“A New Room” by Madyllen Kung


Jimmy Juliano

Not too long ago, a severe argument with my parents and an ensuing emotional breakdown provided the impetus for me to discover a new room in my house.

After the fight, I ran upstairs to store myself away in my bedroom closet. There, I could find refuge from the shouts of my parents and my own upended emotions. I drew the closet doors towards myself and flicked on the lone light bulb.

With heart still pounding from the emotional upturning, I curled into a fetal position, bringing my knees to my chin. I stared blankly ahead as tears continued to stream down. Directly within my field of sight was a protrusion in the wall. In a sweeping glance, it could easily have been overlooked as water damage, but it had caught my attention. I reached out to trace its strangely perfect rectangular outline, noticing at the same time that the surface beneath the plaster was oddly cool and hard like metal.

At this point, my interest had been sparked, and the coolness of the metal had caused the flow of hot tears to altogether cease. I began to scratch at the topmost layer of plaster, then the layer of drywall underneath, and arrived at a rusty metal door. The door’s surface area was similar in size to that of a microwave. To my surprise, the hinge gave in easily with a slight nudge so that the rectangular sheet fell down entirely.

As my eyes recognized a faint glow of moonlight illuminating the small room before me, my heartbeat picked up pace. I found a new room! With surging curiosity, I forced my body through the rectangular opening, feeling the creaky, damp wood floor stick against my body. The new room I had stumbled across was essentially a vertical shaft that had been built with bare, rudimentary planks. There were measurement markings from its initial construction, a scramble of signed names accompanied by dates, and a child’s tiny crayon drawings. The makeshift style of the room gave way to the centerpiece of the room: the skylight, which was located on the slanted roof. The skylight revealed a stunning vista of the full moon in a clear sky. Settling down, I drew a single deep breath while staring up at the moon. Everything was just fine.

* * * *

I spent the entirety of the night in the new room. Sitting there peacefully, the answers to my questions and problems began to naturally rise within me, creating an opening sensation in my chest.

Although the emotionally charged evening had at first seemed to only reaffirm all that was wrong in my life, the uncovering of a new room held the promise of new possibilities.

The discovery of a new room in an old, chaotic house had invited the possibility that there were undiscovered and unprecedented ways of looking at things. The new room was an extension of myself and ultimately a vow to trust the growth and experience of the future to guide me. Now, time and again, I crawl into the new room, allowing its presence to continually move me beyond who I think I am so that I may expand in ways I cannot always understand.