The world is bright. Unsure, I reach out. To what? I don't know. Nothing reaches back. I see something in the distance. I strain to here its (his? her?) words. It sounds like...whatever (whoever?)...it is, is calling for me. But no.
I reach out my hands. This time to block my view.
I stumble a bit in surprise. Where did that come from? I look around. Light is to my left. My right. Behind me. But in front of me, there is darkness. I'm confused. But satisfied. I can no longer hear the calls I heard before. I lean cautiously against the wall my hands seem to have created. It holds. I relax and savor my aloneness.
I feel... sad. All of a sudden. I don't know why. Lonely. Dejected.
Why didn't they come after me? Why didn't they continue to call for me? I push the thought away. No matter. They don't matter. Whoever they are.
I hear a sound to my left. I glance over. There it is again! Or... maybe it's something else. A different one. I can't tell. I straighten up to face it. This one's calling too. Faintly, but definitely calling for me. I cock my head. Contemplating. My first instinct is to call to them...whoever they are. To run up and greet them. But no.
I reach my hands out in front of myself to block my view.
This time, I'm not as surprised. The dark wall that is now next to and in front me is almost comforting. Almost. I sink to the ground and lean back against the corner where the walls meet. My head tilts up towards the sky. I wince at the brightness of the sun. I want to shout out. Tell someone to turn the light down a few notches.
But then I remember the wall. I wonder if it'll work again. I stand up as tall as I can. Reach my arms above my head. And block the sun from my view.
Satisfied, I settle down again.
Now I am facing the direct opposite of my original position. I hear my name. A little more distinctively now. But as the calls continue, they become quieter. I strain to hear them.
Suddenly, I can.
Loud and clear.
As if someone was standing right next to me, shouting into my ear. Then I see them. Running. I think. I can't be sure.
I push my hands in front of myself, once again blocking my view.
There is one spot left. One open space. I contemplate running. Leaving this small place I am in. A place that has room only for me. But why should I? With determination, I push my hands toward the empty space, blocking my view.
Complete and utter darkness.
I sink to the ground. I am alone. Completely and utterly alone. Tears stream down my face. Why did no one come for me? Why did they leave? All I can hear is silence. Complete and utter silence.
Faintly, I hear something.
I push it away. No one is coming for me. No one. I tell myself this over and over and over again. No matter that my name is being shouted. No one is looking for me. No one cares. The box I am in is probably nothing more than an obstacle they must pass.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I hear thumping. On my box. My place. Someone is trying to destroy it! MY BOX! Don't they know I want to be alone??
I push at the walls, hoping whoever they are will get the hint. But the damage is already done. There's a small crack.
There's a small stream of light peeking into my box. I stare at it. It's strikingly... beautiful. I contemplate it for a while. But my anger wells up again. My box has a crack in it! My safety, my haven! Ruined! I collapse. Sobbing.
The thumping continues. Multiple voices calling my name.
Not a single one cares, I tell myself. They just want to destroy my box. I pound back. Shouting. Leave me alone! Don't ruin my box!
More cracks. More light.
Suddenly, a wall collapses.
The top slides away.
Another wall is gone.
I am surrounded by people. Tears. Tears are running down their faces. They're breathing hard from their efforts, watching me. I stare at the remaining wall. Something in me tells me to push it over. Finish off the box.
So I do.
I begin shaking. Staring at the people who are surrounding me. Slowly, all of them close in on me. They're crying. But they're also smiling. Hugging me.
We love you, they tell me. Don't ever build up those walls again. Don't leave us. Please. The last thing we want is seeing you trapped. Trapped in a box, a victim of yourself.
Don't do it again.
I begin to sob.
I tell them.