I set up my table and began to unpack my belongings. The first box I opened contained the little clothes I had. The clothes were wrinkled from being in the box so long. Beginning to fold my last T-shirt, I saw something on the table: it was a note that read, “Why did you run?” I rested for a minute trying to think of how the strange note got on my table without my knowing. It seemed impossible to put what I just saw to the back of my head so I decided to investigate.
Cautiously, I meandered towards my hallway, and with each step there was a loud creak of an old wooden board. I peered down the hallway to find that my dresser was already set up against the wall. Hesitantly, I drew closer to it. I ran my hand over the smooth oak top, and dust immediately stuck to the tips of my fingers like a towel soaks up water.
“H-how...I-I don’t understand,” I repeated those words to myself as if I expected someone to answer. The dresser had only been in the house for a couple hours, but it was sitting next to the door, but now it was here. That’s when I looked up. The outline of what appeared to be a mirror rested on the wall above the dresser. My eyes slowly drifted to the middle of the expecting to see my face. Instead, my eyes met another outline, the outline of a face. Suddenly I drifted out of my physical body, but I had no control over myself. I began to drift away from my body and towards what seemed like a void.
I folded the shirt and set it on my messy pile of neatly folded clothes. As I touched the table, my body froze. I closed my eyes, focusing as hard as I could to try and free myself. When I closed my eyes I saw a train, but on the side of the train cars were memories. More and more memories began to fly by, faster and faster. The train began to slow down, and I could see the memories clearer now. I saw myself packing my belongings, then myself setting up in the new apartment. The train came to a sudden halt. Before my eyes was a giant mirror. On the other side I could see myself, drifting away into an inky, frigid void. I could feel myself struggling as hard as I could to get back to me but with no success. Closing my eyes, I attempted to focus harder in order to rescue myself from the prison I had created for myself.
Slowly, my eyes opened. My little home was dim and cold. Looking around, I noticed I was in the corner of a barren room. White paint on the wall appeared yellow and stained and was peeling badly. I tried to stand, but I was too tired. I put my face in my hands, feeling as if I was going to fall asleep again. I could feel moisture on my face. Some had soaked into my skin, but some tears still rested beneath my eylids.
“Have I been crying? How did I fall asleep? Why am I here? I need to get out of here. I have to finish unpacking.”
Using the wall as a support, I stood. Squinting, I peered around the room for any sign of an exit. I spotted a door on the other side of the room. I tried to open the door but it was locked from the other side. I instantly fell to the cold, hardwood floor and began weeping. There was no escape. The light in the room began to fade. Angrily, I stood but instantly fell against the wall. In anger and confusion, I began to rip off the peeling paint. It felt amazing being able to let out all the pain and agony that had been rotting inside my soul. The light went completely out, and I felt myself drift away into a deep sleep. As I fell asleep, I my body sunk to the ground.
It was twelve A.M. now. Finally, my apartment was complete, but I couldn’t keep myself awake to enjoy it. Feeling like I had not slept in ages, I trudged towards my bedroom and twisted the door handle. The door didn’t open, and I continued to struggle with the door. Somehow, the door was locked. I tried to remember if I had locked it before. I recalled setting everything up in my room, exiting, and closing the door behind me but not locking it. Studying the doorknob, I realized it didn’t even have a lock. I felt myself fading away from dreariness, but my body was filled with panic, keeping me awake. I decided I would sleep on the couch. I began to feel weak, like I had just exerted all my energy into something all at once. Now I was on my stomach, crawling down the hallway. I suddenly froze up with fear. It was behind me, and I could sense it. I put all my energy into crawling away as fast as I could, but it was useless. It was sucking me in. I let myself crumple to the floor. It kept pulling harder and harder. The pull turned me around and, sure enough, it was there. I stared into the mirror, and what I saw was horrifying. On the other side, half of me had already been consumed by a frozen, inky void. As the void consumed the last piece of me, everything went black, and I fell to the floor one last time.
“Finally, I am free. No more running. No more illusions. No more suffering. No more anything. I am free.”