This story is by Sophie and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I open my eyes. I was there again. Why was I back? I thought back to a few seconds ago. “What happened?” I ask myself. Then I remembered. I had been afraid like usual. I had broken down and sent myself here into my mind.
I had weak volition and because of that my mind would take over. My mind was smaller than most. There was one main room, no windows. It was a dull grey color with doors all around but those doors were always locked. When I entered for the first time I had tried to escape. And time and time again. But I could never figure out how to. I seemed to return to reality at random.
It started when I was twelve. I had homeschooled all my life but my parents had decided that when I turned thirteen they would send me to a real school. I began to fear then. Every day that passed would bring on more anxiety and more worries about the coming year. My seventh grade year just seemed to slip away like time does, not slowly but very quickly. Then in my eighth grade as time quickened, my anxiety worsened. It was torture.
It’s weird how my memory works. Though every day seems to be a living hell, the day goes so quickly I always forget why I was afraid and what had happened the day before.
I had a personality that I feared, it was so unpredictable. I would jump from behind truculent to being cowardly and fearful.
Thoughts of anger always filled my mind. The desire to punch someone always stayed even when I was happy, which was quite rare. The only escape I had and have is writing. When I write I feel as if I could do anything. I feel free and happy.
You might think with all this going on in reality I would love to escape to my mind. If you think that, you are a fool. Because my mind is the cause of all my troubles. It’s where my fear and unhappiness dwells and really everything bad.
I often wonder what’s behind those doors. I sometimes think it could just maybe be happiness. Something I failed to mention earlier is that yes, the doors are locked. But I have the keys. They hang on a great big key chain on a hook in the wall just past the last door. I like to pick them up sometimes and hold them in my hand. When I do I wonder and I wonder what’s behind those doors. My curiosity has never gotten the best of me though. For I fear it may unleash more turmoil.
But today is different. Different than the rest of all the other days. Because today I’m determined to escape. Today’s my sixteenth birthday. I know I said that last year and the year before that and the year before that. Pretty much since I was twelve. And as I remembered that my mind turned to doubt.
Doubt is awful in the mind but that day the air turned so thick in that room that I was gasping for breath. What if I could never escape? Now I couldn’t breathe. I was holding my breath. I had to get rid of that doubt! I thought of all the reasons that I could escape this year. And I gasped for air and breathed again as the air filled my lungs.
I sat on the floor crisscross. I said aloud all the times I had escaped. Well, I didn’t really escape: my mind released me. I preferred to think I had escaped.
It was so strange that when I was in my mind I could remember everything so well I could almost see thirteen year old me crying on the first day of school. Every little detail of all the pain of the past four years.
“I have to escape” I said my voice slightly below a whisper. I was afraid of saying my plan out loud. How to escape I thought. How could I escape. I thought of opening the doors. No that was out of the question.
I had strange little habits when I was frightened or nervous. Like chewing my nails or drumming my fingers (or banging my head against a wall). I felt like doing all three now but I didn’t want to appear in fear. Maybe if I inflicted physical pain on myself it would shock me back to reality. So I bit my tongue, literally. I yelped in pain as my hard teeth clamped down on my thin tongue. “Not my best idea”, I admitted aloud.
I set thinking for at least an hour. I was so frustrated I began to cry I pounded my firsts on the walls. That only gave me a headache. I hated being trapped. “I am weak I am ugly I am hopeless.” I lied to myself. That made me cry.
I remember when I entered my first writing contest. It seemed like forever ago. My eleventh birthday I entered a writing contest. I hated it. I was so afraid of loosing. But at the same time I loved it. I had fun writing. I had always written for myself. Not for winning some contest. I didn’t win that contest. I was fine with that. But I was mad at myself for not writing good enough.
All the happy times I enjoy and forget and all the unhappy time I remember forever. “I hate that” I said and screamed in frustration just because I could. I always feel like I can scream. I try to be perfect. I really do. But it seems no matter how hard I try. I always end up disappointing.
“Maybe if I’m happy I can escape.” I said. I smiled for about ten seconds. Then my face fell. I screamed again and again and again and again. I don’t really think I have happiness.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned there in front of me stood a little child four or so. “Come play!” the kid said. “No” I screamed in my head. I had tried to burry that memory long ago. The memory of writing a book about a little child who grew up to fast. “Like me” I said.
I buried my head in my hands and when I looked back I was alone again. “Alone” I said. “Again.” Why did I always feel alone. “Please I just wanna go” I cried!
“Hello” a kid said I hadn’t noticed. Had the child heard me? The kid smiled and looked confident. Boy I would sure love to be that kid. “You look happy” I said. The kid frowned and looked at the floor. That’s when I realized this kid was me. Me on my fourteenth birthday. I had practiced being confident all morning in my room. All that practice was for nothing though. “It was a horrible day.” The kid said and was gone.
I sometimes felt so scared that I felt my stomach was burning with acid and my heart was a hundred pound weight. That’s kinda how I felt. I feel sometimes I’m in a box so small that I shouldn’t be able to fit in it.
I wonder is it really possible for things to get worse. I remember something my Grandfather told me just before he died. When you are stuck in a pit you better start climbing. I didn’t really understand what that meant. But I think I might now. I can’t spend my whole life like this. Before I knew what I was doing I walked over and grabbed the keys. I but them in the key whole to the farthest door and turned it and pushed it open.
What I saw in front of me amazed me! I saw a room just like mine. But I didn’t enter it. “It looks the same I said aloud” there on the floor sat another person crying. I closed the door quickly and locked it back.
I didn’t talk for awhile. I was in shock. Finally I said, “I wonder if this is just a copy of everyone’s mind?” I saw someone ,even though the room was small they seemed far away. I heard aloud voice say “You fool you know this is your mind. You can control what you think and how you think.”
I looked around the room. It seemed less dull grey and more like shining silver. “What?” I ask.