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It’s dark and it’s cold. It always is. From the first moment that I can remember, I always know these two things. This is what it’s like in “Space”. The ever constant drip, drip of water creates the puddle that gathers in the left corner of space and slowly crawls its way to mine, soaking through the ratty material that makes up my blanket. It’s not a very nice material, but John says that it’s the best that he can get. I don’t believe him. The clothes that he wears are much nicer, and softer than my blanket. But I’m not allowed to have clothes; he says they’re unnecessary. Sometimes, when I’ve been good, he’ll let me sleep with one of his…”shirts”. At least, that’s what I think they’re called.
Lately, however, I haven’t seen John. It’s incredibly strange, because normally I would have already heard the tell tale sign of his coming through the soft familiar footsteps that always seemed to come down from somewhere, ascending down and into space with me. I don’t mind John. He’s kind to me. Every two or three days, I’m never really sure how long, John will come down and bring me something to eat. I particularly enjoy his “sandwiches”. There is a certain creamy texture when I bite into it, so unlike the dry and hard surface of the bread in which the substance lies in. On special occasions, there is something else too, a cool delightfully refreshing taste that somehow serves as the perfect buffer for the thicker cream that can become somewhat overbearing. I would never tell John this, of course, because he is far too good to me for me to complain.
No, I could never complain to John. He doesn’t like it when I complain. And if there was anything I could not like about John, it would be making him angry. It’s not his fault, of course. It never is. I’m the one who provokes John, sweet, kind, forgiving John who will still give me water after my punishment even though I’ve been bad. No, I’m the one in the wrong and John has never been anything but caring and forgiving, even if it can sometimes get rough. A small shock runs through me, reminding me of that. The water has reached my knees and its cool surface laps at the raw flesh, stinging them and dragging dark liquid onto its clear surface, swirling it into intricate designs. I wince at the pain, but don’t move from the spot that I lay in. It’s in this corner that I have the best view of the window.
It’s small and it stands against one side of space with thick boards that have rusted nails all stuck in crooked bent shapes throughout the edges, firmly keeping them in place. All around the window there is curled paint, often so dry that during the colder and wetter times in space, they will gently fall into the puddles of the left side and travel slowly across to me. At the top of the window, though only barely noticeable now, there is a miniature figure, a soft warm color that hangs perfectly still atop the closed contraption and only during the worst of seasons is there slight movement from it that emits the strangest most wonderful tinkling sound. And despite the weathered look and clumsy work, it is the only thing in space that has color. It’s beautiful.
I had asked John before what was beyond the window, why it was closed off the way it was, damaging the beautiful bright florescent blue that was the exact opposite of John's dark glittering eyes that had shown with anger when I’d mentioned it. My back had been in far worse condition than my knees were now. If I could, I would have curled myself against the floor of space, not minding the constant string of my knees and the ache in my back, taking the wet surface with not a care in the world if I could only stare at the window for as long as I lived imagining what was beyond those closed panels.
Perhaps I might have, if I hadn’t heard a soft sound in the distance. Sounds were not uncommon in Space, there was the beating of the wind, and the hard pitter patter of the rain when it fell, and sometimes the fast passing roar of something that I nor John had ever identified, though John I believe might’ve purposefully avoided the subject, not that I would’ve wanted to bother John about it. He didn’t like my questions about the outside. This noise, however, was different from the various, but familiar, sounds that inhabited Space. This noise was a buzz, it seemed almost never ending, constant, and flat. However, upon further investigation, I found that the noise tended to fade in and out, growing louder and then softer repeatedly.
Before I had time to investigate, I heard something much more familiar. Something I had not heard in more than five days. Unlike it normally was, however, John’s footsteps were rushed, and the fast paced steps were only confirmed by the tripping over that I could hear and see when he fell into Space, his perfect trousers hitting the dirt and water creating a muddy substance, sure to stain his clothes. On any regular occasion John would have been sure to curse rather loudly, and then demand that I clean his pants for him, but today he all but acknowledging his soiled clothing and looked up and around Space like a mad man before his eyes landed on my figure.
I have seen John in many ways, during times when he was angry with me, lifting his arm like an official figure might, and then striking down. I have seen the way that his smile lights up Space though only briefly through my pain. And I have seen him weep, have held him in my arms whilst he cries, begging for my forgiveness though John has never done anything wrong.
But this is different. It’s desperation, it’s harsh and unfathomable, because John has always been there, always kept me here in Space, always trusted me with this glorious area. But now, He’s saying something different. Something I don’t want to hear. Something I don’t like. “Get out you [(!]! Get the hell out!” His voice is rasping and his eyes are crazy and dark, his legs and arms are moving according to their own terms and he’s swaying like he hasn’t got a clue of what he’s doing. “GET OUT.” He turns to face me, latching his hand on to my arm and for a moment I think he’ll take me with him, he’ll help me because John has always helped me. But he doesn’t. Instead, I feel him twist my arm, creating a burning sensation, before quickly throwing me across Space, my legs and arms flailing like a puppets and falling with a loud thud against the wet floor of the left corner.
“OUT!” That’s it. That’s the last thing I hear from John, and I can’t find it in me to ask, to plead, to say anything, because John has gathered himself in his stupor and was now racing up, tripping and falling, but quickly getting further and further away from Space. The sound is louder now. And the window that was now beside me had hints of colors flashing before it, some a familiar blue and others a darker, more sinister color that I can only recognize as the same color of my blood, only brighter. The window. As far as I knew, the window had always been there. It was the only other passage away from Space, besides the door that John would come through. But that’s John’s door. And John has never wanted me to go through that door, under any circumstance. But the window, well, he’d thrown me towards the window, hadn’t he? He’d told me to get out, and yet how? How could I break this barrier, this beautiful bliss the one that had kept me safe, the one that had served it’s purpose time and time again as the perfect close between Space and the outside. Why should I break it? Was I even capable?
The sound is getting louder. The colors are getting brighter and my eyes don’t like the strange form, this beautiful contraption, my window had taken. I don’t want to! I want the window to stay, I want to look at the beautiful, soft blue color that gently falls into the water and floats like flower petals all around Space. I want to hear the soft tinkling during those horrid nights because the sound is so lovely, light, and so unlike that noise that’s getting louder and louder every moment I contemplate. Most of all, I want the safety, I want the barrier that John has given me because this was his gift to me….. But what if?
What if I left? What if I found the source of that wind, the one that made the tinkling sound? What if I could feel the rain from the moment it drops from wherever it comes from instead of when it touches the top of Space and inside? What if I could find the beasts that roared so loudly it sometimes shook Space? The sound is louder, but it’s somehow more inviting. And though the window is the only thing with color in this small Space that I have, I realize that the color is pale. That it has peeled so often it has worn down considerably since the time John first took me here. That the little item perched, dangling from the window could, would emit even more brilliant music if i could only introduce it to the outside.
In that moment, I stood up, my knees and back urging me to stop, to stay and hope that John would come back, to stay where I was needed, where I belonged, where I’d always been. But I stood, and I took on the same pose that John often took before he striked me, one foot behind the other, arm back and ready, posed as perfectly as I could, and stared at the once beautiful window... and hit.