This story is one of the February Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
The void inside me peels open. I feel it swallow the colour from the room. The thick yellow light of the lamp and the creamy beige of the walls, the grey of the sky, the brown of the bark, the blue of my mother’s eyes. It yawns, wider and deeper until every pigment is dim and my body feels as though it’s hollow. The void opens its mouth, and I see nothing, like when you peer in the mirror and stand there for a long time but all you can think is: I am not here. And the shapes are just objects and your face is just bone and skin, but the brief moment that you feel awake is fleeting. A half-forgotten dream. Whoever told the people that there is more to the earth than mud and rubble, who disguised it from being one huge void. They have lied.
Because we fall into it, like slipping into sleep maybe for days or weeks. Untouchable and lonesome in a grey monsoon of misery at the meaningless routine, of looking but not feeling and staring into the mirror but seeing nothing but a void.
Try not to slip off the stepping stones in the concrete, stay on the ground and don’t fall– not again. Grab onto the buildings or the yellow of the lamp, beige of the walls, grey of the sky maybe just the colour of eyes. My mother’s of icy blue. And then, you will not slip into the void but will balance on the edge. Hoping that the cracks in the floor won’t give in.