I scratch and claw at the cold glass window.
I can’t escape.
I pound on the window, begging it to crack.
Can anyone hear me?
Rain dots the other side of the fogged glass. I rattle the thick bars, smudged and dented with years of disturbing hallucinations. My hands slip from the filthy metal and fall to my lap, bloody. I will never get out of here.
I yell; my voice hoarse. Please!
I drop my reeling head into my warm and sticky hands. I make dark hand prints on my skin.
I whine. Please!
I fall to my side, sobbing. Tears blot out my vision. My body shakes uncontrollably—not just from the cold stone floor and the drafty window, but from fear. From pain.
Not many people will ever feel like this.
I murmur softly, my vision still blurred and altered. Please, oh please, God. Someone. Save me.
My voice fades to a whisper.
A horrible chill runs up my spine and I open my eyes. Tears try to wash away my pain by carving tracks in my blood-creased face.
My vision clears. I’m staring at the ugly light green wall beneath the window.
One bloodied arm is wrapped tightly across my cold chest. Another rests on the stone at my side, frozen.
I curl my exposed toes. What if I freeze to death? Will anyone care? Will anyone notice?
Using my remaining energy, I raise my hands to the filthy windowsill to pull myself to my feet. I stand, and shakily cross to the other side of the room. Toward the white door. My warm breath leaves my body in visible gray puffs.
Scuff marks and dents cover the bottom portion of the door. Amongst that, and above, are hand prints. No, not the blood and grime of the people before me—it’s the blood and grime that I contributed that caused the door to look the way it does now.
My hand passes over the cold brass handle. I lift my other to a small, smudged hand print directly in the center of the door.
The hand print of a child.
My hand is much larger now than it was.
And so here I am. Trapped once again behind the same white door.
It’s not the same as I first remember it: bright white and almost welcoming. It now shows the signs of a girl who has gone mad growing up in solitude.
‘Alone’ doesn’t even come close to describing it.
My left hand, the one resting on the cold brass, jiggles the handle. I increase my efforts, and my warm breath makes clouds in front of my eyes. I take hold of the handle now with both hands, and try again.
And again to break the door loose. I have to get out of here.
I will this time.
I kick and scream and claw at the door. Then, I lean all of my weight onto the handle of that door and push down. My heavy breathing is the only sound now. My breath continues to form clouds in front of me. After a moment in near silence, I hear a loud creak. Just as I’m expecting to break the locked handle open, the handle snaps off. And me, not expecting it to break, falls to the floor with it—hitting my head on the molding as I fall.
I land on my stomach and stare at the cold brass handle in my blood-crusted hands.
Publication Date: 10-26-2012
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