h2>Dating : Shattered
The sound is so remarkably distinct that my thoughts grind to a halt. Something about it makes my heart swell, and then thud. What is it that my mum always told me about broken glass?
The subsequent silence is broken by the crunching of glass.
Of course. Broken glass is a bad omen.
I feel my body quivering. What can I attribute these shudders to — the darkness, the dampness, or fear brimming to the surface?
My eyes are wide open but darkness engulfs me, holding me in its tight embrace, rendering me blind. They’ve done all the adjusting they’re capable of, yet I squint hoping to catch a glimpse of something, anything.
I shift my focus to my ears. The sound of my ragged breathing is comforting; shallow at times, deep otherwise, but constant.
If sounds could be described as whispers, then I feel the wind whispering into my ears. Not sweet nothings, no, nothing as demure as that. It’s like demons having hushed conversations which make their way to my ears, demanding the right of passage.
What are these demons saying? What do they want from me?
I suppress a groan.
I’m cold and wet and uncomfortable, yet I stay frozen in place, crouched under a rusty table. I have no recollection of where I am, and for the moment this feels like the safest place to be, though that may very well be untrue.
The whispers are like the hum of machinery if the hum was somehow amplified in a manner that elicits pain. If only these whispers would hush so that I can listen. I need to listen.
I feel myself getting agitated as the sounds intensify becoming screeches and screams. Do these demons surround me? Or are they in my head, one with me, consuming me?
“Stop!” I want to yell, “Just stop!”
But my lips remain pursed, frozen in place as if glued together.
Just beyond the sounds of my ragged breathing and the whispers and screeches wreaking havoc, I hear something faint out of reach. I try to hone in on it, to throw an anchor out into the void, hoping it will clasp onto whatever it is that is out there.
Then I hear it, the pitter-patter of feet; it’s nowhere near the shattered glass, no, it’s… behind me. I swivel around and wait, willing any inkling of fight left within me to resurface. This feels foolish as I know how fragile I am, I know that the gentlest breeze might blow me away.
The whispers have hushed now; the wind is crisp as it carries the pitter-patter to me and surrounds me with it. I feel it come closer and I hear it get louder, and I am helpless as I wait. I hold my breath, my ragged breath that was once constant and comforting, and wait to be assaulted by the bearer of the feet. All I can do is wait.
Instead, I’m blinded by lights.
I blink incessantly, confused and scared. As I reach out for the table, I freeze. There is no table, there was never a table. I’m surrounded by a room of white — white walls, a white floor and a white ceiling — with nothing occupying any space but me.
The glass… Where’s the glass? I can’t have imagined the shattering of the glass; the sound was so distinct, so etched in my memory. The table has already faded into the back of my mind like a ghost that was never solid, never physically present; but the sound of the shattering glass is vivid — it was real, it has to be!
Sprawling to my feet, I look around but there is nothing there to feast my eyes upon other than blinding whiteness — I feel like I am submerged in white paint.
Suddenly, the demons assault me out of nowhere, louder than ever, and I scream in agony, falling to my knees. That’s when I notice that I am neither damp nor am I battered — I am naked, head to toe, with not a hair or a blemish in sight. An increasing number of emotions swirl in my already chaotic mind; I feel vulnerable, like a rat with no fur, like a sock in the rain.
Where am I?
That thought is immediately replaced by another…
“Who am I?!” I scream as I curl up in a manner akin to that of a foetus; my emotions fight each other so that one may come out victorious but none do. The whispers have softened to a gentle hum and I eventually let them lull me to sleep.