Woke up to the piercing cold and the first thought that engulfs me is whether I am dead. Am I dead? I shout it out to the Darkness but only the shrill, crisp air retaliates.

I peek at the world through the heavy windows of my soul. Sleep still palpable. My room, like my heart, has been swallowed up by Darkness. Am I dead? I ask again. My words fall on dust covered books and crumpled paper. They pile up inside half-empty mugs and stale clothes plastered on my ancient mahogany floor.

I sit ever so slowly, pull my knees to my chin and let a tear escape. I am not dead, God. I am not dead. If I listen really carefully, I could hear my heart knocking inside me. I can will myself to blink. I cannot be dead.

I let myself sink back into the bed as I listen to the minutes being ferried off. The ticking sound tells me that I am moving toward the inevitable but it also tells me that I have somehow reached another side of this inevitable.

I push the blanket off me and inch my way ever so carefully out of the bed. Before I even leave the bed, I could tell that I have left it even before the piercing cold kills me.



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