V stumbles across E in a place she never expected to find her and they meet another chance to renew this trust and fix this divide.
E takes the bag when V hands it to her. “Ugh, okay okay.” E wants to warm to the peace she’d just found this morning. “No, I’ll- I’ll come with you. But please know that I am nervous. This isn’t easy for me.” E looked like every ounce of her was pulling back, like every ounce of her might speed off and bounce away and be no more.
She walked toward the car, “I just, I-no! No.” E stood back and then, slinging the duffel bag over her shoulder, she bolted. She ran and ran until she was deep in the forest where V couldn’t even see her anymore.
V stood there, her shoulders dropped. What is it that so scares E? She made a small frown. But there was nothing she could do. She just watched E run. It made her flinch at first, in surprise; she’d begun toward the car also, and turned when E took off. And then she just watched. She just watched E cross the highway and disappear into the thicket of trees and brush.
After a moment of standing there, still a little surprised, but dejection showing on her face, she slowly pulled open her own car door, looked one last time toward the green, then got in and drove away. I guess I’ll never understand.
V passed the Georgia state line and arrived in Alabama. Fatigue weighed on her bones. It may have been the stress and confusion and odd events of earlier, but it also could have been the close-to-three-hour drive that she’d just made.
A beautiful stone sign welcomed her to Fruithurst Alabama. E always would laugh at the Alabama license plates and make jokes about the state; but V didn’t think that E’s more or less legitimate dislike was the reason she didn’t want to come to Alabama—V didn’t think it was Alabama that E avoided, at all. She knew it was she and S and all her history. It was all these that she ran from, only, the first and latter two for different reasons. Or maybe it was all the same reason and just different categories.
S gave her fear, V didn’t; but, nonetheless, her history had taught her to trust no one. Not S, not V, not anyone. And so, it was all three.
E hunkered down in the forest, in the dark, in the leaves and cried. Heave-cried. She was alone where no one in the whole world could hear, so this is when she could. The only time she would. I hate this. I hate crying. I wish I could just stop. I wish all of this would just stop hurting! E’s head rang and swelled with yearning for relief. She was numb and felt like she cracked in every place you ever could within. Her skin might as well have torn and her muscles all ripped apart and her heart fallen beneath a boulder. Everything within her had a feeling that it might explode, it might all just fall apart and tear open and never get put back together again. This was worse than being an egg on a wall with a thin shell; this was being human and fleshen, and this is much more delicate and destructable.
Her body heaved and tightened until her lungs shook and her ribs ached and a vibration of pain reverberated all the way down to the soles of her feet and stuck in the floor of her stomach. Her arms were numb and so was her jaw, and there was no feeling but pain—excruciating, abounding, overflowing pain that left her feeling not even alive at all. No thoughts, no words, just unbearable shaking and tearing of her spirit.
Oh, it seems our protagonist and her old lover cannot seem to discern the right path. It seems that every time they cross and every time that they meet another fork in the road, or another chance, they turn and pave their own and are greeted with an impasse. We could rescue them a million times, my friends, but they may just never see beyond their little prison of self. Oh what a curse it is to be human and to feel and to want and need and desire and reach and have so much delicate fallibility waiting to break with every one of your moves and decisions; like droplets on a chandelier. To be alive is to be glass and easily breakable. This drips and hangs from every moment of present and future. It does not really even matter which way you take, my dears, this humanity and fallibility and disposition to make every mistake will be ever present; following you, tripping you, blinding you, breaking you, cutting you… we are all a human being mess.
Look at this! A glass world full of bleeding people stumbling and tripping around blinded by a veil of flesh and humanness. Oh the heavens were so unmerciful in creating us. With so much predestination to and ability to fail. It is as though we were created only to fail. Constantly driven and puppeted by unseen forces to trip and fall and make every mistake we could possibly make. And this is the curse—the unescapable curse of being human. Of being alive, of living in a glass world of glass people full of knives and blind. The heavenly beings must pull on our strings and laugh as they watch more glass fall to the floor and more delicate beings break and shatter and spill their knives.
But, my friends, they are not doomed. Though, in their humanity, they are already inherently and eternally doomed, we have hope for them yet. We have hope for them, yet. Let us not throw in the towel on this story. These two deserve to be seen through in their journey; to come through so that their struggle is not for naught.
Part 15 out now! 🙂