The blue path reminded me of blueberries. A sweet, tangy on my tongue and dilated eyes. It was forbidden, unheard of.
Fresh fruit did not exist in the gilded city. At least, that was the saying. You just needed to know where to look and who to ask without getting everyone involved into penitentiary.
It lingered for a smidge too long to be anything more than nostalgia.
A strange feeling, knowing without having words or reason as to why. Foolish, immature, risky. The elders that oversaw my request to leave said those things too.
Maybe it was a good thing, I thought in the moment, that I knew before I knew.
After all, now I knew before I knew which direction to go in a forest uncharted.
Soft streams of ember flowed through the cracks of the foliage. They scattered throughout the light fog and I could finally see the forest for what it truly was.
Magnificent. Otherworldly. Familiar.
Trees stretched for miles above my head, their fallen brethren slowly consumed by moss and dirt. Boulders jutted out of the grounds around me, some with moss and others with flora. A faint birdsong flitted into my ear wherever I walked. The sharp, sweet smell of cedar filled my nose.
Then tears streamed down my cheeks. I shook and sucked in breaths.
Yes, at the wall, I became a wounded animal ready to accept its fate. For I had achieved the impossibility of leaving the gilded city without turning back.
But now that I had lived through that? There was still more, more life beyond my expectations?
Amidst the bounty of the forest and tranquil morning, I consumed barbed wires and rocks into my throat, scratching and suffocating at once.
How can I exist without a goal? How can I exist without expectation?
How can I exist after I lived the life I planned?
This uncertainty plagued my bones but I couldn’t collapse now. I knew before I knew that lying on the ground this time would mean I may let the fresh moss and dirt of this forest consume me.
So I walked.
I walked some more.
I breathed some more.
My lungs stopped protesting and the tears dried on my cheeks. With each step, the forest held me close and I knew that I will be okay.
I shed my fears, worries, and despair onto the forest floor.
…and walked towards the sun.
To be continued…in The Horizon.