Brief Moments of Life

Falling

I walked down the hallway. It was bright, and I wasn’t sure where I was going. Not that there were many choices. It was either back or forward. There were doors, but they didn’t have numbers on them. I tried to turn the handle of the first few, but they didn’t even wiggle. There were no light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, but it radiated a pure light that illuminated the hallway. The floor was cream colored and was unified like a single never-ending sheet of paper.

I looked back over my shoulder, and it was no different than way laid ahead. I kept walking down the hallway. The doors were evenly spaced out—twenty steps between each one. I heard a consistent hum throughout the hallway, and it got slightly louder the further I walked. It sounded like the hiss of a radiator, impatient and upset.

I picked up my pace. My heart was pounding. The hissing got louder, so loud that it hurt my ears. I blinked my eyes and refocused on the vanishing point of the hallway. It was no longer pure light. There was a dark blur at the end. I started to run. It was drawing me in. I had to know what was there. The doors ended. The walls, ceiling, and floor were identical. I felt nauseous. I’m not sure if it was from the running, the hissing, or the hallway.

The gray blur darkened and became more defined. I was finally able to discern what it was—a square hole in the center of the wall. It was larger than an air vent but smaller than a door. I stopped running and put my hands on my head to catch my breath. I walked up to the square hole and poked my head into it. I couldn’t see a damned thing. The hissing sound was deafening. I stuck out an arm into the hole. It was deeper than my reach.

I looked down the hallway from where I came. No way was I going back.

I crawled into the square hole and inched my way forward. My head scraped along the top. The bottom was entirely smooth. There were no joints or bolts connecting the small passageway. I stopped minding the hissing. I kept crawling forward.

I reached forward with my right hand and then my left, and there was nothing to catch them. Before I realized the bottom fell out, my weight shifted forward and I fell down head-first. I grasped for the walls, but there were none in reach.

I can’t remember how long I fell. It eventually felt like I wasn’t falling at all, as is falling became the new normal and standing on solid ground was foreign.

That’s when it hit me. You knew the whole time, but you didn’t tell me. It all made sense. I don’t blame you; I probably would have done the same thing. But I can’t forgive you.


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