Black/White

“We have to find it…”

The words whisper as they left my lips as I sat down next to my Father.

“I understand you want to protect us, but I don’t think it will change anything, Aaron.” He said in response, his tone hushed.

I press a finger to my lips to indicate to keep it down still as I look at his kindly and tired eyes hidden behind a mask of dirt, unshaven beard, and wild unkempt hair. He reminded me a bit of a black haired lion for a moment.

We were both seated on the floor of an abandoned building. It’s defining markings and edifice had long since disintegrated along with any knowledge of its original purpose. He and I sat with the meek but still warming fire in front of us. On the other side was my little sister, Kaylee. Her small body was fast asleep and being kept warm by the amassed blanket nest we had made for her.  Every so often, she would scratch at her nose in her sleep.

Rain poured down from outside with a steady but light rhythm giving our night’s fire a percussive accompaniment to its crackling. I looked outside from one of the many windows or what I assumed had once been windows since no glass adorned them anymore. Out there it was a cold and wet land of verdant greens and urban greys. Empty and hollow building upon building jutted in haphazard scatterings across the landscape while an ocean of trees and green grass connected them all together. And all though it was a rainy night, I could see across it all perfectly by the ever bright white moon’s shining light through the clouds overhead.

From here I could see the final member of our little band of… survivors I suppose would be the word. He was our friend and my boyfriend Darius. Unlike the three of us, sitting around the fire and keeping warm, he sat just on edge of a sheltering awning outside. Dressed warmly and keeping a vigilant watch. Though throughout the entire time we’ve all been wandering, we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of any other living human being, we had seen animals but they weren’t the cause for a need to be guarded .. there was something else hiding in the world that wanted us…

I see him catch my eyes and he half waves at me and goes back to being a sentinel over this empty world.

So much of this world was now empty. ..

Before, it had been so very different. Streets lined with people and cars, airspace filled with helicopters, planes, and the clawing talons of skyscrapers, and the whole world was just so… cold, emotionless.. loveless. No one gave two shits about each other. Rushing from day to day, barreling through each other’s lives as if other people didn’t exist. Even my own mother treated me and the rest of us that way….

And then it all changed.

I had started walking one night, staring at these people who cared nothing of each other pass me by on the street.  As I watched, one by one, they started to become sparser and sparser. More and more, the bustling street became emptier and emptier. I wondered at it until I at last saw what was causing the dispersal of the crowds.

I saw a woman walking forward, her baby bundled in her arms. The child cooed in her embrace as she smiled down at him and played with his nose with her fingers. A veritable scene of maternal love.

Suddenly, as she stepped down the sidewalk, a black ooze shot out from seemingly every crevasse in the ground. Long wet and viscous tendrils made of pure jet black color flailed and thrashed about her. Reaching and grasping, they latched to her and the kid, slowing her progress and slowly tearing away at her. I watched mouth agape, as the oozing tendrils ripped at their bodies in slivers of crimson and black. Ripped and torn until nothing was left. But what made my blood run cold was not the gory display, it was the fact that she didn’t seem to notice it at all. She just kept walking as pieces of her were torn away bit by bit. By the time she was nothing more than small bits of flesh strung together by slivers of bone and muscle, I finally gasped loud.  What was left of her head and face, turned my direction..and she appeared to have smiled at me. Then she was nothing and the blackness disappeared into the pavement.

I looked around frantically and not only was this occurring everywhere, people being torn to shreds until they were non existent, but they all were unaware of the terrible blackness and of even their own demises. I bolted home, running as fast as I could. Doing my absolute best to dodge any obstacle in my way, I moved as swiftly as my legs could carry me towards the 2 story house I called home. As I got to the door, I turned and looked around at the once busy suburban streets and saw nothing more than empty roads lit by the orange spot lights of the street lamps and dotted by the various homes whose lights were still on.

