Lydia and I were not together in the traditional sense of the word

Lydia and I were not together in the traditional sense of the word. She let me alone when I needed it, and I reciprocated. In return, she taught me everything she knew about the world of S&M, all the kinky things I'd always been intrigued by but had never had the courage or the means to actively pursue. Things like dom/sub, punishment, all sorts of fetishes, extreme pain, beating, I did them all with her, and I revelled in the filth. Like I said before, she was a reptile, full of a thousand other men, and I didn't care. She let me do horrible things to her and she laughed, begged playfully for more. I was turning into a monster.

I looked at myself one night in the mirror in the bathroom, totally naked, just studying, studying. I'd just opened my vein and shot up, and my arm was throbbing painlessly. Heroin does that to you. It numbs you. Did you know it's basically morphine? They once thought they could remove the addictive quality of morphine and keep the numbing effect. But the lack of pain is the part you can't quit. That's the part that keeps you coming back, over and over.

I was out of my mind on all sorts of drugs, I had just released my new EP, Broken, and I was studying myself. Who was Trent?

I was on the short side, rather thin, but my arms and legs were sinewy and stronger than they looked. My scraggly black hair reached my shoulders. I wore black pretty much all the time, in various forms. My face was alarmingly thin, and my eyes looked bigger than ever before. I reached up and pinched my nose. Fuck, it was so big. And the bump in the middle was huge.

I was one scrawny motherfucker. I flexed my arms, pulling them behind my back to study my chest to see if there were any muscles. Nope. Fuck. I looked so much younger than I was, and yet…if you looked closely, my eyes were very tired and old. I puffed out my cheeks and frowned to see what it would look like to have real muscle on me, to weigh more than a teenage Asian girl. I couldn't really think of the future, but I hoped that one day I would be more than just an angry little junkie. My thoughts drifted back to Gretchen, like they tended to do at inopportune moments. I couldn't help it.

Worry washed over me, crippling me. I dropped onto the ground, burying my face in my hands, trying to erase her from my mind. The tile floor was shockingly cold against my bare skin, and, my breath coming in ragged gasps, I began to sob. I beat my fists against the cracked, stained tiles, surrendering to my regrets and my loneliness.

That's where Lydia found me, curled up in a weeping little ball, weak, broken down, used up. I couldn't keep the façade going anymore. And I'm kinda surprised that she pulled me through it, seeing as she was much better at being harsh than being kind. She didn't build anything new inside me, like Gretchen did. She tore things out of me, whether I wanted to keep them or not. And that night, sometime in late autumn, I found out that some things can't be ripped out of your soul, no matter how hard you try. On the floor of the bathroom, I tried to get Gretchen out of my very being, and I learned that when you try to eliminate someone you love, you end up losing what's left of yourself.