My earliest fantasies were of a man, a Prince, who would rescue me. In my dreaming, I was always asleep, or sick, or injured before this magical person arrived. Their presence rewrote me. With them, I was well. With them I was alive. I physically ached for that person. The hole in my chest remained exposed and empty hurt. Because I knew, I knew with all my heart and soul that this magical being would make me complete. And so I remained in my prison, waiting.
I was the dog that cringed in the back of the cage. I was the cat, injured and half-dead that would claw and bite anyone who attempted to rescue me. Why?
Because people were dangerous. They put me in this cage. People cut the hole in my chest. People taught me I was hollow, defective, broken. They – those outside – could not be trusted. In my cage, I was separate from them. I was so alone. I was broken. I was voiceless. I was forgotten.
Being forgotten by all the world made me safe.
No one ever came to my rescue.
There was no knight, no prince. There was no magic to make everything better. No touch to soothe away the fear. I was singular, alone, a broken thing that marked time pacing the limits of my cage. For decades. There is a track worn along the inside of my prison. I know it grain by grain. I could close my eyes and tell you where I stood in the gray nothingness of my life by the feel of the sand beneath my feet.
I have never lived. I have only paced my circles. Over and over and over. Waiting for a fantasy.