I am waiting here, hoping to be rescued. I remember how it all began–the moment I decided to enter the cave. I try to think of the future. Will someone help me? But I know, even though the future lies ambiguous, it’s inevitable. Trapped within this perplexing cave, I lay on the cold uninviting floor and ponder. Ponder about whether I should have run in the first place. Ponder about the long night which led to this.
Although it was almost midnight, I heard the sound of footsteps approaching my house. I opened the door. For a moment, I peered into the darkness. Was someone there? I took a step forward and a hand grabbed my shirt. “You?” I gasped as he went on to say, “Hello brother.”
Instantly, I was five years old again, playing in the yard, making a mess, and my mother yelling. Her rage escalated when I leaped over a mound of leaves as my brother chased me through the yard. But her hollering had nearly no effect on either of us. We merely looked at each other, laughed, and continued to play. Those were the days. We were happy. Genuinely happy.
Suddenly, his presence pulled me out of the flashback I had buried myself in. I began wondering where it all went wrong, when the downward spiral began. Was it when he decided to become a secret agent, putting all our lives at stake? Or was it when defeating criminal masterminds became more important than anything else? Or was it when my parents died? Because, once upon a time, it was all very different.
My brother wouldn’t let go of my shirt. Instead, he dragged me to the clearing behind my house. I gasped for breath. Instantly, I knew this wasn’t going to end well. The last time he showed up like this, the unimaginable happened. My parents lost their lives. I was tired. I was tired because every time he put his job first, others suffered. Every time he put his job first, someone had died. Yet, he didn’t stop. As soon as I opened my mouth to speak, he silenced me and actioned to follow him. I tried to fight it but immediately realised it was pointless.
After a perspiring walk, we finally came to a halt. Rushing through his words, he explained the whole situation. He’d gotten into a feud with one of his many enemies who was threatening to harm our family. Even though this whole situation seemed surreal, deep down I’d seen it coming. Ever since he became a secret agent, there had been multiple instances of danger. He told me to run. To run as far as I could. To hide in the caves beside the clearing. At first, I hesitated, processing the series of events. But at this point, I knew that doing what he said was in my best interests. And the next thing I know, it has been 10 hours in the cave. My writhing cries, shrieks and shouts into a void reverberate against the rigid walls. Every futile attempt to escape is only a déjà vu, reviving failure and vain. And suddenly, the odour of death wafts amidst the flints…