For a longtime she was scared of being alone. There was something about the silence that was paralyzing. The voices got stronger and the words, louder with the silence around. She fit herself into any group of people she could find just to avoid the silence or lack thereof that came with being alone. And that was one side of the coin.
On the other hand, a part of her was yearning to be secluded. It felt encroached in public despite the empty spaces between her and most people. It didn’t matter, even 10 feet away was too close. That part of her needed to be alone, away from multi-cellular organisms, and it did always win.
And there she would be, in a semi-sitting position, knees shaking, head throbbing; the voices gaining force. Having a meaningless conversation in her head of which all she could make out were mumbles. She was crazy, had to be. On the edge of her single bunker bed, hands in her hair trying to shut the voices, she claws deeper into her skull. It didn’t help, because just as the the whirlwind of emotion began, the waterworks began as well.
The voices, the throbbing, the tears all attacking her with no escape. She feels like a prisoner in a castle where even the cupboards and mirrors are against her. She sinks deeper in the bed sheets, lightly shaking her head to and fro, as if to throw off the voices.
But for every curse, there is a magic word. As she begins to drift away into their world, she hears a distant sound amidst the noise. It goes off for a few seconds and then, It begins again. Trying to filter this distant sound from the mumbled up voices, she sees a light flashing in the darkness of the room.
Lying at the leg of the bed is her phone, ringing. She slugs at it, and a three letter word appears on its screen- Mum. She presses the answer button with shaky hands and a soothing voice emerges. “Baby”, the voice says and just in that moment, everything ceases. Even the Mumbles take a long awaited break, even if it’s just for the split of a second.
They say sanctuary is a sacred place, but to her, it isn’t just a place. Her sanctuary is associated with a person; wherever that person is, that is her sanctuary. Or maybe it was just an unhealthy attachment she had. Healthy or not, the attachment and her constant need for her mother, sure beat the voices that were now part of her. Anything to drown them was welcome, and for the time being, her sanctuary had to do with her mother- something she willingly accepted.
Work of fiction, In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oasis.”