Two people are in a room. They are aware of each other but do not openly communicate. One because they cannot, the other because they choose not to.
These people look similar but this is not a trick of any mirror. They are totally different on the inside. On either side of the room they exist, separately. They have habitually been kept apart. The first person is blindfolded, gagged and bound to a chair. The other is lying, unfettered, on a bed next to a wall above which is a window. The sun is shining through this window. But the person lays there with their eyes closed. Tears are flowing. Silent tears.
Today the door to this room has been left open. Sensing silence from beyond the room, the person in chains inclines their head to one side then hearing no outside noise they immediately begins to shuffle towards the beckoning cool breeze of the unexpected opening. Being so constrained it is a hard journey but they keep trying; falling over and righting themselves repeatedly. Eventually, disturbed from their private sorrow, the one on the bed turns away from facing the wall and looks at their room companion then speaks, in a low rusty voice, “Why waste your energy? You’ll never get away from this?”
“I don’t know that,” comes the muffled response from behind the gag, “but I’ve got to give it a go.”
The person on the bed sighs with resignation and swings their legs onto the floor before walking with a stiff gait towards the door. They open it wider for the chair bound person to depart from the room. Then, before returning to the bed, they deftly untie the bonds that restrict their fellow hostage to the chair.
The released man stands in the doorway and glancing out he throws a look at the retreating back of his liberator, “Come with me,” he pleads, “we can make it away from here.”
“I can’t,” comes the sad reply, “I’m more scared out there than in here…. I know this fear now.” The freed man shades his eyes from the temporarily blinding light then saying a quiet goodbye he slips out of the room and creeps along the wall beyond his prison. The shadow of reality that is left in the room gazes at the open door then returns to hug the wall and sob in desperation.