My doorbell rings and I jump out my computer chair to happily go answer it. My husband and I have been craving Chinese food and tonight we finally ordered some. I put on some pants because who wears pants when they are home? A special note to all delivery people: If you ever wonder what takes us so long to get to the door, we are putting on some pants and chances are, they are never where we think we left them. I grab some cash from the drawer and run down the two flights of stairs to grab this food. I jump the last two steps making a thud noise, alarming the sensor light. The delivery man is peering through the door’s small glass window. I must have taken too long looking for my pants.
“Thank you so much for waiting. Here this is for you.” I hand him the tip and I instantly see his face change from annoyance to forgiveness. Money can make you happy.
“Thank you," He nods, "Enjoy your food.”
I close the door and check the mail before skipping back up the stairs. I take the stairs two at a time to make it up faster. I reach my floor and make the right towards my door. I turn the knob and the door is locked. I push harder hoping it opens and it doesn’t. I knock,
“C’mon open the door.” I shake the nob.
“Papi! Open! I wanna eat!” I rattle again and add a kick.
No answer. I look up at the door and realize that is not my apartment number. The door to my apartment is blue and this one is gray. What the &$%# ? My heart starts knocking on my chest with fear and worry. I look around and the hallway is no longer my hallway. It is longer than before and the walls are even paler. I run down the stairs and the first floor is completely transformed. There are about six additional apartments and the doors are all gray, is that a security desk? The lights are flickering as I run to the front door and I am no longer holding the bag of food. I don’t even remember that I should be. I get to the front door, touch the knob and it burns me.
I hear a very disturbing laugh come from behind me that went from a whisper to loud and maniacal. I was scared so badly not only did I risk the burn on my hand to open the door, but I was now crying and peed myself. I fling open the door and when I step outside, I am petrified by the sight. Orange/reddish and yellow/golden hues have filled the sky with large, puffy, gray clouds. Smoke. I turn around to see my whole building on fire. I run down the block screaming and crying,
“HELLPPPPP!!!!! IS ANYONE AROUND?? HEEELLLLOOOOO!!?!? HHEEEELLLLPPPPPP!!”
Screams are coming from close by and a couple of burning bodies appear out of a driveway. One collapses. My screams and cries grow louder making the fire around me crackle louder too. I am running, but I am no longer moving. The fire surrounds me, dancing, laughing, and pointing its flames at me. The laughing turns into a chant as the fire creeps closer and closer increasing the heat I feel. My screams are getting louder because my fear is uncontrollably growing, but the flames are bigger than my fears. Instead of feeling the heat and burning of my flesh, I feel this burst of ice coarse my veins. I taste metal. Everything around me slowly fades away as I become unconscious.
This is the story of Anita Babblesomes. Anita is a teenage girl who lost her entire family, including her boyfriend and dog, in a house fire. Anita was working on a science project wit hot plates when she went downstairs to pick up the family’s takeout dinner. They all played rock, paper, scissors, to see who would grab the food and Anita lost. She threw her work towel on the desk when she went down and as quickly as she left is as quickly as the apartment went up in flames taking the lives of everyone she loved dearly. Anita would never be the same. What person would? She is now institutionalized as she relives this traumatizing event over and over again under different variations as she gets older. Her retraumatization is so severe she must be sedated to calm her. This is the current state of Anita Babblesomes. Whether Anita can choose to stop willingly or her trauma is too deep beyond healing is information unknown to medical professionals.