I feel safe in my room, as if the flimsy door separating my room from the hallway protects me from something, a greater evil. It’s not true. It’s never been true. That door has been unwillingly dislodged and left flailing helplessly to the side more times than I could count. Not just this door either; a pale white one, visibly cracked and worn by many ugly and forceful separations from its precious golden hinges, and visibly covered in a thin coat of slightly off-white paint attempting to cover up or at least minimize the visual damage left on it. No, I have felt protected behind every door. They keep something out. Whether it be unwanted eyes or unwanted feelings, or that need to be someone else, anyone else, it is always safely stowed away behind that door. That unlockable door. Everyone I’ve never wanted to be is on the other side of that door and here I am, on this side, hoping that none of it comes in, but completely helpless to the possibility. I am me on this side, the me that is comfortable, the me that is relatively happy, the me that I know, that others know, and that I’m unsure of when I walk across the threshold. I’m someone else beyond that door, trapped, vulnerable, lost. I don’t know if I can coexist with the others beyond the door, I haven’t in a long time, and when I leave here it’s apparent. They are not mine. I don’t feel that they have ever been mine, opposite of their suggestions. They are not mine and I am not theirs. This room knows. The door keeps the distance and that is why it keeps itself closed. My understanding lies on this side of the door which is why I hardly leave it. The confines of this room is and has always been my home. The rest, to me, is only area. These people might as well be strangers. I don’t know them, they hardly know me and it’s apparent in the conversations, in the discomfort and unease I feel around them. It’s been slowly happening for the coarse of 6 years and I suppose it’s my fault. I expanded the distance. It was their words that initially set me off, but it was I who kept running. And now we’re here and all I want to do is leave. My mind flits back to my father’s words 6 years ago, ” Yep, 6 years and we finally won’t have to deal with each other and you’ll be on your own,” and then to my mumbled and yet audible,”Thank God, I’ll be counting…” And maybe subconsciously I was. Now I’m sitting here wishing I didn’t view my parents as such jerks with only the occasional nice spurt and wondering if it’s just me. And maybe it is, who would I be to think otherwise? My mess is just that; mine, and the only way to fix it, as I’ve known for a while, is to leave and take it elsewhere. The only possible solution, the only answer there’s ever been. My first solution, but now for different reasons. The only way for us to be civil with each other is for us not to coincide with each other, to be separate and happy in separation. Now it’s their happiness I seek, rather than just my own. To be happy as we are and will probably always be: on two other sides of a door.