Why are you pestering me?

There are other numbers out there, so I’m not sure why you’re so desperately intrigued by me. But, I will concede my story like an obedient little thing.

A thing is all I knew myself to be for my formative years. Brenner is crewel, and he controlled those years. Even so, I never mistook him for my Papa. I suppose some are more intelligent than others. In fact, until I reached thirty, I failed admitting a papa or mama existed in my past. My self as a number; that I could comprehend, but nothing more.

Other numbers had parents who cared, some too much, as poor Eleven learned. –And on that note, if you ask too many questions about that woman, I will give you a phone directory, and you can talk to Jane Hopper herself.– Where was I? Ah yes, mothers. Many of them needed removal from the picture (a feat Brenner enjoyed too much.) Their children disappeared, died, or never took their first breath; Brenner lied well. Right now, I would embrace my mother with gratitude for her brilliant idea to remove me from the picture. If her plan had worked, you could pester a different number for their story.

If my mom had her way, I never would have suffered existence. Abortion. Mmm, how I wish it had worked. You might think that an ugly word, but it would have been my salvation from a hellish life. There are fetuses who survive several moments of pure anguish as their underdeveloped and unprotected bodies give out, unable to scream out their pain. I would take that short and less painful road. But he was there.

One of Brenner’s goons taunted me once about the beautiful scene of a newly-pregnant surrogate carrying me safe in her womb while my mother bled out in a back-alley abortion clinic. . .

I don’t know how Brenner knew to target me, I just recall the years of frustration and disappointment when I did not develop as he wished.