Walk

Once upon a time, two friends split ways. One travelled down a small and narrow path, while the other took a city street, infested with people and pollution. Which friend took which path? Neither knew. They both thought they were taking the small, green, woodland path, not the dirty, gray city one. They both thought that they were on the right path. But if they looked to one side, they could see the city beyond the woods. The skyscrapers, beautiful in their own way, outlined darkly against the sky. They could see the gray pollution in the air, a constant reminder that the other friend was not with them.

But others walked next to them. Pulling on their hands when they wanted to stop and go back. When they wanted to find the other. Whether these other beings meant to do so or not is also unclear, a misty fog. Like which friend was where. Like the end of the path that they were both walking on. But things happen. The paths went even farther away, so the city was barely even an outline on the horizon, and travelled so close that if they had just stuck out their hands, they could've felt the other's fingers whisper across theirs. But they didn't, and the paths moved apart again. Neither friend could understand what the other was feeling, where they were, and why they kept walking. Or they could, and chose not to. And at points, one or the other would reach out across the divide and grab the other. But the other would push them away, both seeing their path as the good one, and neither wanting to walk on the dirty city streets.

So they continued to walk next to each other, both too accustomed to the other's presence, in either a benign or malevolent way, to walk out of pace with the other. Occasionally one would look over, see the other already looking at them, and they would both look away quickly, and the paths would spread apart a bit more. And then they would move closer than ever, when they would both reach out at once, almost as one. They would grab onto each other, and content themselves with walking on different paths, but being together.

But it would never last. The others walking next to them would pull on their hands, their arms. Telling them to hurry. They had somewhere to be. And the other would be there. And the two friends would believe, and let go. Or one would get restless and try to help the other, try to pull them onto their path. And the other would fight back, and let go. And so the paths would split again.

Sometimes, one would cry for the other. Would call out their name. But the other wouldn't hear it. Or would choose not to. And it would go on like this. One would sometimes look over, and see the other with tears running down their cheeks, the sorrow in their eyes, and would turn away, not being able to bare it. They would remember how at one time, they were almost one person, they were so inseparable. And they would see how it is now. And they would both feel the deep loss inside, but neither could do anything about it. They had tried too many times, and it had failed too many times. So when they both reached out, maybe for the last time, and grabbed hands, they both wanted it to be over. So they decided to put it in the past. To move on. So they stopped. They stopped walking, and just stood there, hugging each other.

And then they realized that nothing had changed. The others didn't leave, and nothing could change with the others there. So they went back to walking. Maybe this was how it would be forever. But who knows? The future was obscure, hidden, as it is for everyone. And so they walked. They walked into the mist and smog. They walked along side each other, with neither even looking over anymore. They were both done trying.