I strained my eyes to try and see if anyone else was around.  No one was within sight.  I turned the handle to the front door as a sudden loud groan came from streets.  A sound as if the world itself had been wracked with pain. I looked again to the streets and watched as one by one from each directions I could see, the lights slowly began to be snuffed out. Rhythmically, each light turned to blackness, plunging the world into foreboding darkness.  I strained to see if anything was in the dark and for a moment saw nothing, but then a flash of light illuminated the void for a moment, there were writhing masses of black and wet tentacles crawling forward in that dark abyss. Suddenly the light was snuffed out as I saw what it had emanated from. A car whose driver was equally being torn to shreds inside had driven right into the abyss of black.

I ran inside and was prepared to scream for my mother, when I saw her standing right in front of me. Typical as always she was dressed in her very finest business attire. She always wanted to dress in the way my Father had gotten her accustomed to. The best clothes and home money could buy. A stern look was on her made up face. Her arms were crossed in an angry stance.

“Aaron…where have you been? I have..HAD a meeting to get to and you just walked off. You know damn well, I can’t just leave without ha..”

“Mom, shits going down outside, I don’t know what’s going on .. I don’t know what…but people are dying…People are fucking dying…black..fucking..tentacles…And people are just oblivious…Mom! We have to find some place safe..it’s coming here! Its coming this way!”

“AARON! You do NOT interrupt me.” A hand flapped across my face. Enough force and anger was behind it that I found myself reeling away into the living room.

“I swear, I don’t even know who the hell you are.. black tentacles..what the hell is wrong with you. There is nothing going on outside, stop making fantasies up to get out of your responsibilities!” Her voice calls after me.

I look up and see my dad, sister, and Darius sitting in the living room. All of them dressed in their Sunday’s finest and looked as if they had all had just gotten haircuts. For a second I tried not to think of how dressed down I was in comparison. They looked to me and Darius whispers the words, “We Know….it’s going to be ok..”

I turn around to look at me mother “Mom, see dad and Kaylee and Darius know… just look outside.. please.. you’ll see..” Another slap.

“I don’t even know you…I swear.. I really don’t…stop it. All right? Just stop it…”

I look at her…and see that it was already too late…The tendrils had come through the cracks in the door and were already tearing at her. She stared at me with a fury and frustration in her eyes. “You have to stop it! Its annoying!”

“But mom! Its already…”

“AARON! YOU’RE A GROWN MAN! THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE AND THERE IS NOTHING IN HERE!!! Why do I put up with your childish ways?!” Those proved to be her last words as the blackness tore away her face and lower jaw. Leaving behind a fleshy skull.

I screamed and fell backwards.

Darius caught me.

I looked up and  somehow.. something in me knew what to do next.

“I.. I know what to do.. everyone get up to my room.. quickly!” I bolted, grabbing Kaylee and putting her in my arms. Darius and my father trailed behind.

I heard Kaylee’s little voice say, “Don’t do it..just…go with it…please, big brother.”

My father said from behind, “Listen to her son, it’s ok… just go with it, you don’t need to do anything..”

Darius caught up to my side and looked at me with a stern and understanding look, “Do what you feel you need to do, but personally Aaron, I’d ignore what your dad and sis are saying… it’s going to end badly if you don’t..”

I couldn’t help it and yelled, “I’m trying to save you all…How the fuck do you guys even know what I’m planning on doing?!” They all were silent.

I ran into my room, we had been painting in here the past few days. Changing the once blue and scratched up walls to a white. 3 of the walls were all painted, except for one. It was still bare with pieces of the paneling having been ripped out revealing the brick behind it. I grabbed  the white paint bucket and started writing on the brick with my fingers.  

Something in me knew the truth of what was happening and I had to write it. Something in me just KNEW what it was…and I had to preserve the knowledge. Something in me just knew that it would save us all in this room. Me..my father…my sister… my boyfriend…

I heard the blackness given life slithering and crawling up the stairs As I finished,    I heard the door to my room groan. As I turned around, it shattered, I suddenly found myself forgetting what it was I had written, and then it was all black…

When  I woke up again, I found myself on the floor of an abandoned building. My sister, father, and Darius stared down at me as they stood around me.  It was night out and the rain was falling. Time had passed, I could tell. The three of them had lost their nice clothing and were all dressed in warm but dirty clothes. My father and Darius had grown quite impressive beards while my little sister’s once short hair was now a tangled mane.

“How..how long have I been out?” I asked weakly.

“A long time. Try not to dwell on it…. but if you look outside..” my father began.

“A lot of things have changed…” Darius finished for him.

I slowly picked myself up and walked towards a window. “A long time..” said my little sister from behind me as she walked over and grabbed my hand. We both looked out and saw what we’ve been looking at since then…the urban decay and reclamation of the earth. Empty shells of civilization now filled with the natural world’s flora and fauna. We had seen from time to time animals big and small mostly deer, squirrels, and various insects and arachnids but never another human.

What further cultivated the strange new yet familiar environment was the sky. Never again did we see the sun or a clear sky. The luminous white moon shone always, hour after hour, day after day, month after month. The rain never stopped falling either. Though it would fluctuate from steady to torrential down pour to such a light drizzle it could be mistaken for mist rather than rain, it never let up.   

And it’s been that way since then…the only four humans alive as far as I was concerned. Walking alone in this verdant apocalypse under the watchful moon and the sky’s weeping clouds.  

We scavenged, we passed the time, we hunted, and we played. Not once did we go wanting for food or for shelter. Rarely did we feel threatened or scared walking this world alone and when we confronted those fears of the sounds in the dark, it was always the simplest thing from wind, to rain, to a startled animal. We had lost civilization but in truth we had found a twilight paradise here.

Not once did I feel lonely or sad. I had my father to talk to and comfort me with his wisdom and paternal love, my sister to play with and teach, and Darius to love. Everyday I felt as much joy and happiness in our little surviving family than I did before this mass destruction. From the genocide of humanity, came my greatest joy.

And then there it was… the undoing of all of this.

At some point during the most torrential of rain falls, for the first time, lightning shot through the sky. It terrified us all at first as it was the first true disturbance we had encountered in … however long we had been traveling. It tore the night sky illuminating the clouds. A single stroke at first followed some time later by the roaring thunder. Then another.. and another and another… it went on and on for what seemed like hours.

My sister was terrified and had frantically climbed me and wrapped her arms around my neck. Crying and screaming “Make it stop! Make it stop! I don’t like it! I don’t like!!!”  

My father behind me and said in a stern but still comforting voice, “Don’t worry Aaron. We’re still here.”

I had thought to myself, why on earth are you telling me this, its Kaylee who needs the comforting.  And just as that thought had entered my mind, a racking pain shot through me. My entire head felt like it was on fire and I couldn’t keep myself from screaming in pain.

Darius quickly was to my side, hugging me close and putting Kaylee between us. “We got you. We got you” he said in most soothing voice I’d ever heard him say. My father wrapped his arms around all us from the opposite side.  And as suddenly as the pain had arisen, so too did the pain subside by their comforting.

I blinked away the tears the pain had caused me and looked around.  Nothing had truly changed save for our fire had died out.  I sighed in relief and we all four sat back down. Relighting the fire and gathering around it for warmth.

But the relief would not last long. Some time later, as we traveled again, I spotted out in the distance something that made me cry out almost instantly in shock and fear and sorrow.

Off in the distances I saw them slide and flail to and fro. Reaching out and grasping at anything in its vicinity. Buildings, Animals, trees, and other vegetation were being torn and ripped to shreds. In a terrible obliterating homecoming the slithering, undulating, and wretched mass of disintegrating tentacles had returned. Save for now, instead of blackness, they were the purest white. The same white as the lightning. And instead of only assaulting the living things and structures, the very places they slashed and whipped at, left nothing more than a white ominous scar. As if they … no.. somehow I knew… they were tearing a rip right into the fabric of reality.

