“There is no such thing as reality, this, what we see…” Anna gestured around the place she called home, “is not real… Shut up and listen .” She silenced Henry, a finger pressed firmly against his lips, as he moved to interrupt her.
“When you look around, what do you see? And I don’t mean describe the place. I mean what do you feel? What does this place show you?”
Henry sighed in exasperation at his sister. Taking a breath he looked around, seeing Anna’s home through his eyes. It was messy. Pot plants in random places. Reprinted images and quotes tacked to the walls, mismatched furniture. It wasn’t the kind of place he’d live.
“So?” Anna asked as she watched him take inventory of the place.
“It’s a dump .” Henry replied with a nonchalant shrug. Anna only smiled.
“See, that’s your reality. This…” she said as she looked around her home, “is perfection... to me. This is my reality.”
Henry gazed at her with cynical confusion. He wasn’t getting it.
“Fine, imagine you’re standing in the neighbour’s yard. It looks different, it feels different. They like their manicured gardens and dinner parties. He reads the paper religiously and she reads gossip magazines. Those things are important to them, their reality. Things I find irrelevant. We aren’t living in the same reality.” She continued.
“You’re not even on the same planet , Ann” Henry mumbled. This wasn’t getting them anywhere.
“People in third world countries, living in poverty, having to fight for their lives every day… this, right here, is not their reality. Some of them would’ve never seen a TV. You try telling them this is reality. They’ll think you’re mad, and you are, because there is no, one reality. Everyone’s reality is different. And so reality doesn’t exist, because no one’s coincides with anyone else’s. Sure they overlap, but no two people look at anything in exactly the same way.”
“You need to watch less sci-fi and lay off the philosophy, Ann. We’re all living on the same world.”
Anna eyed her brother with disdain as she reached behind her grabbing the torch she’d left there for this purpose. She knew she’d lose this battle, but she’d had to try. She hadn’t failed just yet. She could still stop him from having her committed. It was why he was here. In one swift movement she hit in just below the temple with the torch, and he crumpled to the ground. Lifting him under his shoulders she dragged him through the open door and down the stairs to the cellar. No one was taking her reality away from her. Just because it didn’t fit his didn’t mean it was wrong.
We’re all living on the same world, he’d said. Well not anymore. He could join the people living under the world.
After chaining him behind the wine racks, she switched of the light, closing and locking the door behind her. He wanted to believe there was only one reality? She’d teach him about reality… the hard way.
Indie Adams 2012