The Floor – Short Story

He found himself awake on the floor. He wasn’t entirely sure why he was lying there, but he knew it wasn’t the result of a fall or anything like that. It seemed to make sense anyhow, as he stared at the rock-like ceiling. He moved his head to the side and saw he was accompanies by piles of dust, thinking to himself that he might one day want to clean it.

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He was mesmerized by the ceiling, more so by the fact that he could make shapes out of the unsymmetrical popcorn that faced him. It almost felt like looking at the stars, something he remembered doing as a child. “Child” – his train of thought stumbled on that word. That was a much simpler time, he thought, when he saw the world through the lens of a periscope. The changing colours always excited him, and how storms would eventually bring sunshine. It was a simpler way to view the world, one that he had realized was far different from the one he was living now.

Those moments were gone, he knew that. He now laid between two choices. To his right, although comparatively far, laid the doorway that led to the rest of his house. The curtains were closed in his room and the only light that came in was through the door. What if he joined the light, he thought, and left his darkness for the day? That is where his second choice comes in. On his left was a pile of his temptations that lay out in the open on his night-table, just hovering above his left hand. It was, as mentioned before, much closer than the door.

It was only months ago when he found himself in the same position, trying to escape and finally be with the light. The doorway seemed much closer, he thought. He remembers standing up and walking through the door, finally feeling at peace. He remembers all the thoughts he ignored of the table, and how they slowly faced away in the sun. He thought about the thoughts he had when he was free, like that thought  that it would never return and that he had moved on. He thought about the new life he wanted, free from the mistakes of his past. He thought about how close he was to all of that. He thought about how close he was to throwing it away.

Then it shifted. His mind was polluted with the thoughts of the table. He thought about the feeling; that feeling that drove him there every time. He bathed in memories and fallacies he called reasons, ones he knew deep enough couldn’t hold him but seemed easy enough to accept for a single moment. That was all he needed anyways: one single moment of conviction. He thought about the door, and how it seemed farther than before. He thought about the door, and how it would be there the next day. His mind shifted – maybe it won’t be there anymore – but quickly jumped back. He laid there, waiting. He wasn’t sure what for, but he was waiting. He thought about the periscope and the colours and the single, unforgettable moment that drove him back to that table. It all came back like a wave crashing a beach, as he lay there almost lifeless on the floor.

Suddenly the light outside the door and the darkness of the room became confusing. He couldn’t tell which one was truly better, nor where the light was coming from. He raised his head, and turned it to the table. He didn’t want to admit defeat, but he felt he had already lost. His decision was made for him at this point. How do you win a battle you’ve already lost? How do you change the past and walk away? He was terrified. He shifted towards the table, as if this decision was destined to be.

As he moved his body, he noticed his foot had hit something. It was an envelope. It lightly stabbed his big toe and floated further away from his body. He lifted his torso and picked it up, pulling out the old letter that was stuck inside. It wasn’t his writing, but he had known every word. It told him of a new life, one that was free and simple. It told him that he had just enough strength to win. It told him that the battle was not over.

He put his hand further inside the envelope and found a rose. Though it was missing petals and was damaged, it was red and pure and simply beautiful. He gently put it back inside with the letter as not to hurt the fragile rose, and left it where he fund it. He felt his feet on the ground, and felt a connection with the floor. And with every step he took, he felt it. He felt the cold hardwood underneath as his feet almost lost balance with that first step. He felt the strength returning, and his foot felt firm. He felt every step as he walked towards the door. It was slightly painful, but that slowly faded away.

The light first hit his tows, and the warmth felt good. He submerged his foot in more until every inch of his body was covered in light. He closed the door. He kept walking. He knew he wouldn’t find a new life; he learned that he misunderstoof. This was all part of everything that made his memories. This was simply a continuation. He knew that the door could easy be opened, with the turn of a knob in fact, and that he could easily find himself again on the floor. What he also knew is that every day would be a battle, and that he will always have the strength to stand up and walk towards the door.

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