The Door

When I was a child, there was a door in my house. It was nothing special, really. It looked just like all others. If you were to look at it, you’d probably think there was a guest bedroom behind it. The thing is, it never opened. Not once. We moved there when I was six and I never once saw it open. My parents said it was a fake door, that there was nothing behind it. I didn’t believe them.

One day, when I was twelve, I was running through the hallway when I noticed something was off. The door was open. Just a crack. The door that, for six years, would not open for us, was suddenly open, seemingly without help. I had to see what was on the other side. I looked around to make sure I wasn’t being watched. I felt like I was doing something I shouldn’t be creeping up to that door. After one last check, I put my hand on the knob. It was cold. I readied myself. Honestly, I half expected there to just be a wall on the other side of that door, but I was hoping for a secret room or something interesting and mysterious. I yanked the door open.

On the other side of that door, the fake one in the hallway of our house, lay another hallway. It looked like the one I was standing in. It had the same carpet, the same paint on the wall, the same lights in the ceiling. This hall had no doors that I could see and extended much farther than it should have in our house, so far that I couldn’t see the end. I stepped inside.

There was a soft click behind me, the door had closed. I didn’t try to open it again. There was no point. Obviously, if we couldn’t open it before, why would I be able to open it now. The logic of a twelve-year-old. The only option I had was to move forward.

I walked for what seemed like days. There were no windows so I have no way to actually tell that, but it did seem like days. I never got tired, or hungry. I never stopped once. It was like something was pulling me down that hall and all I could do was keep up. I wondered where I was. There was no way I was still in the house, but it still looked like my house, mostly. Things were getting harder to see, as if the lights were getting dimmer, but overhead, they looked the same to me. It also seemed to be getting colder, I was wrapping my arms around myself to ward off the chill.

In that time, walking down the endless hallway on the other side of our fake door, I had a lot of time to think. Mostly, I thought about my parents. I had been gone a long time, were they worried about me? What were they doing right now? By this time, I was so far down the hallway that I couldn’t even see the door behind me. I stopped for the first time since I entered that hallway. The hallway seemed cramped now. I sat down and tried to clear my head. Before long, I panicked and jumped to my feet. I bolted down the way I had thought I’d come, letting the tireless energy of the hallway carry me. The hallway never changed though. Had I gotten turned around when I sat down? I had no idea. I stopped again and looked in both directions. They looked the same. I felt the panic set in again. I had to get back! I had to find mom and dad! There was no way I could continue like this. I took a deep breath to calm myself down. It would be much easier for me if I was calm.

I decided that the way I ran was probably the way back to the door in our house, so I set out in that direction at a much more reasonable pace. I figured I’d get there eventually and shouldn’t worry about it, though, I did notice the light still seemed to be getting dimmer. I soldiered on until I finally saw something in the distance. My door! I ran as fast as I could and when I reached it, I found it wasn’t my door at all. It looked nothing like the door I had come in by. Where our door was wood, light brown, with a brass knob, this one was metal, painted white, with a large, shiny, handle.

At this point, I didn’t care where the door went, as long as it was out. I tried to open it. I couldn’t. I pulled it as hard as I could, I pushed it with all my strength, but it wouldn’t budge. I had just given up when I noticed another door a little ways from the one I was at. I ran to it. This one was different from the other. It was wood, but not like the wood of our door. This door was rough and had a huge iron knocker in the middle and a smaller iron knob off to the side with an old fashioned keyhole. I tried to look through the keyhole, but it was too dark so I tried to open it. Like the first, it wouldn’t move, no matter what I did. I gave up and looked ahead. There were even more doors now. Each of them was a different style and I tried them all in turn, with the same results. The farther I went, the more doors there were, but none of them would open.

There was one, it had a big window in the center. The window had stained glass around the edge, but the middle was clear. I looked through, hoping to see something, anything, other than the hallway. On the other side I saw a church. It was a small church and it was almost full. Everyone was dressed in black and there was a coffin up front. I was watching a funeral. I tried to open the door, but, like the others, it wouldn’t. I looked at the scene again, the first people I’d seen in who knows how long. There was a couple up front and they looked familiar. I looked as closely as I could through the window. They were my parents! I pulled back at that realization. Why would my parents be up front at a funeral? It didn’t make any sense. I looked back in and realized immediately why they would be there. There was a large picture next to the casket. I saw myself staring out at that church. I staggered back again, mind reeling. I didn’t understand. There was definitely a body in that casket, how could they think it was me? Didn’t they know what I looked like? I ran. I passed several doors, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to get away from that scene. The window was lying, it had to be. After I was so far away I could no longer see that terrible church door, I stopped. I resolved to get out of this hallway and show them I wasn’t dead. I tried the next door closest to me, wouldn’t open…

***

I’m still walking, hoping one day I might find the door that will actually open.

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