She stood in the middle of the street, where the wind washed on the sighing pavement with a hollow sound at midnight. Her empty eyes saw straight through the bleary neon lights flickering on and off the street signs.
She looked and saw nothing, gulping in cleansing, scouring draughts of air. Her hair whipped around her face, and the world was reduced to fragments and blurs, spots and smudges of something unreal. A train whistled through the air behind her, silent as a nightmare. Nothing had ever echoed so vividly as the moan of her own despair.
How long, O Lord, she could hear her soul choke on the words. How long?
Her throat closed in, and her knees creaked as they rattled, bone-weary.
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She loved the sound of it, always had. It was like a lyrical hum of delight when the steamy warmth of tea settles in your throat, or when a minty balm is rubbed on a horrible burn.
She denied herself the delight of saying it aloud. All she felt was the guilt of pushing him away and the fear that it might be too late now to make amends for what she’d done.
I often asked Him if we couldn’t just drop the mess I’d made and start all over. I often wished I could just fall into His arms as if they were a cloud and forget the turbulence outside of its cool protection. But then I realize that there are some things I must face… but I feel like a toddler trying to comprehend the age-old wisdom of an immortal being.
You’ve always known the answer, he told her.
Yes, she whispered. But I always got lost trying to make sense of it on my own.
All I asked you to do is to trust, he said. I never gave you any reasons not to trust me.
Yes, she thought, you never did. The old guilt came to gnaw at her, and she shrivelled in the shadows.
He sat down beside her, respecting the distance she placed between them. He didn’t warm her. Chills racked her body.
Are you disappointed? He asked. That you didn’t find the feeling you were looking for? That your life didn’t fit nicely into the mould that ignorant, foolish, blinded people forced upon you? Are you frustrated by my plans because I keep telling you they’re the best for you when you can’t see