The light clicked on. A loud mechanical buzzing pierced through the otherwise quiet room like a slow, steady stream of electricity forcing its way through old wiring. Had the sun risen yet? It felt early enough and seemed time enough, but he doubted it. Nevertheless, he pulled the shades tight just in case. The morning sun always caught him off guard, rising up and forcing itself into every situation without permission like your nosey next door neighbour who wanted to shed light on every minute detail of your life. It was obnoxious. He pulled out a chair, moulded and wooden, and sat down, his legs crossed at the ankle.
“I have come here to share something with you all.” He cleared his throat.
The room was empty save for the light overhead and a dented and well abused table that he sat behind.
“I am afraid.” He confessed, repositioning his hands from his lap to the tabletop. “Afraid for the future of us, for the future of them. For the sun to rise on my perpetual night and for the rain to stop falling.” His voice was strong as it echoed back at him, bouncing off poorly wallpapered walls and cracks in the drywall, but his body told his secret. He was nervous to let those words resonate. If they came back to him, they were real and there would be no stopping them then.
“I am scared,” He continued, “I am scared that all I love will be burned with me once that light hit’s the top of our building. That the pillars that hold me high above the world will topple and send me plummeting to what I know will be the end of me.”
And he was afraid. Very much so. Never before had anything scared him so much. There was once, a long time before, that he had felt every fibre of his being as if he were on fire. There was no end to the horror, it seemed then, no stopping his downfall. But this was different, a much more primal kind of fear. The type of fear that seeped in through all the cracks in your heart that you didn’t even know where there until the flood waters started to rush in torrentially.
His past had broken him and left hairline fractures all across his face. The pressure now was more than enough to turn those miniscule and forgettable fractures into deep, gaping fissures that consumed all that dare challenge them and their fury.
“If I fall, who will catch me before my bones shatter into a thousand tiny pieces on the pavement below? Who will sit and put me back together when I don’t have the hands to do it myself?” His fingers started to tap slowly on the table, an awkward and feverous pattern. “Will the rare smiles I share be enough to stoke the fire with and keep them burning brightly? Or will it all burn out and lead me to my funeral pyre?”
There was no real answer to his questions, only the empty and muffled echo of his own words, which was hardly a response. They were nothing to stand on, nothing he could rely on. The only real way, he thought, to be sure of anything was to be unsure enough to risk everything.
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