I made it into the hallway. This one, right here. I used to be afraid to come near here and the fear isn’t gone; it’s just pushed deep, down under my feet, against the old, yellowing linoleum floor. I’m leaning against the wall, just barely feeling the cold of the small, blue, square tiles against my back, beneath my thin cotton blouse. The cold, it’s a soothing cold and it calms my nerves; it keeps the nausea at bay. After all, I’m standing here, waiting, starting down the dark, cold corridor – this corridor filled with so much to fear. Fear: it’s pushing up on my feet, tempting me to leave, to run, to forget why I built up the courage to come here in the first place. I can’t leave; she knows I’m here. That thought makes the pit inside my stomach rise up just high enough to meet the fast flutter of my racing heart. My chest tightens against my rampant heart in an atempt to keep it from jumping away from me. Now it’s hard to breathe and I really need to get out of this hallway.
To the right, on the wall above the tiles, there is a clock. It’s old, like the ones on the walls in my elementary classrooms – the ones next to the crucifixes. I study the slender, black hands. The second hand marching on through the thick trepidation that I’ve allowed to flood the hallway. With every second that clicks, I feel my heart calm slightly. The hands, they try so hard not to move but without fail, the push on through, defying gravity to remind me of every second I’m spending standing against this wall. The numbers are black and solid and strong against the putrid, white face. All ensconced in a cloudy glass casing (or is it plastic, I can’t tell from over here).
The sound of a heavy wooden door breaks my trance. My heart pauses to meet time with the second hand as I turn in the direction of the door. There are many doors, all the same, all closed; but, one is opening and it might be the one I’m waiting for. Suddenly my hands are wet, but cold. My body is trembling. The fear at my feet is now heavy, like thick gloved hands clasping my feet hard against the floor. There is no leaving now. It’s here, it’s happening: The third wooden door on the left, on far side of the hallway is opening. Slowly, it seems, but not really because I can still hear the heavy clicks of the second hand. Click. It opens. A foot is placed over the threshold. Click. My gaze is fixed on that ugly linoleum. Two seconds feels like an eternity of anxiety – falling through the air – nothing to catch me. And before the next click, I hear her say my name.
An attempt at creative writing, in response to this week’s writing challenge.