By Leighton Tanaka, TIWP Student
I opened the door.
Mom and dad always warned us about it. They said that outside there was nothing but a wasteland. They said that the outside was burning.
Mom and dad are liars.
The plants somehow grow without sunlight, the flags sink under the weight of the air, the water is polluted by the inside. Nothing is clean except those scum who live above us, although the only thing that is above average about them is their arrogance. The sun never rises in this permanent grave we have trapped ourselves in. Someday we hoped to touch the ceiling.
And so we escaped.
Auto and I walked along the roads. We marched towards the apartments. We laughed at those who laughed at us. We were not crazy, they were. We wanted to leave the world behind. All we needed was the key.
And so we snuck into mom and dad’s room. We tiptoed so quietly that we made no noise. We looked through a crack in their door and opened it so we could look inside. We watched them. We stopped breathing until their breathing steadied. We couldn’t hear our own heartbeats, only theirs. So we went inside, and we obtained the key. When we left there was no noise. Everything was silent. When we left we were nothing but strangers to them. And we locked the door behind us.
We took very little in our escape. We planned to leave everything so we could forget.
Together we broke free of the chains that restrained us, we were left with only scars. The air smelled stale, but we smelled glorious. We were the sun, if only for a moment.
We ran under the fake sky in the everlasting night. Auto and I climbed. We climbed until our legs creaked and groaned and our whole world could hear the sound. We drank sad water and ate gross food. We hid in the cold. Auto and I were no longer silent. We shouted because we were divine. And for a little bit, we were gods.
We kept on climbing until the only thing standing between us and that door was ourselves.
For the moment I didn’t care. I didn’t care who I left behind, who I let go of. And so I opened it.
I opened the door.
And the rest of the world waited in front of me. Just me.
For the first time I was alone.
As I left the rest of my world behind.