JOURNAL

Nadia: A Short Story, Part 1

Her eyes squinted, searching for a flicker of light. She was surrounded by darkness, and when she opened her lips to call for help, no voice came.

It was as if her throat had closed in, just as her surroundings had. She knew she was in a small room, but she couldn’t remember how she’d gotten here.

She remembered seeing her family not long ago. At least it didn’t feel like that long ago, but she had no sense of time passing. Her green eyes widened, then shut — there was no difference — it was all pitch black, and she staggered a few steps from imbalance. 

As her hands reached out into the unknown to catch herself, they planted themselves on what felt like a bookcase, allowing her to be able to stay upright. She skimmed her fingers across each of the shelves, only finding a few small pots filled with dead, dried up plants inside. 

She wasn’t really even sure what she was looking for. Maybe a key to get her out of this place? But what good would that do without a door? From her blind feel-through of the place, there wasn’t even a door, which made her feel as if she was in some sort of a nightmare version of Alice and Wonder Land.

She felt a tear forming at the corner of her eye as she slid her back down the wall to find a seat on the cold, concrete floor. She didn’t deserve this. She didn’t ask to be put in this dark place, with no way of escape. 

She didn’t want to be alone. She didn’t want to be an outcast. She wondered if anyone had even noticed she was gone.

Probably not, since her mom usually let her do whatever she wanted as long as she was back home by bedtime. Her friends’ parents were stricter — they made their children check up with them throughout the day, and most of them were jealous of her freedom. 

But this wasn’t freedom. She wanted to be cared about enough that someone would miss her. She was only twelve; certainly this wasn’t how her life was meant to be.

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