She woke under a canopy of stars, each one blinking with as much surprise as she. Her hand touched the soft grass beneath her, a breeze caressed her face as it raced across the meadow. She sat up letting her eyes adjust to the dark. The moon was full and the sky clear. She was in a meadow surrounded by trees. It was as if mother nature had built a castle just for her. She heard some rustling now and then as small rabbits or frightened mice moved through the grass.
She looked down at herself and could barely make out a floral house coat. Not a robe but something more substantial. Her hair was dark in the moonlight and her hands seemed so much younger than she remembered. A noise across the meadow made her look up and a large stag broke through the treeline. He was huge and muscular. His crown of bone as long as he was tall. He was magnificent and she felt a tear roll down her cheek.
She stood up slowly. She didn’t want to spook the grand king of this wood. As she did the King moved toward her. He raced quickly from the wood to her in seconds, stopping five feet from her. She saw into his black eyes. They seemed as clear as the purest crystal. She kept still slowly reaching out her hand. To her surprise the King knelt before her and let her touch his proud nose. Her smile was a big as the swelling in her heart as she heard a soft voice somewhere far away.
In the white room the machines beeped and growled. Wires winding across the tiled floor to the single bed. Sitting on the bed was a young girl, no more than seven. She clutched onto a piece of paper that she held up to show the woman lying still beneath her.
“And see Nana. It’s so beautiful here and the King comes to say hi. He is a good King…so gentle. He will let you pat him and you won’t hurt anymore. I love you Nana.”
The girl lay back against the woman, still holding up the picture of a meadow, under stars, with the King standing proud.
She stood on the edge staring down at the water below. The river moving with the sound of a train. She could see it slam against the concrete supports sending geysers into the air. It was hypnotizing, the sound and movement. She felt the power below her, felt the wind made by the water push up against her legs. She teetered there, waiting for the courage to do it.
She wished it to come. She yearned for it as she moved her leg closer…closer…she had the courage. She had found it. She let her legs step off the edge and dropped on to the bridge. She turned back to the ledge.
“Not today fucker, not today.”
She pulled her coat tight around her and walked away.
In the softest light, she almost looks real.
How she twirls her hair, absently, without thought.
Eyes empty as her heart, that crooked smile frozen on her lips.
She moves, looking up at me.
Her lips part, “oh sorry, didn’t see you there.”
Almost a whisper too loud for me to hear.
She screamed so loud, but no head turned, no eyes looked concerned. She screamed again, wanting a kind word, a worried look. Yet again, nothing. She felt her heavy breath , her quickening heart in her chest. She listened to her own unfiltered noise, that’s when she laughed, and heads turned and eyes reached her…funny no one heard her scream, guess no one was a mind reader after all.
It is always the same. A bit of banter, a few giggles and promises made in the name of friendship or the dreaded L-word. The definitive, “you’ll see” and the waiting for something that would be nothing. It was a pattern, like some child calling wolf, over and over again. I always waited, always thought that this time would be the time she would come through. I never won, never read those words of need or want. Once again the story reset and instead of moving ahead in the narrative, it stagnated and repeated.
I can only blame coincidence, because there was always a reason why it could not be shared. Whether illness or time, the reasons themselves became repetitive. I was blunt with my own need to know, but in the end it was always taken for granted. I am weak you see and I reach out and be the person I always am. She never sees that inside I am broken. she never sees that she could fix that part left in tatters.
And I just smile and let it go. Does she get that my smile has become my own wolf. If she could see that behind it lay a truth that she will never understand. Or worse, she does, but can not move to change. This is what she does, this is why she always makes me less. Just once I want a wolf at my door, and finally a promise fulfilled.
But there are no wolves in this story, only imagined and forgotten.
her words hit me like a prophecy,
i think i am ready to lose control,
perhaps, in truth, a moment,
undone by this lost soul,
her eyes turned from me,
slicing through my heart,
her steps away from me,
no tears left to part,
her words enough to drop me,
as knees cut on broken glass,
i scream to the howling wind,
from the pulpit, a lonely mass.