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The House

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I am confined within my life. It holds me back; my parents are my walls, their rules are my locked doors.

At first I lived in the House peacefully, not noticing the doors or windows. I played with innocence and obedience on the kitchen floor while they watched over me. After a while I realized that there were strange openings in the walls. The House spoke to me, telling me I was not to venture past the openings and I did so without opposition. Then, as often is with growing children, I became curious. Curious of the strange openings that led to another, mysterious world. I abandon my forgotten toys of innocence and obedience on the floor and instead found curiosity and questions more to my fancy. I ran around to all the doors and peeked out the windows, but everything was covered. The Walls spoke to me gently, warning me of the dangers outside my safe home and I was content with the knowledge that the doors and windows were shut for a reason; to protect me. I could trust them, the Walls crooned at me, petting my head and stroking my arms. For some time I was happy just spending time in the House. But finally, bored of they had given me and unable to play with my new ones I peered into the rooms, searching for the alluring passage ways once again. I spied the door, a shining beacon in the middle of the foyer wall. I tiptoed towards it, afraid to alert the House to my actions. Reaching the door, I extended my hand to the knob slowly, oh so slowly. I opened it. Oh the sights! Oh the sounds! The smells, the lights, the beauty of it! My mind is instantly overwhelmed with it all. And just as suddenly it;s gone, cut off, the door slammed shut in my face. The House is angry, it yells and screams and shakes around me until things fall and shatter and wood splinters and I cower under my bed in fear and regret.

I'm good for a long time after that. Still frightened, I often play in my room with the new toys I discovered, a small, dark toy called resentment and one called confusion. I eat, play, sleep, walk, talk, breathe with these toys, now my constant companions. I can't forget the wonders of the other world though, no matter how hard I try. I control myself; Temptation comes to visit me almost daily, but I shoo her away. One day there is a knock on the door. I hear the sound, but ignore it, sure that I cannot open the door without punishment. It continues for days and weeks until each pound reverberates through my body and I can't stand it. Racing downstairs, I fling open the door and stop short.

It is a boy. He smiles at me and he is beautiful. He comes inside and I let him. We hide in my room and talk. We talk about everything and he comes almost everyday. One day, after he is gone, I notice a glowing new toy on my bed. I hesitantly walk over and examine it. It is soft and gentle and makes me feel warm and safe inside. I know the boy has given me this gift. I play with it often; stroking it and holding it, watching it grow. The other toys have been lost long ago; all I focus on now is the new one, the most beautiful toy I have ever seen. I hide it from the House though, I know It will be angry if It knew. On a particularly sunny afternoon, the boy takes me outside. I am afraid, but I trust him. He shows me the world. I learn everything. I learn things I did not know I wanted to, for the desire was deeply hidden under layers of my House. When I get home, the House is different. The edges sharper, the rooms darker, the walls more constricted. I live in the House and the boy shows me more. I think new thoughts. I discover secrets and wonders and beauty unknown to me before. I also discover pain. It is unpleasant. but it is worth it. I always dread returning to the House. Out here, I felt free and open, myself. In the House, I was who They wanted me to be. The House doesn't know. Do this It says, do that It says. I nod in mute complacency, but secretly I disagree in my mind. I think of the boy to help me through these times.

I am sitting in the living room when I hear an earth-shattering roar. The House rumbles and groans and beats the walls. I am afraid. What is this, It demands, throwing my brightly lit toy to the floor. I do not fear for the toy, I know it is indestructible. It is my toy I answer. It was given to me by somebody special. NO the House shouts. You have gone outside It screams, what did we tell you? My fear is subsiding, anger starts to grow. You kept me from what i needed. You want to keep me captive, keep me in You I shout. I stand up. At first I lived in the House peacefully, not noticing the doors or windows. But now I know. I run to the door, full speed, desperate to open it, desperate to free myself. But once I reach it, throwing myself at it, tanking the door handle, pounding at the walls, I discovered that it was to no avail; it was locked. I crumpled to the floor, my head in my hands, sobbing. The House comes over, kneels down and strokes my hair. It's OK, It says, you're safe here, don't worry. You won't ever be in danger. I sit silently, immobile, despair and anger exploding in my head. I am locked within my own life, there is no way out.




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