Belonging

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A classroom, a potential home, and a blue sky.

Submitted: November 29, 2017

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Submitted: November 29, 2017

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He walked into a room full of strangers. 

Upon crossing the threshold that separated his world from theirs, his first reaction was to freeze. Then, once all other muscles in his body had surrendered to fear, he began to slowly turn his head, observing thus the delicate dance of a stranger's gaze. It appeared distant yet purposeful (as though the stranger had prepared the perfect glance prior to this gathering), but the purpose remained hidden to his eyes. He knew not whether the strangers in the room wanted him dead or admired him, whether they adored him or talked behind his back, whether they knew of all the mistakes he had made in his past. What if they were aware of his morning rituals, had seen him stand before the bathroom mirror and ridicule himself? As he ran all these possibilities through his mind, he suddenly came to and realized that all glances now arrowed toward him. He began to sweat. Tremors went through his body. He felt the hair on his arms stand up. It was now impossible to face them, for they had figured him out, knew of all his faults and fears. No more room to reconcile, no time left to reconnect. He shook from head to toe in shame. He tried to look past these irrational fears and swallow the blue sky outside the classroom with his eyes, but the faces of all the people whom he thought he'd disappointed appeared in the sky. There was no escaping the torments of the mind. Too ashamed to confront the strangers and seek the truth, he turned around and walked away. 

When he opened his eyes he was still behind the classroom door, his hand resting on the handle. Afraid of all the What-Ifs he had witnessed in his mind's eye, he chose not to open the door, thus leaving behind a potential home and a blue sky. 

On the other side of the closed door, people gathered in clusters, conversing, each talking about their own lives, occupied with their own troubles, and yet they all belonged to a single entity that shared with them all their woes and worries, and if an observer were to listen really carefully, they would realize that this was in fact the collective voice of humanity itself - a fragile race scared of its own tentative existence. 

And in less than ten seconds, the boy who had once contemplated whether to enter the classroom had disappeared from sight. 

But even with his absence, humanity's collective hum rang through the narrow halls, audible to those willing to listen. 


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