The walls.

17 Jul

The walls around me are plaster white and bumpy, they watch my every movement and absorb my heartbeat into its walls.

I sit up straighter, looking straight ahead, and place one of my palms on the wall. It’s cold, I think. It’s so cold. And my heart starts to race again, racing for the hand that is so far from safety, racing for the hand that is somehow out my reach, my jurisdiction, my control, my comfort zone. Racing for the hand that is so absorbed the tiny ridges and crevices and bumps that run smooth and cold under my fingertips, like the laughing brook at home.

Home. How did I end up in the place, this cold, cold place? This icy, foreign land that is such a stranger to me. I think about laughing brooks, I think about home, and I wonder why I remember the thought of laughing brooks, but not the image, not the memory. I also do not have a memory or image associated with Home. How silly, I think to myself, unconvincingly, to think about Home! But I am unable to push the thought of Home from my mind. I whisper to the walls, but only in my head, because I am scared of being heard, and because the walls are cold and smooth and white…so white that they seem almost transparent, but only because I know the world beyond the walls is surely not pure white. How do I know? I think to myself, How do I know the world isn’t white? I have been trapped inside these walls for as long as I can remember, as long as I dare to remember. For beyond these walls are secrets, deep, dark, traitorous secrets, that I am sure of. And I do not question myself any longer.

I have no memory of the outside world, but the world of these four walls is still deeply foreign to me. I count the walls again, for the hundred-thousandth time. That is the only thing that makes me feel safe, secure; the knowledge of these four walls. I sometimes wonder how I got trapped in here, and have thought of screaming for help or trying to break out, but I know, I just know, that there are people listening to me beyond these four walls, beyond my whole world. There are people watching, waiting, listening… Sometimes I think that if I press my ear to the wall, softly, I can hear the buzzing and mumbling of movements outside, the sharp draw of breath, the long, half-hearted sigh, the steady and loud breaths from the ones beyond the walls, but it might just be my imagination. How much of me can they see? Am I just an experiment? Was I abandoned and put in here? Is this my punishment? Or do they not even know I am here? If that is so, then is it really okay for me to yell for help, or try to break the wall?

I run my fingers over the sides of the wall again, this time curiosity getting the better of me, and I span a greater distance than the last time I dared to touch the walls. Tracing a line with my four fingers, I press so lightly that it’s like I am not even touching the walls, but pure air. Cold, icy, smooth, electric air. The reason I press so lightly is because I have a fear that if I press too hard, the wall will turn to ice, and shatter. I don’t know why I am so afraid of the wall shattering, because I am sure I will be able to get out then. But I wonder if I even want to get out.

So I continue, only just surviving, sustaining, in my icy smooth world inside the four walls.

 

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