the other two doors

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Just a Dream.”

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

The First Door.

It was a door to the past–but not just any past. A particular past. The kind of past worth cherishing, fondly remembered. There were four people standing beyond the door:

a friend who was happy and told everyone to be happy,

another friend who smiled to me and gave me that encouraging “Okay!” thumbs-up sign right before my speech,

a friend who stood beside me and stroked my back as silent tears blurred my eyes,

and another friend who took my hand and danced with me with the kind of dance that could have gone on forever.

To walk through that door would be a dream; to forever stay with them, impossible.

The Second Door.

It was a door to the present–but not my present. The other kind of present happening at the moment but outside my awareness. The tears my parents shed in darkness, the sighs of my friend giving up, the quiet prayers of another friend asking for hope against hope, a friend talking to a wall and asking questions with no answers, my grandmother calling out to me, a neighbour touching his wife with heavy knuckles and ringing slaps, my aunt wondering who the stranger sitting inside her daughter’s room is and who looks exactly like my cousin, and my high school teacher controlling but succumbing to that urge to touch those faces sitting inside the classroom.

The Third Door.

It was a door to an empty room except for a window that showed me what was beyond the first two doors.

The third door was the one I opened.

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