She used to take it everywhere. It wasn’t even a thought to leave it behind.
It was her friend in her times of need. Her jettison for emergency escapes. Her waterfall under intense heat. Her playmate… always.
She couldn’t imagine a life without it. Together, anything was possible. They were a fearless duo who didn’t understand the concept of boredom. The kind that would never take no for an answer. If they got lost they’d find another way. And another way was always more fun.
As the years went by, she had less time for it. The longing to be together never dimmed, but sensibilities got brighter. She grew to believe other things were more important and she got busy with LIFE.
It began to die.
There was no sudden death – the sort that sneaks in unannounced and savagely snatches away that thing you love. Instead there was slow and painful erosion that forced her to let go bit by bit. There was a murder that tore it apart over and over again. So brutal, yet so subtle. Only visible to she who was watching.
In chunks of time she didn’t even acknowledge its absence. There was no grief. No time for it. But there was never happiness without it. Instead there was an emptiness that seemed impossible to fill, and she wondered what was missing…
When she did remember he playmate, she wondered where it had gone? Had it a life with someone who cared for it better than she? She believed it had. She saw it all around her, yet it remained out of reach.
She wanted it back.
From time to time she made earnest effort to get it back, but something other had attached itself to her and scared friend away. It called itself friend, but was in fact the fiend.
The fiend pronounced protection, and threw her into paralysis. It shunned the infinite and bought instead the impossible. It kept her safe from pain, by smothering her breath.
She slowly came to trust the fiend, because, unlike the friend, it didn’t fade away. Instead it remained and grew ever stronger over time.
So she let it stay…
On and on she lived, clinging to her fiend, while missing her friend with all of her heart.
And nothing changed…