The air of the blurry world around me was stale and stagnant with irritating scents I could not recognize. I assumed it was a mix of medical chemicals of patients passed with the smell of fresh mold slithering its way up the walls. I winced, positioning myself up right while vaguely noticing the bits of worn tile shaken loose from my black and green sweater as I moved painstakingly slow. Everything was sore and my skull throbbed to a rhythm similar to a heavy metal bands drums. I held one hand to the left side of my head gingerly, hoping maybe that would some how steady pulsating. Upon looking over my surroundings with my drowsy eyes, the migraine was miraculously forgotten.
"Where in the hell....?," I heard myself stammer out softly as I moved my head from side to side to get a thorough intake of this unknown place. Thoughts raced about my head like bitterly black roaches caught in the light. I could not fathom how I made it to this place nor could I recall exactly what this place was. A window on the wall furthest from me made it clear that it was at the very least day light outside as pale,yellow beams cascaded through it. Within in the beams, though unimportant, my eyes and my dazed focused for what seemed like hours on tiny specks of dust and particles floating past lazily, without a care in the world. How could they care? They were only brainless matter in existence. Which was ironically how I felt as I pulled my gaze from them and concentrated more of my energy into standing up.
Somehow I figured this would be a difficult task. It was a horrendously arduous chore because as soon as I relied on the muscles within my leg flexing to lift me from the floor my head began to spin again. What was this? Could I have been drugged and dragged here? Was this a bizarre dream where the weight of gravity is multiplied and traction with the ground beneath is nonexistent? Nothing seemed to make much sense yet made perfect sense all at the same time. It was as if all the answers I need were here somewhere but I could just not put enough energy into myself to move forward. I was frozen in place, only able to shiver helplessly like an abandoned, young dog left on a curb loyally waiting for its un-loyal master to one day return.
My icy, numb ears hear noises from beyond the disheveled dirtied doorway floating from down the hallway. It was the sound of other living beings talking raucously but all of their words jumbled into incoherent messes that my mind could not comprehend. I tried to move again, so I may meet these people face to face. Maybe they would know where we were and why. I began to panic as I could not moved an inch further and my breath became heavy as I felt a great pressure enclose around my throat. I gasped for air to scream out for help. Though only a small, fibble noise was all I heard, the other noise I heard cease immediately once it was released. Now....I could feel their presence right outside the room and as I looked harder I could see their shadows cast along the now dark walls. I managed to glance back to the window and felt my heart sink as suddenly it was night. How long had I just stood here as ridged as a cement statue and not been able to move?
" Did....did you just hear that scream?" I heard a female's voice stutter and I could hear the fright in her tone. Before a reply came I heard shuffling, as if people were filing into the very room I was occupying while stuck in some universe or dimension alternate to their own where I had no power to even move my arm.
" Yea...It came from in here." I heard another voice, now one of a younger male speak in response to the girl's previous question. It was now painfully obvious something just was night right and though I was not being threatened, I felt just that. Threatened. I could not move, could not speak, and could not defend myself against these strangers. Strangers with only voice and no faces or bodies. Nothing grounding them to the physical plane that existed to my sore eyes. Yet I could feel them as if they stood right beside my as my friends would. Where were my friends anyways? Why were they not here with me? All these ridiculous questions flitted through my overworked brain and I felt a heavy, dark cloud of depression settle into my chest as something tickled at the back of my mind. A fact I was forgetting. It was a regret but I could not recall what it was I was regretting or while it suddenly made me feel so lost, so alone. So utterly helpless and pathetic. I really was no different than dust floating aimlessly in the air. Especially to these voice that surrounded me, whispering to each other and yelling out questions I knew no answers to nor how I could respond.
" Is there some here with us now?"
" Did you die here?" What? A pain gripped tightly to my heart.
" Was that you we heard scream? Are you in pain?" No...it couldn't have been...I...barely...made a noise. Yes I'm in pain...it all hurts. I can't breath! I thought to myself as the sense of loss overwhelmed me and I felt the pressure around my throat clinch even tighter and began to sting.
