As I saw their hands reaching, I ran. I ran further and further into my mind. I was fearful. Hands. They have done so much damage. Every slap. Every punch. Every scratch. Every attempt to take the breath from my struggling windpipe. I ran and ran until I became tired. Too tired to venture on. And it wasn't until I slowed down that I gazed around me. Where was I? Why was it so dark? The echoing whispers were like a shrill screech. My heart, pounding like a drummer boy's drum. Like an anxious foot tapping on a tile floor. I drop to my shaking knees and clamp my trembling hands around my ears. I reach into the darkness. I cry out. I scream for help... But there is no help. There are no people out there anymore. I've befriended the whispers. I just couldn't be alone. I can't reach others and they can't reach me. Now... I can hear nothing nor see anything. It's all darkness. Infinite darkness. Limitless. I feel nothing anymore. Just the ice. Just the cold of my atmosphere. I'm too deep in my own mind. Sometimes while I'm sleeping, I travel back. I travel to the world I once lived so happily in. But then... Something happened. Fear was forcefully instilled into my veins. Into my mind. So now... I try to make my world as close to theirs as possible. If only someone could just glance into my world. Into my mind. Into my thinking and my nightmares. Into this.. This darkness I've subconsciously yet so delicately constructed. I built walls to keep other out not even realizing and understanding that as I did that, I was trapping myself in. Concrete surrounds me. Cold. Hard. Impenetrable. Echoing. Concrete. My friends are all a figment of my vivid imagination. They are my escape yet just a creation. I switch lives with them. Sometimes consciously but most of the time, not. Obviously, they are all different. Different people with different views on life and politics and ethics and morals. Different personalities with different hopes and fears. With different pasts and duties. With different roles and tolls. With different looks. We are all different. Yet we manage to function as one. I once ran from the reaching hands. Now I scream for them. I beg. And I can't help but wonder... Can you hear me? Are you out there? Or... Am I simply too far gone?..