I can’t remember the last time I tried to sleep with this much space around me.

Why, the hell, does this room need to be so big? I don’t take up much space.

I give up. I can’t sleep. I’m lying here, staring up at the blank ceiling hovering above me. Despite this tiny bed I feel like a piece of unwanted space-junk floating aimlessly throughout the never-ending universe. There is nothing to hold me, nothing to keep me anchored. I am tethered to no-one. I am exposed. I am vulnerable.

I close my eyes tightly, pushing out the orange light spilling through the gap in the door left ajar. I smile. I like the dark. It makes all the space around me shrink down and fit me like a warm blanket.

What a fool I am. In fact, I’d go so far as to call myself an idiot. Look at me. Lying here, as free as a bird and I’m what, exactly? Missing my time on the inside? Thinking back on it fondly? How quickly we forget, eh?

I stretch out. My hands fighting to get as far from my feet as nature has allowed. It feels good. A needed reminder that no matter how tough it may be adjusting to life out here, it’s definitely better than life in the big house.

Ha! The big house, my arse. I was on the inside for the best part of a year. At first, things weren’t too bad, but damn, did that place start to close in on me. I felt like I was about to suffocate by the time I was due for release.

BANG! Jesus Christ! My heart is racing. It feels like it’s about to burst right through my rib-cage. It must have been one of them downstairs. Hushed voices follow the bang. I strain to listen.

One of them dropped something and another is giving out that I may have heard. Damn right I heard. Any chance I had of getting to sleep has been shot to shit now.

They’re on edge. Terrified of having to deal with me. People can be like that. Unsure of us who’ve just gotten out. I can’t blame them, I suppose. Once I adjust maybe they’ll relax some.

Unfortunately, for them, after so long spent in solitary confinement, I can’t see that happening any time soon. Until my integration into society, I have to stay right here. I must be, as they say, appropriately monitored and receive support until such a time that I can function efficiently in society, on my own.

It’s not all bad, if I’m being honest. There is this one lady who seems okay. She’s in charge of grub, so straight away gets my vote.

I take a deep breath in and leave it out, slowly, through my nose as I ponder just how much my life has changed since my escape. No. Wait. That’s just a figure of speech. Don’t you worry, my time inside was well and truly up. Christ, in the end, I was practically pushed out.

Life inside was tough. Claustrophobia was my closest friend. However, like with most things in life, there were some benefits.

I didn’t have to worry about a lot of things; where my next meal was coming from? What I was going to wear? I didn’t have to give any of that a second thought. Hell, I didn’t give it a first thought.

Oh God dammit. My face is wet. Am I seriously crying again? What is that all about? I didn’t cry once inside. Not one bastard, salty tear. Clearly, I’m finding life out here much tougher. Stupid cry baby.

I paw at my face trying to stop the flowing tears.

No! You know what? Screw this!

AHHHH! I start to scream. I let out all the frustration that’s been building inside me. The fear of all this space, the dull ache of hunger in my stomach, the wet, damp feeling in my pants.

AHHHH!

The door opens and she comes towards me.

“Oh, my poor little baby!
Are you hungry?
Time for a nippy, nappy change?”