Fear gripped me. And I knew I had to protect us all again. One more time. But I couldn’t remember what it was that I had done in my room so long ago.

And so I urged and begged my father, sister, and Darius to help me. To lead me back home, back to my room that we had abandoned so long ago, in hopes that what I had written there was still there. And I could replicate it and save us again.

“It won’t change anything,” My father said sadly.

“I don’t want to go back there.. please don’t make me go back there big brother..” my sister cried.

You have to do what you think is best, Aaron. It’s .. It’s going to be painful…but I’ll lead you back if you really want to do this.” Darius’s voice was saddened but resolute.

And so, we began to travel back. Running as long as we could before we were too tired to. Once our legs began to give out we would find shelter and pray the white tentacles would not catch up to us and void our existence.

I was brought back again to the present campfire, pulled out of the memory that dragged us here as the fire let out a loud crackle. I looked back at my father and sister and smiled. Kaylee was awake and my father was playing a game of I spy with her.

I smiled and for a moment, I forgot the terrible thing looming on the horizon. I looked back to Darius and he was still standing guard. He was looking towards me and I was about to tell him to come back to the fire when he raised his hand to the sky, pointing.  

I looked up and saw lightning crackling across the clouds. I felt the pain welling up in my temples when suddenly the flash and crack of lightning and the booming rolling thunder came. Bringing with it the shuddering excruciating pain.

I fell to my knees and screamed aloud. The three were to me again, the two men with their hands on my back. When I opened my eyes again, my little sister was in front of me. She was holding my hands and pressing her forehead to mine.

“I don’t want see you in pain anymore Big Brother, let’s go find it..” she said sweetly

“You’re not scared anymore?” I asked weakly

“I’m scared and I don’t like that place, but I don’t like you hurt.” She responded

“She’d rather suffer her own fears than see her brother in pain.” My father said proudly.

I was about to say something in thanks when Darius cut me off.

“We have to get going. Now.” He raised a finger towards the horizon.

There the white crawling mass had grown larger and was moving at a much more accelerated pace than before. It would be on us soon if we didn’t start running. A sound roared from it like the screams of a thousand people rising in anger and frustration. Hatred was in that sound…and it felt so familiar….

“I can’t run that fast..” Kaylee began, hopelessness in her voice.

“I’ll carry Kaylee..” Darius said. “We all go together or not at all…”

“We all go together or not at all..” My father repeated. “You’re sure this is what you want son?”

“Yes.” I said quietly..

“Then move your ass…”

And we started running.

Darius lead the way as we barreled through empty fields and crumbling buildings. Fear and determination driving our exodus towards my old home and I though on the surface I wondered if it was actually still there considering the state of the other buildings, but something in me knew full well it would still be there.

Behind us, the monstrosity raged and flailed. Ripping apart building and tree and animal and earth. Where it moved through, nothing was left but blinding white. Even the sky and horizon were blotted out by the vacant white.

And we ran and ran…

I don’t know how long we ran for, it seemed as if we would never tire and the lack of day or movement of the moon gave us no indication of the passage of time.

And there finally, at the lead of Darius, upon a hill, standing solitarily on the precipice, was the ruins of my home. It was unlike the rest of the abandoned buildings in that instead of being gray and blank, it was specific and had color. Where there were no identifying marks on the other buildings, this single one withstood it all with each bit of its distinguishing features still present. But the color and features were not exactly the same, they were brown and black. The wood and brick were rotted and  wet. Tiny black pits were in the outside walls in clusters that oozed and regurgitated a black viscous substance.   It stood out as a rotted tooth from the ground in all its vileness.

I started to walk up to it slowly, the three trailing behind me. My little sister was crying softly as if we were walking towards our doom.

