Josephine Porras, Grade 8, Marian College
I am inferior. Mistake, mistake, mistake. Darkness gathers. Can't see... it invades me... Controls me… I can't breathe… it deludes my vision.
Multidimensional is my mind. I think outside the box. I am found within the box. Outcast. Supernatural. That’s what they call me. They’re wrong. I can’t differentiate between us.
I can feel it. I can feel how you look at me. Contempt fills your gaze. Why do you stare at me that way, as though I am lower than livestock? When I am hit. When I am not. When I am made to work. I can feel it then. Hatred lingers in your gaze. What have I done to bring that about? I sing. And I cry. I sleep. When will I die? I hope to live with you. I want to hold your hand. I wish to kiss your cheek. Why is that such a farfetched dream?
I stare at the window. It is made of glass. Glass. It wishes to hurt me. And it does. It stings. It stings so bad I am numb. But when I fall, and burn to ash, you have stayed with me. You stand although you cannot speak. I lie still, for I am weak.
I dream of flight and of a colourful sky. When all I see and breathe is darkness, how can I get by? I long for a “tomorrow” where the skies are bright. But when I turn to you, all I see are eyes devoid of life. When I am let out, it is only at night. I do not even know the extent of my own being. All I have ever known is you.
You hold me back. Draw me down. I want to live. But you are free. Stuck in a cage as I am, the concept of “freedom” can only be brought about by you. Training is harsh, and you hold me so tight my vision blurs. The word that slips from your lips expels in incomprehensible slurs. I stare, longing for anything, anything more. But there is nothing.
I’m caught between consciousness. So close… but… so… far…
My fingers extend in a vain attempt to reach out to someone who is not there. My arm falls limp. I slump over onto the ground. My body becomes enveloped in a thick warm blanket. A red, liquid blanket.
Is it mine, or is it yours?
It warms me…. even as I become cold. I’m sure, that if you looked at me now, our eyes would look one and the same.
Devoid of light. Devoid of emotion. Devoid of want, need and love.
But I do want something. And I want that something more than I want my own life.
Even as I slip into unconsciousness, black dots dancing behind my vision as I close my blood clotted eyes, I hold onto my last breath, and use it to say the one thing I have repeated my whole life…
“…be my friend.”