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You’re young, and your imagination has reached a new place of evolution. You’re not seeing mundane and regular events the same, anymore. Bike rides have become daring chases for life, and the dark corners of a room hold unseen dangers to your mind. Even the very trees outside feel as though they reach for you, a handshake to your unfamiliar being.
Outside the window of your room, a snow begins to fall into the woods. You can see the lights of town in the distance, but a layer of wilderness lies between here and there. You enjoy the snow, in which it brings a quick smile to your face. It’s only October twenty-seventh, so the early winter weather excites you. Maybe your father will battle you in the snowscape again, soon.
Even with the weather, you’re in a false harmony. You’re lying in bed, with your eyes now adjusted to the dark of the room. Walls of torn paint encase the space, a sign of neglect. The room’s contents are just the same; a scratched wooden desk, a couple of scattered steel chairs, a ceiling fan (broken long ago), a light overhead that enjoys the occasional flicker, and a standard bed set, which you now cower in. Your know that there’s a small box of toys below your bed, but you’ve lost interest of those. You have your mind to play with.
You’re shaking. There’s voices shouting, from the rooms downstairs. You want to block it out, don’t you? You’ve heard them like this before. They scream loudest now, but you still hear them during the day. The shouts below happen so much that it’s difficult to tell if they’re really happening. It’s not worth guessing, though. You want them to think you’re asleep. That’s why the lights are off, after all. In fact, that’s why you’re not outside in glee.
You hear a smash; shattering glass, by the sharp tone of it. After one final, high-pitch scream, you hear the downstairs door slam. Even as the door shuts, you hear footsteps, ones that progress into a stomp. Close your eyes. You're asleep, remember? The light’s off. They wouldn’t interrupt your slumber.
Someone’s still there. They’re moving up the stairs, creaking the wood with their struts. You're asleep. Surely, they’ll believe that. They can’t be cruel enough to wake you. They can’t hurt you, and you believe this. With a full heart, you know they wouldn’t do that.
Someone barges through the door, producing a slam that would no doubt wake you. Even now, your eyes are still closed. The being breathes with staggering air. Behind its breath lies a deeper, more mature voice. It’s a familiar voice, one that doesn’t need to speak for you to know it.
They yank away your covers. You’re exposed, helpless as you open your eyes to man who stands above. The dark room shrouds most of his face, but you make out some minor details, enough to know you’ve seen him before. It can’t be him, though. This can’t be the same man that used to play with you.
You’re tossed up, and shoved back down. “Stop!” you shout. “Why are you doing this?” There’s no response. The man pauses for a second before cracking his knuckles and taking a deep breath. He moves in, and you close your eyes. This is a nightmare, right?
For the next hour (perhaps longer), you remember. You know who this is, what’s going on, and that there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself from earning more scars. It’s October twenty-seventh, and this is just another visit to your bedroom. Your screams go unnoticed.
Weeks, then months, then years progress. You’re on your own, in the city. You still hold an imagination, one that makes itself evident at certain moments. After adapting to a job downtown, you own an apartment. It’s not the most luxurious, but you’re still happy to call it home.
You’re alone, most of the time. You fit into some crowds, and can handle other persons around the workplace. There’s an unease about you, though. There’s a constant tension, one that grows during the night. Nightmares are common for you, as are the chills that abound before you attempt to sleep. You speak to few, as nobody appears to understand your fears, your memories. How hard is it to find one that would listen, one you could relate to? Is there one you could share your pain with, perhaps?
You enjoy walks, particularly during winter. The snow still holds fascination to you, as it did when you lived near the woods. True, the edges of buildings and apartments aren’t the same as pine trees and branches, but you have imagination, remember?
It’s night, eleven-thirty, to be exact. You’re walking back from a late shift, which doesn’t pose a problem to you. Sleep doesn’t come easy to you, anyway. It’s November twelfth, and a light, pleasant snow has just begun to fall. It’s not an early winter, but you’re still enlightened by the sight. If it weren’t getting cold, you’d surely remove your jacket, to feel each flake melt against your warm, sleeveless arms.
