Like fifty of your own refreshing voices, yelling back at you your own words. It’s both chilling yet revitalising, to hear your very own voice bouncing back, repeating your words in a resonating tone.
As if there are numerous amounts of you’s, hiding up on the ceiling, disguised in the walls, waiting for your call. Like squawking parrots, with less squawking. It makes you listen to your voice, your words.
Sometimes, it clears your mind. Other times, it’s just plain fun. Then there is your time, the time where it lead you to a discovery you did and didn’t want to make.
The best place for a good, pure, stimulating echo is a cave. That dim, grey and black rock with the giant opening like a wide mouth. Openings to caves remind you of someone yawning. As if they’re saying:
“Let me invite you for tea! My tea!” It seems a pretty immature thought, but then again, you’re not very mature.
Caves are these glorious things. Giant rocks with broken entrances, with hidden secrets inside. So many wondrous things can be stowed away inside a cave, anything from treasure to personal memories. Stashed amongst the stalactites and stalagmites, mighty pillars that shoot from the ceiling and floor.
If the hidden you’s obscured in the ceiling aren’t careful, they might be impaled.
Most find caves creepy or scary, the insides washed with black and filled with no light. Yet, to you, they are intriguing. What sort of things lurk amongst that emptiness? The vast blackness that fills the inside, it can hold anything.
Some monster could be loitering amongst the shadowy contents, ready to jump! Or some glistening jewels, wedged between two large lumps of grey, secret treasure hidden from most common people. Perhaps there are huge flocks of bats, clinging up in the darkest corners, disguised vampires that come swooping and snapping, the smell of blood their prey.
Most of things about caves you’ve learnt originate from old stories they used to tell us at nursery or during Halloween. Who cares about the hard-core facts? Who gives two hoots about the scientific wonders they hold? You get some of that treasure the pirates left, you’re sorted for life.
Though, you checked on the internet and not many places trade jewels for pounds. Only this one site, but it looked pretty dodgy. It was called ‘Jewel Swapper’ and kept advertising this stupid app. You don’t want an app! They told you that ten jewels equals fifty pounds, and they’re special green and purple jewels. Apparently, these green and purple jewels give you ‘extra lives’ or something? If they’re that amazing, maybe you’ll just keep the gems and give yourself extra lives! You could be in the face of danger, and be on the verge of death then BOOM! Instant life and you’re back on your feet breathing in the sweet air. Suck on that Death!
But, you’re getting off topic. You always do that, go off on some irrelevant tangent that eventually drags out into nothing and you’re left with silence. No one can get a word in edge ways until you finish, and even then you start talking about something else. Mum says that you need to shut up which results in yet another huge argument.
Mum doesn’t care about you anymore. Since Dad left, it hasn’t been the same. You were only five when he went but you’re not too dumb, and understood what was going on. You’ve never told Mum this, but the night he left, you heard him dragging his suitcase along. Since you were in the office downstairs (which had been converted into a part time bedroom whilst your room was being painted). You were right next to the door. On finding him un-locking the front door, you asked him where he was going. To this he replied:
“I’m going to seek my life through my own eyes now.” Then he shut the door and left, pulling his muddy-red suitcase behind him. You could still hear the rattle of the wheels going over the bumps of our front path, and the squeak of the taxi.
In that moment, you knew he was gone. You didn’t know what he meant, but you’d heard about this guy called God. Apparently, he’s this amazing man that is super kind and nice and brilliant, and that you can’t contact him by email. You have to pray, which is where you put your hands together and ask him very nicely for something.
So you prayed. You squeezed your eyes shut tight, and begged for Dad to just be going down to the pub. For him to come back the next morning, with pancakes and a brand new toy for you. But when you opened your eyes, the loud screech of a taxi driving away into the night was clearly heard.
The night enveloped your Dad, and never mailed him back. Mum woke up the next morning and broke down, sobbing non-stop, then eventually deciding on a dejected silence. You just watched her call the family, asking where he was, to which they had no clue. Then his friends, then her friends, then even your friend’s. Well, their parents.
Her desperateness began to cling to her and it was showing. The bags under her eyes grew darker; thick, sagging blues. Slowly, her skin creased like Dad’s old work tops, and her make-up could no longer disguise her flaws. In the end, she scrapped her make-up, and only went out to go do the weekly shopping. Even then she took half an hour, not caring about the price, or the relentless bills stacking up by the door.
To this day, she barely speaks. When she does, it’s thick with hatred and anger. You have so many arguments, it’s best just to communicate with in-distinct nods or shakes. Why waste words on each other?
It’s strange, isn’t it, how a conversation can flick from one thing to another? From echoes to parents? You find this a lot, the link between the topics can be ambiguous and odd. Is ambiguous the right word? Probably not.
But this story isn’t about your parents. It isn’t about dejected silences or Dad leaving or dodgy websites or treasure or Halloween or yawning or tea or parrots or hiding in caves. Well, something was hiding in a cave. Not fifty you’s in the walls and ceiling, or wedges between rocks or hiding in corners. Something much, much greater than that.