Her Secret Place
Out of all the people in the world, the only person she could think of telling was him.
After years of toe dipping in their friendship, she had finally been able to take the plunge and be honest with him about some parts of herself. Call it the outer layer that was unraveled to him, because even that was a mirage to most.
She wanted to tell him more. It was killing her. She had told two other people in the world about it, but somehow they still didn’t fully get it. Heck, she didn’t fully get it either, and that’s why she wanted his help. No, needed his help. She knew he had been there before, she could see it in his eyes. Some journeys just have their way of writing their story onto your soul. She was hoping he would be able to give her directions on how to end that journey really soon. That was all! Sympathy was something she gave, not needed to be given. God knew, she had been on that journey for far too long, for all she knew it had no destination and she was walking in aimless endless circles. Maybe it wasn’t a circle, maybe it was a downward spiral. She couldn’t tell, but her eyes had dark circles and half moons beneath them from all those nights she had wandered alone.
She tried to part her lips to speak, to tell him, but the words would not climb out. She then decided that that journey was too long and difficult to embark on just then. It would have to wait for another day because the sun was setting as they walked along on that mountain.
So instead, she ran ahead of him down an unmarked path over pebbles and through high grass and beckoned him to follow her with a glance over her shoulder. He did. For a moment, she had contemplated taking him by the hand and leading him, but she could not bring herself to do it, she was not that brave.
Downward and downward she ran. The fog was starting to catch up, wrapping the pines and oaks, and gently sweeping the greenly carpeted forest. Suddenly, she took a left turn and then walked straight ahead. He could now see a path marked in stone. Someone had been there before. It almost looked like someone had begun building the foundation of a large house, or maybe it was a mountain terrace, it was hard to say.
Either way, they came to a dead end soon enough. There was no one else there. Just more trees and the quiet stillness of the forest.
She then told him that this was her “secret” place, maybe even her favorite place in the forest for the time being, because it was the only place where she could stand, stretch out her hand, and touch a mountain!
That was the beauty of the valley-
Unlike the mountaintop where you would always have to bend toward the ground beneath you to touch a mountain.
He must find me strange she thought to herself because most people considered the mountaintop to be their special place, whereas I, the valley.
It wasn’t that she didn’t long to stand on top of the mountain and see the world beneath her, touch the sky above her, take in with certainty that she had truly been there, revel in the sweet satisfaction of knowing that there was nowhere further up to travel; but rather, it was that this place seemed to be the only space left where she felt at ease in lately.
More importantly, it was also the most tormenting of places for her too.
Yet over the years, she had convinced herself that somehow it was a beautiful torment. At least in the valley, she wasn't tasked with holding up the sky in place like she would have to if she were standing on the mountaintop. Standing down here, she knew that the mountain would hold the sky up on its own while she hid in its shadow. She would stay here, it was her place, it was simply a matter of the strength she no longer possessed because even the thought of climbing up exhausted her.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the cool serene air.
She opened them again and looked up at him.
Maybe just like her other friends, he also wouldn’t understand why she had brought him here. It’s not like she really did either.
However, this time, she decided she would be brave. So, she took his hand and held it in hers, and then walked away from him. She told him to stretch out his arms as much as he could, and then she mirrored him. With her free hand, she touched the side of the mountain that they stood on, and with his, he touched the other mountain’s base that intersected it. Together they could touch both mountains at the same time. Who knew that was even possible?
Maybe, after all, he would understand her in a way, even if she couldn’t tell him her secret now.