While many people metaphorically refer to their experiences and opportunities as doors, I for one encounter literal ones. That is to say, I have to walk through doors in order to take my decisions. It might sound vague right now, but please hear me out, won’t you?
For as far as I can remember, I happen to be able to see a surreal space; detached from our world, yet connected by doors. Those doors represent possibilities and new beginnings, staying suspended in the space and waiting to be opened. I’ve never been aware of how or why it happens but right before I’m about to decide on something, I’m there. The place is more or less a void. It neither ends nor begins anywhere. Everywhere we look, the only thing our eyes will come across is a pitch black, infinitely stretched out. Contrastingly drifting in the void is a mist of soft pastel hues, pleasing to the eyes. The place is populated by no one except for an eerie being which I named Scribble, the first thing which came to my mind when I saw it. It is a very obvious name based on its appearance. A body made of scribbles, the kind of texture you would expect to see if you strike sandpaper with a bunch of broken crayons.
When I was younger, I have tried to interact with him countless of times, with each attempt being pointless. I think he can’t even be considered as a physical being here given that physical contact with him is impossible. Any attempts would have him disperse, much similar to waves before molding together to form his body again which consisted of seemingly frail limbs, like matchsticks and an over-sized head.
“Why do you never talk? Are you that shy?” 8 year old me would often ask out of curiosity. As expected from a little boy, I even went so far as to learn a little bit of sign language in hopes of having him respond, but the end result was always the same. He was nothing but a phantom, existing solitary in that space.
I used to think that perhaps these doors could give me an upper hand in life (there was no reason to believe this, I was merely an optimist and terribly deluded 11 year old child) that maybe I can actually choose to leave behind my feeble persona, maybe I could rise to the top of the class and even make a few friends, or at least one!
No matter how many doors I walked through or closed, my hopes only suffered. That evening, I had to abandon my dream of having my mother and father reconcile and stop fighting. Each day, I would tremble at their constant yelling and occasional sounds of glass shattering which I assumed to be father’s empty bottles of alcohol. Covering my ears and swaying back and forth, I would pray to God for it to end–but that’s not what I meant to ask for.
I still remember it vividly. That evening, the argument didn’t last long. The signal of it stopping was a loud bump I heard from upstairs. For some reason, I urged myself to go see what happened. With shaky limbs and a heart full of fear, I made my way downstairs and to my terror, I saw my father holding a knife which was dripping with blood. The kitchen gave out an unbearable stench of blood and alcohol. My gaze shifted to the floor only to see my mother lying there, lifeless.
“Aaron…” Father breathed heavily and said with an unsettlingly caring tone. “Why are you here?” Tears trickled down my face. I was utterly mortified and in denial of the whole situation. “Your mother just tripped..okay?” My eyes kept glancing back and forth from my mother to my drunk father who was trying to maintain his balance “She just..tripped..” He repeated ominously and slowly walked towards me with the knife still in his hands.
Without thinking, I rushed towards the door and ran out. My mind was blank and I couldn’t stop crying. Having nowhere to go or no one to rely on, the doors rushed by me before stopping to appear at all. For 2 days, I wandered in the streets and slept in the park until I was approached by a woman who claimed to be the head of an orphanage. After doing some background check on me, she decided to take me in. The door I chose had finally brought a little happiness in my life. However, these happy days didn’t last for long. 2 years after, the orphanage had to close down due to a lack of funds and I was handed over to a foster home. Once again, I had to start from scratch. Moreover, the horrible appearance of the door bore much resemblance to the behavior of my new foster parents. I was given no allowance neither the least bit impression that I belonged to the family.
I tried my best to make ends meet by working a part time job at a cafe but not surprisingly, my academics took a toll and I found myself at the bottom of the class. Soon after, I was fired from the job. I actually wondered why they hadn’t done it earlier given that I somehow managed to break 11 plates in 2 weeks. An ordinary guy like me being the epitome of mediocrity could only go so far through hard work without even a trace of blessing from lady luck. To top it all off with constant bullying from school, I finally had enough of it all. What did I do wrong? Always being in my best behavior, trying not to cause trouble or burden anybody, is this what I deserve in the end!? Constant hardships!? EVEN I HAVE A LIMIT TO HOW MUCH I CAN TAKE!
I always wondered when I would stand before the door of a happy ending. You know, the ones you see in movies? But all of this has forced me to realize that it doesn’t exist. That’s why they’re movies, fictional.
“Hey.. Scribble… Say something, why won’t you.. You’re the only company I have.”
The door before me right now made me wonder why people are so terrified of it. It seemed more welcoming than any of the doors I have went through so far, so much as to have me reach out for it-slowly, ever so slowly.
“What a beautiful shade of black, the purest I’ve seen..” Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of Scribble. Simultaneously, the door vanished. He looked at me with an expression I had never seen him wear before; the sorrow in his eyes almost made me choke, fall back and hit the floor. So did the container of sleeping pills.