The two pills sit there, on my palm.
“What?” I ask them.
It’s been a day. I am awoken before sunrise because that’s when she’ll be on the move. She’ll give a book talk to a group of suicide attempt survivors.
I get ready and leave.
The sun is rising. A group of people stand outside the bookstore, red noses and jackets.
That’s when I see her. She glides up to the door. A hush, then squeals and gasps.
I follow her in, surrounded by the entourage of security guards and press. Thank God, the pills kick in. I can focus on Tibbony. I watch her talk to the assorted reporters. She is masterful. She is eloquent. She is gorgeous.
They say: “teach from your scars, not your wounds.”
The reporters vie for quotes, recorders held high. The pills hold me in a haze that is so well-calibrated, only Tibbony gets through.
She walks out on stage to cries of delight. I hear her tell the story of the attempt. The sleeping on the roof. The wanting to die. She is in the ER, after. Here, her tears come, flowing from a well-rehearsed scar.
I look out at the fans’ faces, most are captive, swaying, crying.
She sits at the signing table, after. I am right there when Sarah introduces herself. She appears to be in her early twenties, wearing all green. Her eyeliner has run down to her chin.
I see how she looks at Tibbony.
“Tibbony, oh-” she seems lost, baffled.
Tibbony smiles and offers a, “Yes, mmhm, hello!”
Sarah gathers her words. “You have saved my life. Your, your… book and what you said, what you’ve been saying, they… you saved my life.” More tears emerge in her eyes.
Tibbony is right there, on cue. Crisp, excellent timing. She takes Sarah’s hand. “You are brave, Sarah. I am honored my words could be there for you.”
Past the pills, the thought comes: “What arrogance. Tibbony is so fucking arrogant. And a narcissist. She’s just here for the book money.”
Sarah is sobbing as she is ushered away.
In the last moment, Tibbony reaches across the table for a hug.
I see that Sarah’s year has been made.
The next thought: “Don’t be fooled, Sarah, she only does this for attention. Fucking self-centered bitch.” The pills are waning.
It’s 9AM and we’re back at the hotel. Tibbony has an hour until the radio interview. I am with her and her guard, in the elevator. Just Kenney, Tibb and I.
“Are you OK Tibb?”
“Yes, yes. It’s always just so inspiring to meet fans.”
Neither of us believe her. Kenney pats her shoulder. She gets off on our floor.
I am with her as she puts the card in the door. I am with her as she strips naked. I am with her as she takes two more pills.
We look in the mirror, at our face. Thank God for the pills, otherwise I would try to kill her again.
“I hate you.” I say to my reflection.