Halfway to your apartment building, the sidewalks become deserted. Yet, someone appears ahead. It only takes a minute for you to recognize it as a woman. She’s covered with black pants and a coat, but you can make out her dark hair, streaming down her back about the length of a foot. You’d like to see her face, but you don’t wish to be rude. Perhaps she’s just as you, enjoying the welcoming weather of winter. From the way she walks, she doesn’t appear to be in any hurry. Is she looking for company, out here alone? She could need someone to talk with, just like you. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
To you, it’s worth the try. “Hey!” you call out with enthusiasm. She doesn’t turn, and continues to walk forward. She must not be paying much attention, which is understandable. The snow has started to fall harder, which can be a bit mystifying. You call out louder, this time with a more stern tone. She hears you, as she turns around. Even from over fifty feet away, her white face appears smooth, and you guess her eyes to be blue. You hope they are, at least.
The woman stops for a moment, but turns and moves forward again. She picks up her pace, in which you do the same. Why does she move quicker? Is she frightened? You didn’t mean to sound intimidating, after all. Maybe she’s just insecure, as she is alone at a late hour. As you move your feet faster, you call out again, making your innocence clear with a joyful tone.
She moved faster, progressing to a light jog. You don’t understand. Why does she run, ignoring you? She appears to be a nice individual, so why can’t she just talk to you? That’s all you want. Just someone, anyone with a listening ear. You start to jog yourself.
She looks back, showing a look of growing concern as you move closer. This frustrates you. What about you is so frightening? You only acted friendly. It’s not you, no. It’s her. She just ignores you. Your wish for a friend is met with cold rejection, as it always is. She, like everyone else, who doesn’t understand. The distress and anger of loneliness begins to shake you. You move quicker, causing her to progress to a sprint.
As the snow reaches its peak of heaviness, the woman turns to a building on the left, and rushes inside. How convenient, you think. The apartment building, the one she just fled to, is your own.
You move inside. She’s disappeared from the first floor hall, but you hear rapid steps moving through the stairway. You follow, urgent to speak your mind to this woman. How dare she disrespects you in your emotional disorder. She doesn’t know your pain, your memories. As you reach the top of the stairway, a heat has taken over your body. It makes you tremble, coursing your limbs with an adrenaline that feels enticing. It's more pleasant than the feeling of snow.
You’re at a hallway, close to the top floor. You see a door slam near the middle of the hall. That’s the place, you believe. Why has she gone through all of this? You wanted a mere talk, and you were given an unnecessary conflict. You still want to speak to her. You still have memories to share.
You move to the door in the hall, and knock with a tough fist. Without surprise, no one responds. You knock more until you progress to a slam. You feel the door begin to break loose as you remember your own apartment; the doors possess aged, ineffective locks that can be broken with enough force. Foolish landlords, you think. They’re neglectful idiots, as you’ve experienced.
As expected, the door budges after some slams and kicks. You’re now inside an apartment, with a similar layout to your own: There’s first a kitchen, leading to a living room right after. There’s a stairway, leading to a bedroom, if the apartment is really similar. The place is a bit neater compared to your own, which you admire as you step through towards the stairs. The woman’s not around, so the bedroom’s the next best guess. You haven’t heard any voices so far.
What if she’s calling someone? She can’t, or at least she shouldn’t. This talk supposed to be between you and her, and others just don’t fit. You move fast, stomping your way up the stairs. Near the top of the stairway, you hear a loud squeal.
You’re at the top of the stairs, which were rather brief. You force open the door, the same way you entered the apartment. The room’s dark, the little light coming in through a window, which displays the snowy night.
The woman screams the moment you enter. She’s crouched in a bed, to your left. She’s holding a phone, which you reach forward and rip away from her. How disrespectful, you think, that she would attempt to bring others into this. You’re now outraged, and the heat you felt before has grown into a fire. You tried to be friendly, you tried to talk, even just get her attention for a moment. She gave you nothing. Now she’s here, and she’ll no doubt listen. You want to share your past.
You take a step back, and she remains frozen. “What do you want?!” she screams out. You don’t answer. You only take a moment to gaze out the window. The snow descends at a familiar pace.
It’s October twenty-seventh again. You think this, as you move towards the woman. She shields her face as her screams go unnoticed and unanswered.
Written by Emeryy