As we got to the door, I turned around and was hit with an immense sense of Déjà vu. The white slithering masses were surrounding us. Encroaching and moving at a steady rhythmic pace, like a heartbeat. Each throb of the mass making it get closer and each throb giving me an uneasy and dizzying feeling.  I pushed my way through the door, giving no care to the wet and soft wood and entered inside.

The three followed in.

The interior of the house had not fared any better than the outside. It was cold and wet inside and the fixtures and architecture reflected that in its molded over and warped states. All over the floor, walls, and ceiling, the black liquid creeped its way towards each exit it could find.

I made my way to the stairs and began to ascend and making my way towards the room. The three walked up with me slowly but as steadily as possible. None of us wanted to fall face first into this filth.

The slow moving and silence somehow gave it all a peaceful feeling amongst all this wretchedness.

I found the door to my room. It was just as rotted as the rest of the house and it opened by merely pressing my hand to it. We all four walked slowly.

My room was empty save a single chair in the middle that seemed to be unaffected by the black ichor that permeated the room save for its legs that the blackness lapped at like the columns of a pier. I walked passed it and headed right to the wall it was facing. The wall I had written what protected them. The wall that bore what had caused all this.

It was black bricks, covered in a  layer of the blackness. I reached out and wiped it away. There underneath was my writing still in the white paint upon the red brick. I wiped and wiped and wiped and uncovered the whole wall. All the while, my father, sister, and Darius had remained behind the chair. Never moving.

I looked back at them triumphantly and turned back to the now visible words to try and do whatever I had done again. And found them illegible.

The letters were there and the fact that they made up words and sentences was clear, but nothing made sense. I couldn’t understand anything at all. Even focusing and straining to look at the writing in front of me made my head spin and spin.  To my eyes it looked like nothing more than a bleak mess of white and tainted bricks. Hopelessness began to set in as I walked back towards the three.

Downstairs, I heard the groan and thrumming of the white destroyer pressing against the door.  

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry… I just thought…I would remember…but it doesn’t mean anything..”

As I unceremoniously dropped into the chair, collapsing into a bottomless self loathing, Darius placed his arm around my neck and whispered, “It wasn’t your fault..”  

I closed my eyes and wondered how he could be so forgiving  for having lead them to their deaths…

“no..it’s my fault…I..” my eyes opened to look up at him and found not him nor my father or my sister standing besides me but an almost empty room with a blinding white buzzing light over head. Not only empty, but clean and white. The only thing adorning the room was the chair I was sitting in and a small table by the door that held a small white fountain trickling and gurgling water. I looked around frantically, calling their names, and saw that this was indeed my room but the walls and ceiling were painted a white that hurt my eyes. The floor had been replaced from the thick blackness to white tiles.  

Even my clothes had were a simple white shirt and white pants. I began to stand up and found myself weak. Barely able to hold my own weight, I tried to steady myself before I felt a jolt shudder through my body and I fell to the floor.

I shut my eyes in anticipation of falling to the floor and when I re opened them again, I found myself back in the rotted version of my room. The real version I felt.

Darius and my father helped me as my sister ran to me and hugged my side, she was crying again, “Don’t go away.. please don’t go away like that again…”

“What the hell just happened?” I asked weakly.

“You left this place..” Darius said.

“And we would have faded into nothingness..” my father added.

“But..” I thought for a moment as I walked towards the wall with the unintelligible writing, “I knew where I was… it was here. But everything was if it was clean and the world hadn’t gone to shit.”

I put my head to the wall and closed my eyes, “What the fuck is going on?” I whispered.

When I opened them again, I was greeted with the white wall. I looked around and found everything back to the white and cold color. I turned around to the wall and put my fingers to it.. it was wood. Painted wood…

If this is my room..perhaps behind here is the same writing.. maybe there is a chance…

I reached over and grabbed the chair and with what little strength I had, Slammed it with all my might against the wood panel.  It shattered the chair and tore a hole in the wall.

