May 1, 2009
I’m awake, or at least, I think I am. My eyes are wide open, and yet darkness engulfs them. A grossly familiar odor travels to the tip of my nose, triggering my need for a decent breath. My body feels numb; it’s as if haven’t moved in such a long time. I can feel the thump of my heartbeat running through my veins; I can’t help but be filled with panic and anxiety. I’m trapped. I need to find a way out. I flail my arms and legs all around trying to break free from this calm, cold chamber that surrounds me. I clench my fists and begin pounding and screaming; hoping that someone, anyone, might hear me.
“Help me!” I cry. “Is anybody there?”
I pound harder, not caring about the pain of doing so. Still smashing my fist against the hard darkness, I feel myself slowly being pulled backwards. My eyes are blinded by the bright light that waits at the end. White is all I can see for a moment and once the brightness clears away, a wary, wrinkled face appears in my sight. Fear embodies his eyes as he continues to glare at me. I notice his eyes are fixed upon my chest, as if something drastic has happened to it. I move aside the long piece of cloth covering the upper part of me, and look down to find my deathly pale body spread against this metallic drawer-like structure, there is a lone hole embedded in my chest . Panic overcomes me.
I immediately sit up, asking “Who are you? Where am I?” The man looks at me, his eyes bloodshot, all the way. “Don’t you hear me, sir, I’m standing right here!” I holler. It is as if he doesn’t hear me; his eyes somehow look right through me. “What happened? Why won’t you answer me?” I furiously shout. The man rocks his head back and forth in his hand in disbelief.
Suddenly, the man in the dreary white lab coat takes a deep sigh and says, “Because the dead do not speak...”
I am a nobody. Not the good kind of nobody, who is proud of being so. I’m not the sort of person who relishes my separation from others, who thrives on ridiculing the people around me. I never say or do anything I wouldn’t normally do, because I don’t want to be someone I’m not. No, I’m the kind of person that desperately wants to be somebody, but lacks whatever it is those people have. The people I do know do not see me. I am somebody unable to reach out and grasp whatever piece of kinship with anyone. Nobody knows who I am. But the truth is I don’t even know myself. In the many years of my being me, no one has ever bothered to ask, so I have never needed to have an answer. My life doesn’t have the parabola that others’ do. There aren’t any ups or downs. There is only the line of my life going and going but never finding a point, never finding meaning.
Tuesday, like every Tuesday, I open my eyes to see the cracked white landscape of the ceiling above me. Where Monday held some small promise about the beginning of a new and different week, Tuesday held only the truth of my failure to make anything out of the day before. I silently push back the bed sheet and feeling somewhat dizzy, trail out of my room with wary eyes still hiding from the morning light. I pause for a look at the dark and dull hallway, forgetting for a moment where I actually wanted to be. Then, with a shake to my head, I continue into the bathroom. At first, I didn’t recognize the hollow pale face staring blankly at me in the mirror. Raising my hand, I watch the figure in the mirror mimic my motions. This must be me. I lean into the glass until I am practically against it, and look directly into the dark eyes that jump out of my reflection, remembering that my eyes are always at the same lifeless state. Today is just another day, of nothing.
I can’t believe the words I hear. “Because the dead do not speak...” My body abruptly reacts to this notion; cold sweat runs down the curves of my bare body.
“What are you talking about, because… the dead do not speak?” I say.
“You have been pronounced dead for several months and now… you are speaking to me,” his words seem unconnected.
“I’m dead, but that can’t be, I was just…” my words stop for a moment, for I have no recollection of what has happened.
He shrugs his shoulders and says, “I am not sure why this is happening or why you are alive for that matter.”
“Who are you anyway, to tell me I’m dead. How would you know?” I insist.
“Take a look around you. Do you think that this is a hospital room; no, it’s a morgue!” he says, now showing some sign of tension.
“No, I don’t believe you!” I immediately shoot up from my place, forgetting to realize I was without clothes.
“Where do you think you are going?” His monotone voice echoes throughout the room dim lit room.
I shove the man aside, grabbing the worn cloth that covered me before, and storm directly through the large metallic doors not knowing why this is happening.
“Why?” I ask myself as I drag the soles of my shoes against the rough gravel road. “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” I stare down at my old, worn sneakers my father had given to me for my birthday and notice that one was without a lace and the other had a lace that was undone. I don’t care. I can feel the deep weight brought on by the uneventful happening of the day. I look up to find a familiar sight; a bright yellow school bus pulling next to a tall but old electric pole covered with colorful garage sale signs and missing pet notices. Although, there is something that is foreign to my eyes; a dark, rusty van parked on the opposite side of the bus with a shadowy figure in the driver’s seat. I don’t make much of it and make my way to the front of the bus, where the doors are. A loud hissing noise from the massive engine causes me to take a step back into the towering pole behind me. The doors open. I am met by the only thing that makes sense to me in this crazed world. My younger brother slowly steps down the stairs, complete with his signature dimpled face, and greets me with a warm hug. He is my only friend, he is my life.
I am free. This is my thought, as I take a step out of the “morgue” room. But, all I see is a familiar shady figure standing in front of me pointing a gun directly at my chest. He fires. I am holding my little brother in my arms, shielding him from harm. He is my purpose.

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