I had three minutes left to complete the level. Three. Whole. Minutes. But I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t that it was a particularly difficult level. I’ve done similar puzzles before. All it takes is a systematic process. A little bit of thinking, a little of doing. Think, do; think do. But I let the timer go down without taking a single move. I was afraid.
Oh no, not of failure. There was no way I would’ve gotten it wrong if I tried. At least I don’t think so. I’m generally the only one among the group who’s good at things like this and everyone trusted me to get it done. I had never let them down before. I don’t think this level would’ve been any different.
So why did you? Let them down, that is.
They were yelling. I was afraid. No, not afraid of disappointing them if that’s the reason you’re giving me the look. Like I told you, I had never let them down before and I knew I had the intelligence to complete the puzzle. I wasn’t even feeling pressured.
What then? What were you afraid of?
Closure. Ending. Victory, I guess, in a sense. Something in my gut told me that that was really the last level; the system would tell us again and again that it was the last level, but it was always a lie. The others were growing weary, tired of doing the levels, skeptical that they were ever going to escape. But not L and I. We kept going. He did the physical trials while I did the mental ones. We were the perfect duo.
So you were afraid of losing L? Is that why closure scares you?
Oh no. We would be friends even when it was all over. He wouldn’t betray me. Not like the others. I could sense it in their eyes – the bitterness, the hate. They didn’t want me around anymore. But within the game, they couldn’t get rid of me. They needed me.
Why the hate?
They knew what I really was. Who I really am.
And who is that? Wait, where are you goi-
I am who I am.