A/N: Just a random one-shot. Listened to Mother by Tori Amos and Us by Regina Spektor when writing this. Both very good songs that you should listen to. Very angsty, and no happy ending. Simply, a revelation.

Cage

by Sarah Peabody

I am sitting on my bed, staring at the far wall. No reason. Just staring. My head itches, so I scratch it. I haven't washed my hair in days. A kind of silent protest to my mother caring so much about appearances. They don't really matter; other people just trick you into thinking they do. Hell, you could walk around naked, and if you were the nicest person in the world, nobody would really care. They'd just say, "Oh, what a lovely person" and be done with it. That's how the world works in my head, and I think that's how it should work outside my head, too. It's a Tuesday morning. I hate the morning, but I love it. I like to watch the sunrise, but I don't like waking up early. I am a paradox.

I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, and I'm having trouble thinking. It's so early, and I've been up all night. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. My mother calls me from downstairs. I reply. I'm up, mom. I'm up. Not awake; I'm never really awake. In fact, I've been asleep for so long now, I can't tell when it first started. I feel open. Not numb anymore, but still in a state of unfeeling. Like static trying to become a coherent picture, but following the same irregular patern until it's just static again.

I lift myself off the sheets slowly, feeling the warmth slip slowly from my skin. I'm not that cold; it's actually a refreshing coolness that greets me. I was too warm before. I touch the wall, almost as though I expect it to push outward and grant me entrance to some new world. A world where I can wake up. Warm green grass and cool breezes. But no... I am stuck here in this winter; the unabating chill that permeates my universe. My hand moves, carressing the wall. I long for that door. I haven't felt this yearning in so long, I almost don't recognise it at first. It is the yearning to be free. Running through tall grass.

I have confined myself to this world; this stagnant existence of me just floating from void to void. I don't know how to control where I'm going, I just let it take me along. Like a river's currant, it drags me ever onward toward the inevitable, whatever that may be. If you look hard enough, can you see the future? If you want it enough, can you make it happen? Could I open this wall just by wanting it to be open? For a moment, I actually believe this. But no, I can't. Nobody has that power. I take my hand away from the wall. No doors for me.

I turn around. There's that static again. I feel like if I open my mouth, no sound will come out. Like I'm on mute. I wish I were, just so I wouldn't have to answer people so honestly all the time. I never lie. I either tell the truth, or refrain from speaking. I learned early on that lies only hurt people. The truth hurts people too. But it's better to be hurt by the truth than by the lie. Or maybe it's better not to say anything at all. At this point, I don't know what to do. I get dressed, like a mechanical response to morning light. I don't know if these clothes are clean, and I don't care. I just want out. Suddenly this room, this sanctuary, becomes a cage that I am trapped in. I don't even other getting my bag as I leave. Even outside, waiting for the bus to come, I can feel that pinprick of fear that's just waiting to bloom and drag me under. Maybe it's not the room; maybe it's me. I'm trapped in me. These silly ideas, and crazy fantasies. All these incoherent thoughts and unspoken words. I am a jumbled up mess of feeling and trying not to feel and I can't be both at once, but I am. I am a paradox.

I run a hand through my unwashed hair. Get on the bus. That pinprick of fear remains, sitting heavily in my chest. All day, it weighs me down. There is no door. There is no spring. Only this deep biting cold that I have allowed myself. And I think that maybe it's not everybody else I hate. Maybe it is me.