Hyde Yourself In Me
By Janein Brookes
My piece surrounds the text around Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I got inspired by the text because it is a classic and Emily and I have been exploring classical texts through the modern lenses.
“They call it Dissociative Identity Disorder.”
Nyne stared at the multitude of diplomas and framed awards behind Dr. Meyers’s head and wondered if education was all it was cracked up to be if the Doctor himself couldn’t recognize the symptoms of DID when he saw them. Nyne knew firsthand what DID was and he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, Malcolm didn’t have it. Malcolm was a nine-year-old with a bigger problem than the voice in his head. The problem was that the voice was Malcolm’s, just the part of Malcolm that had used his bare hands to kill his class rabbit.
“With all due respect, Doctor,” he started, almost amazed at his steady voice, “but my brother doesn’t have dissociative identities.”
The man across from him quirked a shedding brow, and Nyne, not for the first time that night, was forced to cover his nose and mouth from the pungent scent of cat piss that was coming from the Doctor’s clothes. “Victims suffering from DID have distinct tells and their behaviors can switch from identity to identity. It sounds just like what Malcolm described.”
Nyne wasn’t aware that he was a “victim” or “suffering.” None of his other eight identities were particularly violent, at least from what he could see from the aftermath or what Malcolm described to him. He questioned for a second if Malcolm had repeated what Nyne had explained to him after a particularly long visit from Blair “Bai.” Nyne had felt lucky that it was Bai as Bai and Nyne were two of the most similar of the identities, except that Bai’s preferred pronouns were “ze/zir” and often clicked ze’s tongue whenever zir was annoyed. Nyne didn’t know if he felt as lucky anymore.
“When can I see Malcolm?” Bringing him here was a mistake, but he didn’t know what else to do. His own therapist, Dr. Athena, wasn’t in today, coming down with a migraine earlier that morning. When he walked into her office, her secretary introduced him to Dr. Meyers, a balding man with crooked glasses and a crooked nose who took up too much space behind Dr. Athena’s extremely organized desk and insisted on biting the tops of her pens. Telling their mother probably would’ve led to an even worse result as their mother was of the same opinion as Dr. Meyers: that Nyne was “suffering” and needed to be medicated at every twitch. He didn’t want to know what she would do to her youngest son given the same prognosis.
Dr. Meyers stacked some papers together and tapped them against the desk. The overhead light shone through them, making them translucent for a second, and Nyne could see that there was nothing written on them. Nothing but two names. The first was Malcolm’s but the second he recognized instantly.
Some people like him stated that they couldn’t feel the transformation before it happened, most that they couldn’t remember what had transpired when the other identities came into play. Nyne remembered everything Sin did. It was like Sin left his memories there for Nyne to watch through to declare that he wasn’t ashamed of himself. That they might share a body and a brain, but Sin controlled his own emotions and actions.
Nyne could feel Sin first in his spine. He straightened in the chair, squared his shoulders back, and faced Dr. Meyers. Then Nyne felt Sin in his hips. Sin was agile and easily maneuvered Nyne’s lean body as if to throw their weight forward at any given second.
“Wait.” Nyne held back Sin with the plea.
Sin was calm unless provoked, not one for logic or reasoning and as quick with his hands as he was with his mouth. Nyne needed evidence and maintained fifty percent of the reasoning of all his identities, Ryder and Alexis dividing the other fifty percent.
“Dr. Meyers, where is my brother?” Nyne’s voice had deepened into Sin’s baritone voice, the space between each word making the question more of a demand. The Doctor’s eyes flinched to the door of the room that he had pulled Malcolm in, dimming the lights so Nyne couldn’t see clearly through the one way glass. “Where?” Nyne bit out, Sin rolling his neck back. His leg started to bounce, the energy in his body going into overdrive, but his head almost lolled to the side, as if his neck was too tired to support its weight, his consciousness fading in and out.
Dr. Meyers—was he even a real Doctor?—took off his glasses, folded them, and set them off to the side. He looked Nyne in the eyes even as they flickered. Nyne wasn’t seeing him anymore. Instead he was looking at Sin’s consciousness as it held his hand out to him, Sin’s hand still covered red from the corpse of the bunny after Malcolm had snapped its neck.
“Take a load off, Eight.” Sin spoke in his mind, the sound echoing as if his skull was nothing more than an empty space. He had always called Nyne “Eight” as a reminder that even as an identity of Nyne’s, he would always be the one not included. Be his own person. “Let me be the best big brother. Again.”
Even though Nyne hated his arrogance, he knew better. Sin was the only one that could understand Malcolm because he was just like him. Nyne was just like him. Because Sin wasn’t just another identity.
Sin was Nyne.
Nyne was Sin.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
“I sent him to Eden,” Dr. Meyers announced, but it was no longer Nyne listening. Sin picked up his head, a wicked grin pulling his lips taut and Dr. Meyers’s brow furrowed in confusion at the new man sitting in front of him.
Pulling his knees up onto the chair, Sin was all smooth motions and long, controlled limbs, not awkward at all. “‘If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek,” Sin quoted, a warning.
And in the next second, he launched himself across the table.
Janein Brookes is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in New York, NY.