Linking up with
for this weeks bi-weekly link up. Today's topic is:
This bi-weekly Write or Die topic is: Loneliness
Leaves wrestling in the wind and leaves crunching under her feet. You could hear the birds singing their lovely songs & the water lapping at the bank. Up ahead she could see the long wooden dock through the morning fog. She loved the smell of a early fall morning by the lake. She loved the energy she felt surrounded by the trees, the water, the animals scurrying around -just the simple sound of nature. Elise took a moment to stop and just take it all in.
She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
She adjusted her pink bandana on top of her head and tucked a lock of her long black hair behind her ears. She tugged at her pink Nike shirt once more before throwing her hands back into her fleece jacket. She took another long breath and continued walking.
She never imagined at 26 she would find her solitude out in the woods. She never thought this is where she'd be. At 22 she saw herself living in a pricey New York loft, blending in with all those people on the streets. She'd wear designer suits, rush for a morning cup of coffee before getting on the subway. She'd have a office with a window that looked out of over the crowded streets of New York. Elise just knew that she'd be important one day.
Plans change. Life changes without warning.
They were in love. She heard the static about being 23 and not knowing what love was. The constant "experience life before settling down - you're only young once!" Elise couldn't wait to prove them wrong. She could still see his steel blue eyes under that old worn out red ball cap, that goofy grin that showed his chipped tooth he received at while playing football. She could hear him singing off key to the radio, she could smell his cologne and she could feel his touch. Brian always pleaded with her to join him out on the lake by the woods. It just wasn't for her. She wasn't a outdoor kinda girl - "people who worked in corner office's don't have time for hiking trails" she used to say. She cringed at the memory.
It all happened so fast. They put a deposit down on a two bedroom condo on the east side of town. She had gotten a office job & he worked on cars at the local dealership. Brain talked about them taking a vacation to visit his Uncles Log cabin. The joked about running to the court house during her lunch break & just eloping. She wanted more - so much more with him then this little town offered. She was tired of this slow quiet life - she yearned for fast and loud. While he went to bonfires and parties she stayed at home to read. Elise knew to advance in her career she'd have to know the lingo, prove that she could handle a real corporate job. The thought of staying at the town lawyers office filing papers and answering phones the rest of her life make her turn up her nose.
A small storm had blown through and Brian wanted to go check on his Uncles cabin. He begged her to go along but she stayed behind. She had work to do. Before throwing on his faded red cap he kissed the back of her left hand. The twinkle of the engagement ring on her finger made them both smile. Turning towards the door he looked back and winked at her and said 'I'll make you fall in love with the outdoors one day Elise, just you wait!" The door shut behind him.
She stood at the edge of the dock looking out on still lake. She wiped the tears that streamed from her beautiful green eyes. She fought back the memory of that day but it always took her back. The officer said he must have dodged an animal before he lost control of his truck. The road was so slippery that he must not have been able to stop. A hunter found his truck wrapped around a tree. They said he died on impact. That he hadn't felt a thing. I guess that was meant to be comforting because she felt everything. In a moment it was all gone. Nothing seemed important anymore.
Their families tried to console her, they tried to say all the right things. They tried showering her with affection but over time people stopped calling or stopping by. She had tried dating again but she found herself always searching the crowd for a glimpse of a fading red cap. After two long and lonely months she took a took week vacation. Elise surprised herself by calling Brian's uncle and asking for the keys to his cabin. It's the once place he always tried to take her "it's what I imagine heaven would be live Elise" he'd say. "the trees, the water, all the animals.. it's so peaceful I'd know you'd love it if you'd just give it a try!" he'd plead.
Elise allowed the tears to fall down her checks. She allowed the sobs to flow from her mouth. She didn't try to hide the pain here. She felt safe. She felt as if a part of him was still here with her when she was at the cabin. She was angry. Angry that he didn't live. Angry that their life had been shattered. Angry at the animal that lives when he didn't. Elise had been so busy chasing a corporate life that she forgot to live. She hadn't given herself a chance to really live. Elise vowed that she'd never take for granted those moments she could have had with Brian. She swore she'd never let a job take away her life. She screamed. She cried for the love lost & the life that could have been. Her screams and cry's carried over the lake and into the wind.
It had been three years. Three of the longest years of her life. Losing Brian had changed her life so drastically that it made her head spin. Nothing made her smile except being out here. Nothing made her feel alive except for the dancing leaves that surrounded her and the wind caressing her face. The irony that the one that brought her peace also had brought her so much pain. She pushed Brian away - now she could see that. He had pleaded for her to put her books down and see the world as he did. Always asking to share this peace of serenity with her and it wasn't until his death she agreed.
Her throat hurt, her eyes were swollen from crying. Her hands trembled as she held the engagement ring Brian had given her in her hand. She held it and whispered "thank you for saving me" into the wind. Putting the ring back into her jean pocket she turned to go. Tomorrow was Monday and she'd have to leave in the next couple of hours to beat the traffic. She came every weekend. Just to somehow feel him around her.
As Elise walked back towards the cabin she listened to the leaves in the tree's and the leaves below her feet. She felt the wind around her and a lose stand of hair tickled her face. She listened to the songs the birds sang for her and the lapping of the water grow distantly behind her. She stopped to take one more look around and secretly hoped that she'd see a worn red cap in the woods.Elise took a deep breath and exhaled.