Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

I always wanted to live a normal life. For as long as I can remember, it was all I wished for, all I dreamed of. All I prayed for. I have never asked Santa for candy or a new bike or a roll of money, I always asked for a normal life, a real life. Not the shadow I live in. Not the hate. And definitely not the fear!

 
I wasn’t born normal. I am a product of lies and anger and broken promises. I live with all these monsters who torment me at their leisure. When fear leaves, anger comes and when anger leaves, hate comes. Never a moment of peace.

 
Every day, I try to escape. I have tried walking out the door, but commitment held me back. You see, there is a little monster called depression and he draws me backward and backward. But, he is my good pal. We understand each other. Fond of, even, the little monster and I. Sometimes, we have a tea party with some of his other friends like misery and sadness and frustration. They shake my hands and pat my back and kiss my cheek.

 

And I feel at home with them. These folks I can understand.

 
However, as I strolled through the corridors of my cell on a sunny day, I met someone. Someone new. And different. And shiny. And she looked really strange, with colors and light and air. She smiled at me and I felt something warm stir. Deep inside of me. It felt like the warmth of the fireplace on a cold winter morning. But, fire wasn’t good. I know this because misery had once advised me to hug the fireplace. And it scalded. Sadness had also given me a similar advice. And I still have a scar to show for it.

 
Fire is bad. Very bad, I have learned.

 
So, I ran away and closed the door to that corridor, left with a whisper of what could have been.

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