the forest

It was a late, frigid Tuesday night. The world was sleeping, something she should have been doing at the time, yet her eyes were still wide awake. She knew exactly where she was. She knew which road to take next, and how long it would take to get there. At the same time, she was lost. Her mind took her to a grey, misty forest with tall trees surrounding her on all sides and fuzzy green moss growing underneath her toes. It took her to some place unreal, a place she had never experienced, while oddly familiar. She had been here before. She had to have been. It seemed too real. But how?


Finally, her car came to a stop. Her headlights shined passed the road ahead of her and into an old 3-story house. She was close. Two more rights and she would be home. She had run away from the people, from the noise, from the chaos, and ran to the comfort of her home. It was close. It was awaiting her arrival. Somehow, it knew every time she needed a hug, an embrace, comfort. Though, as she sat a minute from her house, she put her car in park, threw the cold palms of her hands over her face and began to cry.


Every teardrop held a unique reflection of a moment or an individual who once was something spectacular in her eyes. Something that she had fearlessly loved, at one point in time, but had to let go of. One guarded the reflection of snowflakes falling on one side of a frosted window. On the other side of the window was the side of her face. Her lips cautiously sipped a cup of hot chocolate, while her gaze was captivated by her phone screen on the ledge. The text read: “Try again?” She ignored it and set her sights, once again, on the snowflakes falling outside.


Another tear held a 20 second moment. She had been walking next to a friendly human, who suddenly intertwined their hand within hers. She fixed her eyes on the towering face that lovingly looked down at hers. With her opposite hand, she swiftly pulled a strand of hair behind her ears, smirked, and walked onward.


Another tear occupied the most fragile reflection she had recently wrapped her heart around. It snuck it’s way into her soul and settled for a bit. Over the course of a few months, it made itself at home. It became familiar with its surroundings and shared some of its darkest secrets with the walls of her core. She connected with it. Until it broke her.


Like the young lover before him, and the one before that one too, he made her believe that he was different. He made her believe that this time it wouldn’t be the same; it would be better, it would work out. He gained her trust, stole her love, and talked her down when her mind began soaring a little too high. She had grown comfortable with him, and honestly believed this would be the one.


Weeks had passed, and just like the ones before him, he forgot who she was. He forgot the words he had told her, the feelings he had for her, and the promises he made to her. She was a ghost all over again. The only difference between this so called “young lover” and the ones from the past was that she couldn’t escape. She couldn’t find a way out. There was never a break for his foreign, yet familiar face. He was a constant. A constant reminder. A constant struggle. A constant memory of something that almost was, but never had the oxygen to survive.

Here she was, broken down. Attempting to make sense of what he meant to her, and what she meant to him. Trying to be strong and move on, but only shaking the rods to the jail he had trapped her in. She was close. She was drawing near to her home, to her safe place. But he shot one last fire. The bullet shot her in the heart. All she was capable of doing, at this point, was to send her mind off to a safer place. Like a dove with a letter tied to its wing, like a glass bottle with a long letter inside, she sent her mind to the forest. To the place where it was grey and calm and clear. To the place where she could scream and be the only one to hear her own echo. She had been there before, because she had sent herself there before.


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