but enough for her to notice in her dazed state. After a second or two it moved away, and then the hand was removed from her head “I think that is enough for now.” But…..Rosa made an unsatisfied noise and nuzzled closer to the rhythm before finally opening her eyes.
Green vines and red flowers were closely pressed against her chin, it took a few seconds for her mind to even understand what the sight was telling her. Rosa scrabbled clumsily back, away from the affini who she had somehow gotten intimately close to “wha….how?” The affini had not moved her….had she gotten that close by herself? Why?
Echina stood up, a thoughtful frown on her face “it is worse than I thought, give me a second.” The affini moved towards Rosa’s room, giving her time to recuperate alone.
Her mind was getting back to normal, not that it was entirely pleasant to do so. Like there was an itch in the back of her mind that she could not reach. What was going on? First the strange dream, then Echina’s voice, and now this? Something was happening to her and….oh no….
It had to be her warden’s biorhythm, it was affecting her beyond a shadow of a doubt….How had she not realized sooner? All the research she had done into it said that once you had an implant you were basically addicted. But she did not have an implant, it should not make her act like this….But this was how wardships were supposed to work, right? The human would eventually become reliant on the affini for everything. The biorhythm was there to smooth the process along, and wear down any resistance.
Before her mind could begin to spiral Echina returned, the headphones that had been on her head when she woke were held in a vine “here put this on” The itch in the back of her mind was momentarily satisfied just listening to the affini. As soon as the headphones were on everything went silent, and the itch increased in irritation “can you hear me?” Echina’s lips moved but it was not her voice that she heard, it was tuned and mechanical….and entirely unsatisfactory.
Rosa nodded “yes….what are you doing to me?” Hadn’t Echina promised? Her mind was craving the sensation, the comfort, the…closeness already. As the affini moved forward, Rosa moved back on the couch, fear welling up in her mind. Part of her wanted to run, get away from whatever was happening to her. Another part wanted to curl up in a ball and weather the storm, whatever the consequences….and the last part wanted to take off the headphones and let Echina do whatever she wanted.
Echina sat down on the couch, far away…but still a threat. The affini’s form imitated sighing deeply “yesterday, when we took the rail you had a panic attack…as I did not have any other means I shielded you within me. And in the process accidentally exposed you to my core…that you then hugged and stayed close to for over an hour before I could pry you off. You had already started to synchronize your biorhythm to mine before that point…suffice to say your mind and body has acclimated to my presence.” Distant fragments of the dream returned to her…the sphere was…Echina’s core?
It did not sound like this had been on purpose…embarrassingly enough it sounded like she had caused the issue “I hugged your core?....sorry, I…” It was hard to know what part was worse, the fact she had done it without asking or that the affini had to pry her off afterward “I have no idea why…I am so sorry.” A red blush was spreading on her face.
There was no worry in Echina’s voice “nothing to apologize for…I will admit you were exceptionally adorable.” The embarrassment grew, when she had hugged the core and just now….she had been acting like a total, what did they call it…oh right, like a total seed! “Without the headphones, my voice and presence might be a bit…distracting at the moment. But in time you will desync from my biorhythm, and there shouldn’t be any negative side effects.” But….
This was too much “excuse me for a moment” Rosa grabbed the nearest pillow, pulled it to her face, and screamed. The embarrassment did not fully go away, but some of it had been released “sorry about that…are you certain that there are no side effects?” The affini stared at her utterly perplexed.
Then she looked thoughtful “you wouldn’t happen to be feeling a sort of…craving for it to return? With increased feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, and emotional pain?” How did she? Was that a common side effect? A relieved smile crossed the affini’s face “From your expression, I am going to take that as a yes. In that case, you have nothing to worry about, it is simply your mind craving hereunto unfulfilled emotional needs. While our biorhythms have the helpful quality of making other sophonts more…agreeable,” she was about to say obedient, wasn’t she “their main purpose is to make you feel safe, loved, and cared for. This might also explain why you synchronized so quickly to my biorhythm in the first place.” Wow, there was something special about an affini casually explaining your personal failings in such a casual tone.
Frustration began to burn within her “so all of this is because I am a lonely failure tha-“
Echina cut her off with a frustrated noise “no! that is not what I am saying. The fact that you have not had your emotional needs met is not your fault…” The affini put up three fingers “now, three self-compliments.” Fuck no, she was not doing that.
Rosa crossed her arms “No, I don’t care what you say. I should be able to fulfill my emotional needs on my own, no matter how useless you might think I am.” There was a flash of red in the affini’s eyes.
As she stood up an aura of domineering and threatening energy radiated from Echina “You are not useless, you are not a failure…If you don’t want to do this the easy way, we can do this the hard way instead.” Why could she not keep her mouth shut for one damn second? Echina moved closer, some of her flower’s blooming, displaying the needles in their center “I could take off those headphones, and you would listen to my every word without a moment of doubt. I bet you would like for me to do so as well.” That….wasn’t true, or at least it shouldn’t be. Her warden had a predatory grin, needle-sharp teeth revealed “it is tempting….but we will not be doing that.” Echina turned around and took up a data pad, the energy and tension in the room deflated in an instant.
