"There is no need to cry such tears."
The words were softly spoken, but loud enough to penetrate the girl's hopeless state. She turned her head, gazing at the glittering light image that floated idly before her, watching her gently with pixel eyes of deep purple. She sighed.
"I don't know where I should go." She admitted, wiping away the tears as still more fell. "There's noone to explain it to. Noone! Words aren't enough. I'm back in Los Angeles, but in my heart so much has changed. I'm so afraid, Synergy. I feel so alone...as if I'm losing my mind."
"You are not mad, Jerrica." The holographic figure laid a touchless hand on her companion's shoulder. "You burden yourself greatly, and always have. Your father died knowing that his company would be in your steady hands...but he did not intend you to work yourself to an early grave to achieve that. Perhaps you try to do too much. You left Los Angeles to get away from that, and the company survived in your absence. Aja proved herself adept and skilled at administration, Kimber managed to find her way through the PR, and Shana and Raya provided invaluable support through their other ventures. Starlight Music is still the greatest music company in this city. You do not always need to be at the helm for it to be so."
"But I do, Synergy. I do." Jerrica buried her head in her hands wearily. "You don't understand. When Dad died, that's exactly what I had to do. I have responsibilities! Kimber...the others..."
"Kimber is no longer a child." Synergy interrupted gently. "She is old enough now to choose her own path, and ready to do so, too."
"But what if she chooses wrongly?"
"Then she is of an age to learn from her mistakes." Synergy shook her head. "She is your sister, Jerrica...but you cannot always protect her. You have been so much more like a mother to her for so many years - more, even, than I think she realises. You have always been there to correct her mistakes, but there will be a time when you can no longer do so. It is as I said. You take too much upon yourself. It is admirable, but it is also detrimental. You lose Jerrica Benton in the desire to be there for everybody else."
"I think I've already lost Jerrica Benton." Jerrica said bitterly. "She was swamped a long time ago. Nobody cares about Jerrica any more. Not even me, Syn. It's like I've been swallowed up by a better me...a me who doesn't worry about tax forms and nag Kimber about where she leaves her nail polish. I'm growing to hate her, and be afraid of her. I don't even know who I am any more...or who people expect me to be. Sometimes I'm not even sure I'm in control of her. Not really."
"Jem is not worth that." Synergy spoke gravely. "She has become a great icon, and many people adore her. But she is not real. Nothing she says or does comes from anyone but yourself...you must remember this. Part of the reason you went away was to recognise the true value within yourself, and not doubt it because it seems like people prefer Jem. They do not. You are Jem. You must not forget that."
"Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I wish that I was only Jem, and that Jerrica would just die." Jerrica spoke vehemently, clenching her fists together as she did so. "Jerrica is a bossy bitch who works too hard and has no life. Even Rio prefers Jem to Jerrica!"
"I think not." Synergy looked amused. "I believe what I have always believed - Rio loves you, whatever guise you put on. But you should not feel you need to compete with yourself. If Jem has indeed started to usurp your life and make you feel resentful and angry, perhaps it is time that Jem was no longer there."
"No...longer there?" Jerrica glanced up, startled. "But..."
"But what? She no longer sings with the Holograms. And you have said yourself over your last visits to me that people constantly ask you where she is. What if she was to no longer be a part of your life...what then?"
"I don't quite understand. What are you asking me to do with her?"
"I'm not asking you to do anything, Jerrica." Synergy spoke patiently. "I'm asking you to think for a moment about your life, and whether it would be a better place if you were no longer two people. Whether the things Jem is known for are things that you might find easier to express without the lure of the holographic disguise. Just think on it. You do not have to make a decision now, or even share such a decision with me. But for your own sake...your own welfare...dwell on it."
She gave a strange little shrug, her eyes shimmering with a thoughtful indigo light.
"After all, all of your future may depend upon it."
Chapter One: Daisy
Chapter Two: Jewel's Show
Chapter Three: Cynthia's Dilemma
Chapter Four: Jerrica Acts
Chapter Five: For The Public Good
Chapter Six: End Of An Era
Chapter Seven: A Reason To Be
Chapter Eight: Loyalties
Chapter Nine: Starlight Music
Chapter Ten: Kimber
Chapter Eleven: Consulting Aja
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
The copyright for the original Jem characters featured in this and other stories by me belongs entirely to Hasbro and their interpretations to Christy Marx and the other writers of the Sunbow Jem series. Their future selves are based on concepts that are entirely my own and are not to be repeated elsewhere without due permission.
All other characters, including their likenesses, are copyrighted to myself as webmistress of Jewel's World from 2001 to the present day and are not to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.
The Teenangel Outsiders, Jesta, Flame, Ryan Montgomery and the future interpretations of Aja, Danse and certain of the other original characters are all or in part the concept of Gemma Dawn whose teenangel outsider fiction world is twinned with Jewel's World. You can visit her site at www.teenangeloutsiders.com!
All events in the stories on this site are based on original ideas and are not rooted in any existing Jem fiction nor in any real life event or person.