The Room (contd.) Thursday, Dec 13 2007 

(Continued from here) 

There’s a room in my house where no one goes. It’s dark and musty smelling inside, I think. Sometimes I get a feeling I’ve been inside, but then it could’ve been a dream. I dream a lot these days, mostly about my family and friends. But I know they are just dreams.

Everyone was asleep that night, when I placed the ladder against the house right beneath the broken window. Which broken window, you ask? You know which window. The one in the room, the room where no one goes. There was a chilly wind blowing and I’d left my sweater back on my bed. I thought of my bed and how nice it would be to be in there, between the covers, planning about getting into this room rather than standing in the garden and actually trying to get into the room. I climbed the ladder and reached the window after what seemed like an hour, when really it was only 10 minutes.

I remember it was dark inside. The wind made a little whoosh when it passed through the hole in the broken pane. I took my flashlight and beamed it inside.

The light caught a chair in the middle of the room, lying on its side like someone knocked it over in a hurry. It looked like Grandpa’s rocking chair, only it had four sturdy legs instead of a rocker. I moved the light around to see what else was in there – maybe the ball that broke the pane was lying around. But no. It wasn’t there. Nothing was there but the chair. So everyone in the house is scared about a stupid chair? I felt a laugh rising up inside my throat. Until I saw the rope.

It was a rope, yes, but what was chilling was the fact that it was a noose. Hanging from the ceiling, waving gently in the light breeze, like a cradle rocking a baby. By then my hand was shivering and it was becoming very uncomfortable standing on the ladder – I had to decide then if I should go inside or not.

I pushed the window open and climbed inside. The floor was icy cold and dusty. I imagined how Mother would lose her cool if she saw this much dust anywhere in the house. But they still never go into this room. No one does. No one but me.

The chair was still there and so was the noose. The rope, I mean. It scares me to call it a noose. I went closer to the chair and looked up to look at the rope properly. It looked strangely new. Like everything but the rope was touched by time. Like the rope alone escaped it and the ruin that comes with it. I pulled the chair upright and stood on it. The noose began exactly at my head and ended somewhere below my chin.

The only thing I remember after that is hearing the chair fall down.

——————————————————————————————

Dear Jerry,

I miss you buddy.

My mum said I could write to you since I did not get to say goodbye and she will ask your mum to place this note with you, when they take you away.

I cannot believe that you’re not here anymore. What were you thinking man, actually going inside the room! I thought we were just fooling around with the plans. I would never have let you do it had you told me you meant it, Jer. I blame myself for not knowing you better. Sorry man!

So now you get to jam with the angels, huh? Boy am I gonna miss you! And if you see Abe Lincoln, tell him I hate him for doing all those great things and getting into my history textbook. I wish you were around to help me with this stupid essay, man.

You’ll always be my best bud, Jer. You take care, ok?

Your best friend,
Matt.

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The Room Saturday, Dec 8 2007 

There’s a room in our house where no one goes. Fairly small, with a heavy wooden door that looks centuries old. Maybe if I looked closely enough I might even find characters from an extinct language, the things archaeologists only find in historic ruins or some such places. It’s a mystery, this room, that no one goes to. There are cobwebs around the huge iron padlock and no one knows where the key is. Not even Grandpa. He doesn’t like talking about the room, it makes him nervous and he starts mumbling something about the weather or the garden. We don’t have a garden, you see.

I have spent many summers drawing up elaborate plans to get inside the room. We are forbidden to talk about it or go near it, you know. My brother and I, both. My brother is as eager as me to know what’s inside, but he’s more eager about girls. Girls are horrible, I don’t talk to them. My best friend, Matt, doesn’t like girls either. That’s probably why we’re best friends. He helps me out with the plans these days, but I know it doesn’t mean as much to him as it means to me. I mean, its MY house and there is a room in MY house where no one goes.

One summer, we were repainting the house and I heard Father tell the painters to leave the room and paint the rest of the house. Why wouldn’t they paint that room? That day, when we were driving down to the local farmers’ market, I asked Father about the room. He braked so hard, I hit my head on the dashboard in-spite of the seat belt. I never brought up the room with him again. That day was the one time I saw fear in Father’s eyes. I asked Mother about it when we got home. There was an audible gasp and she dropped the cup she was holding. I was asked to go to my room and not come down till dinner time. Not even for my favorite show on TV! I wonder what made her so mad.

It made me very curious indeed, the room. The room that no one goes to. The room that no one talks about. The room that I think about all the time.

The plan I made last night is perfect. I found a way to unlock the broom-shed in the backyard, where Father keeps the ladder. When everyone is asleep tonight, I will use the ladder to reach up to the window of the room. There is a small hole in the windowpane on one side, like the hole a ball makes when it hits a window. I wonder who broke that pane. Maybe the ball that made it is still inside the room. I’ll look for it when I go inside.

I just have to wait now, till everyone falls asleep. And then I’ll enter that room. The room where no one goes. The one with the broken window and the big padlock. It doesn’t scare me, that room. Does it scare you?