Slipping

The hallway is empty, but the warm moist air makes it feel like I'm surrounded by people I can't see, each one of them breathing down my back. I close my eyes and inhale sharply as if a lung full of thick, stagnant oxygen is the answer to all my problems. When I open my eyes, I half expect to see a hundred eyes staring at me with the quiet intensity of overworked exhaustion.

There's nothing though- just me and the crushing silence. I know this is the point in the story in which I should start walking, as all normal people do, but I just stand there. There's no one to see me, and the power in that is slightly stunning. Feelings of contentment and confidence bubble up inside of me and replace the stinging awkwardness I've felt for so long.

The rippling feeling of euphoria vanishes as quickly and mysteriously as it came. All my feelings are back to the sulky numbness of my adolescent life. Except… one thing is different. My world looks as if it's been drained of all color. Even the lights seem dimmer now than before, and the creepiness of it sets deep down under my skin. How is it possible to cycle through so many emotions in just seconds?

My body isn't the only thing that's fatigued anymore. Inside my skull, I can feel my brain tremble- terrified of what feelings would come next but too tired to think beyond that. Cold hands, clammy and tense, rise to my cheeks. I stand with my face in my hands until my body too gives out. The floor gives a welcomed punch to my body. Chilled, damp tile presses against my aching flesh.

I watch it melt away, and become carpet- the messy grey shag of my bedroom. Half opened blinds cast thin slivers of light across familiar things that have never seemed so far away. With weak arms, I claw for anything I can reach. It taunts me- seemingly pulling away with each attempt. With desperate, empty eyes I can do nothing but stare as this world melts away too.

My bedroom floor becomes the floor of my best friend's room, and then the floor of the library, and then the floors of a million other places I loved during my lifetime. I feel patience begin to creep in as this cycle draws closer to an end. When you realize what's happening- remember that this isn't the first time- it doesn't feel so bad. Yeah, it's the part when you think you're still alive that scares you the most.





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