Today I woke up with a desire to disappear. Sun barely got up when I put my sneakers on and started running. The more I ran, the more I felt free, liberated. I don’t know for how long I ran when I became aware of the sweat on my skin. I kept running but I didn’t watch where I was heading, all I was thinking of was that sweat on my back. A droplet formed and started sliding down my neck. All I could think of, all I could feel was that droplet. It was hot when it formed on the neck but the wind made it cold as it progressed towards my back. It tickled as its coldness touched my hot skin. You are probably expecting my skin to be bronze like all those other women’s skin but it’s not. It is as white as it always has been.
Sun didn’t burn it because I was applying some home made sun cream. I am different than other women and I want to stay that way. I still remember where I came from even though I don’t know why am I here nor when will I leave this place.
As my droplet approached leather skirt, it started to burn. Leather skirt soaked it up and I was free again. Except that I wasn’t actually, I was still sweating. And the sweat was burning my skin. Not all sweat though, only those on my face. God they are burning so hard. I increased my running pace. Roots are on the ground but my feet know how to handle them, I am not letting them slow me down, not anymore. Why is my face burning? Why isn’t wind cooling it off? It always did that for me before. I run so fast that I can barely breathe now, and since I am in a fairly good shape, you can imagine how fast those trees are passing by me. I can’t because all I am aware of are those droplets that are burning my face. I can’t even feel the ground beneath me.
As I lowered my eyes, I realized two things. One of them paralyzed me. I was falling into a chasm but that wasn’t the scary part. The scary part were droplets. Those droplets weren’t sweat burning my face but tears burning my soul.
My eyes were opened wide trying to help the brain assess the situation. My hands were protecting my head but it still hit pretty hard. I could feel blood running down my temples. It doesn’t hurt half as much as my face burned prior to fall. I remained laying where I landed. The sun was smiling, fox was licking my face.
“My little fox, you are here. How did you find me?”
I looked around. I am on my lake again. If I knew I wanted to come here, I am sure I would be able to find a safer way to come here. As I sat, I glanced the sneakers on my feet. They were ready to be thrown away months ago. I will keep them a little while though. We have been through so much.
I took off all my clothes, sneakers too, and dived into my lake. Water cleansed my superficial wounds. Those were the scratches fox was licking. I swear to God, this water has healing powers. My face is not burning anymore, the desire to disappear disappeared, mind is not running anymore, I can finally breathe.
When I got out, I ate some of the berries that grew near my lake and let my skin dry on its own. I can be exposed here, this is my holy place. Grass beneath my feet was soft as the softest bed I ever slept on. Before I laid there to take a nap, I got dressed. I couldn’t find my sneakers – that cunning fox probably took them.
As I closed my eyes, I prayed for a healing dream, a dream that will fill my batteries and make me feel better.
I opened my eyes in that basement. There was mist outside. Children were still laughing.
“Mum, mum, tells us that poem again!”
“No, it’s enough, come inside for lunch!”
“Mum! The poem! Please! Tell us the Tears within please please please!”
“Oh, OK, I give up, join me on the porch.”
Mother laughed. Kids too. I listened to them sitting on the porch one by one. There are four children if I counted correctly. While mother was reciting the poem, her voice became oddly familiar. My mind was trying to figure out who does she sound like. Who? WHO?
” Tears within.
I screamed with the last word of the poem and woke up sweaty. That voice – that voice was mine. The sun sets. Every fiber of my being is alarmed. I am not sure if it is because of the poem or the fact that it’s getting dark and I am outside the village.
As fast as I can, I am gathering firewood. I will make a fire near my lake and ignore this fear that nested in my heart.
“Please don’t make it rain. I need a warm night and a moonlight too. Oh I wish sun is here now.”
The night arrived. My fire is the only thing that breaks the darkness. There is no sound beside the fire cracking. I didn’t see my fox since I got out of the lake and right now I wish she was here with me. I am afraid to breathe but I have to breathe so I do it as quiet as possible.
I don’t know how, but I manage to cut my right palm on a branch as I am putting it into the fire. Hihihihii! I remembered a beginning of the tale about Snow White. She had skin as white as the snow and her cheeks were as red as the drops of her mother’s blood on that snow. This is how blood looks like on my palm now. The cut is really deep. How can a branch cut so deep?
