Am I Certain?

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Do you know the secret to being happy? It’s to be uncertain. I try to be a very uncertain person. I am probably uncertain about everything, in fact, except that cold tea exists.
How do you achieve this level of uncertainty? I merely disbelieve my mind, all the measurements I supposedly take. Is this my room, the laboratory, the baker’s or the asylum? Maybe it’s none of them. I see the soft yellow walls, but no one can prove that they’re not just a trick of a failing mind. After all, I’ve probably tried to destroy mine a couple of times.
“What’s your name?”
Here comes a question. I’m never really sure whether someone actually asked me one, or I’d just imagined it. But I usually answer anyways, because I could be bored.
“Mark Pine.”
“Isn’t your name Mark Twist?”
“I’m not sure.”
“There are only two possibilities: yes or no. Which one is it?”
Did I hear that one?
Maybe I imagined it. What are the chances that three questions will come in such a short stretch of time?
I probably didn’t answer.
I might have moved to check the papers on my desk. Or I may have stayed there all morning. Or I may not be there at all. Just seeing it all out of a different time. Or it could be that I see a note just about now.
Good morning Mark hope you liked cold tea sorry mom said I can’t use the stove to heat it up
Perhaps that’s what it says. I might be feeling saddened by the note. But why? Why would I not be happy that someone might have written me a nice note?
Maybe I am.
Maybe my head just lost the last few seconds of my feelings log and put in the wrong replacement.
It is probably close midmorning. It likely does look beautiful outside. And this is potentially when it tends to happen.
If it is happening, I see a little auburn-haired girl in front of me, who rushes forward to give me a hug. Just around now I might be both seeing her and not seeing her, empty and girl superimposed on each other in murky half-existence.
Someone might have said to me some time that the little girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning, when she was maybe six. I don’t know. Failing mind, probably. But what I do know with a little more innate certainty is that she is not dead if I do not check. Hazel, Schrodinger’s cat, same characteristic of life in limbo.
And if she’s not dead, maybe she is visiting me right now. giving me a hug. Watching me with her bright brown eyes and asking me for more “mini-physics!”.
Maybe that’s what she’s doing. Or maybe she’d just exited through where there might be a door. And now she might be back, carrying a plate and a saucer.
Am I now holding the cup in my hand? Perhaps. Maybe it is an unusual occurrence, whose one thousandth probability finally came to light. It might be that I’m drinking and I feel something cold in my throat. It could be the bleach. That probably didn’t kill me. But I suppose I might be in limbo too. There are probably be many limbos, since it doesn’t feel as if I’d seen that hideous cat around.
All of my being jerks to a stop.
That scent.
I suck in air and liquid.
I am choking.
I am coughing.
I am drinking cold tea.
One by one the blocks of reality assemble themselves on a base of cold tea, until I see and am forced to believe everything in front of me.
“Hazel,” I breathe, dropping the irrelevant cup, which I was indeed holding.
The little girl – my granddaughter – likewise drops the saucer, and gives me another hug.
“You’re alive…Who took the chance? I want to kiss them and kill them all at once.”
“No one peeked, professor Mark,” my dear Hazel replies. “You wouldn’t let anyone go in.”
“Then how…No, I don’t know. But I don’t care.” Tears were flowing down my face. I judge crying to be the second most shameful thing after ignorance, but I don’t care at all.
“I’m sorry, grandpa,” Hazel murmurs after a minute, her sharp little nose still digging into my shoulder. “I love you. I love you. I’ll be back. Stay and wait for me.”
A shiver ran down my spine. “What? Hazel? You will leave?’
It all came in that instant. I look down at the ground. The cup was laying on its side and the saucer was cracked in two. I pick up the cup. It was all dry.
And I don’t see Hazel.
She told me to keep waiting.
Ah! Curse my genius mind! It has found a way to cure itself!
I touch a finger to my face. It was still wet with tears.
She told me to keep waiting.

About the Author: 
A curious student that hopes to publish one day.