[My response to today’s prompt from The Daily Post: Doppelgänger Alert.]
And it was, all of it, there, all there. The O’Sullivan four-shelf bookcase with the missing strip of laminate torn from the third shelf’s front edge, stocked with dog-eared paperbacks from his student days; clothing tossed with indifference across the unmade bed; the desk, another O’Sullivan particle board masterpiece, computer and monitor and printer and papers arranged in some indiscernible pattern on top; the open closet, a chest of red and white drawers on one side, the other overstuffed with shirts and jackets hanging from a rod and above a bed of laundry. And the trash can, the only item he had brought from his childhood room, an Andru-esque picture of Spider-Man on its side.
“All that was you.” The voice behind him was paternal, reassuring yet stern. “Exactly as it was, when you were whole.”
He laughed. “When I thought I was whole.” He kept looking into this room, as he directed his voice behind him. “See, that was the problem. I thought all this — stuff — was what made me who I was back then. But the reality is, it was all stuff I accumulated to distract me, help me forget about my loneliness, my pain.”
He shook his head. “My room? Yeah, I recognize all the stuff, can tell you how many beeps that computer will make if we turned it on. But mine? No. Not any more. Because it never was mine in the first place.”