-a story- *
We went on a walk, you and I. We had a map.
We began, expecting the weather to be warm and sunny. But immediately, dark fat clouds glared down at us from the sky. We ran through the rain and came upon a large dark forest.
The map said this was the way. And at the first, the trail seemed smooth and easy. I said to you, “Don’t worry, this won’t take long.” But you replied, “You may want it to.”
After only a few minutes, I looked back over at you. You were gone! I called your name, and you answered. You were still right beside me, always with me. I could only not see you.
We went on like that for a while until suddenly, with a loud crack- a large tree branch fell on me. The pain was unbearable. You talked to me, you tried to help and comfort me.
But I yelled at you; I didn’t need you! I would fix this myself. I couldn’t see you anyway, how could you possibly help? I forced you to walk on without me.
I lay there, soaking in my pain, for hours- even days on end. My heart broke from the loneliness. I didn’t need you. Oh, but where were you?
Finally, I had laid there alone, in the worst pain of my life, for long enough. I yelled for help. Soon, the branch was lifted and rolled away. Who was it- who was near enough to hear me call?
You finally spoke, and I realized you had never left me. All that time you’d been waiting nearby. I never saw you, but you saw me. You waited for me to need you.
We had to continue our journey.
I walked several steps behind you. I was left with a painful limp and I continued to breathe heavily. I knew you must have wished you’d gone on the trail without me. But you held your hand out behind you and pulled me along with you. Soon, I could see your body very faintly, every few steps.
You carried me on your shoulders for a while and I regained much of my strength. Only a small limp still reminded me of the branch.
One day we crossed a very fast and wide river. You carried me and I was safe. I looked at you and I saw you. I saw your face after waiting so long. Your lips smiled and so did mine.
We followed the map exactly, and soon it appeared that the forest was improving. We gathered fruits and nuts from the now-green trees. Little animals scurried in front of us.
The air was warm and the trail pleasant, except for a few evenings when you were again invisible, or I feared the monotony of the path. We still did not abandon our journey.
Not long ago now, we began to study the map a little harder. We realized something crazy, something we couldn’t believe.
The map had no end. The trail was meant to keep going for the rest of our lives.
At first I was terrified. I pushed you away and ran; I had to have a way off the trail! But you showed me the map once more. It showed that in no time at all, we would exit the dark forest. The rest of the trail was made not of gravel, but of diamonds. You showed me the sunrise that spread over the remainder of the trail. The best stars I’d ever see lay spotted above. You pointed at the shimmering lakes and bright green bushes with the most luscious berries I would ever taste. Lastly, you showed me that my hand was to be in your hand every step further across the map.
My heart wanted that. You’d been right all along. I wanted to go on this walk with you and never let it come to an end. I wanted the journey to last forever. Your lips smiled and so did mine.
We’re on a walk, you and I. The trail never ends.