She had untangled herself from his web of confusion only to find herself bound to another. Another, other than he, had found her. He had seen Amy's image and falsely believed that he perhaps desired her; that he could enrapture her heart and soul, and control her. What he had really wanted was to live through her, not merely to possess her, but, to become Amy.
"I thought you were like me," Amy screamed through her aching body. "You understood me and cared for me, but my mind was too strong for you. You presented me with an ethereal mirage that I perceived to be real. You are real, yet you hide yourself. You long to be with others of your kind."
"I am sorry Amy. You are beautiful but I cannot be with you. I cannot hold you any longer because you deserve to be free; it would hurt me to hold you in my grasp when I cannot give you myself. You are a girl Amy and I do not belong."
"You have already hurt me. My wounds have opened. My tears burn into them. I began to love you. How can you give me so much and then take it away. I needed you."
He said no more because there was nothing more to be said. He had spoken all he could without revealing his true identity, yet he had told her nothing.
Amy felt overwhelmed. Like a sponge she absorbed all around her. So much had happened. She had tried to support all the others from a greater trauma, but it had reversed now. They propped her up from her fall, but she buckled and staggered from the weight that bore upon her.
She returned to college. Amy felt waves of anticipation as she waited for his approach. He came to her and interlocked his glance with hers. A change had occurred from within but Amy still feared the descent of that which had captured her, holding her prisoner within him.
"It is I, Amy,” he spoke softly to her, cushioning her from any hidden abrasions she may have otherwise detected.
She told him her news. Amy had been fortunate. She had been accepted - she had a future, a potentially prosperous career.
"I am happy for you Amy. I care for you. I need to touch you once more."
He longed to hold Amy, and Amy felt herself reaching out to him but he held back and he took her hand in his.
"No," Amy spoke in kind, "I cannot love you. I will not. I want to but I would no longer be free."
Amy felt a front of deception emanating from him and she could not submit herself to it. She had searched for the truth and found it, within the mind of her friend who knew him well. She was right; he had felt remorse for what he had done to her. Yet he epitomised all that which was abhorrent to Amy. He felt for her no more than a sexual yearning, a lust to fill his hunger and to throw away all that remained. Amy's shields lowered for a brief moment but regained power and protected her.
The other who had preferred his own kind had unexpectedly salted her wounds. It began gnawing into them exposing even deeper and older injuries. She now longed for her first real love. Amy had given him absolute control of her being, yet he would not destroy her. He had not taken Amy from herself because he valued her as an object of beauty and innocence. Yet, not even he could deny his need to quench the sexual thirst that stirred within. Amy knew he would leave her as she had been before he came. She could no longer hold herself away from his desire or her own. In spite of this, he refused to fully join with her. He covered the entirety of her body and held Amy tightly to him, thrusting her body into his and pressing himself to her. She wept for her loss and fought to regain control. She surrounded him with an illusory facade of fulfilment and left, overwhelmed by the exhaustion and fear that had permeated every part of her weakened body. A shattered form remained, a shadow, a mere outline of Amy. She shifted into an altered state of consciousness and slept; his mind meticulously guarded from her.
"I cannot lower my shields Amy," he whispered. "You cannot find me for I cannot be found."
Amy uncurled. Once again she had been transferred to a present reality from the pre-existing time that she had created at will. Upon wakening, Amy had felt an overwhelming sensation of disorientation. She knew where she was but had no concept of 'when' she was. For a moment, Amy believed it maybe the weekend and sought comfort in the fact that she could return to a time that would enable her to deconstruct and control it, so that every experience, every situation, and all that existed in her secret dimension were of her own making. Now, she was forced to play her part in a reality that was not predetermined by her actions alone, but those of others.
At college, she talked of the past, relishing in every detail that her mind retained. In voicing her thoughts, she re-lived them. Amy looked towards the direction of the clock. Time was contained, orderly and consistent; if she looked away time would be free and she would no longer know when she was or how long she had been there.
"It is time to eat" Amy murmured. "I will replenish the energy that has been drained from me or my shields will fail. I will be open to attack. I cannot let him harm me again."
It was already too late. Amy was barricaded by tiredness and fatigue. No-one had invaded her but she had formed a defence. Her pulse quickened and the valves in her heart responded aggressively.
"Even my body mutinies against me."
The waves of exhaustion immersing Amy gradually ebbed away, and, for the first time she began to relax. All that was around her felt harmonious and these new waves of optimism gently flowed over her, nourishing her body and refreshing her mind with a growing sense of peace.