There was a time when I didn't know how to feel. All I knew was watch and observe, never experience. I could notice the thunder jarring my tiny, fragile bones, but I could never understand the anguish and betrayal lacing the icy bombardment that it followed. I could only stare at the threatening gloom plaguing my family.
There was a time when I didn't know how to see. I forced myself into the darkness, relying only on my sharpened senses. Smell, taste, sound, but never touch. That sense was long gone, with my sight now accompanying it in the land of dead dreams and pointy things. I willed myself to open my eyes in the hope of gaining back light, but they were shut tight with the incessant shrill of voices screaming back and forth. Back and forth.
Back and forth until my hearing disappeared, when I learned to turn it off but never how to turn it back on. Gone were the shrieks and snarls, gone were the howls of vengeful animals and curses of malicious witches, gone was the humanity that encompassed me.
Taste was useless, not that it had any purpose at all as I tried to regain my senses, so I only had my sense of smell connecting me to the world. But nothing had a scent. Not the warm sunshine beating down on the earth, not the chilly pavement that scratched my bare feet, not the clouds that hovered over us. I was left with nothing.
As I sat there, utterly numb and incapable of anything, the voices tried to ask if there was something wrong. What came out of my mouth was mumbled gibberish in response to a question I could neither hear nor lip-read, and I still couldn't feel either. I remained in the shadows, occasionally switching places if one side ever felt too isolated.
But I was empty and hollow, and no part of me was genuinely human. The only things that remained were my heart and my brain, alive but broken, stuck in between staying dumb and senseless, or welcoming back senses and suffering immense pain.
One was emotional, the other logical, and the decision was never made.