" If you could make your presence known,please? Make a noise, move something, say something. Just let us know you are here." The girl's voice spoke with a sense of sympathy laced into it. It was as if she could feel my despair as it radiated off of me and my fist balled in frustration. Wait! I could move now! I had a small moment of glee as I moved my limbs effortlessly but them was over came with horror as I looked up from my pain, soiled hands once more. I gasped as I saw them sitting there staring into the darkness around us expectantly, video cameras in hand. They were hazy figures to my eyes, so even though they had clear forms their features were vague. The two men sitting together on ragged chairs appeared as black card board cut outs while the female in the opposite corner had a face I could somewhat reconcile. Long dark hair and brightly lit eyes. I moved forward towards her, reaching my hands out to make contact with her colorless cheeks. She was, to my bewilderment, solid to the touch yet show no sign that she could feel my freezing finger tips against her skin.
" We heard that not but 3 years back a young man committed suicide by hanging himself...Is that you we heard screaming? Were you yelling out for help because you changed your mind?...A little too late, right?..." I heard one of the young men ask but unlike the others he sounded smug and arrogant. Suddenly that despair and grief was back and that unknown regret was pushing as the forefront of my mind again. The pressure around my neck was pulling me backwards, away from the girl who's presence had just begun to make me feel not so singular in this place I was trapped.
Memories began to rush back to my dull mind as waters rushing in a flood. It was me. I had been that young man.....I was just a kid really. Who had to deal with the back and forth of hellish home life and hateful, unabashed ridicule at school. That's why I came here, wasn't it? My father would beat me down into my place and other at school would kick me while I was down and throw salt in all of my deepest wounds. The few friend I had....I can barely see their faces now. I can only remember the love and acceptance they gave me when no one else would...but their own ridicule they received from having me in their company was too much for me to take. They were such warm, welcoming, and kind souls. They did not deserve it. I did not come here to rid myself of life and its problems...I came here to rid them of me and my burden.
I was there again in that moment, just as I kicked the chair from beneath my feet in finality just as a judge would brandish his gavel. Just as I began to fall, my damned cell phone laying prone on the floor lit up. His name was upon the screen in florescent white letters, the phone beeping as frantically as my heart was beating. With in milliseconds the reality of what I was doing came crashing down on me and regret pulled at my heart a little too late as I reached out to the phone vainly. The rough, thick rope snapped around my throat just after an anguished scream managed to escape my dry, chipped lips. I choked and gagged as my hands pulled at the binding to no avail. I felt all the energy rush from my body as all oxygen was cut of from my body. My arms now hung limply at my sides and my eyes stared forward, sightless as I slowly suffocated. Not just from lack of air but from the tremendous guilt and remorse I felt for this selfish act.
Coming back to the present, my eyes fluttered open as I felt another tugged of the rope wrapped tightly around my neck. It pulled me further from the girl and my contact with her was becoming less and less. Before all energy in me was lost I had to say it, just in case maybe they could help. Maybe they could let them, my friend, know. Stretching out my arms desperately, I clutched her shoulders and felt her jump, now finally feeling my presence as well. I pulled her closer to me and I could see the horror in her innocent eyes as she was drug forward. I felt as if I was leeching energy from her body and using it to fuel some fire burning in my throat.
" I'm sorry....tell them, I'm sorry...." Was all I could manage before suddenly in a burst of bright light, all contact was lost and I was hurtled backwards, back onto the floor, now sitting and stuck in place once again like a porcelain doll. I felt like sobbing my frustration out but had not even enough energy to do that. Just as a doll, my eyes could follow motions around a room but I could never move without the aid of something with flesh and blood. I was now well aware I was not that, flesh and blood, anymore.
" Oh shit...we caught that on the audio...Sounds like it's saying 'I'm sorry' over and over.." The males voice spoke as I heard the definite clicking of buttons. I smiled to myself, feeling all too tired.
" You....don't have to be sorry. You're friend, he sent us here to let you know that he's not mad anymore. So you can let it go...You don't have to hold on to this place any longer." The woman spoke gently as a mother would to a crying, sullen child. I shivered as I felt something wet and cold slide down my cheek solemnly. A lone tear. The weight that had settled itself upon me long ago was lifting and along with it the darkness was dissipating. A bright light filled the space around me and it felt comforting and warm. I no longer felt alone or helpless. All I could feel was love and acceptance as what seemed like large arms wrapped themselves around me, lifting me up from the broken floor beneath me. With my last fleeting glance back to the girl, who's form I could still see I managed to mutter a few last words.