You reach the basement. The wall is painted a nauseating bright yellow. You've heard yellow is supposed to be cheerful, you stare at it trying to soak the happy in.
The sun is blinding , the coffee is bitter , breakfast means entering the mess where strangers look at you, prejudice colouring the corners of their eyes , rumours blurring their vision of you.
You look away.
Across the road , next door, everywhere are people who are free of guilt, poison soaked tongues spinning their lies into the grapevine, vilified sentiments taking up all the space in their throats, using slander as arrow poison.
Why do you keep running , he still asks ; it's because it's harder to hit a moving target.
Constantly looking over your shoulder , sleeping uneasy as as a hundred tongues wag to the tune of a thousand lies , lies that crawl their way up your back when you lie down, sneak into your mind when you're unguarded, you wake up to find your posture so defensive , fingers scrunched in a fist, ready to lash out.
Lies that haunt you in the eyes of strangers , your mouth is halfway in a smile when you meet them before you slice your lips against them, your smile wiped off your face with blood.
Lies building up a reputation when you're assisting the boy next door who lost his friend to suicide, rumours about your best friend in spending the night with an unmarried man, she starts, she's hurt, your curl yourself around her the next time she sleeps, like you could protect her when you were eaten up by the million mouths yourself .
Sneaking in through the slit under your door , playing with the strands of your hair , finally reaching the tympanic membrane , red fills your vision, you've burst finally , carrying your mouth , your guilt free heart, your tired ears, you take them home, you collapse .
You empty your best friend's room of sharp objects before you leave .