I wrapped my hand in a piece of leather I cut of the skirt. Bleeding is ending slowly. Maybe even too slow. Now this is paranoia talking. I better go to sleep. The sooner I fall asleep, the sooner this night will end.
I stretch my back and touch a big rock behind me. Ouch! My bra on the back is cut through. I touch my back with left hand. The cut is even deeper than the one on my palm. My hand is full of blood. What is going on here?
I get on my knees while trying to find that herb that stops the bleeding. I know it was here somewhere.
Gee, I ran so much today my knees are killing me, can’t kneel even for a minute. I better stand up and stretch my legs. As I bend to rub my knees I notice they are bleeding. My feet too. What the hell? How can that soft grass I slept on earlier today, be so sharp?
The wind, that was cooling off my sweat while I ran, now swings my locks. They touch my face and each touch cuts my skin. It is now full of small cuts. I close my eyes as I am wrapping my hair into a pony tail using leather bracelet. It feels like holding razor blades but they better cut my hands than my face.
I take off my leather skirt and put it on the ground. This will stop the grass from hurting my feet but how to stop the bleeding on my back? I take off my bra, put it on like a jacket and tie a knot on the front. This will put some pressure on the cut. Shoot, the fire extinguished and I am freakishly cold. I do some squats, trying to warm myself up.
Toes and fingers are touching each other and they are somehow hurting themselves. Great, now I am bleeding from wherever my skin touches itself. I stand up straight, spread up my legs as much as my leather skirt allows, keep my fingers and toes separated and my hands in the air. This must be funny sight to see. One has to smile while imagining himself in that position.
Wind gusts in my chest and knocks me on the ground. Something else is here too. I can feel its breath mixing with mine. His fur is soft and his body warm. He sat on my chest. I can’t breathe. I am pushing him off me as hard as I can. My hands are just sliding of his fur. They are full of blood. My own blood. Slippery. Treacherous.
Get off me!”
I wont die here. Damn my hands! Weak and slippery. My hands may be slippery but so is my whole body. I pull out some of that sharp grass and bury them in his back.
As he leans back, I push my hands against his knees and slide from underneath him. At the same time, my lungs are trying to get as much air as they can. I need AIR. Grass cuts my back as I turn on my stomach. It cuts my breasts, stomach, legs, my everything. I crawl towards the lake. My lake. You wont kill me! You wont! Each movement forward I hear myself say.
I finally drop into the lake. I didn’t hear him jump behind me. My mind only gives simple orders to the body. Direct orders. No room for disobedience. Need to breathe. Go up. FAST! Take a deep breath! He is pulling me by my hair. Dive in. Dive in. DIVE IN. Swim forward. Again. Again. Towards the waterfall. The waterfall. There, go towards that noise. GO! Dive out under the waterfall. The water will protect you. Do it. Hang on. Don’t die. Don’t die. Swim forward. Dive out now. NOW! GO!
I dive out. Water is pouring over my head. I protect my nostrils so I can breathe. Okay, I got this. This is working. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Yes. I am alive.
Okay. Turn around now. Take a look what’s behind you. If it’s him, dive in. Just dive in. Get ready. Turn now. Open your eyes. Open them! Face him! He is not here.
What is here? A cave. I smile. A cave behind the waterfall. My lake. My waterfall. My cave. MY CAVE! I climb in. Crawl deeper into the cave, the water is nice but it will wash away all my blood. Go deeper. The ground is warm like a fireplace in a mountain cottage during winter holidays at your granny’s.
I can feel the blood under my toes. I must be losing a lot of blood, leaving blood trail behind me. If he comes, he will know where I am. Crawl faster. Faster! I can’t. I can’t. Let me just close my eyes for a second. I need my strength. No, go on, one more push. There. Now let me be. One more! Let me be! Let me close my eyes for a little while. Let me gather my strength. Open your eyes. Open them! No, I am safe here. I am safe. My cave. This is my cave. Not yours but mine. Not yours. Mine. My cave. Can’t you feel he is taking your wrists in his hands? Can’t you feel he is pulling you deeper into his cave? This is not his cave. This is my cave. He is dragging you deeper. Look. Look! This is not him. Yes it is! Look how strong he is! This is not him. These are not furry hands. Are not. Yes, you are right, are not. Open your eyes though. Face him! Face him! No, this is my cave, let me gather my strength. Leave me now! Leave!