Cradled Solitare

By: Anita Ramakrishna


Standing in the shadows of myself.

Clouded, opaque, sombre.

I immersed myself in the overcast gloom.

Shady fog filled with ebony tears, the inky mist faint in the dusk.

Dull, murky, shadowed.

Betrayed, small, insignificant, calling your name.

Forgotten, abandoned, broken...

Alone.

---

"The past hurts as much as the future."

Her delicate voice stirred in my soul. Her presence filled my spirit.

Stars scattered on the road. The wind was scented with fragrance.

Breathing a soft sigh, I felt storms move in my breath. The thoughts refused to vacate, laying unresolved.

"Faith is the loveliest miracle of all. Have faith in me." She spoke with her eyes, mixing me the drink of the gods with her words.

A gentle gust blew a strand of hair off her face. The echoes sang.

"..Why?" I croaked, pushing the pain and fear away.

Wrapped in a never-ending rainbow of hues, her hair glided in the resonant wind, a small, gentle smile on her glowing face. Her eyes sparkled with the lustrous innocence of a child. They held the horrors of the world captivated in their glance.

"You stand here, afraid of your own heart. Their eyes don't reflect the answers, you must believe in the dreams that don't exist."

Confidence, understanding, sympathy. Her spirit held me enthralled.

A single dry and frozen leaf sifted through the frigid white sands.

Once golden, now rusted, layered in the trials of time. Her trembling hand reached down, cupping it protectively to her heart.

"Dreams I do not dream, lives I do not live. What is there left for me to have faith in?"

I felt the world that had been crumbling beneath me finally fall.

"Where were you when I needed you?!" I shouted, seething with irrational anger. She was silent, holding my fate in her hands.

She looked into my eyes, indifferent to my obvious torment.

"Why are you unwilling to let go?" she asked, undeterred.

The wind turned bitter, the cold nipping at my numb skin. The glare of the sun scalded my sight. The echoes shrieked a melancholy tune. The shadow of the moon stood unwavering.

And yet in the distance, she stood, strong, defiant...

Alone.

"I can't live without them..." I pleaded, refusing the call of her silent voice.

The void in my body grew as I felt her drift away from me. Her soft smile slowly disappeared, leaving a solemn facade. Staring straight into my soul, her eyes became cold. She crushed the icy leaf in her hands.

"They are nothing but lies."

My ears heard the words that my heart yearned to tell.

Disillusions, fallacies, dreams. The words fell from my conscience, cleansing my very soul.

Insecurity, restlessness, hesitance.

Hope.

It bore right through me, tearing my body in two. The fire consumed me, singeing my conceptions.

Uncontrollable, inextinguishable, insatiable.

Feeding from my sins.

Starving.

"A pallid dream is still a dream."

The fleeting shades of emotions could not fill a whole heart. Time had taken my soul, leaving me with a life that was no longer mine. I had run out of excuses.

Ruins of a twisted uncertainty showered down. Unquenchable, uncontrollable and unending. Faded and obscure, my heart seethed with despair. The misty droplets of the many years I had wasted spilled down into a swirling pool of regret.

And still, she stood, unafraid, undaunted, unyielding as my tears volleyed in a torrent of loss, depicting the outcome of an unseen tale.

"The heart can not succumb to lies. You will let go, and the truth will shine on you again. You will live again..."

The brilliant ivory radiance died, the world began once again, anew. The sun faded into the distance as the moon hid behind the clouds. The wind softened its harsh storm as the echoes disappeared into the memories of time.

Slowly, she stepped forward, pulling my dashed dreams out of my heart and into hers.

"We may be alone, but we will never be apart. No one can take me away from you. The promise of this soul can not be undone." she whispered.

Her eyes, like stars enchanted by the dawn, searched for mine. Seeing her clear blue eyes, I felt my heart hum. Her gentle gaze touched me like a whisper, with eyes softened by silence.

"The echoes will return, the sun will rise again. The wind will continue to sing its song, but your heart will begin to learn."

The ground below me began to crack and I felt my self start to slip.

"Love is a melody played by the heart. A game where everyone loses. Cradled in a solitare, only then will you find peace. Only the roots can offer a flower the bloom."

The night dimmed, and all that was left was her. The angel of my very soul. And finally, I felt her face break into a smile. She was no longer the veiled enigma. She was no longer an unattainable mirage. She was no longer an impossible dream. She was a reflection of past, present and future. She was a painting of my joys, my pains, my life.

She was...

I finally began to fall. I futiley searched for her, one last vision of her grace, but she was already gone, forgetting me. In a single second, she was a vanishing thought.

I was lost once again.

---

Seeing the stars in the velvet sky, bursting forth the seeds of life.

I began to smile in a way I had long since forgotten.

Standing in the shadows of myself.

Unsure, impatient, overwhelmed.

And yet, I stood in wait.

Absolved, capacious, meaningful, silent...

Alone.