Alone I stand in the middle of the room. Surrounded by nothing but air. Cool, damp air. There is a glow from above. The source is unseen. The warmth has a slight chill to it.

This isn’t real. I know that, I can feel it. This room is a creation of my own. This is all in my head. A very familiar place.

The sorrow however is far too real. It’s coated with a subtle rage and topped with sprinkles of desperation. An all too familiar combination of emotions.

Is it sleep or disassociation that has brought me here? Did something trigger this or am I just having a moment? I ponder the thoughts and then brush them away.

The how is not essential, it is the why. Never the how.

I try to remember my last thought before this. I can’t recall the actual thought but I can feel it. The emotions linger like a stale cigarette. I can still feel them on my skin like a thin layer of film. A dim glow catches my eye, and I notice the cracked door for the first time. I step forward with a nagging feeling tugging at my insides.

This fun little prison I have created for myself has always made me uneasy but for some reason it has always felt necessary.

The surge of emotion makes me dizzy. The multitude of things that could have provoked this, also makes me dizzy. I step towards the door, I need to get out, I need to snap out of this. Too much at once, I start to sweat as a cold panic takes over.

I reach for the knob and find myself in my bed, a podcast playing just above the hum of the air conditioner.

She was a stranger in her own life, a tourist in her own body.

Melissa de la Cruz