By Harper Bergquist, TIWP student
Once upon a time, in the small pink room with eight walls and a mirror for the floor, a girl ten years old began to sing. And though her voice was hoarse from the years of silence, and no one was around to hear her, letting out the tunes seemed to free her of the tears without a single drop leaving her eyes. She sang a meaningless melody with words that didn’t rhyme, and started to draw on the walls with a black marker she had found in the closet.
Once upon a time, in the small pink room with intricate black designs scaling from floor to ceiling, a girl thirteen years old began to cry. As red drops splattered against her reflection, the door to her closet began to glow. She walked over and opened it to find fresh undergarments and a box full of cotton rectangles wrapped in pink paper. After removing the items, she opened the door once again to find a toilet and sink. The room had always given her what she needed; after all, no one else ever had.
Once upon a time, in the small black room with eight walls and no windows, a sixteen year old girl began to scream. She ripped through her hair with scissors she always kept close by, and when it was too short to cut anymore, she stabbed the blade into the floor and shattered her reflection. She jumped back, her cry cut short. And then, suddenly feeling very powerful, she stood in front of the door that had given her everything she had ever needed. Then she spoke.
“I need an exit,” she said firmly, her voice raspy. And then she opened the door.
Trees. That was the word that jumped into her head. But not just trees, leaves! Her tiny room was surrounded and supported by branches, and enveloped in a canopy of green.
She was never malnourished. Everything essential to her survival was in the closet at her command. But her frail arms and legs achieved from a lifetime without leaving her prison made climbing down the gigantic redwood a near impossible feat. Not to mention the incredible speed of her hair growth; the golden length was already at her waist and getting tangled in the branches as she climbed.
There was a village at the bottom of the tree. For nearly ten years she had been a mere climb away from civilization. People were laughing, loving, living, and she had missed out on it all.
Why didn’t they come rescue me, she thought for a moment before pushing the thought aside.
She could rescue herself.