An untitled story about doors and shiny people.

There had always been that door, a single door that had stood in front of her as far back as she could remember. Now and then the door would open just a crack, she would try to peek in, but not knowing what was in there, fearing had she walked through it, she would be judged and found wanting, she never took a step towards it.

There were other doors. Doors that she would walk through timidly, and come back out the other side, sometimes broken-hearted, sometimes energised with the thrill of what she could be. Still, she could not forget that door, and whenever she came back to that place, it was there, waiting.

Once, upon catching herself sitting, and staring at that door, dreaming of what could be on the other side, and believing if she were better she would know, she realised it had been too many years since the door had been ajar. It was shut tightly now, the handle locked, and with every possibility of it never opening again. She had to choose another door, one that would offer her protection from this lonely place that she had found herself in, one that could offer her a path to walk down, instead of the oppressive stagnancy she had somehow brought down upon herself through her years of musing and dreaming. And she knew that once she chose that door she would never return.

So it was chosen for her, a door that shone more brightly than the others, filled with shiny people, and the only sacrifice she had to make was that she was expected to shine too. It wasn’t hard. Shining came so easy to the others and by watching them she found she too was able to shine, without anyone realising what darkness lay inside of her. Over the years the door that she had longed for took it’s place in the shadows and stayed obediently in the back of her mind, always there, but distanced enough to dampen the bewitching lure it had struck her with in the early years. The brightness of the new place did not allow her to see herself often, but that was good, for she knew if she looked hard enough, there would be the door, and the darkness, just waiting.

Many years passed, and suddenly there came about a realisation that she was not alone in her shining place. In a purely apocalyptic moment she turned and there was the door, after all these years, it had found her again; and inside, an understanding of the darkness that lay in her heart. It beckoned and she dreamed. She gazed at the suddenly alien light around her, she looked at her shiny self and she realised, the place she was in, the people she was with, and even her own aura, pained her eyes. Her pretence had done her more harm than she could ever have imagined. Unwittingly, she had turned into one of the shiny people she despised so much.

For one brief moment her old door stayed, opened wider than it had ever been before and she could see, inside was a place that could understand her, and someone who would embrace the darkness that the shiny people didn’t let her explore. The door waited, shimmering slightly more with every step she took toward it, calling to her, telling her it would understand, but still, as always, not allowing her full access to what was inside. Her doubts from the early years once again accumulated in her heart, assuring her she could never be good enough for what was behind that door, and she faltered.

The door slammed shut and she began to wonder if it had ever really been there in the first place.

So she turned back to the shiny people, and with a heart heavier than she could ever remember, pretended to smile.

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~ by Alissa Anderton on May 31, 2010.

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