I stood with my back against the wall staring at the blue door. Like the summer of my life, the colours were wearing away and shreds fell as I stared. It was the ignorance of time that kept me paralysed and the stare of the unknown was making me go insane. Their look of disapproval and the constant gestures which I was not able to decipher made me want to run away somewhere free and open. The corridor was claustrophobic, the air was stale and the ceiling was giving in while taps leaked murky waters into blocked sinks spilling water all over the floor. Periodically, the pipe gurgled and forced torrents of dirt through the tap splashing water and sprinkled my legs. Instinct lifted me and I jumped but to no avail for I was too slow and the fall back only aggravated the splashes.
It was fear that made me want to run and fear that held me still. The fear of shame and rejection made me want to walk out, give up everything that I lived for and start afresh somewhere nobody knew me and yet the fear of losing myself, losing a chance where I could have been someone, I could have achieved something from what I believed in and the chance to prove myself right when all have denied, made me stand my ground. I recalled Casabianca, the seemingly foolish for those who didn't believe in innocence and faithfulness and the heroic epitome of innocence where one would fearlessly obey and keep his words no matter how close the flames licked or how high the flames soared. Could it be that his death was no pain for him? If that was true, I would willingly stay here till the walls crumble and I fall alongside. The fear of pain sinked in more profoundly making me stiff.
A sudden chill set in and I began to wish I had never left the warmth of home but then again the warmth was what made me run. It was the happy faces and the sweet lies. I knew they never meant bad. They were never hard on us, we were made to believe in things we were not because they were too kind to hurt us with the truth. Staying there kept us from ever growing up to the world outside and back then when I tasted the outside world, I thought I was missing out on life. There were so many things to do and live for. Back then, I had decided a life for myself where it was summer throughout the year, wine and dine with the sophisticated, fall from the sky and pray for salvation, run along the shores collecting unwanted shells, sing at the top of my lungs from a pinnacle above the clouds and get drunk on champagne dancing with my lover. And yet here I was far away from all my dreams with a speck of hope which I held close and held on like it was my life. This winter, a far cry from what I ever expected from life, was a curse which I thought was only a disease for anyone but me.
A door clicked open beside me leaving it ajar. I looked but nobody came out. I waited for the door to close and went back to staring at the blue door. When I thought I had memorised all the details of the door, I looked towards the open door and noticed there was a soft glow. Ignoring the stares of the others, I walked towards the door and took a deep breath. I opened it a little further and peeked in to find a tiny room with a small window. I was shocked on not finding a soul inside but was happy with the strange revelation. The soft light came in from the small window which I opened to find it snowing outside.
A tiny flake of snow drifted in and settled on my nose. It was so cold and yet a magical warmth seemed to spread in my heart. I reached out to the falling snow lifting my arms to the outside through the window. I discovered a part of me which I thought had died long ago. I realised child in me had been suppressed for too long and now was the time to wake him up. With a surge of joy I rushed out of the door into the corridor, looking for an exit. I looked at the others expecting to see looks of disapproval only to find them mending their own businesses without a slight hint of interest towards me. I smiled to myself when the realization dawned on me that their approval or disapproval was never going to have any profound effect on what I did or choose to do.
I ran out into the snow feeling like the child that had once left home in search of the eternal sunshine.