At the Crossroads
The world has been reduced to a dusty walk path. There is nothing around for miles, only the faded path before me. The sky is dimmer than usual, not the vivid blue as I am accustomed to. Even the sunlight is muted somehow.
I cannot turn back, cannot stop, only move forward at a unhurried walker's pace. With every slow step, dust flies up behind me.
I hear nothing but my own footsteps. My own steady heartbeat.
There's someone behind me.
Overjoyed at the idea of company in this desolate place, I try to stop, to turn around and see my follower.
As much as a struggle to go back, I can only walk forward at the same monotonous pace. I can only hope that my follower can speed up and catch me. I am desperate for company, for a fellow heartbeat.
I no longer focus on my own steps, opting to listen to the footfalls of my follower. The sound brings me small comfort. I am not alone.
There is no way to track time here. The light never changes; there are no shadows. Trying to count seconds or minutes is impossible. I get a pounding headache trying.
There is someone next to me.
They smile at me. And take my hand. Their pace slows to match mine. Step for step. Their hand is warm and comforting and though I just met this person, I love them. They are my soul mate. My everything. I never want them to leave.
I turn to try and tell this person of my feelings.
I take one look and the words die in my throat. I cannot tell them. Instead, I squeeze their hand, trying to convey my love. They understand. Their smile grows. They squeeze back.
We continue on the same, endless path. Together. Forever? Hopefully.
But life doesn't work the way we want. Invariably, life will turn and smack you. The only variable is how hard.
I will lose my companion to this beaten path. I just do not know it yet.
I enjoy the time I have with my soul mate. With our linked hands, we walk. Our hearts beat in time. Our steps fall at the same pace. We are joined.
The sky does not turn a vibrant blue. The sun does not shine brighter. The dust does not suddenly clear.
The path goes on.
The only thing that has changed is that I am not alone.
The path goes on.
I am grateful for the change. I love my interruption to the monotony of the lonely, worn path.
The path goes on.
We stay silent as we walk. There is nothing to be said. All is conveyed through our conjoined hands. I love them. They love me. We will be together.
The path diverges in the distance.
Sudden apprehension wells within me. Something has changed. Their grip has loosened when we see the crossroads in the distance. I no longer know what my partner is thinking. They seem not to notice my fear either.
The crossroads are far. But close. How much time do we have before we come to it? There will never be enough time. I grip their hand tightly. They turn and look at me.
At our reestablished connection, pure unadulterated fear grips me.
They will leave me at the crossroads.
I know it.
I want to pull their hand and turn around. Run away from the sight of the crossroads. Go back.
It is impossible.
We continue as always down the path, getting ever closer to the crossroads. No slower, no faster. No change.
Too soon, much too soon, we are at the cursed crossroads. We come to a stop. I want to turn back, to leave this place, to pull them away and spend more time with them. It seems to short of a time that we met each other, loved each other.
They embrace me for the first time. Their arms lock around me, sheltering me, reassuring me. Warmth encompasses me. Their love envelopes me. My senses feast on them; their scent, their feel. I press myself against them, hoping this moment will never end, that another eternity will pass before they let go.
Because as soon as they let go, I will never have them again.
"I'll see you again. I promise." is whispered into my ear.
We pull apart slowly. The panic is back. They can see it on my face, in my eyes. Their hand comes up to touch my face. Their touch is soft, fleeting. Tears well in my eyes. I cannot help it. My love is leaving me. I do not know when I will see them again.
With one last look, they let go completely. Unrestrained by my slow pace, they hurry down the beaten left path at the pace they were at before they took my hand. All too soon, I cannot see them. Already, their warmth bleeds away. A new fear sets in.
Will I forget them?
I cannot allow this to happen. I grab what memories had not left with my lost partner. The feel of their hand joined with mine. The security of their hug. Their look of love. I hold these memories in my heart and bind them there. I will never let go. Never.
I go down the worn right path of the crossroads hoping the day I'll see them again will be soon. I miss them terribly already. Every beat of my lonely heart seems too loud, reminding me that its harmony has been torn away.
Another thought strikes.
They are going too fast. I am going too slow. We are on separate paths. I will never see them again. I will never know what it feels to kiss them. What it feels to hold them again. The joy of seeing them. I will never know.
With my aching heart I walk on. I cannot go back. I cannot go faster. I am alone but for the memories in my heart. A poor substitute for my long-gone love.
The sky does not get any dimmer. The sun does not shine any fainter. The dust does not suddenly multiply.
But I am alone.
The path goes on.
So I based this off a dream my friend had. I changed some things of course, like I always do. But basically, the point is that people come and go. And we can never go back to claim them again. Saddening but hey, we all walk that path.
And I was experimenting with the style of my writing. My apologies if it's a bit too abrupt for you. It was meant to be that way.