Hidden Mall 50: Took My Hand

Abby stared at Liv.  She let her eyes rake over the girl, trying to figure out if this was her friend or was the stranger she’d picked up along the way.  She couldn’t tell. The faces were the same. The eyes were the same.

“Alone?” she managed.

“Oh, come on, we’ve always been loners, all of us.  It’s not like we really like hanging out with people for any length of time.  You’re the same way. It’s just that this place forces a sort of closeness that makes us all uncomfortable.  So why not let her stay here in this beaver den? Let her relax until someone else comes along. It’ll be good for her.”

Abby’s eyes were on the lump in the blankets that was Liv.  The other Liv Something about the way Liv was talking was catching her attention.  She stared at the girl.

“I don’t know how they do things in your world,” she managed through a voice that wanted to rise up into a shout, “but we don’t *do* that where I come from.  Not to anyone.”

She stretched languidly and raised her eyebrows. “We’re all the same. All of us.  Livs, Abbies, Vics. Come on, you have to realized that by now.”

There were *two* long lumps under the blankets.  “Where…” Abby asked slowly, “did you come from?”

Liv laughed.  “Don’t you remember?  You grabbed my hand.”

Abby narrowed her eyes and looked at her friend — at not her friend. “Let’s try again.  Where did this particular you come from?”

You grabbed my hand.” Liv’s tone shifted to something mocking and nasty.  Abby winced. She only heard that particular tone when she and Liv were fighting – which thankfully did not happen all that often.  Maybe once every couple months, less so lately. “You dragged me in here. You wanted to get away from something, and then you pulled me away from the store I wanted to go in.  The next thing I knew, you were – well.”  She cleared her throat.  “Here I am. We can leave her, she’ll be fine.  And we can go find an exit, right?”

“Oh, come on, Liv.” Abby heard the nastiness in her own voice; somehow, that made her even angrier.  “Cut the crap, okay? You’re not the Liv I came in here with.”

“You came in here with two, what do you care?  One of us is just the same to you as another. I’ve seen you around.  You will pal around with one, fuck around with another, and then you’re gone.  Gone, and you left me behind. Again.” Liv threw up both of her hands and sneered. “So take me.  I’m as good as them. I’m just another Liv, right? You can use any sidekick interchangeably, right?  You just need someone to hold your hand and go through the doors with you, to go on this horrible quest with you. That’s all you need.  And if you can kill some other Abbies while you’re at it, you’ll like that, too, right? So what does it matter?  Why do you care if it’s me or her or her or anyone else?  We’re just freaking pawns!”

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