what it is i've done wrong

I was permitted to live in paradise if I agreed to abide by an arcane set of rules. I didn't pretend to understand them, but for the most part it felt intuitive. Part of it was you just knew when you were about to break a rule, I guess. It was weird like dreams are weird, but it was beautiful. I had everything I ever wanted.

One of the rules was you weren't allowed to ever talk to anyone about the fact that this was paradise. You couldn't talk about the place at all. This was the only rule they made explicit to me, though they didn't explain why. This was also the only rule that didn't feel intuitive. I had to constantly make sure I didn't mention it casually to anyone, and that nobody ever found out that I was wondering. It wasn't so hard--it's easy to forget where you are when you're happy, and I finally really was. Everything was exactly how I wanted it to be. And every night I wrote what happened in a diary that I kept on my desk.

I was having drinks with an old friend--the kind that in the real world, if this wasn't real, I'd lost touch with long ago--and I forgot about the diary. I don't remember what I was talking about, but she saw the diary and started thumbing through it. On one of the pages I had written in large text, "What is this place?"

She showed it to me. "What do you mean what is this place?" she said.

I panicked. The room seemed to be getting less and less real around me. I'd broken the rule. I shrugged. "It was just--"

"This is hell," she said. The room dissolved. I'm home now.

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