Hidden away in a tiny room Little Girl, for she had no other name, sat alone. Its dusky and dreary walls held no colour or light to brighten her world. No friends, nor family to hold her close to feel the warmth of affection and love that the other girls, she thought, took for granted. Her floor was cold and hard, so much that she had come accustomed to hugging her knees and her yellow and brown bear tight just to feel some semblance of warmth and touch. She imagined that this must be what it was like to feel a mother hold her daughter in an embrace, or a father to cherish her above all other jewels in the known universe. Not that she knew how vast the universe was, but she imagined it was big. Outside the pale green-tinted windows, she heard the laughter of children, music and voices of play that were close enough to miss but far enough to be just out of her reach.

Little Girl would often peak her head just over the windows ledge to get a glimpse. She saw sun and rain come with every winter, spring, summer and fall. She could see and hear but she could never touch the outside world that held so much splendour, so much life and so many things that for her were denied. Sequestered behind lock and key; a spectator yet never a participant in the world outside the green glass windows.

Sometimes at night, when Little Girl would close her eyes as the room fell into darkness, she could almost remember the feeling of wind on her skin and the taste of rain on her tongue. It was a short time then when she was free to play with dolls and frolic in dresses; playing house with the little boy next door. But there were no dolls, no dresses or little boys to play house with here. The crash of the door and the slam of the lock her punishment for wanting more. She pulled on its latch with no avail and so Little Girl watched as the world go by without her.

Help I’m in here, please let me out!” she cried, astonished that she could hear her voice for the first time in as long as she could remember.

One day as she sat she heard taunting and teasing. ” Are you queer, are you gay?” the bully’s voice would boom. She felt the room quake as the walls began to close in as the door rattled and creaked. ” No! No! Stop it! I’m in here!” she tried to scream, but Little Girl had no voice. Like her freedom, it too had been stolen that day the door slammed shut for wanting more. The rain welled up in the windows obscuring her gaze, a feeling of hopelessness rushed over her as the shadow of the bully walked away. In an attempt of desperation, she tried the door, it was loose! She pulled and pulled until the door slightly gave up its fight. A sliver of light escaped between the door and the frame. Little Girl peaked out and saw a shadow of a figure approaching. ” Help I’m in here, please let me out!” she cried, astonished that she could hear her voice for the first time in as long as she could remember. As the figure came closer and came into focus, Little Girl saw a boy, much like her. He was thin yet tall and had a kind and gentle way about his face. “Not now!” He screamed all of a sudden, as his eyes met hers, his hand forcing the door closed with such force as to knock Little Girl back. “Please let me out I can help!” she tried to scream, but once again her voice had left. Little Girl felt tired, and so she rested on the cold floor.

As the years passed by, many times the room would rumble and the door would surrender just a crack, each time growing larger and larger. The little boy, now a man, would shut the door and yell and scream. But as time went on his voice had softened, the slam less forceful and his eyes more hopeful. Each time, Little Girl was able to reach outside the door and feel warmth and sunlight, rain and wind.

One day, just as the light returned to the pale green windows, Little Girl awoke to hear the lock unlatch and the door creak open. The man walked through the doorway, ” It’s time.” he said softly, “I’m ever so tired.” He extended out his hand inviting her to follow. She complied and reached out lacing his fingers with hers, their hands not surprisingly the same size and fitting perfectly into one another. As they walked towards the door a rush of warm air fell upon her face and she closed her eyes just for a second relishing the moment. “I should never have kept you here so long but I was afraid of what the world would do to you, to me, once they knew who you were.” Little Girl looked at the Man, ” You can rest now, let me take us the rest of the way.” Little Girl reached out and held the man’s face in her palms,” I watched and felt all you suffered for all those years.” Tears swelled in her eyes. “Us,” he corrected, “it was always us they hurt, and kicked and teased. But I was too afraid, too ashamed to let them know you were there watching too.” Little Girl just smiled, “Well now I’ll carry us both, they will deal with us both and nothing can stop us. Are you ready?” she asked, “I am.” He sighed in relief. Hand in hand, the Man and Little Girl walked through the door and into the light. Just as they crossed the thresh-hold the Man leaned over and into her ear whispered Little Girl’s true name. As The Man faded from sight, Little Girl gazed upon the open world just beyond the doorway where they both had once stood.

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