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Unpacking a Suitcase This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I discard the hefty suitcase onto my worn out mattress causing it to give a few weak bounces before settling. The suitcase is fairly small, plus one broken wheel that disturbs its ability to roll efficiently. But it’s the contents inside that give it its large weight. I take its gold zipper in hand, flip open its cover and begin to unpack all my belongings.

The first thing I reach for are my Insecurities. Ah, these thoughts and accusations have seemed to control me for as long as I can remember; blinding me from what other people truly see and completely taking over my confidence. I place the collection safely inside my mirror so they can execute me with harsh words next time I sneak a glance. The next in line is all my Nightmares. These recurring terrors have continued to disturb my sleep and ruin my overall hope in good imagery. I place all my Nightmares on my pillow so they can enter my resting mind and petrify it in the latest hours of the night. My hands reach back into the suitcase and pull out my personal cloud of Three a.m. Thoughts. I know where these belong. I hang the cloud above my bed so that late in the night they can lurk around my head and cause me to think absurd things considering the time on my phone. Thoughts such as, “Have giraffes ever gotten struck by lightning?” all the way to “What would happen if I die?”
Back in the case, I find my Hope that is meant to be savoured by keeping it in a bottle. But before dumping the contents into the bottle, I place a dash of Disappointment at the very bottom. Then I move to discard the Hope into the bottle, overlapping the thin layer of Disappointment. That way, when I drink all my nonrenewable Hope, Disappointment will be there to meet me and remind me of what I’ve wasted. Next, I grab my Trust from the suitcase and place it inside of a book. That is because Trust is the kind of thing you only read about.
My hand reaches back in, only to pull out Time. Time. Sighing, I place the Time on my back. You see, Time likes to lurk behind people. It’s always in the back of one’s mind reminding you of itself. Reminding you that it’s impossible to escape it. That is why it belongs behind me, acting as a backpack. The next things I take out come hand and hand with each other. Worry and Stress. All my Worries cause my Stress and tend to weigh me down. Their arms are strong enough to hold me back from doing extraordinary things. God forbid I leave my comfort zone. So, on one ankle I tie my Worry and on the opposite I tie my Stress. My hands wander back into the case.
It is a lot more capacious in there now than it was before. Eventually, in the corner of the suitcase I find a small bag of Lies. I dispose the Lies into my palm. I take one glance at them before lifting my hand up to let them fall into my mouth. They taste bitter of course, but then again, not everything is sweet. The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that I only have a few more belongings that still need to be returned to their rightful home. My Dreams for the future and Life Goals are the first thing I see when I look back into that suitcase. I pull them out and turn around to place them high up on a shelf. I have yet to believe I can accomplish those Goals. So for now, they will sit. They will sit and mock me from afar for choosing such absurd Dreams.
The last to be returned to its true place is the worst to touch, let alone recognize. I carefully scoop out three small bodily figures. Each dressed in a long black cloak. Slowly, trying not to disturb them, I climb onto my desk. Reaching out for my ceiling, I hang each one, evenly spaced out from each other. I guess you would call these Internal Demons. To me, they are just hungry animals feeding on the emotional destruction of others. They have the capability to penetrate and steal almost everything from you until you are left feeling everything and nothing at the same time. Funny how that’s possible when in reality they are nothing but faded ghosts all in my head. Still, I see them wandering about. Catering my fears on a round, silver platter. They whisper vitriolic lies, but they sound so true. They are truly the worst because of their ability to deteriorate minds until truth has completely washed away from existence.
I am tired. I do not want to listen to their drastic speeches anymore. Not tonight. I am exhausted. My suitcase is finally empty. I should feel relief, but I don’t. Knowing they will travel with me wherever I may go gnaws away at the feeling of assuagement. I lift the empty suitcase off my bed and tuck it far away in my closet, out of sight. I'm already dreading the next time for travel. I climb into my cold bed, pulling the duvet over my shoulders. But as my eyes begin to close, my mind begins to soar.




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