I dropped the broken shards of the chair and walked to the hole I had made and put my fingers to it. Tearing at it, I pulled away a piece large enough for light to illuminate the other side. There it was.. my writing. White writing on the red bricks that had not been painted over just covered.

I could make out the first two hastily scrawled words “Aaron, If..”

“what the fuck…” I said

“You selfish brat… all this time and the first things you do is break things and use foul language in my presence..”

The voice was angry..cruel…and familiar. I turned around and I saw my mother standing there. Dressed as she always was, in business attire and severe makeup.

“Mom..what..what’s goin on?”

“You insufferable child!” she screamed, “Look at what you did to my wall.. It was bad enough you had to graffiti the brick with your idiotic self loathing now you have to tear through my nice wood paneling.”

“Mom I don’t.. I don’t understand what’s going on…”

With in a split second she closed the gap between us and struck me in the face, “NO you don’t, No you don’t get to pretend like you haven’t been a lazy worthless thing while I’ve been here dressing and feeding you.”

The the blow makes me see stars for a moment and I stumble against the wall, breaking just a bit more of it, “Mom I..”

I was back in the rotted home again.

My father was at my side, “Son.. I asked you if this is what you wanted and you said yes.. please make it worth it..”

“I.. I can dad.. it’s where ever the white place I’ve seen is… it’s there.. I can read it. I have to go back…”

“Then go back and do what you think is best, Aaron” Darius says to me.

I shut my eyes as Kaylee holds my father, crying.

I open them and find myself sitting on the floor. My mother hovering over me. In her hands was something black with two tiny metal prongs jutting out.

“He left everything to you…EVERYTHING! It should’ve been me the one he loved and made bear him children but no.. he left it to you! You spoiled brat.. “

I got back up on my feet “Mom.. what.. what are you talking about?!”

“You should’ve died with them!” and with that she shoved the black thing to my side and I felt a pain that I had only recently come to know… the shocking pain of the lightning was wracking me. A pain that was being resurrected by a simple Taser on a Drive Stun setting.

In the shuddering and unbearable pain, I jolted and twitched back and forth. My sight shifting in snapshot visions of the white room to the rotted one back and forth. From my mother’s cruel and hate filled face to my father’s, Darius, and Kaylee’s faces.

“NO! NO you don’t get to go away into sleep this time. No! I want you to stay awake for all this until you finally die!” She removed the Taser from my side and wrapped her fingers around my neck.  “I hoped you’d just die of a heart attack from it or go fully brain dead but no.. you had to be persistent. You had to keep yourself alive somehow and fight it off. But now.. now I don’t even care about the money.. I just want you dead.. DEAD DEAD DEAD!!” she slammed my head back and forth against the wall. My vision again going back and forth.

My eyes searched frantically in both rooms for some way to fight it off.

“It’s ok big brother…you can do it..” I heard Kaylees voice say. I looked for her and saw her  sitting at my side, pointing down wards. My vision went back to the white room and there was the taser on the ground.

I grabbed it flicked it on, my mother gasped, and I rammed it into her neck. We both jolted and twitched from the shock. She let go and fell to the side, shuddering and shuddering over and over again. Wailing in pain.

“Mom..please.. I don’t.. I don’t want to hurt you… just tell me whats happening…” I cried.

She was silent for a moment as she  composed herself. “You don’t need to understand.” She said in a quiet voice. “You just need to die..” she said coldly as she stood back up, a sharp piece of the broken chair in her hand.

She leapt for me and did the only thing I could do.

I fired the taser and the two electrodes landed on her chest. She shook violently as the electricity crackled in the air before she fell backwards onto the pile of broken chair. I closed my eyes hoping to be brought back to the rotted room with the three. Instead  I heard the loud squelching sound of something piercing flesh. I opened my eyes and saw  my mother on the ground. There was a piece of the broken chair piercing right through her neck. Blood oozing onto the floor as her life drained out of her. The face she made as the life finally left her was a contortion of hatred and pain and her eyes fixated on mine.

