The Killing Box

“They’re just sleeping.”

Even at the age of five, I knew when my mother was lying. She was never any good at it. Her voice would pause and dip into this soft slow and sweet place. Right then I was happy to be lied to. In truth, we were alone in our own little desperate world

Our world was a box, on a boat, on an ocean. Every once in a while, through openings as big as a bottle cap the sun would leak into our world. It gave us terrible insight into our silent and sobering environment.

Nineteen human beings were dead in that box. They had suffered quietly, as to not exhaust energy. One by one, they simply left. Their memory hung in the air, thicker than the smell. The remaining two were huddled together in the left corner, far from the door.

The sun came and went and we stayed in each other’s arms. The days were innumerable and cold but we survived. When we were found in a dock in California, the media called it a miracle. In California, we live a good life, full of joy. Sometimes though, I’m still in that box. Sometimes, when I go to sleep, I still think about those poor people who never woke up.