Friction

“There is someone behind the treeline.”

I turn my head to glare at her, but find myself distracted by her profile, silhouetted against the evening sky. I still manage to make my voice sound cold enough.

– “I am aware of that.”

She isn’t smiling, even after such an obvious observation. Instead, she continues to play dumb.

– “Why won’t you come out?”

– “Not this again.” I roll my eyes, increasingly annoyed. “How many time will I need to explain this?”

– “Repeat it a thousand times, and it still won’t make sense. For every step you are approached, you wait for the next one. I can see you move, run even, in all directions but mine. Why?”

I follow her eyes with my own and I too, trace the thing in the forest. My incarnation. My self. And indeed, it won’t come closer. Not enough, anyway; it has, in fact, made progress over time. A nose-length, hardly an accomplishment compared to the distance that needs covered, but progress nonetheless.

The wind picks up and rustles the grass of the circular opening in the forest, the place that I call home. The place where she stands, beside me. Beautiful as always, perhaps even more so over time. As I turn my attention back to the shadow, he has disappeared. Of course he would.

– “So why don’t you?”

But fuck those questions of hers.

– “Because I can’t.”

– “You’re not trying.”

– “Tie a chain to your innards and run it loose from the wall. Let’s see how hard you try.”

– “Drama queen.”

I snicker, despite myself. “I blame you, you know.”

– “I know.”

– “No, you don’t.” She knows, but I still want to tell her. “You have no idea what you did.”

Silence.

I can’t. Okay? I wish I could, I would cry you a river if it changed anything, but it all stays the fucking same. I may not advance as easily as you, but god damn it, do not underestimate the effort I make. For each pace of yours, I could have made a million in any other direction. I’d learn tricks for you, I would murder if you only asked. I just won’t come -out-. So stop asking, and more importantly, stop wondering why. It’s a waste of effort you should be spending in getting used to the shadow. This so-called approach of yours? It’s a joke. It’s a challenge, a tease. Stop playing around or find another damn forest to frolic in.”

I turn around briskly; I am done talking and I know she won’t answer. I can feel her look my way in lieu of a proper goodbye, and it doesn’t miss its purpose. I curse once again as I step into the cool shade and continue until I know she can no longer distinguish me from the shapes around me. Only then do I pause, turn… and watch, In silence.

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