I turned back to the wall to avoid the sight of my mother’s hatred and let out an agonized moan. I didn’t want to kill her.. I didn’t want to but she was going to murder me.. and I still didn’t understand.

I slammed my fists against the wall and it broke down further.  

I could see more words…”Darius, Kaylee, and Dad…

I started to tear at the wood with all my might, ripping it bit by bit.

As I did so more and more became visible.

And finally after the last piece was moved out of the way, the message I written to myself so long ago was finally visible. I let out a cry of pain realizing now why Kaylee was so afraid to go back, why Darius left it up to me, and why my dad advised against it.

I slammed on the wall with my fists. Crying and screaming.

“NO! NO! I WANT TO GO BACK! LET ME GO BACK PLEASE GOD LET ME GO BACK!!”

I punched the wall until my fists were bloody and leaving red marks on the white writing.

I shut my eyes hard, I focused as hard as I could to go back. And for the briefest of moments I heard their voices in the blackness of my closed eyes.

“Please just let me go back…” my words choked in my throat.

I reopened them and stared at the writing on the wall and read it out loud:

Aaron, If you are reading this, I wrote this for you as your mind began to unravel. I wrote this so you could remember. There was a car crash, you were driving. Darius, Kaylee  and Dad were with you.

Dad and Kaylee died instantly.

.I left it all to you son… and now you’ll have all you could ever want except one thing…

You knew it wasn’t your fault. Someone had ran a red light forcing you to swerve and roll off the side of the road.  But your guilt over being the driver was too much for you to handle. Darius died after you pulled him from the wreckage. He told you what you refused to admit.

It wasn’t your fault Aaron. You wouldn’t admit that but that you know…you’re not trapped here anymore.. you’re free”

Mom did her best to make you feel guilty. She hated you and Kaylee because it was in dad’s will that you get everything. But know it wasn’t your fault.  She didn’t love you but Darius, Dad, and Kaylee did.

“You wont be able to play with me all the time big brother…but I still love you…”

If you’re reading this, you’re free of whatever fantasy world you made up to escape the guilt that was never there.

Love,

Aaron

I stared at the wall for a long time and wiped the tears from my face.

I turned and to look at the door and slowly walked towards it. As I did so, I paid no attention to the greedy woman’s corpse that had once been my mother on the ground.  I walked away from the prison I had been put into and left behind the prison I put myself into.

It’s been 10 years since then.  After much investigation my mother’s intentions were clear and I was found capable to not only live on my own but to receive the inheritance owed to me from my father’s will.   

I now live in a nice home afforded to me by the money my mother could never fully touch as long as I still lived.  I’ve grown to know comfort of other people and even love again outside of those cold white walls and away from the place I had created in my mind where my Father, Kaylee, and Darius dwelt.  Though I’ll always love them, I’ve learned to move on.

I don’t quite know what the significance had been of the blackness from my collapse and the white from my resurgence but I can guess. I presumed the blackness was my mind’s depression and self hatred obliterating everything that reminded me of my guilt and removing everything except the things that I thought were important. Which was seeing those three again.

The white I think was my mind’s response to the electrical storms being created by my mother attempting to murder me. I was trying to bring back myself to that room so that I could wake up again.

That’s why Kaylee didn’t want to go back, I knew that it would destroy this world.

That’s why my dad didn’t want to go back, I knew I would have to face this terrible place and truth.

But that’s why Darius let me decide on my own, I knew underneath it all, I had to  face the fact that I was not to blame and that I couldn’t live in a fantasy anymore even if it meant giving that life all up.

I miss them all terribly. But I have moved on finally.

And while I don’t have them in my waking hours, I can still wander with them in dreams.

 

Epilogue

“Son,  I love you but here is what I would do with my money..”   

“Aaron, tell me about the new guy. I’m happy you’re finally dating again but I want to approve of him..”

Not now…I’ve got something more important to do..

“Big brother! Did you come to play?”

Always….

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