What’s happening? Where am I?
These are the first things that come to my mind. I’m unaware of the darkness that surrounds me. So I begin to walk. I don’t know where I’m going, I just know that I have somewhere to be. So I walk and walk and walk. There is no landscape to look at, nobody to talk to. Sometimes I’ll see a long, white shape in the distance, and I’ll run towards it, hoping for answers. It always disappears. I rack my brain, but I can’t remember anything. I have no concept of time, so whenever I’m tired, I rest. Sometimes I feel restless, and even though I am walking, I can’t shake this feeling of unease.
At one point, I feel thirsty. I wish I had something to drink. As soon as the thought comes to my head, a glass full of grayish liquid appears in my hand. Although it doesn’t taste like anything, it quenches my thirst. After a while, I realize that I can wish for anything, so when I am tired, I wish for a bed. Until today, I didn’t realize that I could wish for a friend. I wish I had a friend, I think. Soon a milky, white ball comes into view. This is my friend. I don’t know how I know that this is a safe person, but something in my mind says it is, and when you have nothing, you tend to listen to that little voice.
Once again, I ask, “Where am I?”
I cannot hear my voice. The white ball never answers my question, but it’s still there. It grows bigger and stronger, and soon, I can see a face. It gets bigger, until it’s around the size of a baby doll. Then it disappears. Then after a couple minutes, a new friend appears. This continues. After a while, I get used to all these new friends.
I wake up to a strange light. I find myself in a long, dark room. Eventually, a humanlike figure drifts towards me. It’s much bigger than my other friends. I can slightly see a cold, white face with two black slits for eyes. The figure looks like it is wearing a white robe.
“Where am I?” I ask.
I am surprised to hear my voice, slightly slurred, but still there. I am even more surprised to hear the figure reply lightly and calmly, “Welcome.”
“Who are you?” I say.
“My name is Mortem.”
“If you can answer my questions, why couldn’t my other friends?”
“They are not fully developed and are nothing but the, yet, unborn children of time.”
“What am I here for?”
“You are still not fully developed, yet time has left you.”
Mortem shows me to a hole. In the hole is a bed. It looks so comfy, so inviting. There is a plaque with a strange carving on it. It looks like a name.
“Would you like to take a rest?” Mortem asks.
There is something so wonderful about that bed, yet I don’t feel ready.
“Not now,” I say.
Soon, another figure arrives. It moves slower and, somehow, seems older than me. Mortem shows it around and shows it another bed. This time it agrees. The stranger acts like it can’t see me. The figure crosses its arms on its chest and closes its eyes. A lid lifts up and covers the hole.
I see Mortem showing more ghost-like figures around. Most of them agree to the bed, but every once in awhile, somebody says no. When that happens, they disappear from my view. I watch everyone get into bed peacefully, and soon, I feel peaceful with my own fate. Now I’m gazing longingly at my own bed, and eventually, I decide to sleep. I say goodbye to Mortem and get into bed. Before I get in, I look at the plaque one last time, and I see a faded name, Cecily Brooks. Those two words sound so familiar, yet I can’t remember why. I close my eyes, cross my arms like all the others, and let the darkness surround me. For one moment, memories flash in my brain.
I remember when my parents got me my first phone. I treasured that phone, and I hugged and kissed them for days. My parents and I had an amazing relationship until that fight.
I remember that fight. I remember the shouting, and I remember smashing my precious phone on the wall. I remember ignoring my parents for the rest of the night. I remember sneaking out of the house when everyone was asleep and climbing into my family car. I had gotten my driver’s license the week before.
I remember driving on the road. It was my light. Yet, that other car that came didn’t stop. I remember that split second of fear, and that moment of helplessness. I remember wishing that I could apologize to my parents. Perhaps that’s why I felt so hesitant to get into bed before. I was missing something: my parents’ love.
Then I remembered something else that I will never forget. I remember seeing my body in the hospital, my mother leaning over me, crying, and my father trying to pretend his eyes weren’t filling up with tears. I remember blowing them a kiss and drifting up into the sky.