Meeting of The Mind

By Georgia Lawrie

“I’ve waited a long time to meet you.”

Truly, she was not expecting a response. Though as she took a steadying inhale of the night air and sunk onto the shadowed bench, she was startled by the wheezing breath which cut back through the chill.

The voice was dark – it was as dark and bright and intricate as her humanity could understand – and she was surprised by the force required to utter its words. She realised that it must be exhausted as she was; after all, the creature had crawled through every corridor of her mind, and it had not walked out unscathed.

Her eyes alert, she swept the mass of encroaching trees for the creature she knew not the form of. Its presence though – how could she possibly miss that? She had lived with it every day of her life. She had fought it, and embraced it, and shielded it, and ran toward it, with the lock-step pattern of a life lived in tandem with the beast.

And finally, with wild eyes and a shaking heart, she caught sight of the stumbling creature.

There it was, right there… finally, it was right in front of her.

Twisted and staggering, it pulled itself from the shadows of the woods and took its first, hesitant step onto the edge of the forest clearing.

Eyes like the crux of the storm, full of beauty and fury, it stared back at her.

“I’ve waited a long time to find you,” it rasped in response, fingers twitching, weak legs almost buckling beneath the weight of its upper body. It was not beautiful, though the power of its existence ensured it could not be considered ugly, either. It was not definable, or linear, or able to be encapsulated in a single moment of humanly time – it was felt.

Neither were scared, for they’d had a long time to become acquainted, albeit never meeting in the flesh before tonight. They had danced, oh how they had danced, beneath the most thunderous of symphonies, tip toeing around the energy that brewed from their combined presence.

She knew the times he had gotten too close before.

Those were the times when her fear was most rampant, her body the most still, the blankets the thickest and the curtains the most untouched. Those times were defined by building mountains of empty mugs bedside her, of the gathering of dust on the plants she struggled to tend, and the vibrations of her phone as the clouds thickened. They could feel too thick to swipe her hand through and unlock the phone, slide down the messages, connect her thumb to the words flying through her head, through the fog which pressed down on her movements. Often, it was very hard to explain to the people around her about the sadness which accompanied her with equal loyalty and unwantedness.

But now she met that monster who played the strings in her head, and as he huddled at her feet, she saw the wounds as deep in him as the ones she held in her heart.

The very monster that had been so very difficult to face, now lay understood and weary, reaching for her hand.

All this time, he had only been walking the same journey.

She clutched him in her arms.

They both deserved the peace.

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