… and sometimes I try to put them into words by writing stories. This is one such.
Her eyes flew open. It was pitch dark. She gulped for air like she’d just come out of freezing cold water. Her heart hammering, she tried to get her bearings.
“Okay. Okay, calm down. Breathe. Can I see?”
It was so dark that she couldn’t be sure.
“Can I hear?”
She searched for a sound. She could hear none.
She tested her hands. Both of them were stretched sideways and away from her, bound. She tried to pull on the rope, but her hands were stretched so tightly that she couldn’t.
Slowly, she became aware of the fact that she was crouching. Her knees were bent right up to her chest, and she was balanced on her heels; neither her toes nor her bum was touching the floor.
“I can breathe, though. That’s something.” She inhaled and exhaled till her heartbeat calmed.
She set herself to thinking.
“How did I get here?”
She strained and strained her mind, but she couldn’t remember anything before she woke up. Her mind was a void. She kept on trying to go farther and farther back, desperately searching for some context, until she realised that she did not even remember who she was. All she knew was that she needed to escape.
She tried to think of a way out. But a plan cannot be made if there is nothing to base it on.
She did not know how much time had passed.
“Right. Step one. Try to understand how time passes here.”
She decided to count her breaths. One breath gone. Then one more. And then another.
She came up blank.
She decided to keep counting. And counting. And counting. And counting.
Time passed. It became a mania for her. When she couldn’t do anything, this was all she could do. She started to forget about her sight, her hearing, her hands, her feet. All that remained of her were her breaths and the incessant counting.
Then, at one moment in time, she could hear voices. Suddenly, she was fully aware of herself. She was straining to hear with everything she had. The most she could discern was fuzz. Adrenaline pumped through her veins, futilely, frustratingly; she could not fight nor take flight. She could not move, she could not see, and with horror she realized, she could not hear anything either.
“They’re gone. The sounds are gone.”
That was the point when she lost hope.
All she knew of existence was that point. She did not know whether there was existence before or after her being. She soon stopped believing that the sounds had been real. She was a blank. She could not imagine anything other than the darkness and the silence. She had no memory of anything else. And then, she had no memory.
She forgot herself. She let go.
Without ceremony, without trying, without even thinking about it, she let go. Her hands were not bound anymore, because she had no hands. She was not blind, because she had no eyes. There were no ears to hear and no knees to bend. When the light engulfed her, she did not sense it because she didn’t exist anymore. She was already the light.
…In a hospital somewhere, a heart monitor flatlined.