Rosa could hear her heart beat in her chest…out of excitement or fear she did not know. Echina turned around, her expression stern but normal, there was no trace of the hungry predator from only a moment ago “allowing you to be affected by my biorhythm will slow the desynchronization, so you will listen to someone else instead. Let's see here….” She began to swipe away at the data pad “here, this should work wonderfully.” What the hell was she talking about?
The frustration that had been mercilessly crushed a few seconds ago returned “could you at least explain what the fuck you are going to do to me?” The affini was entirely unconcerned.
She only smiled, and made a final tap on the data pad “all you need to do is to lie there and listen while I go get some new grafts for your class-S and G.” So Echina was going to do even more for her…and apparently did not think she could handle her class-Gs on her own.
Rosa had always imagined that being a ward would be a humiliating affair, but this was far worse. Suddenly there was a sort of humming noise breaking through the silence, it was slow and rhythmic. It had to be the headphones, without thinking about it her hands went to them and she tried to pull them off….they were stuck “what the hell! Get these off!” There was something strange about the humming music.
Echina shook her head “no, they are staying on and I can promise you will not succeed in trying to take them off.” like the matter was settled, the affini moved to the door.
Was she just going to leave? “Authoritarian…”
Echina turned around and gave her a final concerned look “maybe…but you need this. Goodbye, see you soon.” And then…she was gone.
Not wasting a second, several attempts were made to remove the headphones and their insidious music, to no avail. They were like glued to her head and for some reason, she was beginning to feel tired…it had been an emotional and stressful morning “~hello little flower~” The harmonic and overly affectionate voice of an affini suddenly joined the music. What the “~this automated hypnotic will help drive those bad thoughts away, making you understand that you are loved and valued~” That certainly explained things “Please find a nice place to relax while listening. Maybe your bed, the couch, or your owner’s arms~” Did Echina really think this was going to work?!
This was not happening, Rosa jumped down from the couch and made another attempt to get the headphones off, they didn’t even budge….Well, no matter. She could ignore whatever bullshit the affini with the far too pretty voice was going to tell her “~It can be hard to relax at first and that is okay. You deserve to rest. To let your tired legs, arms and back find something soft to lean on.” Nope, she was not listening….the couch had begun to look awfully tempting. Best to find somewhere else, her room contained the bed, and this room was filled with comfortable-looking chairs.
There was only one door left that did not lead to the outside, the door Echina had come out of earlier this morning. Was it an invasion of privacy? Sure, but this whole situation was an invasion of hers.
Rosa forced herself away from the couch and opened the door on the other side of the room, it was surprisingly boring. There was a desk with a bunch of paperwork, data pads, and…more books, how many did Echina own? There was also a large round platform hanging from the ceiling, was that where Echina slept? Some paintings and framed pictures were hung on the wall, along with some potted plants. There was nothing she could relax on, perfect “~allow your muscles to loosen and drain off all tension, becoming more relaxed the more you focus on it~” oh shut up….
Her limbs were beginning to feel heavy…so…fucking heavy and tired, star damned affini manipulation…The floor did not look too hard…what was she thinking? There was no way she was sleeping on the floor. Rosa walked aimlessly around the room some more, trying to ignore the ever-present music humming in her ears and her legs screaming for her to lie down. As she was trying to see what was on top of the platform hanging above her, something caught her vision.
On the other side of the desk, hidden from view when she came in…no, please no. The pet bed had the shape of a large and gray fluffy donut. Fluffy was perhaps an understatement, it looked like one could drown in it…no, no, no. There was no chance she would….even if she was tired there was just no way- “it's okay to want to resist…but would it not” please… “be so much nicer to give in?~” Why did that sound so tempting?
Rosa took a step towards the bed, lying down would not necessarily mean that she did what the affini wanted her to do “~so tired, so sleepy, so tempting to just let all the tension go~” The thought to go back to the couch crossed her mind, but the pet bed was right there…and it looked so soft. It felt like she had iron weights tied to her feet, each step more difficult than the last “~almost there~” She hesitated…wasn’t she supposed to be stronger than this?...fuck it.
Falling into the pet bed was like landing on a cloud. The fluff absorbed the impact, she could probably have landed from several meters up and still felt nothing…not that she felt nothing. The bed was softer than anything had a good reason to be, not as soft as…nope, not thinking about that. Still, soft as fuck was the only reasonable way to describe it. The slight slope in the middle made her slip in fully, her entire body fully engulfed by the fluff.
It could take her frustratingly long to find a good position in bed, but here it shaped to her body perfectly. The aching of her limbs and back contrasted with the supernatural levels of comfort, it did not last long. in just a few moments the aching began to dissipate “~good girl~” wha…a blush spread on her face “~such a good girl, resting like you deserve~” why…why did these affini always assume she deserved everything?
