Boxes/ by Ainav R. W.
She stood before a long line of boxes.
Each one painted an arresting black against the vast sea of blankness surrounding them, stepping closer she noticed every box was labeled.
Walking up to the first box she read the label aloud “Child”.
The box opened for her. As if bidden she climbed in and sat down on a wonderfully comfortable, albeit tiny, child’s bed.
She played about with the toys for a while before her thoughts took over her.
Thinking of all that could be, all that was and all that might be but that she didn’t really believe would ever be, the box ejected her.
She looked at the row of boxes stretching as far as the eye could see and walked on to the next.
“Responsible Adult” she read and once again climbed through.
Sat at a desk in a cubical undistinguishable from any other cubical she had ever seen, it wasn’t long before the thought of all that she must, must do before she could go home for the day wore her down and wandering away from the generic work desk the box ejected her.
The next box she tried read “Rebel” and instantaneously she was dancing in the middle of a dark, crowded phosphate colored rave. Cigarette in hand she danced and danced and danced with everyone and anyone who was about. Drink after drink, song after song. Until morning came and her new found friends passed her the car keys, she barely finished mouthing the word “No” and she was amongst the row of boxes again.
Head pounding she lay down to rest wondering when she would find a box that fitted her.
When she awoke she tried the box titled “Cool” knowing she wouldn’t last long, but “Geek” ejected her just the same.
“Lazy” and “Dreamer” lasted longest but even those wore thin.
Frustrated she wandered the row for a while, a long while that grew harder as she walked on.
Then “Lost” appeared in front of her, as if her mood had called it.
She could have stayed in that box forever. She knew that even if she got out of it eventually she would find her way back.
Angered by the thought of being “Lost” for the rest of time she forced her way out.
Amongst the boxes and now quite furious she started tearing them up, one after the other in a storm. “Not you, not you and not you!” she spat at them. But eventually she calmed down and sat herself between the ruins.
That’s when the idea came.
Lifting up labels from the surrounding wreckage she began sticking them together.
“Freak” with “Normal”, “Free Spirit” with “Strict”. More and more labels she collected. “Intelligent”, “Silly”, “Patient”, “Hothead”, “Bore”, “Wild” and on and on until she had created one big box.
She stood back looking at her work and smiled. A mess of words, it finally made sense.
She climbed into her creation timidly and once she was all the way through she felt, once and forever, at home.