“… and then she looked around at the faces around her. They were supposed to be family but she had never felt more alone. Their eyes judged her every move, heads shaking disdainfully at her. The voice that she thought was protecting her was only in her head. All she heard was…”

“Footsteps!” yelled Ide, alarmed.

I rushed to shut the journal I was writing in and the pen flew from my hand. It landed beside the door frame just as Father walked in.

“What are you doing? Are you writing?”

“No, I was just tinkering with something I read earlier, that’s it.”

“What do you need the pen for?” he said as he picked it up and walked out of the room.

“Now he’s going to be suspicious about what I have been doing! It’s not fair!”

I kept the journal under my pillow and pulled out a book with an ambiguous title. When I was sure I was alone with Ide, I put away the book and sat up straight. “You remember when we read Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’? I loved every single thing that she wrote and the way she wrote it. But I never thought it could be applied today. We’re living in an urban society in the 21st century. Surely women are free to do whatever they wish, and they are given equal opportunities.”

Ide looked at me pathetically. “That’s just an impression created by media and you know it. It’s a cycle. People have their own ideologies but they look at media and they think that’s how they should behave but, that’s just a masquerade. Put them in a life-or-death situation, and they will reveal their true colors.”

“But giving me false hope and then pulling the rug from under my feet? I don’t think there’s anything crueler. They are always so guarded about what they say around me and then there’s all the apprehension about what I am doing all the time!”

“They’re just worried that your isolation may be driving you crazy. They think that you have all these unresolved thoughts that you share with no one and you may be going cuckoo.”

“Are you saying I’m crazy?” I got up and looked in the mirror.

“I’m just saying that you need to cover up your tracks better. You think that writing is your release, your vent. For all you know, they might have read something you wrote. And I’m not the first to tell you that you do follow the unconventional,” Ide walked out of the room.

I heard my name being called, and left the room frustrated.

I felt like I was in an interrogation room. Mother and Father sat across from me like a panel. Something was up. The air suddenly became thick and stifling.

“We’re concerned about you,” began Mother.

“Worried, in fact,” interrupted Father, but kept quiet after one stern glance from Mother.

“About what?!” I said, a tone more hostile than I intended.

“That right there. You seem to have something on your mind all the time, and you spend a lot of time in the room, when we’re out here. You never stay in the same room we are. And you’re always writing in that book! What do you even write about?”

“Does it matter? Just tell me what you want,”

“You need to watch your attitude, first of all. But you need to get out of that room. You are secluded and you isolate yourself from the world…”

I said nothing. In fact, I tuned out the entire speech. I couldn’t care less what they said. I wanted to get out of the room and run away. Virginia Woolf was right. A woman needs a room of her own – one with a door and a deadbolt on. I wasn’t pushing anyone out, I just needed my space.

“…and all that getting into your head must be driving you crazy!”

“What?”

“We’re not saying you’re crazy but you seem to talk to yourself and you have these mood swings and when you go out, you’re a different person than you are at home.”

“I don’t talk to myself! I only talk with Ide and you know that! Where’s Ide?” I was tipsy from the surge of blood rushing to my head.

“What are you talking about?” asked Mother and Father looking truly disturbed.

Ide stood in front of the mirror, staring at me.

“What are they talking about, Ide? They think I’m crazy! Say something!”

My eyes suddenly looked at her reflection in the mirror, or lack of one. The room swam around me into a mocking face. When I looked back, Ide was gone. Ide was never there. The face mocked me, “You thought Ide was real? I-D-E: I Don’t Exist!”

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