The music changed slightly, the beats becoming clearer and more powerful “~as you relax, try to stay awake and listen to my voice~” …it would be so easy to fall asleep... and wasn’t she supposed to be ignoring the affini? But ignoring the affini did not mean doing the opposite of what they were saying, maybe she wanted to stay awake because…the bed was so darn comfortable…yes, that made sense.
The affini continued to talk in that far too beautiful voice “~I want you to focus on your mind, envision it like a sky filled with clouds~” There was something about the voice that made it very hard to ignore, maybe she should have brought a distraction….getting up would require far too much effort “~most of the clouds are beautiful with fluffy ones…but there are also gray stormy ones. The ones that tell you that you are not enough, don’t deserve the positive things that come your way, that you’re not doing enough~” Wow, thanks for the reminder plant lady “all those dark thoughts? just stilly internalized lies~” There was almost a playful tone to her voice.
Was this plant seriously going to psychoanalyze her? “~ it's not your fault, it is in your nature to rationalize why the world is not how it should be. Why your life is more difficult than you want it to be.” And those rationalizations were right…. “~natural…and very silly~ You don’t control all of the universe, do you? Are you in charge of how everyone else behaves and the random whims of the solar winds? Of course, not~ no one does.”….but she could influence it to be better…right? “~You don’t control the word sweetie, and you don’t need to~” but…but she could “~it will be hard to accept, to give up that fictional control you believe you are responsible for. But I know you can do it…why you ask? ~Because good girls don’t believe in silly lies, and you….are a very good girl~” Rosa felt something misty in her eyes.
The affini was not supposed to be making sense… “do you see those dark nasty clouds? How they block out the fluffy white ones…how easy they are to focus on…So heavy and burdensome with pain. Soon you will be able to drive them away, all by yourself…but right now, I will help you.” That sounded nice…
Rosa nuzzled closer into the pet bed allowing her mind to drift along with the music and the voice “you see that first stormy cloud? Maybe it’s telling you that you don’t deserve me helping you? What a silly little cloud~ I care about you, like so many others in your life and we all know that you deserve help when you need it. Could you repeat for me? ‘I deserve help’, just like that~”
Her lips parted before Rosa even realized what she was doing “I…Deserve help…” A few tears ran down her cheeks and onto the fluff.
The voice of the affini turned warmer than Rosa had ever thought possible “good girl! You can see it, can’t you…the dark cloud fading away into nothing. Such a good girl~” why...no…she wasn’t…aghhhhhh, Rosa fumbled around in gay fluster until the affini spoke again “but there are still some dark clouds here, and it would be so much prettier with fluffy white ones instead, don’t you think?~ You see the second one? Maybe it represents a mistake you made, perhaps even several. Projects that didn’t go as planned, people you feel like you disappointed, someone you upset….It’s okay, they don’t define you, they don’t make you a worse person. Success does not increase your worth and neither do mistakes lower it. Can you repeat for me again? “Mistakes don’t define my worth’” didn’t they? ....Rosa hesitated “I want you to repeat after me ‘mistakes don’t define my worth’” The voice had suddenly turned more forceful, an indescribable power within them.
Rosa’s mind held for a moment before it buckled “…mistakes don’t…define me…” another of the dark clouds drifted away.
The affini sounded so proud “~good girl~ there are almost no clouds left, you have been such a good girl~” The emotional relief mixed with the fluster in a strange concoction of emotions “~only one left and your mind will be peaceful and fluffy~ This last one is all about others. That somehow you don’t deserve when they care for you, that you don’t deserve their love, another silly little lie. You don’t make yourself deserving of love or care, it is something everyone should have. Be a good girl for me and repeat ‘I deserve to be loved’.” She wanted to be a good girl….
Maybe it was okay to listen to the affini “I deserve...to be loved.” Her mind eagerly awaited the response.
And it came immediately “~gooood girl~ I am so proud of you! isn’t it nice to have your mind so calm and empty of all those nasty thoughts? Such a good girl, making all those dark clouds go away. You don’t have to do anything else, in fact, it might be nice to let your mind empty and listen to my words.” Empty mind…listen to the voice…
Her mind was moving so slowly, not even recognizing her mouth hanging slightly open “~you are such a pretty girl, you know that?” pretty?.... “~Well of course you are, such a cute and pretty girl~” pretty… “and nice, you are such a nice girl as well~” she tried…“Only a very nice girl would listen to all I have said so obediently~” nice girl… “your also a very smart girl, seeing through all those lies and following along to my voice so well.” Smart girl… “~there are so many nice things I could say about you that it would take forever…but there is one collective term for it, and you know what it is….you can prove it by saying it yourself~” a collective term?….
Oh…”I’m a good girl.” Rosa said happily, a smile on her face.