Jamie and her friends ran down the hallway filled with students seconds before. I remember she screamed at me to follow her into an entrance of bright light out of the building. I didn’t follow. Ran the opposite direction to be away from her, coward myself into the darkness behind me and it was the last I saw of her.
My hand searches the grainy stone wall for carve marks in this dim basement. Brighten by moonlight rays slipping between the ventilation fan blade. The only light I dare look. My fingers count those matchstick marks and carve one more after the last with a sharp hunting knife. Years passed since I lost my only friend. Should have told her and I blame myself. Today I seek solace in this darkness with the heavy burden on my shoulder.
Hiding from THEM taking her from me.
The basement door opens itself. The bright light fills the dark basement inches from where I stand in its shadow. I squat down and crawl back between a large pile of wooden crates till darkness behind pushes back. My eyes fix itself at a rat chewing pieces of dreadful moldy bread under the beam of lights. It could smell my body sweating with fear. Time for THEM to feed. My eyelid closes itself. I look away with my head thug between the thigh. I hug myself. Breath slow to calm my heartbeat. Hand grip tight to the sharp hunting knife. In this small dark enclosure, I could hear the rat chatter end with a loud squeak of pain. Its last breath was squeezed from the lungs.
Darkness chooses to be my friend in need. Cloak me from THEM. Allow my shameless crying in the night and fall asleep in peace where this basement is my home.
Save from THEM.
Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone. His own burden in his own way. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh