Leaving is a very strange experience, by far the strangest and scariest I have ever had. It begins quickly, as usual, yet at first is not any more intense or different from my previous ones. Because of this, I am already expecting another typical experience. I cannot be more wrong.
It began with a familiar feeling, to which over the years I’d become accustomed. Then, quite suddenly, everything changed. I was still in my home, yet something about it was not the same. I could not tell what was different, however. I sat down and leaned back against my bathroom wall to think about what might be wrong, and it was then I knew this time would not be like the others.
As I pressed my back and head against the wall, I took great notice of the feeling of the wall. Much more notice than I had ever taken, which concerned me. I usually had not worried about what walls felt like, but this was different, and I soon discovered why. Almost immediately the wall started to vibrate. The floor, other walls, and the ceiling were not vibrating, which further troubled me. After a moment I felt like my wall was trying to take me somewhere, trying to rip me out of reality. Naturally, I was confused by the fact that a wall was trying to take me somewhere, and I thought to myself that I should probably not go with it, but the force was overwhelming.
I tried to focus and take note of what the rest of the room was doing. I thought that maybe I could move to another, more stable location. But to my surprise the room was no longer there. It was only me, the wall, and black space for as far as I could see. Despite having no clue of where I would go, I stood up and pressed my hand against the wall in an attempt to try and push away from it, and that was when things got particularly strange. As my hand connected with the wall, I was able to see a ripple resulting from the touch. It was a sound wave from the minute noise the connection had made.
The wave washed over me, tumbling me end over end until I had lost all sense of direction. The sound was colored blue and green, which was puzzling because I had never known that sound had color. I could no longer see the wall, but the sound was all around, so I could not see more than a few inches in front of me anyway. I was completely enveloped in the wave. Then the wave suddenly disappeared and I was back with the wall, still touching it with my hand. It was still vibrating.
The wall never spoke to me. No, that would have been strange. Rather, I could feel inside of me what it was trying to communicate. It was telling me that life had ended and that it was now time to come back home. With some degree of relief, I took what the wall had told me to mean that my time in this strange experience was over, and that I would now be returned to my home, back to my bathroom without vibrating walls or colored sound waves.
I, like the wall, did not use any speech, nor did I try to think my thoughts in an attempt at telepathic communication. Rather, I used my body to tell the wall that, yes, I was ready to go back. As soon as I did this, though, another strange thing happened. My hand, still touching the wall, began to melt in to it. This gave me much cause for alarm, as I could not see how becoming part of the wall would take me back home. I watched as first my fingers melted and became one with the wall. Although highly concerned, I did nothing. The wall was sending me trusting feelings, so I allowed the melding to continue.
The melting continued, slowly, for the next few moments. When the fusion reached the area of my wrist, I started to become somewhat suspicious. I was being pulled in to the wall, inch by inch. No, I thought to myself, this cannot be right, this cannot be the way back. I quickly glanced around me. Still, there was only black space. I looked back to the wall. It had tricked me, I realized. I had no idea of its motives, yet I knew with absolute certainty that I was making the wrong decision by allowing it to consume me. There had to be another way home.
Using my feelings, I let the wall know that I would find another way back, that I did not need its help. I immediately began to pull back my hand. In an instant I had it about halfway out, unmelted and reformed. But then I could pull it out no further. I had caught the wall off guard for a moment with my sudden withdrawal, but now it was holding on tightly. I could feel that it was trying to pull me back in, but I fought back. It did not take much effort to resist the pull, but somehow I knew that if I allowed my hand to slip back even slightly, that my entire body would be pulled in and melted to the wall.
The wall urged me to let it take me in. It reminded me that my time was over, and that it was finally time to come home. I told it that I would not be returning with it. As a courtesy, I thanked it for its concern and help, and then tried to yank the rest of my hand out, hoping to catch it off guard again. But the wall was now aware of my strategy. My hand was stuck, and no matter how hard I pulled it would not budge. I yelled feelings at the wall to let me go at once, but to no avail. The wall told me that it would do whatever necessary to take me home. And it was not joking.
We began to spin rapidly, the wall and I. I was surprised by the sudden motion, but I did not allow my hand to go back any more into the wall. The wall had tried to throw me off balance and suck me in, but it had failed. I smiled, flattered that it had tried to use my own tactic against me. Still feeling to me, the wall told me that it would not stop spinning us until I agreed to come home. I told it no, but the spinning did not stop. I told the wall that I no longer trusted it, that in fact I was beginning to hate it.
I had no watch on either hand, so I did not have a way of discerning time. However, I would estimate that the spinning continued for several hours, all the while being told by the wall to give up and give in. At first I argued with the wall, but after an hour or so I stopped communicating with it. I instead focused all of my energy into trying to free my hand.
After many hours, and much wasted effort, I heard a voice. This was interesting because I could actually hear it with my ears, not just feel it with my body. It was a woman’s voice, yet somehow I knew it did not belong to the wall. I could not tell from where it was coming, especially since the speed of the spinning had, over time, increased significantly. It seemed, as best I could tell, that the woman was up and to my right. She informed me that my body from my previous life was no more, and that my only choice was to now come home. She said that it was natural to feel as I did now, that it was something which everyone experienced when leaving.
At this point I began to feel very confused and alone. I had been relatively calm up until now, but I began to feel the first signs of fear inside me. How was any of this possible, I asked myself? I just want to go home.
With the spinning continuing, something else began to happen. As I looked around and tried to locate the source of the voice, I saw to my amazement that there were other mes and other walls to my left. Myself and the wall were leaving a trail behind us as we hurtled through the black space. It was as if a snapshot was being taken of the wall and I every fraction of a second, with each photo remaining in the place in which it was taken. It reminded me of the setting on computers that makes the mouse cursor have a tail behind it, except that our tail never disappeared, it only continued to get longer as we went along.
After only a few moments there were thousands of photos, and most of them were very far away, which helped to reveal my speed. I had not realized how fast I had been traveling, but at least now I could see there was a pattern to our motion. We were moving to my right-hand side in a tight corkscrew spiral. However, somehow I felt that overall I was falling, that we were moving down, with my left side being up, and my right being down.
Again the woman spoke to me. She explained that my life as I had known it had never actually been real, that it had all been an illusion. As she was urging me to give myself to the wall, I started to shake. It was not of my own will, so I knew that the woman must be using some force to do it. I again tried, this time harder than ever, to pull my hand from the wall, but it remained in place as it had for the past hours, and whatever force which was shaking me began to shake harder.
Now the woman began to use my name. She said it, and then made a plea for me to give up. I shook my head, but I said nothing. She said my name again, this time with more urgency, and told me that I just needed to give myself in. Please, please, come home to me, she said. I closed my eyes tight and shook my head again. Her voice was soothing and somehow seemed familiar, yet I knew I should not trust her. I kept my eyes shut and lowered my head, trying my best to make sense of what was happening. The woman’s voice had stopped, as had the shaking, yet the trip through the blackness continued, seeming to get even faster.
After a few hours the woman spoke again, and I again began to shake. It now sounded like she was crying. She said that all of this, the confusion, the fear, the trip through the blackness, would all be over if only I would give in. She let out a sob, said my name, and said that everyone wanted me to come home. With my eyes still closed, I let out a whimpering groan. Part of me did want it to end and be over, but I was also very afraid of what being over entailed. This woman was asking me to do a very frightening thing, to leave my old world behind and go to a place which I knew nothing about. She was calling it home, yet I had never been there. I shook my head harder and started to cry, squeezing my eyes shut until they began to hurt. I pulled at my hair with my free hand. I don’t want to go, I screamed.
After crying for several minutes, I opened my eyes and looked around after the woman once again cried out my name. I wiped my tears with my free hand, and I could now see that I was now moving much faster. So fast that the trail to my left was now just a blur with no discernable break in the photos. I suddenly became very sad as something I realized. I have already left my world behind, I thought, and I’m already in a place which I know nothing about. The woman was now silent again, and I had stopped shaking. But I don’t want to go, I whispered.
I stared at the wall for the next few hours, thinking very hard. Perhaps I really had passed in my old life, maybe it really was over for me there. The more I thought about it, the more I had a feeling that I had known all along that something like this would happen to me. That all my life I had been waiting for all of this, for this journey, for a voice to come to me, to beg me to come with her and leave everything behind. I lowered my head and stared into the blackness. Somehow, I was too sad to even cry.
After a long time the woman said my name, calmly. Her voice was no longer strained by tears or urgency. I waited for the shaking to start, but it did not. I slowly looked up and to the wall, then to my melted hand. I glanced to my left. There was nothing now, just blackness. The trail had disappeared, the spinning had stopped, and there was now only this one image of myself and the wall. This one photo, stationary in all of this blackness, more still and certain than anything I had ever known in my world.
I could feel her watching me. And the wall, too. They both knew I was gathering my thoughts, so they let me. After a few moments I spoke, I am afraid. There was no verbal reply. Instead they used their feelings to let me know that there was nothing of which to be afraid. This was the first time the woman had used feelings as communication. It was very comforting, and for the first time in many hours I was no longer afraid or confused. I also had no more feelings of hatred for the wall.
Together they tell me, Aivlos, it is time to come home. I look around, slowly, once more. Just blackness. I look back to the wall and my melted hand, and after a moment I nod slowly. I step forward and in an instant become one with the wall.
I am home.