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Doors

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Nikita opened her eyes. She was sitting on a chair in a small white room. She didn’t remember how she came to be there or anything at all about her life before that moment. The only thing she knew was her name. Nikita. She spoke the word softly to herself, to confirm the reality of it, and, satisfied that it was in fact her name, stood up. Looking around she noticed the only feature of the otherwise featureless room. A door.

She opened the door and looked through into another room, much like the one she stood in, but this room contained a small table and chair. She stepped through and approached the table. Upon the table were a glass of milk and a sandwich. She ate the sandwich and drank the milk. They were good and she was satisfied. She noticed the door to the previous room was closed, though she was certain she had left it ajar upon entering. She walked over and tried to open the door, but it was locked.

There was however, another door in the opposite wall. This one opened to another small white room, complete with table, chair, sandwich and milk. Nikita noticed that the table was an oval shape, whereas the previous table had been square. The sandwich was different too. A chicken sandwich compared to the previous ham and tomato. It wasn’t milk at all, but orange juice. This room also contained a bed. She entered the new room and lay upon the bed for a few moments. Feeling refreshed, she got up and again noticed the door to the previous room had closed itself as she lay. She did not attempt to open it, knowing that it would be locked. Once again, there was a second door in the opposite wall opening into another identical room..

Nikita’s curiosity led her into that new room. There was a man sitting on the chair.

‘Nikita, baby, where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you.’ He embraced her, and she felt she should know this man, but she didn’t.

‘I’m sorry. I don’t remember you’, she whispered.

“It’s me Honey, Charles, your husband.” His face was sad.

He seemed nice, she thought. A Caring and concerned man, handsome too. But she just didn’t know him.

She stayed with him while he explained their life together, how they had met, how much they loved each other. It pleased her, to find this man who clearly cared for her so deeply. They ate and drank together: roast duck, potatoes and green tea. It was delicious, and Charles was happy, so she was happy too. They lay on the bed, a softer one than the bed in the previous room. They laughed and kissed.

Later, when Charles was sleeping, she looked at the doors. The one she knew she could not go back through, and the other; the one she knew would open for her if she wished it.

Careful not to wake him, she slipped off the bed and approached the door. She opened it and looked back at Charles. She walked through into the new room.

“Honey, Nikita, where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you’, said Charles. But it wasn’t Charles, this was a different Charles. Oh he loved her he said. He was kind and caring, a good man. But it wasn’t the same Charles.

A child sat playing with a toy train, a boy about 3 years old. “Mummy, mummy look, I have a train.” Nikita was mesmerized by this child. My little boy she thought, how so very beautiful you are. She touched his face and held him. A happiness she could not have imagined settled deep in Nikita’s soul.

Nikita and her family shared a warm meal, and they talked. They talked about their love for each other, and they talked about their plans for the future. Her son’s name was Stevie, and he wanted to be a train driver when he grew up.

Later when Charles and Stevie were sleeping, hands touching, Nikita stared at the ceiling. She did not look at the doors. She did not want to look at the doors. At the door. The one taking her to a new place, a different life, subtly different, but a different life nonetheless.

She wanted to stay in this place, with Charles and Stevie.

But the door called to her. She ignored it for as long as she could. The door sang of possibilities, but she fought it. What do I care for possibilities when this, this place, is all I want? I won’t go. I don’t want for anything more.

Still, she slipped off the bed and approached the door.

She looked back at Charles and Stevie. She thought for a moment of the other Charles in the other room. Silent tears fell from her eyes as she opened the door.

 

Cameron Kirk

 

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