The building returns to its silent state and I am alone. I take a deep breathe and turn to my right where, only four feet away, sits a seemingly endless flight of stairs, its end shadowed by the darkness.
It takes me about three steps to reach the staircase. I nervously lift my left arm, clutching the railing hard with my hand. I raise my foot toward to first stair, it feeling tens pounds heavier then normal. The building itself is dimly lit, the only light illuminating from the few barred windows near the very top of the building’s walls. The first few steps are the worst, but once I get into the rhythm it becomes easier. The thought makes me laugh; walking up these stairs is the first thing in my recent life to be considered “easy.” I let the cling, clang sound of my feet hitting the metal stairs vibrate through my head. My mind is blank and all I can do is listen to the rhythmic tapping all around me. I close my eyes and listen, to everything, and yet, nothing at all.

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