Written by: Olivia Deresti
Ten… Nine… Eight… Even with my back on the cushion, I can feel shivers traveling down my spine. There are goose bumps appearing on my arms. My moment has finally come.
Seven… Six… Five… I’m ready. Nothing can stop me now.
Four… Soon this beautiful, cruel planet will be nothing but a speck of dust below me.
Three… I tighten my fists, awaiting the jolt. A rush of adrenaline surges through me.
Two… Escaping, fleeing, soaring. Never looking back.
All at once, I am weightless.
My body is already thousands of feet above the ground. I am flying. I feel something at my throat – a sound. I open my mouth to let it escape. A laugh? No, a cackle. Free at last. Suddenly, I am howling with laughter, tears streaming down my face. Never again will I be told there is something wrong with me. Never again will anyone say the voices aren’t real. Goodbye, fools. I’ve left you behind.
I now take the time to look around me. Space is truly and utterly beautiful. The darkness looks like it has been splashed with a billion fireflies, moving together in a special kind of slow dance that even the most elegant of dancers could not understand. I can hear them whispering.
“You’re here.” they say to me, “We have been waiting for you.”
The stars continue their dance, and I cannot take my eyes off them. Once again, I am ascending. My body starts to lift off of the bed, and I realize that it is the stars prompting me towards them. I surrender, as I have nothing to lose. They wrap themselves around me, in an eternal embrace that can mean only one thing: “Welcome home.”
I close my eyes and savor the feeling, but it is over too quickly. I open them only to realize I am back in the white room. The horrible, eerie white room. No, this cannot be true. “NO!” I scream, terrified. “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
A thin blond woman with a white coat runs in. I hate her. She is soon followed by a man with dark hair and a mustache. I have never seen him before, but I immediately hate him too. I continue shrieking.
“I DO NOT BELONG HERE!” I wonder if maybe the stars dancing way above can hear me. I sit up and try to get off the bed, but the man grabs my arms and holds me down.
My screams of fear have quickly turned into screams of rage. I flail my arms around, trying to slip out of his grasp, but have no luck. The woman comes towards me, leans down and stretches her arms out, removing my cardboard box helmet from my head, and throwing it on the floor. I am now overcome with anger.
“No! I am the captain! I belong with the stars! I am the astronaut!” The man is still holding me down as the woman returns with something in her hand – a needle. Without hesitation, she stabs it into my left arm. There is no time to react; I can already feel the liquid flowing through my veins – cold – like the hearts of the fools who put it there.
I am the astronaut.
I am the…