Why have I awoken in this strange, monochromatic world? Was I not just asleep in my canopy bed?
Why are you staring at me with those wide grey eyes that match the trees behind you? Why do you have no mouth with which to speak, yet I understand you when you tell me this world is all that has ever existed, that there is no such thing as ‘colors’? Why do I believe you when you tell me, wordlessly, that I was in a coma for seventeen years, trapped in sleep? Why do I feel sad, like I have lost something precious to me?
Why do I want to return to that colorful world, even though I know it does not exist?
Where are you going? Should I follow you?
Is this a forest? Why are you leading me deeper into this forest of shadows?
Why do my parents live in the forest? Why was I not with them? Were they not taking care of me, since I was in a coma?
Why have you fallen silent?
Who is that face in the window? Why does she look like me? Do I have a sister?
Why do you not answer me?
Hey where are you going now? Why can’t I call out to you as you disappear behind the house? Am I supposed to follow you?
Why have you left me alone out here, without so much as a goodbye?
Who are you, girl in the window? Why is your mouth missing, just like his? Why do you move when I move, copying each hand gesture? Why do you touch your face when I touch mine?
Where did my mouth go?
Did you hear that door opening? Do you see the smooth light surface, standing out amongst the black bricks that make up the walls of this house? Do you wish you could see the scarlet shade of those bricks and the golden color of that oak door?
Who are you, woman behind the door? Why do your eyes grow wide and your face long?
Why do you come towards me? Why do I feel scared, like the girl in the window?
Why can’t I escape your red eyes?
Why are your eyes the crimson color of blood?
Have the trees always been this tall? Has the ground always been uneven like this, making it hard for me to run? Have my legs always been this weak?
Is this rain I feel on my skin? Or is it the blood that matches the woman’s eyes? Are my lungs on fire? Is the world spinning or is it just me?
Is the girl in the window with me now? Is she running beside me, her nonexistent mouth trying to scream as she lunges into the past, desperate to find colors?
Does she scream beside me, sitting up in a canopy bed with wide open eyes, taking in the purple wall paper? Does her heart pound in her ears as a cold sweat pours down her back, gluing her thin pajama shirt to her skin?
Do her parents run into her room, eyes wide with concern? Does her hazel-eyed mother sit beside her on the bed, comforting her and whispering that it was merely a nightmare? Does her mother hum a lullaby while picking lint off the green and blue comforter with the butterfly pattern?
Does she see the crimson flecks in the woman’s irises too?