Beyond the Fences

I took your hand and we ran. Outside, the wind was blowing; leaves were flying freely. We were cold in our sweaters, but we kept walking.

“Will it be alright?”

Your question made me smile as we passed the vivid orange lights of the shop windows lining the main street of this town. Anyone else would have thought that you were scared. But I knew better.

“Of course.”

When we reached the old fence, we found the hole quickly. We slipped through. It felt warmer on the other side when we broke the door open. The rooms were dark, but we knew where to go. Sometimes we tripped over fallen furniture. But something so mundane would never have stopped us.

Even in the dark I could recognise the flower patterns on the faded walls of the bedroom. Maybe I merely sensed them. But I knew that they were there. You walked to the shelf, pushed it over. Then you took a deep breath and opened the drawer.

The picture was there. You balanced it between your fingers.

It was precious.

“I can’t believe it. It really is here.”

As you turned your head towards me, I remembered the time that had passed like a tunnel. You were waiting at the other end. So I had kept walking.

The picture was proof of something grander, of something that might withstand the daily grind that has whittled us down to what we have become. In that moment, with you holding this picture, I closed my eyes and thought that this tiny rest might just be enough.

When we stepped outside, somehow, it was already dawn. The world assumed an orange quality. You took my hand to help me through the hole in the fence and I caught a glimpse of your smile. For a little while I was allowed to live in this illusion that had become a welcome stranger.

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