A story of a man hiding.

“Closets kill. They suffocate us. We drown in the refuse of our own lies, lies that say we’re alright. We’re only alright when we can be seen for who we are.”—David Husted

He sat in prim on the drafting chair, legs crossed, and fingers intertwined over one knee. On his desk sits a pot of artificial flowers, plain, and arranged poorly. He gazed at it. It was in his favourite colours, green in three shades; creamy mint, dark shamrock and dark mint green. Though it was cardinal sin and faux pas for him to own one, it saved him the thought of having to keep it alive with water and sunlight; an appealing prospect for him who seemingly lacked the innate ability to keep living things alive. He wondered if that’s all his life would ever be. “They will never know, will they?” he simpered, before sighing.

Working on his articles, he slouched in the drafting chair as he typed. Occasionally, he would catch himself doing it and straighten up, pushing his shoulders backwards and the small of his back upwards and in, sitting taller, more alert. He told himself that he didn’t want to wind up as a hunchback in a few decades time, but within a few more minutes of typing, it slipped his mind and he resumed his slouching posture. The way he sat lacked inspiration and he looked like a heartbroken man; an impression not helped by his empty stares into the room.

He had never come to terms with who he was, fearing from the backlash and ridicule that will hit him like a torrential downpour. He knew he was far from a perfect human being. He was calculative even though he constantly overthinks. Somehow, he had a way of carrying himself in a callous manner around people he had no regards for. First impressions of him were either aloof, distant, or stand-offish. Even so, he had made countless mistakes. To change himself was something he grappled with – or about anyone. Deep down, underneath that indifferent expression, or smiling face sometimes, buried a part of him that doesn’t heal from past heartache.

There was always a part of him that had a hole. Others would have emotional scars, but not him – he was still bleeding because his heart feels strongly for the pain of others. The thing was, regardless of the pain, he had a perspective that living with an incomplete soul is a form of death, and he would rather be a humane human in pain than the art manikin he owned. He had a hard time dealing with and getting himself out of the hell in his head. With every mistake he committed, he became stronger, more knowledgeable, more wary, but also harder for him to be fully open to a person. Love and feelings and relationships were never black and white or palpable. It took grounds and patience for him to apprehend these things, and regrettably enough, his realization of all these things forced him to close off from people who cared and loved him.

Stuck in the closet, somewhere in the back of his mind, he felt it was only the beginning. The beginning of an inexplicable pain, the suffering and the endless conga line of emotions that were in store for him. As of now, what only mattered to him was making through the next day.